NASCAR is back in action Wednesday evening with a rare mid-week Cup Series race. The stock car racing circuit returned last weekend at Darlington Raceway with the Real Heroes 400, and as part of a truncated schedule, they will race a second time at Darlington in Wednesday’s Toyota 500.
The pandemic-adjusted scheduled has resulted in a change in setting race order. Rather than run qualifying laps, this race is determined based on Saturday’s finishing order. The top 20 starting positions for Wednesday are based on the inverse order of the finishing order of Saturday’s race. Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman finished first and second on Saturday, which means they will start 20th and 19th, respectively. Ryan Preece and Ty Dillon finished 20th and 19th on Saturday, respectively, which means they will start in the front row on Wednesday.
This is important to note for daily fantasy roster consideration if this is your first rodeo. NASCAR DFS provides points for fastest laps, laps led, and finishing position, but you also gain or lose points based on where a racer finishes compared to where they start. That won’t make or break a performance, but there can be some helpful sleeper value.
For example, a Tyler Reddick at $7,700 offers some sleeper value. He has two top ten finishes along with a 33rd and a 28th, so there’s a low floor to go with an intriguing ceiling. He is starting this race 14th, and if you think he can work his way near a top five finish, there’s some value to be had.
Laps led is always a valuable option, so looking at some of the racers near the front is worth consideration as well. Joey Logano ($9,400) is starting third in this race. He doesn’t have the best odds to win, sitting eighth at +1100, but don’t be surprised if he grabs the front position at some point. He won’t gain much in place differential, but the laps led can easily make up for that if he can land a spot in front for even a small chunk of the race.
If you have limited NASCAR DFS experience, race order can be an underappreciated aspect of lineup strategy.
Toyota 500 race order at Darlington
|Starting spot||Driver||Car #||Team|
|Starting spot||Driver||Car #||Team|
|1||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|2||Ty Dillon||13||Germain Racing|
|3||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|4||Clint Bowyer||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|5||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|6||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|7||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|8||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|9||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|10||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|11||Matt Kenseth||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|12||John Hunter Nemechek||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|13||Erik Jones||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|14||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|15||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|16||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|17||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|18||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|19||Alex Bowman||88||Hendrick Motorsports|
|20||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|21||Bubba Wallace||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|22||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|23||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|24||Christopher Bell||95||Leavine Family Racing|
|25||Daniel Suarez||96||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|26||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|27||Brennan Poole||15||Premium Motorsports|
|28||Gray Gaulding*||27||Rick Ware Racing|
|29||Ross Chastain*||77||Spire Motorsports|
|30||Joey Gase||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|31||Corey LaJoie||32||Go Fas Racing|
|32||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|33||Timmy Hill||66||MBM Motorsports|
|34||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|35||Quin Houff||0||Starcom Racing|
|36||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|37||Jimmie Johnson||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|38||BJ McLeod||78||BJ McLeod Motorsports|
|39||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|