The NASCAR Cup Series stops in Sin City this weekend for the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The series ran two races here last year, and it was Kyle Larson in victory lane in the spring race while Denny Hamlin ended up winning the Playoff race in the fall. Looking at practice this weekend, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, and Christopher Bell all looked to be well above the rest of the field when it came to speed on Saturday, but will they continue that on into Sunday? We’ll find out soon enough.

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

DraftKings Strategy & Dominators for Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, (L) and Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, talk on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 31, 2021 in Martinsville, Virginia.
Photo Credit: Logan Riely/Getty Images
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile track that is kind of in the middle when it comes to tire wear. This racing surface is over 15 years old, so it does tend to wear out the tires quite a bit, but not as much as the old Atlanta did.
  • This is a 267 lap race at Auto Club Speedway, which means we’ll have 66.75 FPTS for laps led on Sunday and probably around 90 FPTS for fastest laps, depending on the number of cautions.
  • The old Atlanta was the high-wear 1.5-mile track on the schedule, and there were two races at that venue last season. If you want to look at low-wear 1.5-mile tracks, Charlotte is probably the closest to Las Vegas, and then you can also throw in Kansas from last season. Texas is a 1.5-mile track as well but doesn’t compare great to Vegas.

Dominators

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

  • Kyle Larson
  • Tyler Reddick
  • Chase Elliott
  • William Byron
  • Christopher Bell
  • Alex Bowman
  • Ryan Blaney

Some “surprise” dominators that could happen on Sunday include: Denny Hamlin, Austin Cindric, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Chase Briscoe.

Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections

The optimal DraftKings lineup for Las Vegas on Sunday according to my Projections is:

  • Kyle Busch
  • William Byron
  • Kurt Busch
  • Alex Bowman
  • Chris Buescher
  • Daniel Hemric

DraftKings NASCAR Picks for the Pennzoil 400

Chris Buescher arms crossed on pit road at Charlotte
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Kyle Larson ($11,300) – Sorry for such an obvious pick here, but I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t list it. Kyle Larson is going to be owned by many DraftKings players on Sunday. We saw last year (and last week at Auto Club Speedway) that a typical race weekend for him starts with the #5 Chevrolet a little off, and then the team makes it a race-winning car by the final part of the race. This weekend, though, that #5 Chevrolet was blazing fast off of the truck, as Larson ranked fastest in 5- and 10-lap average on Saturday in practice while also posting the 4th-best 15-lap average. There’s some strategy here to go slightly underweight on him if you’re mass entering (or fading him in a Single Entry contest) since so many people will roster Larson, but chances are, he’s going to put up significant dominator points on Sunday along with challenging for the race win.

William Byron ($9,800) – It’ll be easy for many DFS players to head straight toward Kyle Busch ($10,200) thanks to his dead last starting position on Sunday, but I really don’t mind the pivot to William Byron. My algorithm loves Willy B this weekend, and that’s especially noteworthy considering how much bad luck he’s had at 1.5-mile tracks in his career (as well as a less-than-stellar record here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as well). In practice on Saturday, Byron ranked right up there with Kyle Larson when it came to speed, and the #24 Chevrolet has some place differential potential on Sunday thanks to Byron rolling off the grid from 14th. By the way, my projections like Byron’s teammate, Alex Bowman ($8,700), even more this weekend. He’s also a solid play, but I still prefer Willy B due to how unpredictable Bowman’s speed can be.

Chris Buescher ($6,500) – You hate to consider anyone an automatic play in NASCAR DFS, but Chris Buescher at $6,500 starting 27th is pretty close to it. Obviously you’re going to play him at a reasonable exposure if you’re entering hundreds of lineups on Sunday, but if I’m only making a handful, chances are Buescher is going to be on most (if not all) of them. Last season, we saw Buescher emerge as a very solid racer at high-wear tracks, including finishes of 7th at Atlanta, 9th at Darlington, 16th at Atlanta 2, and 9th again at Darlington 2. Here at Las Vegas, Buescher finished 14th and 25th last season, and he’s ended up between 9th and 18th in seven of his last eight starts here. That kind of place differential is amazing value for someone priced in the mid-$6000s on DraftKings. In practice on Saturday, Buescher ranked 20th-fastest when it came to 10-lap average. One thing I will note: I view Buescher as more of a cash game play on Sunday, and don’t mind pivoting to Cole Custer ($6,700) in tournaments.

BONUS: Daniel Hemric ($5,800) – Initially, I didn’t have Hemric written up in this article, but he’s popping into several lineups when you use my projections in an optimizer, so I feel like I have to talk about him a bit. Fresh off of his 9th-place finish at Auto Club last weekend, Hemric won’t need to repeat that again to hit value on DraftKings this weekend, but thanks to his low price tag, he won’t have to do much. He qualified 16th for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400, and if Hemric can just challenge for a mid-teens finish, he’s a fine DraftKings play this weekend. In practice on Saturday, the #16 Chevrolet ranked 8th-fastest in 10-lap average, so that’s noteworthy, and Hemric ended up 6th-fastest when it came to 15-lap average.

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Las Vegas Pennzoil 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 Larson$11,30075.2546.64%202.0$150
Kyle Busch$10,20067.2340.57%3709.5$152
William Byron$9,80061.9520.96%1404.2$158
Ryan Blaney$10,50055.3515.45%1105.3$190
Alex Bowman$8,70053.9020.84%1307.5$161
Tyler Reddick$9,30052.8220.95%707.2$176
Denny Hamlin$10,00052.6012.50%804.3$190
Chase Elliott$11,00051.4224.97%506.2$214
Kurt Busch$8,90050.7532.84%3112.7$175
Kevin Harvick$9,10046.7224.90%2513.0$195
Martin Truex Jr$9,50043.0815.12%1207.7$221
Joey Logano$10,80041.2010.71%607.7$262
Chris Buescher$6,50035.3325.45%2717.3$184
Brad Keselowski$8,40035.3014.16%1513.5$238
Christopher Bell$8,20034.0019.57%111.0$241
Austin Dillon$8,00032.9213.49%1012.8$243
Daniel Hemric$5,80030.7520.88%1616.3$189
Ross Chastain$7,50028.2012.81%1818.3$266
Daniel Suarez$7,00027.0015.44%2119.0$259
Harrison Burton$5,90025.3314.54%1918.7$233
Austin Cindric$7,70023.889.66%316.3$322
Erik Jones$7,30023.8316.26%2320.3$306
Cole Custer$6,70023.5017.44%2421.7$285
Aric Almirola$7,80023.3315.83%2019.8$334
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$7,20022.8012.56%918.0$316
Bubba Wallace$6,30021.0015.27%1719.7$300
Justin Haley$6,10019.6712.40%2824.3$310
Michael McDowell$5,30018.6711.14%2223.2$284
Ty Dillon$5,60016.5016.51%3229.0$339
Todd Gilliland$5,00015.8313.86%3028.8$316
Chase Briscoe$6,90015.809.04%419.8$437
Corey Lajoie$5,10015.6714.66%2928.0$326
Garrett Smithley$4,70010.671.41%3633.7$441
BJ McLeod$4,60010.332.01%3533.3$445
Greg Biffle$5,50009.505.92%2629.7$579
Cody Ware$4,50008.831.56%3332.7$509
Josh Bilicki$4,80008.001.68%3433.8$600
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.