The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday. The order is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.
The DraftKings NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond slate locks at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Martin Truex Jr ($10,600) — The No. 19 JGR Toyota was one of the cars to beat in the spring Richmond race. Truex controlled Stage 2 because he was the first to hit pit road and cycled to the lead. In Stage 3, he attempted to run long but faded on the final laps.
2. Kyle Busch ($11,400) — It could have easily been Kyle Busch that nailed the pit road sequencing in Stage 3 and won the Richmond spring race. That did not happen because NASCAR blackflagged Busch for illegal tape placement. The penalty was not controversial but the timing of the penalty drew the ire of the garage.
3. Christopher Bell ($9,600) — Richmond and New Hampshire are Bell’s best tracks. He has three Xfinity Series wins at both tracks. A couple weeks ago he earned a Cup Series win at New Hampshire. Bell was one of the select few that were threats to win the spring Richmond race.
4. Denny Hamlin ($11,100) — Heading into the race, Hamlin said that he had a 15th-place car. The team brought the No. 11 JGR Toyota to life throughout the race. Hamlin timed the pit sequencing perfectly in Stage 3 and came away the winner.
5. Alex Bowman ($8,400) — JGR was the show in the spring, but the showman was doing work. He recovered from a speeding penalty to finish eighth at a track where passing is not easy. Despite winning at Richmond in 2021, Bowman’s expertise at this track is overlooked. That seems to always be the case for Bowman.
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6. Ryan Blaney ($9,900) — According to Blaney, Richmond is one of his worst tracks. In the spring, he had the fastest car in practice and won the pole. From there, he led every lap in Stage 1 and the beginning of Stage 2. Truex pitted before Blaney and cycled ahead of him, and Blaney was never able to get back to the front.
7. William Byron ($8,600) — There were a handful of contenders in the first Richmond race. Byron took advantage of the cautions at the beginning of Stage 3 and got on a different pit cycle. This allowed him to lead most of Stage 3. In the closing laps, his ancient tires failed him and he finished third.
8. Kevin Harvick ($9,100) — A couple more laps and Harvick could have beatenDenny Hamlin at Richmond. His pit crew was fast and so was his car. Harvick has been strong at the short, flat tracks all season and he comes into this race with momentum and confidence. In 2018, Harvick had momentum and confidence and won nearly every other week.
9. Joey Logano ($9,300) — A busted jack ruined his day. Logano was in second place on lap 258. He exited the pits in 20th and was never able to recover. JGR will receive all of the attention this weekend, but Team Penske and Hendrick were just as fast in the spring race.
10. Kyle Larson ($10,300) — The greatest driver of all time won another dirt race this week. The only place Larson is not a consistent winner is at short, flat tracks. He’s a top-5 driver but not a favorite. He won the championship at the short, flat track in Phoenix last fall, but that was thanks to an incredible pit stop.
11. Chase Elliott ($10,800) — A top-5 finish or even a win was a possibility in the spring race, but after a pit stop his car went south. It’s speculated that the team put the wrong tires on the car or an illegal advantage stopped working. Hopefully, he gets the cheating right this time.
12. Ross Chastain ($10,100) — During the first two stages of the spring Richmond race, Chastain hung around the top 5 and looked like a contender. On the long runs in Stage 3, his car faded.
13. Harrison Burton ($5,800) — Richmond is a home track for Burton, not the home track — that’s Martinsville. Both race tracks are short, flat and located in the Burton family’s home state of Virginia. Burton was strong at these tracks in the Xfinity Series, and so far in his young Cup career, he has been at his best at the tracks where he was comfortable and confident in the lower series.
14. Brad Keselowski ($7,000) — A win and laps led points are no longer an expectation, but at this price, they are not necessary. RFK BK is a downgrade from Penske BK, but he’s improving. BK earned a top-15 finish in the spring Richmond race and a top-10 finish at New Hampshire.
15. Bubba Wallace ($8,000) — Richmond is not his best track, but the same could be said of each track on his current top-10 streak (four in a row). The JGR and 23XI Toyotas might as well be considered one in the same. They’ve both exhibited an excess of speed this summer.
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