FREE NASCAR DFS Cup Series Dover Breakdown, Cheat Sheet and Core 4

I know I can’t be the only one happy to put the chaos of Talladega and Bristol Dirt in the rear view mirror. We shift out of a stretch of 7 races that were all short tracks, Super Speedways and a road course, and into a stretch of 4 high speed ovals between 1-1.5 miles in length. This stretch couldn’t be anymore different than the last 7, and it starts today at The Monster Mile, Dover Motor Speedway. This is the first time the teams have been to a track like Dover in the new car. The first impression from all the drivers is it is FAST! The higher speeds had a lot cars on edge and we saw a lot of incidents in practice. Should be fun to see these guys battling these race cars all afternoon. So… What does Dover mean for NASCAR DFS purposes? I thought you’d never ask, let’s get to the breakdown.

Breakdown

We really don’t have a lot to look at on the season that would compare to Dover. For this race I am going to be relying a lot on practice data from yesterday. I will also be looking at recent track history here at Dover, as well as just overall speed so far on the season. From the looks of practice, even in the new car, the teams and drivers that have been good here recently, still look to be fast.

If you didn’t happen to catch practice yesterday, the other big sentiment coming from the drivers was how difficult it is going to be to pass. Track position is going to be huge! This is nothing new to Dover. My colleague, Reed Cooper, pointed out on our Twitter spaces this week that Dover has the highest percentage of drivers finishing inside the Top 10, that also started inside the Top 10. It does not appear that the new car has improved that situation any. If it’s anything like we seen at Richmond and Martinsville, it will be near impossible to pass the leader under green flag conditions. Clean air is going to rule the day and the driver who gets control early in the stage is likely going to pull away and rack up dominator points the whole stage. With a scheduled distance of 400 laps, this means we are going to see some massive scores. In the last 5 races here we have seen 7 scores of over 100 DK points. If you miss the main dominator today, you can kiss the cash line goodbye.

Even though one guy may hog a ton of dom points, there are still enough to go around for others. Aside from the top dominator who on average scores north of 70 dom points, we normally get a second dom who scores around 50, and a 3rd that scores between 20-30.  Even still, there is more to go around as we often have 3-5 drivers score between 10-20. looking towards the front of the field is a great place to start at finding dom points here, as 8 of the top 11 dominator performances in the last 5 Dover races, came from drivers starting 4th or higher. No surprise that my favorites today are starting in that range, let’s find out who they are,

Dominators

The guys who appear to have the best cars today are Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. No one has been better here recently than Larson, number 1 in every category here going back through the 2019 season. Car looked to be hooked up in practice and he rolls off the grid 3rd, in prime position to make quick work of Buescher off the start and take control of this race early. Larson is my lock for the day today, I will probably have him in every line up I play today.

If not Larson taking control of this race then it should be his teammate Chase. Chase has finished Top 5 and scored more than 25 Dom points in 3 of the last 5 Dover races. His car looks every bit as good as Larson’s and actually had a faster 15 lap average than Larson. If I had to choose between the two then I’d go Larson. Odds are it’s one of these two that end up as the Top dom, so I don’t mind playing both in the same line up to at least try to lock up the top scorer. But, they will also likely be two of the highest owned drivers on the slate, so there is not much leverage in that approach in tournaments.

If not Larson or Chase then I think a good pivot is to their teammate Bowman. This 48 car has always ran great here and that hasn’t change since Bowman got in it. Bowman won this race last year, and he has scored over 30 fast laps in 3 of the last 5 races here. He starts 6th and has enough speed to run Top 5, 1 good pit stop at stage break and he could find himself out front much like he did last year. Nice option to pair with a Larson or Chase.

After Bowman my next choice would be Blaney. You don’t typically think of Blaney when we get to Dover and I honestly did not expect much coming in to the weekend. But, much like most of the season, he looks to have a very fast Ford Mustang. He qualified towards the front and has the speed to keep it up there. My biggest concern with Blaney is his pit crew not being able to get him the lead, cause I don’t think he will be strong enough to pass Larson or Chase or Chase on track. Should be pretty low owned as well.

