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Considering race order in NASCAR DFS lineup strategy

NASCAR is back on Wednesday with the Toyota 500, and we have some DFS picks advice for considering race order in setting your lineup.

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