After a run of four straight wins, Noah Gragson’s incredible streak came to an end last week at Talladega with AJ Allmendinger scoring a win and strengthening his championship resume. And now we head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for some road course racing which is right up Allmendinger’s alley. He’s won the last three races at the Roval and is a +180 favorite to win Saturday’s race. The NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs wrap up the road course schedule this week as the field will be trimmed to eight drivers for the next round that will leave us with just four races remaining in the 2022 schedule. Let’s dive into the NASCAR DFS picks for today’s race from Charlotte.


Saturday’s race is only schedule for 67 laps broken into 20-20-27 lap segments. Strategy and track position will be huge as always for a road course and as always, we don’t need to target dominator points, but we’ll take them if they’re available to us. There are only about 40-45 available to us for this race anyway. Most of my lineups will be built around PD, win equity, and overall finishing position. You should be trying to fit six drivers with 40-point upside into your build because we don’t see the highest DFS scores at road courses.

Practice Results

Driver Pool

AJ Allmendinger ($11,000)

At this point, writing up Allmendinger at a road course, especially in the Xfinity Series is like mentioning Cooper Kupp in NFL DFS. You don’t need to make the argument. You just play him. In 2022 he’s won at COTA, Portland, Indy Road Course, and he was second at Watkins Glen. He’s won the last three races at the Roval in the Xfinity Series. The one thing I don’t like about Allmendinger is that he doesn’t need to win this race. He’s already locked into the next round. But that’s really my only argument against a guy who has won here three straight years. Update: On the pole. Shocking, right?

Ty Gibbs ($10,600)

If there’s someone that can potentially win this race not named AJ Allmendinger, it would be Gibbs. In the Xfinity Series, Gibbs has wins at Road America, Watkins Glen, and Daytona’s Road Course. I did note on the NASCAR DFS Podcast that he may be a bit burnt out after having to run the Xfinity schedule and the Cup Series races while Kurt Busch has been sidelined. But there’s still an elite pedigree and one worth targeting in DFS no matter the starting spot. Update: On the front row with Dinger. Dinger is the preferred Cash game play, but Ty is still live in tournaments.

Noah Gragson ($10,100)

We typically don’t think of Gragson as a great road racer. That’s partially because Allmendinger tends to win every race. But the Roval has been one of Noah’s better road courses throughout his career. In the last three races at the Roval in the Xfinity Series, Gragson has finished sixth, second, and fifth. And if it helps at all he’s finished top ten in at every road course in 2022 with a pair of top fives. His streak of four straight wins came to an end last week and while I don’t expect him to win this week, I do expect a strong finish. Update: Gragson wrecked in practice, likely won't post a qualifying lap which means he'll start at the rear. Cash game lock and great GPP play as well. Ownership numbers will be through the roof.

Sam Mayer ($10,000)

This is a large price to pay for Mayer especially when it’s unlikely he hits 5X value. However, it’s a road course so we’re just trying to find guys with 40+ point upside and he has that. He’s coming off a week where he almost scored his first win and honestly, he’s on a nice roll with four straight top tens and he’s had speed. He had some growing pains on road courses in 2021 but he scored top ten finishes at Watkins Glen and the Roval. In 2022 he’s finished 5th at COTA, 7th at Indy, and 6th at Watkins Glen. I like him as an expensive leverage play off the more popular options like Allmendinger, Gibbs, and Gragson. Update: GPP Only

Sheldon Creed ($9,800)