A couple cheaper options for Dom points I like today are Kyle Busch and Ross Chastain. Busch and this team seem to be building some momentum with a 3rd at Dega and a win the week prior on the dirt at Bristol. His car saw very little fall off in speed 15 laps into a run in practice. His pit crew has been lights out on the season as well, which will help him gain and hold that important track position. Speaking of great pit crews, the team that comes over the wall for Chastain has been the fastest all season. That combined with the speed he has had week in and week out should have him on your radar every week as long as DK keeps pricing him below $9k. These guys make great options as a 3rd dominator in your line up when combined with 2 of the other higher priced options mentioned above.

Dominator Rankings

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Chase Elliott
  3. Alex Bowman
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Ryan Blaney 
  6. Ross Chastain
  7. Denny Hamlin
  8. Kevin Harvick

Cheat Sheet

Below is my cheat sheet for today’s race at Dover. Stats under the orange header are averages from the 2022 season, minus super speedway races. Stats under the green header are averages from the last 5 Dover races. I have also included speeds from yesterday’s practice sessions. Guys in green are guys I like. Guys in purple are guys I like that should be lower owned, great for tournaments.

 

Driver Notes

I’m fading Byron today. He wrecked in practice and didn’t qualify so he rolls off 33rd. His PD is going to make him a super popular play. I am not really looking to target PD in the range Byron is priced at. I want guys who can score north of 100 points in that range, and its very unlikely for Byron to do that from P33. He would need to score 20-30 dom points combined with his PD to reach the type of ceiling his teammates have. This is not a track that Byron has scored a ton of Dom points at in the past, so to expect him to do it today without the starting track position is a big ask. Plus, he’s in a back up car, so there’s a chance he struggles and really underperforms.

Aside from Busch and Chastain for Dominator points, you can go Reddick in this range for the PD he provides. His car wasn’t great in practice, but I trust the Chevys, and this team getting it better. This team has been too good all season to not give them a look at this price tag from P26.

This is a track that Brad Keselowski has always ran well at and it looks like he has past some expertise on to his new team, RFK. Brad looked to be really strong in the short time he spent on the track in practice and his teammate Buescher went out and put his car on the pole. These RFK cars have some speed this week, which could mean solid value for Brad here from P20.

If you can’t quite reach BK, then Aric Almirola is a decent substitute for $1100 cheaper. Before his disappointing finish here last year, Almirola had went 6 straight races here with finishes of 17th or better, which includes 1 top 10. I expect him to get back to that form today and easily pay off his $6600 price tag. Custer and Dillon are also in play for a little bit cheaper. But personally, I think they will carry more ownership and have a lower ceiling than Almirola.

Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton are the go to options for value on the slate. Both guys had issues in practice preventing them from qualifying. Their price tag allows you to jam in a lot of upside up top, and their starting position makes for an easy path to hitting value. If I’m choosing between the two then I’m going Gilliland.

With everyone stacking the top today it means guys like Gilliland and Burton are going to be pretty popular. You can pivot to Dinger, Haley or Preece if your looking for lower owned value options. Preece was very fast in practice, like top 3 fast. It’s obvious this is not your normal Rick Ware car. My concern is in his pit crew though, could be too much to overcome if they aren’t able to maintain his track position. Haley is a very similar play to Ware but he is with a much better team, so he’s more likely to be able to hold on to his track position. Both the Kaulig cars had a lot of speed in practice and look to be poised for a solid run. However, if you have the cash to get there, I would prefer Haley’s teammate Dinger over him. He looked even faster than Haley and starts 19th, so a little more PD cushion.

Core 4

Here is my Core 4 for today. If your playing SE or Cash then you can opt to finish with a more balanced build while using guys that provide PD. For GPP you can try to target a 3rd dominator to maximize your upside. If playing multiple line ups, you can pivot in  a Bowman/Blaney for Chase in a couple line ups. You can also start working in some of the other value pivots as you build more line ups.

 

 

 

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One Response

  1. I really enjoy Nascar and like to play DFS to put a little skin into watching it. Im no high roller, just a few bucks so your articles are my go to. Great information and well written. Win or lose, its the best article out there. I appreciate all your hard work and if one of my small contests pays off big, I will definitely remember you!
    Thank you

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