NASCAR XFINITY Series DFS: 2020 Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway DraftKings Preview
The NASCAR XFINITY Series stays on the West Coast this weekend for Saturday's Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway. The massive, two-mile oval is known for having some of the most aggressive tire wear of any track on the schedule, but like its sister track, Michigan, maintaining momentum through the corners and carrying as much speed as possible down the long straightaways is usually the key to winning.
Just like last weekend at Las Vegas, we don't have any Cup stars pulling double duty. Not only does the lack of any Cup guys open things up for the XFINITY regulars to pick up a win, but it also opens up a little more lineup flexibility if you plan on playing NASCAR DFS at DraftKings. Instead of being forced to build a majority of our lineups around someone like Kyle Busch or Joey Logano, there are at least a handful of series regulars who could end up piling up dominator points Saturday at Auto Club.
Assuming most of the big names start up front, I'll try for a balanced approach, hoping to roster at least two drivers, if not three, who deliver a sizeable amount of dominator points and finish in the Top 5. However, the high tire wear at Auto Club also allows drivers with strong cars, especially on long runs, to move through field. If any of the top XFINITY drivers starts deep in the field, you are going to want to have a bunch of exposure.
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @BPolking after the field is set Saturday for additional picks or help with roster decisions. In the meantime, here is a closer look at the drivers who I expect to target when filling out my NASCAR DFS lineups for the Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway.
Chase Briscoe ($11,500)
Briscoe made a major statement at Las Vegas last weekend, leading a race-high 89 laps on his way to the win. He looks like a frontrunner to a weekly dominator threat, and at the very least, I think the trend continues this weekend. In two career starts at two-mile ovals, he has a fifth-place finish at Auto Club and a seventh-place effort at Michigan.
Austin Cindric ($10,300)
The Team Penske driver led 39 laps in a runner-up effort at Las Vegas last weekend, a good indication that Cindric is going to build on his strong finish to the 2019 season. Penske brings great equipment to the track on a weekly basis, but the organization has been particularly stout at two-miles oval. Cindric finished sixth at Auto Club last year, and I expect him to challenge for the win and deliver some dominator points this time around.
Difference Makers and Value Plays
Justin Allgaier ($11,100)
As expected, the most proven driver in the series made an impact at Las Vegas last weekend. Allgaier led 63 laps, the second most of any driver, and finished in the Top 10. That being said, he has never been a dominant performer at the two-mile ovals. Yes, he has seven Top 10s in eight starts for JR Motorsports, but he only has two Top 5s and has led a total of two laps. Allgaier should be a high-floor cash play if he qualifies deeper in the field, but I don't expect him to be the top scorer.
Ross Chastain ($10,800)
Chastain has been a Top 15 performer at the two-mile ovals despite middle-tier equipment, but now that he is with Kaulig Racing, he will have a chance to show his true potential. He is coming off a strong outing at Las Vegas where he finished second and sixth in the two stages and came away with a Top 10 after starting 25th. Chastain will have Top 5 upside this weekend.
Noah Gragson ($10,000)
Gragson is off to an excellent start in 2020, following up his win at Daytona with a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas. He finished 12th in his Fontana debut last year, but he has the runner-up at Michigan later in the season. Based on his performance so far in 2020, I think a repeat of his Michigan performance is the more likely scenario Saturday. Gragson should be high on your list of contrarian dominator plays.
Daniel Hemric ($9,800)
A suspension issue ruined his day at Las Vegas and his debut in the JR Motorsports No. 8 machine, but Hemric should rebound in a big way this weekend. He has a 7.5 average finish in four career XFINITY starts at two-mile ovals, and in his last season in the series, he finished fifth at Auto Club and second at Michigan. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Hemric leading laps and contending for the win Saturday.
Brandon Jones ($9,600)
Jones is still looking for a breakout performance at a two-mile oval, but he does have five Top 10s in eight career starts, including finishes of seventh and sixth last year. At worst, he should be a Top 10 option this weekend, and there is a chance he could make the leap to legit Top 5 threat. Keep him in mind for GPP contests.
Harrison Burton ($9,400)
It was easy to dismiss his runner-up effort in a chaotic race at Daytona, but after his Top 5 run at Las Vegas, it's clear that Burton is going to make some immediate noise for Joe Gibbs Racing. There's likely to be some bumps in the road for such a young driver, but he is going to have Top 5 upside each and every week. His value spikes if he starts deeper in the field, but you probably have Burton in a GPP lineup or two regardless of where he qualifies.
Michael Annett ($8,800)
He continues to be one of the most reliable XFINITY regulars, and last weekend at Las Vegas, Annett notched a seventh-place finish after finishing sixth and fourth in the two stages. He finished 13th and third in the two races at two-mile ovals last season, and worse-case scenario, Annett should be running in or around the Top 10 Saturday. If Annett has a little place differential potential, dial him up in cash lineups.
Brett Moffitt ($8,600)
Moffitt is in a part-time entry, but he was competitive at Las Vegas last weekend. He finished 15th, but he spent most of the race running in or just outside the Top 10. He's more of a qualifying-dependent option at this price, but if Moffitt happens to start outside the Top 20, he should make a strong addition to cash lineups.
Josh Williams ($7,700)
Early in the season, it is always tough to identify the best options among the smaller teams, but Williams delivered a solid performance at Las Vegas for DGM Racing. He started 20th and finished 13th, and he ranked inside the Top 20 in both green flag speed and average running position. That speed is promising, especially if he qualifies in the back half of the field.
Anthony Alfredo ($6,400)
He will make his XFINITY Series debut this weekend, and while he lacks much experience in NASCAR's national series, Alfredo will be behind the wheel of the Richard Childress Racing No. 21. RCR has been one of the stronger organizations at two-mile ovals like Auto Club, and Myatt Snider has already shown Top 10 upside for the team this season. At this price, he's worth taking a chance on.
Jesse Little ($6,300)
Little wasted no time making an impact in the JD Motorsports No. 4, gaining eight spots and finishing 14th at Las Vegas. Ross Chastain has driven for this team the last couple of years, and he was able to crack the Top 15 at the two-mile ovals on a routine basis. Little should have a competitive car Saturday, so keep him in mind if he has some decent differential upside.
Chad Finchum ($5,400)
If you are looking to free up a ton of cap space with a punt play this weekend, Finchum could be worth a look. He started 34th and finished 21st at Las Vegas for his MBM team last weekend, and he was just two laps off the pace. Granted, his loop data doesn't support this strong of a finish, but any driver in this price range who is going to likely run the entire race, let alone has Top 25 potential, could be worth a flier.