I might take some heat for this one, but my eyeballs tell me he’s been better on road courses this year than the results indicate. Here’s what I had to say about him heading into Watkins Glen back in August: “With about 16 laps to go at Indianapolis he was running third before he got into some contact with Justin Allgaier, who made the pass on him. So Creed fell to fourth. Then Creed was spun by Ross Chastain (add another enemy to the list for Chastain) that dropped Creed outside the top 30 and he ultimately finished 23rd. Now think back to Portland in the beginning of June. Remember that dumpster fire of a race in the rain? With 20 laps to go Creed was running seventh before getting spun. Not a big deal, almost every driver was spinning out heading into turn one of that race. But when Creed re-started, he fired off right into another car and took damage on the grill and he failed to finish the race. And that is a shame because he was fast in practice that weekend and had a top five car. Is he maybe making some of this bad luck? Sure. But the weather was awful at Portland and he was still having a solid run. Indianapolis has produced some high-variance racing for both the Cup and Xfnity Series. I’m not willing to write him off solely based off a small sample size of chaotic road courses this year.” He went out and finished 8th at Watkins Glen and he’s had a little more consistency of late. I’m on board today assuming the car is fast once again. Justin Allgaier makes for a fine, and safer play, for just $200 less. His results on road courses are more consistent, but overall, it’s not a track I suspect he has much win equity at. Update: Creed and Allgaier qualified in the top five. Both are strictly GPP plays today.

James Davison ($9,000)

I don’t like the price tag one bit. However, I’m curious to see what he can do with JGR. His experience in the NASCAR Cup Series should be taken with a grain of salt because he was driving in awful equipment. He’ll be racing in the 18-car for JGR which we know will have speed and they clearly sought a road ringer to get behind the wheel this week. Until I see how he practices and where he qualifies I won’t commit a ton of DFS exposure to him. But let’s keep him on our radar. The same argument could be said for Daniil Kyvat ($7,200) who will be in the 26-car for Sam Hunt. Kyvat has run a pair of road courses this year in the Cup Series with finishes outside the top 30. But the equipment is decent for this particular race. Like Davison, let’s take a “wait and see” approach. Update: Starting P16. I'm okay with the play for GPP's because Davison was top ten in speed in practice.

The $8K Range

This range is weird. There isn’t one driver that I love but it’s a lot of just waiting to see where they qualify. Myatt Snider flashed upside at COTA and Portland with elite finishes but finished outside the top 30 at Road America, Indy, and Watkins Glen. Brandon Jones has had good DFS performances on road courses this year but that’s because he’s qualified poorly and took advantage of PD. Riley Herbst has run well recently, but we know he can be inconsistent. I do have some interest in Landon Cassill coming off the news that he’ll be back with Kaulig next year. But again, with everyone in this range it’ll likely come down to where they start. Update: Brandon Jones was second-fastest in practice and he seems very confident in his car heading into qualifying. He likes the speed in the car and noted he probably needs a top five today to move on to the next round. I liked what I heard from him regarding today's race. Jones qualified P15 after being second-fastest in practice. He's likely my favorite play in this range followed by Snider, Herbst, Cassill.

Kaz Grala ($7,800)

We’ve seen Kyle Weatherman get some very strong runs out of this 34-car owned by Jesse Iwuji. Grala does have a background better suited for road courses so I’m surprised he’s only run two for Xfinity this year and he did claim a top five at Watkins Glen. While the equipment isn’t terrible, it may have just top 15 upside today. I think we’ll need more variance than normal for Grala to be optimal but if the PD is there then we can jump on this DFS play. Update: Good enough for GPP exposure, but he qualified right about where he ran in practice.

Alex Labbe ($7,500)

“There goes Malin, writing up Alex Labbe on a road course again.” You’re damn right I am. In the four races at the Roval he’s finished 14th, 4th, 6th, and 13th. The results on road courses haven’t been elite this year, but he was top ten at Portland (very messy race) and 12th at Indy’s Road Course. I’m still buying into DGM’s cars on road courses and Labbe could very well be the best of his team. Update: Qualified well, but not well enough to make me pivot in GPP's.

Andy Lally ($7,000)

I’m going to get exposure to Lally this weekend, but I’m not setting my expectations high. Is he a road course specialist? Yes. Is he in the greatest equipment? No. He’s run three races with SS Green Light Racing in 2022 and his finished are 14th, 25th, and 19th. Can he exceed expectations and maybe post 40 points? Sure, but I’m not getting excited about the DFS prospects. It’s surprising because a year ago he finished 13th and 10th in two races with BJ McLeod’s team. In 2020 he grabbed a pair of top five finishes with Our Motorsports. We just haven’t seen that ceiling in 2022 and it doesn’t help that he hasn’t run the Roval in four years.

