The NASCAR Cup Series is at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California this weekend for the WISE Power 400 on Sunday afternoon. Auto Club is a 2-mile, high-wear race track, and a track that we didn’t visit during the 2021 season. Fresh off of his Daytona 500 win last weekend, Penske rookie Austin Cindric picked up right where he left off and won the pole for this weekend’s race and will lead the field to the green on Sunday as well.

Make sure you check out the Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order for this race by clicking here!

DraftKings Strategy & Dominators for Auto Club Speedway

  • Auto Club Speedway is typically a very low attrition race with not many wrecks. However, from what we saw in practice on Saturday, that could change this weekend with the NextGen car. Obviously you can’t predict drivers wrecking or anything, but if there is more attrition than normal during Sunday’s race, it opens the door for pivots to be a great DFS strategy.
  • This is only a 200 lap race at Auto Club Speedway, which means we’ll have 50 FPTS for laps led on Sunday and probably around 70 FPTS for fastest laps.
  • Auto Club Speedway is a high-wear, 2-mile race tracks. Comparable venues to look at would be Michigan (also a 2-mile track) as well as the other high-wear tracks (especially previous Atlanta data). The other high-wear tracks you could throw in there would be Homestead and Darlington, but those two should be ranked lower than Michigan and Atlanta due to them having a different layout.

The Chalk Drivers

Kevin Harvick Dark Helmet
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

There are several drivers that had issues in practice or qualifying this week that will force them to start from the back, and will also be scored from there in DFS. If you played DraftKings at Daytona last week, you know how important place differential was there, and the same is true for the race here at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday. The drivers that will start from the rear and will also have high ownership (a.k.a. “chalk drivers” are:

  • Kurt Busch (starts 36th)
  • Justin Haley (starts 35th)
  • Bubba Wallace (starts 34th)
  • Ross Chastain (starts 33rd)
  • Kevin Harvick (starts 32nd)
  • Aric Almirola (starts 31st)

Now the question is: what do you do with these guys when it comes to exposure?

Personally, I don’t like to overpay for only place differential on DraftKings, so if you go with the higher-priced drivers like Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch, you need to have the confidence that they can pull off at least a top 10 finish. The lower-priced chalk drivers like Justin Haley and Bubba Wallace are going to be higher owned, but because of the lower amount of risk and such huge upside, I usually try to stay in line with the field when it comes to exposure.

With so many “chalk” drivers this weekend, plus the fact that we really don’t know much about this NextGen car or how it’s going to race, I will likely lower the amount I’m going to play on DraftKings and just use this as a learning week.

Dominators

These are the potential dominators for this weekend’s race at Fontana, and are listed in the order of likelihood according to my projections:

  • Kyle Busch
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Kyle Larson
  • Chase Elliott
  • Ryan Blaney

Some “surprise” dominators that could happen on Sunday include: Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, Joey Logano, William Byron, and Alex Bowman.

Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections

The optimal DraftKings lineup for Auto Club Speedway on Sunday according to my Projections is:

  • Kyle Busch
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Kurt Busch
  • Ross Chastain
  • Bubba Wallace
  • Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

DraftKings NASCAR Picks for the WISE Power 400

Kurt Busch hands in air after victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2020
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Kyle Busch ($10,400) – Many DraftKings players will gravitate toward Kyle Larson ($11,600) this weekend because, well, it’s Kyle Larson, but give me the $1,200 discount down to Kyle Busch as a pivot. The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas showed plenty of speed during Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions, and Kyle Busch is one of the best at Auto Club Speedway. In 22 career starts at this 2-mile oval, Rowdy has amassed four wins, eleven top 5 finishes, and ranks 2nd-best in career average finish with 9.6 (only Chase Elliott’s 9.4 average finish is better among active drivers). Another reason to like Kyle Busch on Sunday? My algorithm predicts that he’s going to end up in victory lane.

Kurt Busch ($8,800) – Thanks to failing pre-race inspection three times in a row, Kurt Busch wasn’t able to even attempt to qualify his race car this weekend, meaning he will start and be scored from 36th place on Sunday. He will also have to come down pit road once the race starts to serve a pass-through penalty. This is going to get some DraftKings players off of Kurt Busch, but really there’s not much to be worried about there. Kurt has a strong race car and Auto Club Speedway is a 2-mile track, so even if he does get lapped, he should be able to eventually get the lucky dog. Last year on high-wear tracks, Kurt was one of the best in the field, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be able to perform well at this “driver’s track” in Fontana here on Sunday as well. Five of the last eight races at this track have ended with Kurt in 6th place or better at the checkered flag.

Tyler Reddick ($8,400) – With so much place differential chalk drivers in this same price range, there’s a good chance that Tyler Reddick goes under-owned on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway despite many Fantasy NASCAR experts talking him up for most of the week. Reddick will roll off the grid from 11th when the WISE Power 400, and while he doesn’t have the place differential upside that Kurt Busch or Ross Chastain has, the overall upside with him is still there. Reddick finished 11th here at Fontana back in the 2020 Cup race, and when you think of pure driver talent, he’s one of the guys that should be at the top of the list. Auto Club Speedway is a driver’s race track, and Tyler Reddick could legitimately challenge for a top 5 finish on Sunday, or possibly even a win. He’s a great pivot off the chalk in this price range.

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Auto Club WISE Power 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.

DriverDK SalaryAvg Proj FPTSProj OwnStarting PositionAvg. Projected FinishDollar Per FPT
Kyle Busch$10,40065.2023.45%303.5$160
Kurt Busch$8,80064.3233.36%3608.0$137
Kyle Larson$11,60063.0030.64%1304.7$184
Kevin Harvick$9,20058.2532.97%3209.2$158
Chase Elliott$11,10056.9722.57%804.3$195
Denny Hamlin$10,70055.7322.96%403.5$192
Ryan Blaney$10,00052.1221.84%604.7$192
Joey Logano$9,40044.7012.63%707.7$210
Ross Chastain$8,20041.8335.35%3316.8$196
Alex Bowman$9,00041.2712.90%1409.5$218
Tyler Reddick$8,40041.0320.45%1111.2$205
William Byron$9,60039.9815.17%1008.8$240
Martin Truex Jr$9,80039.0815.50%1209.5$251
Austin Dillon$7,80038.4214.69%1612.0$203
Aric Almirola$7,40038.0025.11%3118.2$195
Christopher Bell$8,00037.9017.64%1913.8$211
Bubba Wallace$7,00037.4745.77%3420.5$187
Chris Buescher$7,70029.1713.75%2016.3$264
Brad Keselowski$8,60028.4010.68%913.0$303
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$6,20024.6717.27%1717.2$251
Justin Haley$6,70023.3338.44%3525.7$287
Cole Custer$5,90023.0018.66%2120.5$257
Harrison Burton$6,90020.0014.26%2222.0$345
Chase Briscoe$7,20017.8312.10%2424.5$404
Daniel Suarez$6,10016.9015.85%1520.7$361
Michael McDowell$5,70016.0010.91%2324.3$356
Austin Cindric$7,60014.857.91%118.0$512
Ty Dillon$5,50013.337.86%1823.2$413
Erik Jones$6,40011.824.31%218.5$542
Corey Lajoie$5,10011.337.38%2527.7$450
Todd Gilliland$5,30008.508.17%2629.8$624
BJ McLeod$4,60007.330.77%3032.2$627
Cody Ware$4,90005.831.01%2731.5$840
Daniel Hemric$6,50004.826.42%521.8$1,349
Josh Bilicki$4,80002.170.54%2834.2$2,215
Garrett Smithley$4,70001.000.71%2935.0$4,700
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.