FREE NASCAR DFS Cup Series Gateway Breakdown, Cheat Sheet, GPP Map, and Cash Core 4

Fresh off of one of the most wild 600 miles of racing there has ever been last week at the Coke 600, the Cup Series faces a brand new challenge as it gears up to take on the Inaugural race at Gateway Raceway. Normally Inaugural races have a special feel to them because we have a ton of unknowns that bring with it an unpredictability when it comes to contenders. But the next gen car and the 2022 season has already been loaded with unpredictability, so even though this is a new track, the unpredictability is familiar territory for us in 2022. Not sure what the racing product is going to look like today but my hopes aren’t high for a “good race”, this track just doesn’t fall in to the wheelhouse for what works with these next gen cars. I have been wrong before though and I’d be happy to be wrong about that. At the very least, we still have the opportunity to make a little green and that is exactly what we are going to try to do in this week’s breakdown!

Breakdown

Gateway Raceway is a 1.25 mile, flat track that has long straightaways and two completely different sets of corners. Turns 1 and 2 are tight corners that require heavy braking and downshifting while turns 3 and 4 are long, sweeping corners that are all about maintaining momentum and getting a good exit to set yourself up for the long front stretch. Though this track is over 1 mile long, it’s flat banking makes it drive a lot like a short track. When looking at other tracks to compare it to in the series, we want to look at tracks like Phoenix, Richmond, New Hampshire and maybe even a touch of Martinsville. Great news is we have already been to 3 of those tracks this year so should have a good idea of who to expect to be fast today. Not only do we have some next gen car data on similar tracks, but we also had a full 50 minute practice session on Friday. This extended practice session is huge at providing us with data we can count on that will translate to today.

One thing that we saw on those short, flat tracks earlier this year is how hard it was to pass in those races. The added element of shifting combined with ride height issues has been a terrible combination for the next gen car on these tracks. When drivers have the ability to shift like they do now, they can recover from mistakes in the corner much easier. Drivers can keep the engine revved up and get a run off the corner making it very hard for a driver on the inside to complete a pass. Drivers have already commented about how hard passing is going to be in today’s race. This means track position is going to be huge. A lot is going to be gained on pit road today as it will likely be the best opportunity to pass cars. Mistakes are going to be magnified today as recovering from a loss of track position is going to be a tall order.

I expect that we are going to see a wildly different race than the caution filled race that was last week’s Coke 600. If it’s like the short flat track races from this season we are going to see very few cautions with long green flag runs. This is going to give the opportunity for 1 or 2 guys to rack up the majority of the somewhat limited dominator points on the slate today. Track position has a big correlation to dominator points on the short flat tracks as well. The track that Gateway is closest to is Phoenix, in the last 7 Phoenix races there has been 16 drivers that have scored more than 35 dominator points, of those only 1 started outside the Top 10, 12 started 4th or better, and 6 of the 7 pole sitters hit that mark. The front of the field is a great place to start today when going after those precious dominator points.

Dominators

Earlier this season on the short flat tracks we saw Ford have a ton of speed and it looks like that is going to translate to speed here at Gateway as Fords make up the top of the charts today. The clear cut favorites look to be the guys in the Penske camp, Blaney and Logano. Penske has always been a team that has excelled on the shorter flat tracks so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them quick here. The whole team looks to have hit the set up as all 3 guys were the 3 fastest cars in practice. All 3 of these guys start towards the front with that precious track position, fast cars, and solid pit crews, barring mistakes, all 3 can contend. Logano had what looked to be the fastest car by a wide margin in practice and he comes in super cheap in comparison to the upside he has today.  Logano is probably my favorite potential dom on the slate today with Blaney as a close second.

Chase Briscoe put down the hot lap in qualifying yesterday which has earned him the precious pole position for today’s race. If we expect today to run similar to Phoenix, which we do, then we should expect big things from the pole sitter like we tend to see at Phoenix. It also doesn’t hurt that Briscoe had a ton of speed at Phoenix earlier this season when he clinched his first Cup Series win. Vegas also loves some Briscoe today as he is now the odds on favorite to win at +800.

You can’t talk dominators any given weekend in 2022 without talking about Ross Chastain. Watermelon man has been a beast for Trackhouse this season regardless of the track type. He is a contender to get out front any week with the speed he has had this year. He was Top 5 in both 10 lap and 15 lap averages in practice so he has the speed again this week. Always got to give him an extra boost on these track position races with how great his pit crew has been as well.

