The NASCAR Cup Series is at Watkins Glen International this weekend for the fifth road course race of the season, the Go Bowling At The Glen. Drivers are scheduled to race 90 laps around this 2.45-mile track on Sunday, and in practice on Saturday it was pretty clear that the cars that we’ve become accustomed to being fast on road courses this year still have the speed.
As I said before, this is the fifth road course race of 2022, with the Circuit of the Americas, Sonoma, Road America, and Indy Road Course races already done this season. Chevrolet has swept this track type so far this year, with Ross Chastain winning at COTA, Daniel Suarez winning at Sonoma, and Tyler Reddick winning at both Road America and Indy. As far as Watkins Glen goes, it’s significantly faster than those other road courses, as drivers will easily average over 120 mph on a lap here, with the quickest of the other four being Road America (the top speed was just over 108 mph at Road America in qualifying).
Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections
The optimal DraftKings lineup for Watkins Glen on Sunday according to my Projections is:
- Chase Elliott
- Ross Chastain
- Christopher Bell
- Chris Buescher
- Austin Dillon
- Cole Custer
DraftKings NASCAR Cash Core Picks for the Go Bowling At The Glen
Chase Elliott ($10,700) – Typically it’s not a great idea to roll with the pole sitter for road course races because of the limited amount of dominator points these events have, but when it’s Chase Elliott, you can make an exception. Really the only other car that was similar to Chase’s speed in practice on Saturday was his teammate, Kyle Larson (more on him later). With that being said, there’s no doubt that Chase Elliott is going to lead 30+ laps on Sunday barring some kind of major error, and he should rack up 20+ fastest laps as well. He’s finished 2nd, 1st, and 1st in his last three Watkins Glen starts and this #9 Chevrolet has a ton of speed right now. Don’t be surprised if we get a dominating effort out of Chase in the Go Bowling At The Glen.
Christopher Bell ($8,700) – With how contrarian my brain works for DFS, it pains me to write up Christopher Bell this week, but I also realize that there are people that read this article that haven’t really played DraftKings before, so I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t have him as one of the picks for Watkins Glen. The #20 Toyota blew an engine in practice on Saturday and never made an attempt in qualifying, so Christopher Bell is starting dead last for the race on Sunday. That means the sky is the limit for Bell and FPTS in DraftKings. Even a mid-teens run should get him into the optimal lineup this weekend, but Bell is more than capable of posting a top 10 finish. In mass entry tournaments, I would consider being a little underweight on CBell on Sunday, but that’s purely a strategy move.
Aric Almirola ($6,200) – For what it’s worth, my projections prefer Cole Custer ($6,300) over Aric Almirola here, but these two cars are pretty equal speed-wise, and Almirola starts six positions worse on Sunday (in 35th), so for cash lineups I think you have to roll with AA here. Aric has been respectable in his career here at Watkins Glen, with finishes between 12th and 18th in five of his last nine starts at this track. Even a low-20s finish out of Almirola this weekend is going to be a solid points day for his DraftKings price.
DraftKings NASCAR Tournament Picks for the Go Bowling At The Glen
Kyle Larson ($10,500) – Hendrick Motorsports definitely brought the speed this weekend. As I mentioned above, I think Chase Elliott is the cash play in DraftKings this weekend, but if you want to pivot off of him, Kyle Larson is your guy. The #9 and #5 Hendrick Chevrolets were the fastest in practice and they’re starting 1-2 on Sunday as well. As far as who dominates this race, I think it’s really a toss-up, but you have to give the edge to Chase Elliott because he’s starting on the pole. Larson won the Watkins Glen race last season and could end up in victory lane again this weekend if things go right.
Alex Bowman ($8,000) – Give me all of the Hendrick speed this weekend in tournaments. Alex Bowman qualified 11th, which is going to scare away quite a few DraftKings players, but he tweeted out that they’re closer this weekend than they’ve been in the past, and if the team can figure out turn one and the bus stop a little more they can compete for the win. You love to hear that level of confidence from a driver. Looking at other road course races this season, Bowman finished 2nd at Circuit of the Americas and was 12th at Road America. I also don’t hate being overweight on his teammate, William Byron ($7,700), in tournaments; that #24 Chevrolet has a ton of speed this weekend, but with Byron starting up in 4th, he’s going to need to dominate a little bit to get into the optimal. With such a midrange price tag, though, it doesn’t need to be a crazy number of dominator points for Willy B to get there, though.
Chris Buescher ($7,800) – My projections love Chris Buescher this weekend. If you run an optimizer to create 150 lineups for this race, Buescher is showing up in over 50% of them. Now, the #17 Ford is going to roll off the starting grid from 7th, but that’s going to scare away some DraftKings players on Sunday. Buescher had legitimate, race-winning speed at Sonoma this year and came home 6th at Road America in July. He also ranked 4th in 5-lap average during practice here at Watkins Glen this weekend.
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Watkins Glen NASCAR 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.
|Driver||DK Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Proj Own||Starting Position||Avg. Projected Finish||Dollar Per FPT|
|Martin Truex Jr||$9,100||35.17||18.32%||25||15.8||$259|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||$6,100||10.67||9.29%||21||26.5||$572|