The NASCAR Cup Series is at Darlington Raceway for “Throwback Weekend” and the Goodyear 400. Darlington is one of the most unique race tracks on the circuit. It’s 1,366 miles in length and the two corners are significantly different from each other. In addition to trying to find the right setup balance for the turns, tire management is also a major factor at this track, as “The Track Too Tough To Tame” eats up the Goodyears like it’s its job.
Jordan is going LIVE on YouTube on Sunday morning to build DraftKings lineups and answer questions about the race. It is scheduled to start at 11:30 am ET. Visit his YouTube channel (click here) on Sunday at that time and tune in!
Before we get to the picks, here’s a great tweet from RotoDoc detailing which drivers are better or worse at Darlington:
Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections
The optimal DraftKings lineup for Darlington on Sunday according to my Projections is:
- Chase Elliott
- Kyle Busch
- Ross Chastain
- Kevin Harvick
- Justin Haley
- Corey LaJoie
DraftKings NASCAR Picks for the Goodyear 400 at Darlington
First, let’s talk about the chalk: Both Chase Elliott ($ 10,600) and Kevin Harvick ($ 8,800) had issues in practice and did not even get a chance to lay down a lap in qualifying, so they will start from 34th and 35th, respectively. Honestly, with this happening, it makes me personally not even want to play DFS this weekend. Both of these drivers are capable of finishing top 5 on Sunday, so if you’re mass entering lineups, I think you should be around where the field is with exposure. Harvick should be higher owned because he’s at an affordable price point of $ 8,800, plus Kyle Larson ($ 11,000) is going to lower Chase Elliott’s ownership a bit. If you fade both of these drivers with your lineups, you’re essentially just hoping that they both have issues during the race, and that’s really not the best position to be in, but good luck if you do! In a qualifying contest or single entry contest, I’d be more likely to fade one or both of Elliott and Harvick just because in those contests their ownerships will be even higher.
Kyle Larson ($ 11,000) – As RotoDoc and I talked about on the Stacking Dennys podcast this week (listen below), we believe that this weekend has a good possibility of finally going to be Kyle Larson’s “breakout” race of 2022. We have yet to see the dominant Larson that we’ve come to expect after his 2021 year, but Darlington is a driver’s race track and he’s really, really good here. Over the last six races at this track, Larson has five finishes of 3rd or better and has led a total of 653 laps (or 108.8 per race). In practice on Saturday, the # 5 Chevrolet had the best 15-lap average and ranked 5th-fastest in 10-lap average.
Denny Hamlin ($ 10,300) – Looking for a pivot off of the Chase Elliott chalk on Sunday? Look no further than Denny Hamlin sitting there at a $ 300 discount. Yes, Hamlin does not have the place differential upside as Chase – he starts 12 spots further up – but if Joe Gibbs Racing brings the same type of speed to Darlington as they had at Dover last weekend… watch out. This is also why I like being overweight on Martin Truex, Jr. ($ 10,500) and Kyle Busch ($ 9,900) on Sunday. By the way, my projections really like Kyle Busch this week. Anyway, Hamlin has place differential upside at one of his best tracks and could get dominator points as well. He’s finished top 5 in four of the last five Darlington races (including two wins) and has ended up 6th or better in 11 of the last 15.
Justin Haley ($ 5,900) – The chalk play in the lower-priced driver range this weekend is Corey LaJoie ($ 4,900), and I do not mind combining Justin Haley with him or even pivoting to Haley if the rest of your lineup build allows it. Haley is quietly putting together a great season (for him anyway), with finishes of 17th or better in seven of the last nine races overall. Here at Darlington, he has results of 28th and 25th while driving for Spire Motorsports, but that car in those years was not as good (compared to the field) as his Kaulig car is now. Haley finished 4th and 14th in the Xfinity Series here at Darlington last season, for what that’s worth.
Stacking Dennys Podcast with Jordan & RotoDoc
Darlington Goodyear 400 DraftKings Driver Projections
The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from six different ranking systems. Also factored in are projected laps led and fastest laps for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default, it is sorted by average projected FPTS.