The field is set with Austin Cindric and Ty Gibbs on the front row in Lexington. Let’s jump into this Saturday’s top NASCAR DFS Xfinity picks on DraftKings for the B&L Transport 170 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
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B&L Transport 170 NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings
Austin Cindric, 1st ($10,900)
Cindric stands alone in his own tier as the most likely driver to lead laps Saturday. With the pole position and preferred line, Cindric should beat out Ty Gibbs at the start and sail off, as he did in 2019 when he won. In that race, Cindric started from the pole as well, leading 46 laps in the process. The last time Cindric started on the pole in a road race was the 2020 Daytona Road Course; he led 21 laps of that race en route to victory. Over Cindric’s past 10 road course events in the Xfinity Series, he has four wins, no finish worse than sixth and led 151 laps — all statistical leaders.
A.J. Allmendinger, 12th ($10,700)
In Allmendinger’s time at Kaulig Racing, he has excelled at one track in particular: Charlotte Roval. He could simply go out and attempt to win the race without worrying about how his performance would affect his playoff standings since he was not racing for the playoffs. Consequently, Allmendinger has won both Charlotte Roval starts. Oddly enough, it was another non-playoff driver who won the first Charlotte Roval race in 2018 (Chase Briscoe).
Nonetheless, when looking at Allmendinger’s performance in non-playoff road course races, he’s been good but not dominating. He typically leads laps but never the most and he’s a safe bet for a top-five finish. As uninspiring as this may be, Allmendinger should still be in our player pool, but DFS players can’t consider him as a cornerstone play. Paired with his place differential, Allmendinger can still end up optimal, but he’ll need some dominator points to help pay off the second-highest salary on this slate.
Brett Moffitt, 18th ($8,100)
Optimal lineups for road races are generally determined, outside of the driver who leads the most laps, by finishing position points and place differential. With that in mind, attention will find its way to drivers like Miguel Paludo and Josh Berry (more on him below). However, the best way to find differentiation is to move up the starting grid and find drivers who still offer top-10 upside but with smaller place differential potential at a cheaper salary.
Moffitt fits that bill as a driver who could find his way into eighth through 10th becoming an easy pivot off either Michael Annett, Ryan Sieg or Preston Pardus. In his two road course starts in 2021, Moffitt has finished in the top 12 in both events. Admittedly, Moffitt’s ceiling is low, but he could outscore that previously mentioned group just with a top-12 finish and a few place differential points.
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Josh Berry, 31st ($9,700)
On the periphery, this feels like an uncontested layup, but ire should be raised. To begin with, this will be Berry’s first career Xfinity road race. Don’t forget, this weekend has no practice or qualifying so the first time Berry will see this track up to speed will be on the first lap. For a driver who has spent the majority of his career driving late models around short tracks, this lack of experience should raise concern.
Second, Berry ran his final event for JR Motorsports last weekend, so whatever else he drives in 2021 will be a considerable step down in equipment. This week Berry is driving Jordan Anderson’s car, just its third start of the season. Tyler Reddick had navigated this No. 31 car to finishes of eighth at COTA and fifth at Charlotte but that was with practice and a two-time former Xfinity champion. Now this team has to set up Berry, an inexperienced road racer, for a race with no prior notes either from previous races or practice. This could be a trap for the slate’s highest-owned driver.
Kyle Weatherman, 35th ($5,300)
Conceivably, Weatherman could be both the lowest down the salary and starting grid anyone should need to go. As a driver for Mike Harmon, Weatherman is getting his salary depressed despite finishing 21st or better in four of his five road races. Whatever fears DFS players have about starting and parking can be alleviated as Weatherman has completed every race he’s started in 2021.
Preston Pardus, 39th ($7,900)
Starting one spot short of dead last, Pardus could be considered in cash. However, with a career 50% DNF rate in Xfinity road races, he does carry a bit of risk. When Pardus doesn’t crash or retire early for a mechanical failure, he’s been able to bring home top-15 finishes for Mario Gosselin. For the season, Pardus finished 33rd at Daytona, seven laps down, failing to finish because of a transmission issue. Fast forward to COTA two weekends ago and he finished 14th.
Thus, if Pardus finishes the race on the lead lap, he’s probably going to be in the optimal lineup thanks to place differential. However, he seems equally as likely to finish with a red DNF next to his name. In that scenario, he won’t tank lineups with negative points but for nearly $8,000 he could easily be the reason a lineup fails to hit the cash line.
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