The United Rentals Work United 500 is Sunday’s race this week — at Phoenix Raceway — and it’s the first “short track” race of the year. With it being the first short track of the year, it also means there’ll be changes to the cars for this race, and ones similar to it throughout the year. Just what can we expect from the different car for DFS contests? We’ll talk about that with DFS strategy and our top picks for plays on DraftKings and FanDuel cash and GPP contests.

What To Expect From Fords, Chevys, and Toyotas At Phoenix?

The drivers have all done a lot of talking this week about the new aero package that’s on the cars this week. They asked NASCAR to make cars harder to drive here with less downforce and NASCAR most certainly listened. The new aero package has 30-percent less downforce compared to last year’s races here and that should do a few things. Firstly, it will make the cars looser and thus less secure on the track as we saw in practice and qualifying. Secondly, and more importantly for race flow, it will add tire degradation to the on track action which hasn’t been a factor in previous short track races in the Next Gen car. Tire degradation will create comers and goers as drivers try and hold on to their cars but it will also create more need for clean green flag pit stops in each stage during the race. This makes for interesting strategy for DFS.

NASCAR DFS Strategy For Phoenix

Getting to DFS strategy for this week. It’s hard to completely ignore data from previous races at Phoenix including the two last year in the Next Gen car. However, we almost have to weigh it independently based on the aero package that’s in place this week. Typically at Phoenix, track position is a huge thing with the last 10 winners here coming from between the pole and P13. Most of those winners have come from the top-10 and several inside the top-five. Again though, different aero package. Passing has been tough here previously but this aero package is designed to make passing more common and more on-track action. What does all of this mean for strategy? We still need, and expect, to have at least one dominator in the race as we’ve typically seen here. However, we can build in more PD plays than we’re typically looking for here. That doesn’t mean we’re looking at drivers starting super far back in the field as lapping from the lead drivers is still very likely and fairly early. So be wary of using drivers starting near the back as their PD upside will be capped once they get lapped. So overall, as stated in the podcast, we’re looking for laps led dominators and a handful of PD plays but in general we’re looking for high finish position upside from each driver in the builds.

United Rentals Work United 500 Practice and Qualifying Results

Below is a chart showing the practice and qualifying results from Friday and Saturday sessions. It also shows each driver’s average finish in the last five races here and average finish in the last 10 similar races to Phoenix.

DriverDK$FD $Avg. Prac to QualQual1-Lap5-Lap10-lapTrack Avg. FinSim Avg. Fin
Kyle Larson$11,100$13,0000111112.812.1
Denny Hamlin$9,600$10,500-122191486.29.5
William Byron$9,800$9,500-1032015511.612.7
Brad Keselowski$7,800$7,000-646111414.812.3
Christopher Bell$8,800$10,000-15524191614.28.6
Ross Chastain$10,000$11,000-2162629269.512.7
Michael McDowell$5,400$3,500-20730272424.425.1
Ryan Blaney$10,300$13,500682225.211.6
Kyle Busch$10,600$12,500-19929282711.412.1
Erik Jones$7,600$6,200-141027242020.621.6
Daniel Suarez$8,500$8,000-11113121121.217.1
Tyler Reddick$9,400$8,200-41222171018.619.3
Martin Truex Jr$9,200$12,000-41317161812.610.7
Ty Gibbs$6,700$6,500-1014282619 36.0
Kevin Harvick$9,000$11,5009159546.49.3
Joey Logano$10,800$14,00013164335.07.1
Josh Berry$8,000$7,800-617232521  
Alex Bowman$8,600$8,5001018371319.013.9
Bubba Wallace$8,200$7,200919168622.820.9
Austin Cindric$7,100$6,800-12018212317.518.0
Chris Buescher$6,600$5,80011211261218.817.6
AJ Allmendinger$6,200$5,20082211102216.018.3
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$5,800$4,000162374927.022.1
Chase Briscoe$8,400$9,000172459715.517.9
Ryan Preece$7,300$6,000-62532303226.724.0
Justin Haley$6,400$4,200-52633322823.524.2
Harrison Burton$5,700$3,00015278131524.024.6
Corey Lajoie$5,600$5,00092814182530.229.0
Todd Gilliland$4,900$2,500-42931343424.023.6
Austin Dillon$7,500$5,50083015203016.817.6
Aric Almirola$6,900$7,500153110221712.411.7
Noah Gragson$6,000$4,500432253129 24.0
BJ McLeod$4,600$2,000-3333636 30.332.0
Zane Smith$5,200$4,80012342123  17.0
Ty Dillon$5,000$2,50023534333120.721.8
Cody Ware$4,700$2,00023635353331.333.6