Kyle Busch is back to the point of being a guy that can go out there and win any week and he has had fast cars for the majority of the year. He looks to be fast again as he was Top 5 in 5, 10, and 15 lap averages in Friday’s practice. Kyle is also a guy that normally benefits a ton from an extended practice with his ability to diagnose what adjustments his car needs much better with the extended time.

 Cheat Sheet

Below is my Cheat Sheet for today’s Inaugural race from Gateway Raceway. I have included odds for your reference as well as data from the extended 50 minute practice on Friday. Stats under the green header is data from Phoenix and Richmond earlier this season. Data under the blue header is from every race at Phoenix and New Hampshire since the start of 2019. I highlighted the guys I like in green with purple being potentially low owned plays for GPP.

 

Other Top Tier Options

William Byron is a great PD option in the top tier that you can pair with a couple dominators. He did not show a ton of speed in practice but he was great on the flat tracks earlier this season leading 134 laps with 50 fastest laps combined between Phoenix and Richmond. He also dominated when he won Martinsville this season, the other flat track from this season.

I know he has not been a guy we have went to much this season, but one place Kevin Harvick has been solid at this season is the short flat tracks. This style has been easily his best tracks, which should be expected though with how good the Fords in general have been on these tracks. Kevin Finished 6th at Phoenix and 2nd at Richmond earlier this season with a 14th at Martinsville. Solid PD available for him today from P20. For what it’s worth, Gateway is also the home of Harvick’s first ever NASCAR victory.

Kurt Busch is great pivot option if you are looking for a low owned play with high upside. 23XI has made some big strides in speed recently. Busch and this 45 team has had a ton of speed over the last month and he looks to have a car with Top 5 speed again today.

Mid Tier Options

Some solid PD options in this mid tier range as well today. Austin Dillon has been great on the flat tracks this season with a 3rd place finish at Martinsville and a 10th place finish at Richmond. Solid PD upside for AD starting back in 29th. Stenhouse has been so good lately that you kind of got to keep riding him, especially when he provides PD like he does today. Flat tracks are not usually his strong suit, but his speed in practice was decent enough to go back to the well here. Keselowski is also a guy that I think can provide some PD upside form his 30th start position. We like the Fords today so we should have some shares of a guy in one who has had a ton of success on flat tracks in his career. Perhaps the guy in this range that has the best car is Erik Jones in his GMS/Petty 43. This car showed Top 5 speed in practice before going out and putting up a mediocre qualifying run. Might go a little under owned as well with the higher starting guys of BK and Dillon. Almirola is also a very viable option for a great day on the flat tracks, they have always been Almirola’s best tracks through his career. He starts off 8th so will likely be pretty low owned, love him for that reason in GPP as though he is risky, he does have Top 5 upside.

Value Tier Options

Pretty much any slate you can lean on our buddy Ty Dillon to provide you with a little value. He has been Mr. Consistent, keeping his car clean and bringing it home for a Top 20 finish most weeks. Speed in practice would indicate another Top 20 is in the Cards for Ty today. Zane Smith is also an option down at the bottom of the pricing options. This will be Zane’s first ever Cup Series start and he is doing it in a decent car, filling in for Chris Buescher in his #17 Ford. This is a solid team, we like Fords today, Zane is a good talent, and he starts deep in the field for a cheap price tag. The other spot I don’t mind going for value is Allmendinger who starts shotgun on the field in last. He he did not get to practice this car since he was racing the Xfinity race in Portland, so it could keep his ownership low. Veteran driver with a decent team starting last for cheap, worth a little exposure. I even don’t mind giving a little love to his teammate Haley here as well who should be super low owned.

Cash Core 4

Below is my Core 4 for Cash games today. The lower lap total means we don’t need to chase Dom points too hard to hit in cash games today. Basically the only Dom points I’m chasing in cash are with Joey Logano, he looks to have the fastest car and has an easy price tag to pay off. After Logano, I’m finishing off my cash build by stacking the high floor, PD plays around him.

GPP Map

Below is the template you can use when building multiple line ups across GPPs. Basically this is setting you up for a two Dom construction with PD and guys that can finish Top 5. If you are playing a bunch of line ups then you can start cycling in guys like Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott as potential dominators.

 

As always, Good Luck today and thank you so much for reading and for your support. Let’s get a big score today! RunPure!

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