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Scoring tips and tricks for beginner NASCAR DFS players

Understanding scoring rules is key to figuring out how to move from participating to winning in NASCAR DFS.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney leads driver Brad Keselowski during the Pocono 350 at Pocono Raceway. Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

There are only five scoring categories in Daily Fantasy NASCAR making it one of simplest DFS games at Draftkings. Although, it is simple to get running, it takes a little more time to master.

Finishing Position

Finishing Position is the easiest category to break down. A driver’s finishing position score is an inversion of their finishing position. First place scores 43 points (and 3 bonus points for winning – 46 total), 2nd place receives 42 points, third place receives 41, and so on until 43rd place, or last, received 1 point.


It’s simple. Pick the guys that will finish near the top. Analyze playbook articles, qualifying position, and vegas odds.

Place Differential is the measure between where the driver qualified and where they finished. If a driver qualifies in 40th position and finishes 20th, then that driver earns 20 place differential points. If a driver qualifies 5th and finishes in 30th, then that driver will lose 25 points.

Find Value


Always look for big team drivers that qualified poorly. Try to grab a value pick the qualified in the 30s. Value picks rarely finish in the teens or in the top 10, a qualifying position in the 20s limits their scoring potential. Extremely cheap long shots starting near the 40th position are worth a thought. Finally, stay away from drivers that seemed to qualify too high (i.e small team drivers, rookies, drivers in the midst of a bad season).

Laps led is a category that rewards the best drivers and the DFS players that identify the best picks. Every time a driver completes a lap in first place. That driver receives 0.25 points. Some race feature 500 laps (125 points available) while others involve only 110 laps (27.5 points).


The difference in winning your Daily Fantasy NASCAR contest and losing is simple – did you select the driver that led the most laps? If a driver leads 200 of 500 laps that is 50 points. How do you predict laps led? Generally speaking, the top 10 in practice and qualifying are your targets. More often than not, the driver that starts first will stay in front and lead laps based on the aerodynamics of the cars.

Quick Science Lesson

The first car drives through a solid wall of air that evenly presses the car to the track. This down force allows the car to drive fast in the turns. The 42 cars behind the leader must deal with turbulence, air disturbed by the car in front. Air does not evenly press the four tires to the track, so the car must drive slower in the turns.

Fast laps is another stat for rewarding the best drivers with the best cars. Every lap 43 cars drive around the track, and the car that completes the quickest lap receives 0.5 points. In a 500 lap race, there are 250 pts up for grabs.


Fast laps is a tricky stat to predict. It is similar to laps led, but not exactly. Laps led always goes to the leader, anyone on the track can record a fast laps. However, like laps led, the top drivers in practice and qualifying tend to gobble up the fast lap points in the race. The car with the lead is the most likely to run fast laps based on aerodownforce and the fact that the lead car does not have to dodge traffic. Fast laps are too important to neglect because of the uncertainty in prediction. Each week take a hard look at the top 10 before the race, two of these drivers will dominate the fast lap statistic.

Don’t sweat fast laps at restrictor plate tracks. At Talladega and Daytona, anyone can will run fastest laps because of the draft. It’s odd, but the car in first will score the least amount of fast laps points.

Pass differential is simple. Did the driver pass more than he was passed? The stat is similar to place differential. If a driver finishes better than where they started, then they passed more drivers (positive points). If they finished worse than their starting position, then they were probably passed by more drivers (negative). With 0.25 points per pass, the scoring range is usually between +6 and -6.


While the top drivers can lap the field and score pass differential points, they do not pile up points in this category. Pass differential points are scored by drivers that move their way up through the field. Target top drivers that unexpectedly qualify poorly or have to start from the back of the field for altering a car post qualifying.

Continue Reading NASCAR Training Camp

NASCAR Rookie – Lesson 01 – Welcome to Daily Fantasy NASCAR
NASCAR Rookie – Lesson 02 – Stats to Start
NASCAR Rookie – Lesson 03 – Scoring Tips and Tricks
NEXT LESSON – NASCAR Rookie – Lesson 04 – Using Player Cards to Build Lineups

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