NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Go Bowling at the Glen
If you are looking for an action-packed way to consume sports on the weekend, NASCAR may be a great avenue to explore. Far from just driving in circles, some of the world's best compete nearly every weekend from February to November on tracks across America.
NASCAR drivers are scored ultimately based on how they finish in the race, how many spots they advance from their starting position, and how many laps they finish and lead. Avoiding drivers who crash out of the race is a must, though!
numberFire is always your home for fantasy NASCAR advice. In addition to this helper, Jim Sannes takes a look at the best bets of the weekend in his betting guide. For driver picks and a full preview of the event, he also discusses this weekend's race on the latest NASCAR episode of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
With all of this in mind, let's preview the 2022 Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on FanDuel.
|Practice||Saturday, August 20th
12:05 p.m. EST
|Qualifying||Saturday, August 20th
1:05 p.m. EST
It's a bit of a return to business as usual from the road course stretch this summer.
As the final one before the playoffs, Watkins Glen has always been the traditional fast, wide NASCAR road course. Last year, the separation in speed from top contenders Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott to the field was massive. Elliott ran his way back to second with no caution flags during the final green flag run. That's unheard of.
As a result, the list of contenders is super small. We'll watch practice and qualifying closely for who stands out. Tyler Reddick didn't come from nowhere to win the past two road course races. He practiced second and qualified fourth at Road America, and he practiced seventh and qualified on pole at Indianapolis. Fast is fast.
General Lineup Strategy
At the last road course in Indianapolis, you saw why we've still defaulted to a place-differential approach at road courses despite it being tougher to pass in 2022.
That race was chaos. Key contenders like Elliott, Larson, and Ross Chastain all suffered some sort of incident.
The FanDuel scoring breakdown from that day shows why we do this. Despite Reddick's win (and 38 led laps from the pole), he scored just 55.5 FanDuel points. Harrison Burton and Bubba Wallace scored 51.6 FanDuel points from where they started deeper in the field.
There are just 90 laps (and 9 FanDuel points available for laps led) on tap for Sunday. Because of end-of-stage strategy, most of those won't fall in the same set of hands. We still want fast cars that can finish well above all, but this isn't like last week where we're selling out for guys that can lead at the front.
Below are my pre-qualifying rankings for each driver based on equipment, track history, recent form, and overall talent level -- in that order. Only drivers with a win probability above 0% in Jim Sannes' win simulations were included.
As a great indicator of overall speed, MLT Rank is the driver's weighted average median lap time ranking at the relevant sample of similar race tracks to this weekend. The prior races in the sample this week are:
2022 Indianapolis (Fall) - 25%
2022 Road America (Spring) - 25%
2022 Sonoma (Spring) - 25%
2022 COTA (Spring) - 25%
For dominator viability, the driver is ranked 0-10 on a scale to potentially lead laps and win the race if they start upfront. A "10" is among the favorites to win the race, and a "0" has no realistic chance to lead the race at any point.
For flex play viability, the driver is ranked 0-10 on a scale to finish in terms of potential to finish inside the top 15 spots. These drivers will be better daily fantasy plays the further back in the field they start for optimal place-differential points.
It will be interesting to see how Tyler Reddick ($13,500) fares in practice this weekend.
Reddick's two consecutive wins on left-and-right handers were very different. He flat outdueled Chase Elliott ($14,000) at Road America, but he was just the one dominant road racer left late in Indianapolis. With the fastest median lap time average ranking in the field, can he come out and win this one despite so-so track history here? Absolutely.
However, I prefer Elliott. Elliott's ridiculous speed at Watkins Glen last year wasn't a gigantic surprise. He won back-to-back races here, and given how he nearly ran down Larson despite a full penalty late, it would have been three in a row with a yellow. He's close enough to Reddick this year in speed to value that track history.
Kyle Larson ($13,000) was 2021's most successful road racer, but his bad-luck season has resulted in just one top-10 finish on them so far in 2022. It was a third at Road America, and he's shown decent speed. I'll happily pivot here if the champ is quick on Saturday.
Before Reddick's surge, only Trackhouse Racing had won on a road course this year. Ross Chastain ($12,500) dominated COTA, and Daniel Suarez ($12,000) matched his effort at Sonoma. Both finished in the top five at Road America before back luck -- like several -- in Indy, so I'm good to buy in there.
Austin Cindric ($11,000), A.J. Allmendinger ($10,500) and Chase Briscoe ($10,000) have all flashed speed at various points on road courses as well. Cindric finished second at Indy, Allmendinger has won three Xfinity Series races on road courses this year, and Briscoe was a two-time Xfinity Series winner on road courses, as well.
Toyota's issues on road courses carried into Indianapolis. Christopher Bell ($9,500) has the lowest salary, and his third-best median lap time at Indianapolis was the only top-10 mark for Joe Gibbs Racing on a road course all year. With five-digit salaries on most of them, I'm excluding all but Bell from my driver pool unless I'm blown away in practice.
Chris Buescher ($8,000) has momentum on his side after a near-win at Richmond last week, and he's got to be a contender for Sunday. His eighth-best median lap time average ranking on road courses this year should keep him close enough to the front to pull an upset.
William Byron ($7,500) and Alex Bowman ($7,000) are value plays this weekend, but the salary drop may have gone too far. Like Larson, they've endured their fair share of bad luck in 2022, but both still have a top-15 median lap average ranking this year on road courses.
I'd be remiss to not mention Chastain and Suarez have a teammate this weekend. F1 legend Kimi Raikkonen ($6,000) will pilot a third Trackhouse entry. With no stock car experience, he won't contend for a win, but driving the best equipment in the sport with 90 laps to learn, he's an okay flier as a value play if he starts deep in the field.
For other value plays, Brad Keselowski ($6,500), Cole Custer ($6,200), and Bubba Wallace ($5,800) have the three top-20 median lap time average rankings you'll find below $7,000. Wallace has actually carried the banner for Toyota in terms of speed this year, and he finished fifth amidst the chaos at Indianapolis.