Preston Pardus ($6,800)

Yes, yes, I know. Another DGM driver. I might limit Pardus just to GPP’s because he comes with a bit of variance, but he did finish 7th here a year ago with this team and can surprise on road courses… But he can also fall a bit flat. This year he’s grabbed top 15 finishes at COTA and Road America, but finished 29th at Indy (high variance track). We can also hang our hat on the fact that he finished 21st at Watkins Glen after starting P31. He’ll be one to monitor in practice and qualifying. Update: Prefer him in GPP's but he's not an awful Cash game play. He'll need a great run but he can do it at this track.

Marco Andretti ($6,600)

If I’m going to acknowledge Davison and Kyvat then I need to acknowledge Andretti who is making his debut in NASCAR in the 48-car for Big Machine. This car is capable of winning but it’s also prone to a mechanical issue as well. He’ll definitely be a driver we keep an eye on during practice and qualifying. He’s the reigning SRX champion (although they only run a six-race schedule) but he has plenty of experience at Le Mans and he’s part-time with IndyCar. This is an incredibly friendly price tag for Andretti and this car that could easily outplay Davison and Kyvat. Update: Didn't love the speed in practice. Looked like he was just trying to get a feel for the car. I'd avoid in Cash games.

Stefan Parsons ($6,100)

I don’t want to jinx the guy (even though I probably will), but he’s quietly strung together five straight races finishing 15th or better in the 45-car with Alpha Prime Racing. Those races include Nashville, Watkins Glen, Darlington, Bristol, and Texas. That’s a little crazy since I’ve touted the Alpha Prime drivers numerous times only to be disappointed, yet he’s flown under my radar. I’ll jump on board this week. Parsons isn’t an awful road racer as we saw at Watkins Glen in this exact car. A year ago with BJ McLeod Motorsports, Parsons started P36 and finished 24th. Update: Qualified P13 so only use him in Tournaments.

Josh Bilicki ($5,800)

I don’t write up Bilicki too often but he’s a decent driver on road courses. He’s back with Alpha Prime this weekend after finishing 13th at Road America and 17th at Watkins Glen. Now he also qualified incredibly well at those tracks, but he pretty much finished where he started. He has driven worse equipment for most of his career so the overall numbers aren’t great, but this is better equipment for him and he might go under the radar.

Josh Williams ($5,600)

I really wanted to leave Williams out. Trust me, I really did. I feel like ever since he moved back to DGM I’ve written him up constantly but today I was going to make an exception because I do like this team on road courses (even though Roval is more of a hybrid than full on road course), but Williams is about $1,000 cheaper than where he’s been the last four races. He’s put up 36, 20, 30, and 23 DFS points in his last four races. Is that breaking the slate? No, but it’s serviceable in Cash games. He finished 22nd at Portland and 17th at Road America and that was with worse equipment. He had FOUR top 15 finishes on road courses in 2021 including finishing 11th at the Roval. So while I wanted to give you a week off from me shoving this guy down your throat, I simply couldn’t resist leaving him out of the Playbook.

Patrick Gallagher ($5,300) 

My argument for Gallagher this weekend is the same as it’s been previously on road courses in the Xfinity Series. If he starts deep enough in the field, I’ll have interest. He started 30th at Cota and finished 22nd while starting 33rd at Road America where he finished 19th but remember there was a big wreck that took out a handful of drivers. Similarly, he only finished 28th and 36th at Indy Road Course and Watkins Glen so he isn’t exactly a lock. But he’s a cheap driver in a decent ride that can finish between 20th and 25th and if he’s offering enough PD then he’s a good play in my eyes. Bayley Currey is a decent pivot and about as cheap as I want to go. He’s only $4,900 on DraftKings which is about $500-$800 cheaper than where he’s been the last four weeks. He hasn’t been overwhelmingly impressive on road courses this year but if he starts deep enough in the field, then he’s a good PD target for cheap.

Core Plays

Saturday’s NASCAR DFS Core Plays will be posted in the NASCAR DFS Discord Channel around 1:30pm ET.


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