FREE NASCAR DFS Cup Series Atlanta Breakdown, Cheat Sheet, Cash Core and GPP Line Up Map

Welcome to my breakdown of today’s Cup Series race from Atlanta Super Speedway. This is the first time with the new car that we have revisited a track that we have seen these guys race on earlier this season. If this was a “normal” race, that race from earlier this season would give us some confidence for today as to how the race is going to play out, and who the contenders might be. But, this is not a normal race, and things seem even more unpredictable than when we were here in March for the first race after the Super Speedway like overhaul to the track. The hot Atlanta sun is going to make conditions much different than we saw in March, and if the Xfinity race was a prelude to what we will see today, we might see a much different style of “pack racing’ today. I will do my best to guide you through the noise and hopefully to some green, but remember, today is a complete wild card where any approach could end up working, so have fun and trust your gut.

Breakdown

So why is today a complete wild card? During the off season Atlanta Motor Speedway was reconfigured with higher banking and was given a brand new track surface that has a ton of grip. NASCAR then decided to bring the the lower HP, Super Speedway package which has given us NASCAR’s ultimate wet dream… pack racing on a 1.5 mile track. Now this is not exactly like pack racing on a 2.5 mile track, the track is tighter, handling is more important, and it’s not as easy to move through the field. The level of carnage though is the same as it’s Daytona and Talladega counterparts. We saw a couple different “Big One” type wrecks at the Spring Atlanta race. In fact, I saw a stat that said somewhere around 30 cars were involved in an incident of some sort in that race. The hotter temps today are going to make the track slick, and these cars are going to be a lot  harder to handle than when we were here in March. For that reason I still expect a ton of carnage today, we might not see a “Big One” due to the field being a bit more spread out, but I think we are going to see a BUNCH of smaller incidents. Of course, the chance for the “Big One” will still be there on restarts and at the end of the stages, or as the intensity picks up towards the end of the race.

Mar 20, 2022; Hampton, Georgia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chris Buescher (17) spins in front of Corey LaJoie (7) and Chase Elliott (9) coming to the checkered flag of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest point I want to emphasize ahead of today is that your success in GPP’s is going to be completely hinged on the LUCK you have in getting guys through the carnage. Any line up that makes it to the end with 6 of 6 drivers clean can score big and will have a shot at big money. So much of who ends up being a good play today is going to be solely dependent of when, where, who, and IF the “Big One” happens, and none of that is anything that anyone can predict. We all squint and try to find patterns in this style of racing, but the reality is your going to get something different every time you run them. It’s like Yahtzee with 36 dice. Embrace the randomness of this style of racing and use that to your advantage when building GPP line ups today.

The other slight difference in Super Speedway racing at Atlanta is that we get more laps than what we see at Dega and Daytona.  Today’s race is scheduled for 60 more laps than races at those tracks. This translates into about 15 more points for laps led, which is also 15 points less than what we saw in March in the 500 miler here. Fast laps are still spread out amongst the field because of the draft and are very unpredictable. I normally don’t talk much about Dom points at Super Speedways, but the style of racing here at Atlanta has been conducive to someone pulling a train and leading a large portion of the race. We saw Byron lead 111 here in the Spring, and Austin Hill led half the laps in yesterday’s Xfinity race. I’m not suggesting you make Dom points a huge focus, but if your going for the optimal today, your going to have to build some line ups with dominator potential in mind.

There are many guys on the slate that have the ability to lead a chunk of this race that also provide position differential. Byron, Kyle Busch, Hamlin, and Logano are all guys that fit this mold. Top tier drivers in top tier equipment starting in the 10 – 20 range, the longest odds of the 4 is Logano at +1500. No doubt this group will be very popular. A couple guys who I think can lead some laps that will likely be lower owned are the Trackhouse duo of Chastain and Suarez. Trackhouse has been fast at every style of track this season and Super Speedways have been no exception. Both guys have led over 40 laps already this season on SS’s and Chastain finished second here in March and backed it up with a win later at Dega. One other guy that no one will play who has been fast on SS’s this season that should have fast teammates around him to help control the front is Martin Truex. All of JGR looked really strong here in March, and historically this team does better on a hot slick track. Picking a guy to lead here can be pretty random, and there is likely a handful of other solid options starting inside the top 10 that COULD get to the front and lead a long portion of this race, and all of them carry equal risk.

Mar 20, 2022; Hampton, Georgia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series drivers Cody Ware (51) and Todd Gilliland (38) crash alongside David Ragan (15) and Greg Biffle (44) during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I am going to provide all the guys that I personally like for today in just a bit. But the who is not nearly as important as knowing how to structure your builds for today. In cash your build will be pretty simple, focus on guys starting 20th on back that have high floors and high ceilings. For GPP’s though that approach is likely not going to score high enough to win big. This is my general guide for roster construction by starting positions in GPPs today:

SP 1 – 10: 0 to 1 Driver per line up

SP 11 – 20: 1 to 3 Drivers per line up

SP 21+: 3+ Drivers per line up

The other thing to keep in mid about your builds today is to not over expose your self too much to any one driver today. This is not the slate to take that kind of stand, all you need to do is get 1 perfect line up through. Treat it like your playing the lottery, cause it can be pretty similar in randomness. Also, be ok with leaving salary on the table, I rarely ever even consider salary when building line ups for super speedways.

Cheat Sheet

Below is my cheat sheet for today’s Cup Series race from Atlanta. I have included Avg Position ranks for Super Speedways from 2021 and so far in 2022 so you can see who has done better or worse with the new car. I have also included Avg finish rank for 2022 SS races, and FL/LL stats from those races. Keep in mind that there was no practice and Qualifying was rained out, so starting positions are not indicative of speed. I highlighted the drivers I like today, with the purple highlighted drivers being guys I think will be low owned.

Cash Core

Keep it simple and let everyone else make the mistakes by playing guys starting too high that ends up busting.

GPP Line Up Map

Below is my approach for GPP today. Blue high lights means chalky, pink highlight means potentially low owned. With the variance and carnage, this is definitely not a race where we want to jam a bunch of chalk into a line up together. Keep in mind the closer to the front someone starts the higher risk they are. Don’t over expose yourself on those plays. You might need to expand the player pool if you are playing 20 or more line ups so you can keep your exposures down on each driver. I would refrain from having over 30-35% exposure on ANY driver today.

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