For the first time in two years, NASCAR action returns to the 2-mile superspeedway in Fontana, Calif. Let’s delve into all of the pertinent NASCAR DFS information you need to know to get ready to make your fantasy NASCAR picks for for Sunday’s Wise Power 400 on DraftKings and FanDuel.
NASCAR DFS Preview & Predictions: Wise Power 400
Wise Power 400 Track Information
- Track: Auto Club Speedway
- Location: Fontana, California
- Length: 2-mile (asphalt)
- Banking: 14 degrees in the turns, 11 degrees in the front stretch, 3 degrees on the backstretch
- Race Distance: 200 laps stages (65/130/200 laps – 400 miles)
- Dominator Points:
- DraftKings: 50 – laps led, 90 – fastest laps
- FanDuel: 20 – laps led
- Past winners: Alex Bowman (2020), Kyle Busch (2019), Martin Truex Jr. (2018)
- Betting favorite: Kyle Larson, +400 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Entry List: All 36 Chartered Teams; including Landon Cassill (77) and Garrett Smithley (15)
- Weather: High of 73, partly cloudy
- Watch: FOX
- Listen: MRN (MRN.com, NASCAR.com, NASCAR Sirius/XM Channel 90)
On Track Schedule (All Times Eastern)
- Saturday, Feb. 26
- 2 – 2:35 p.m.: group a and b practice sessions (15 minutes apiece)
- 2:35 – 4 p.m.: single-car qualifying, one lap, two rounds, impound follows immediately afterward
- Sunday, Feb. 27
- 3:30 p.m.: green flag
NASCAR DFS Preview for the Wise Power 400
As previously mentioned, this is NASCAR’s first visit to Auto Club Speedway since 2020. For those unfamiliar with the circumstances, NASCAR made its initial 2020 west-coast swing just as travel restrictions were beginning to tighten up around the world. It was less than a week later that the NBA had put its season on hiatus after multiple players were tested positive for Covid-19. By the Friday of that week, NASCAR had put its own season on hold as fears began to swirl around Atlanta Motor Speedway that multiple people were sick with the virus. Fast forward a year and California had still not lifted its restrictions on large crowds at sporting events and NASCAR was forced to pivot Auto Club Speedway’s weekend to an event at the Daytona road course.
Now with things seemingly back to normal, or some form therein, the racing returns to Fontana for 200 laps around Auto Club Speedway. Oddly enough, this will be the last time NASCAR fans and DFS players alike will witness this track in its current form. Currently, plans are on the itinerary to transform this track from a two-mile behemoth into a half-mile short track. Truth be told, changing this venue is probably best for Auto Club Speedway, especially as the later forms of the Generation-Six car, combined with the 550-horsepower package, had turned this race into a lap turner. Something that should potentially anticipated for this Sunday as well.
For those new to NASCAR DFS, this point cannot be understated enough. What was experienced last Sunday at Daytona, do not think that will be the standard from week to week. Daytona and Talladega (potentially Atlanta after its changes) are the anomalies among all of the tracks the Cup Series will visit this year. While Auto Club Speedway is a large venue, its banking is not set up in a way that allows drafting to occur like last week. What DFS players should expect is that on initial green flag starts and restarts, the field will fan out jockeying for position, but then everyone will settle in line and ride around in what could be seen as lackluster racing. What spots that are picked up will happen on those restarts or via pit stops. Furthermore, cars not finishing this race are few and far between. If someone does retire early, nine times out of 10 it will result from a mechanical failure and not because of a wreck.
Key Points for DFS this Sunday
Perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind is how hard it is to pass at this track and what that means for dominators. If it is tough for drivers to pass one another, it means the drivers who start up front are maintaining the lead and converting that time upfront into dominator points. Dating back to 2013, only three times has a driver who either led the most or second-most laps started worse than the third row.
|Race||Starting Position||Final Position||Place differential||Total Laps Led||Fastest Laps|
Outside of someone having a bad qualifying session, the better drivers are going to start up front, have access to clean air, and be really tough to wrangle the lead away from. Should history repeat itself one last time, the potential list of dominators should safely come from those first three rows, and with just 200 laps, two dominators are all anyone should need. Furthermore, do not be afraid to embrace the pole sitter, despite recent putrid numbers. When one digs into the previous numbers, one finds that the stats correlate to the quality of the driver.
If you look at the recent pole sitter history at Auto Club, it is a bit sketchy, however, it is worth digging into just who started P1
20 – Clint Bowyer (10 laps led)
19 – Austin Dillon (0 laps led)
18 – Martin Truex Jr. (125 laps led)
17 – Kyle Larson (110 laps led)
16 – Austin Dillon (0 laps led)
— RaceSheetsDFS (Phill) (@RaceSheetsDFS) February 23, 2022
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