The field is set for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas with A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Haley on the front row. Let’s dive into this week’s top DraftKings NASCAR DFS picks for the Alsco Uniforms 250.
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Alsco Uniforms 250 NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings
A.J. Allmendinger, 1st ($10,500)
Somehow, through seven years and 40 combined Xfinity races, Allmendinger is finally now making his first career start at Texas in the Xfinity Series. However, experience at Texas is something he’s definitely not lacking, with 6,209 career laps run at Texas in the Cup Series. It has been this experience gap between himself and the bulk of the field that has led to Allmendinger continuing to be a top-five threat even though he’s spent the past few years just running road courses and superspeedways.
Only once this season has Allmendinger been on the pole: Darlington. That day’s result (13th with six laps led) may turn people off. Yet the track is not going to correlate all that much to Texas. Instead, Allmendinger won at Las Vegas and led 45 laps at Homestead before the late caution shuffled him into the teens and skewed his results. With his teammate beside him and Austin Cindric as the only real competition to lead laps among drivers in the top 10, Allmendinger should lead with ease until Kyle Busch moves his way forward.
Kyle Busch, 14th ($14,500)
Racing for $1 million isn’t enough for Busch, so he competes in the Xfinity race. Following up on his impressive victory two weeks ago in Texas at Circuit of the Americas, Busch jumps back behind the wheel of the No. 54. Busch has won his previous two starts at Texas in the Xfinity Series, but neither has been impressive. In 2020, Busch led just 14 laps but scored 94.75 DraftKings points thanks to 18 fastest-laps points and 27 place-differential points. In 2019, Busch led 29 laps scoring 84.25 DraftKings Points, boosted by 26 fastest laps.
Whether starting upfront or in the rear, Busch has found his way to the win and in the optimal lineup both times. This go-around, Busch has place differential, one of the higher likelihoods to ascend to the lead and -118 odds to win on DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Harrison Burton, 18th ($9,700)
Through 13 races, Burton’s 2021 campaign is shaping up to mirror his rookie season in 2020. He’s consistently bringing home top-ten finishes (nine) but has no wins. If this season mirrors last year, then maybe Burton will start knocking down wins when it matters the least — after he’s been eliminated from the playoffs. In order to win, a driver obviously needs to lead laps. For the season, Burton has led 102 of 1,764 laps run, and 52 of those came at Martinsville when he started on the pole. Outside of that, Burton has been pretty sporadic as per grabbing the lead.
Projecting dominator points for Burton might be a bit of a stretch, especially with Kyle Busch in this field. However, starting 18th, Burton can confidently be given place differential, especially for a driver whose finishes at Texas went seventh, fifth, first. For 2021, Burton has led just one lap at intermediate ovals, but his finishes have gone 39th (engine), ninth, third, third. Burton’s path to being optimal involves his JGR teammate Kyle Busch hogging a vast sum of the dominator points — an easy scenario to envision.
Garrett Smithley, 27th ($5,700)
The Rick Ware All-Stars celebrity tour rolls on with Smithley filling the seat in the No. 17. For the majority of weeks, being agnostic towards the driver and just playing the car has been a winning proposition. Through 13 races, the No. 17 has failed to finish just once (Daytona) and has multiple top-20 finishes. This will be only Smithley’s second start in this car for 2021. However, considering his starting position, Smithley should safely pick up at least 10 spots or more and be a bankable asset in cash games.
When J.J. Yeley has been in this car, DFS players have been paying upwards of $7,000 for him. Now here’s the same car, just with a cheaper driver.
Noah Gragson, 30th ($11,500) GPP
Through 13 starts, Gragson’s third season in the Xfinity Series couldn’t have gone any rockier. He’s either delivering a top-five or he’s not finishing the race with no in-between. Gragson has crashed out in four races, lost an engine in two events, and then finished in the top five in four other races. Engine issues are what they are: Unpredictable. In fact, Gragson gave everyone a heads up that something was wrong at COTA following qualifying. He’s wrecked out in the past two races, but Charlotte was part of the big lap 188 pileup that collected seven cars in total. Furthermore, last weekend, Gragson got collected by Cody Ware who would go on to wreck others that day.
This is all to say, Gragson’s calamities have an explanation. DFS players should be willing to jump back on Gragson despite these issues. Gragson has raced better at intermediate ovals compared to short tracks in 2021 and Texas happens to be a track he finished second at after leading 43 laps.
Tommy Joe Martins, 36th ($6,000) Fade Candidate
The only other driver to match the string of bad luck, paired with bad endings, of Gragson has to be Martin. Following three straight top-20 finishes, Martin has come back to earth with three straight finishes of 29th or worse — all DNFs. At Charlotte, Martins retired on lap 188 due to a crash. However, it’s been early engine failures at COTA and Mid-Ohio. Perhaps, it’s been the process of setting up cars for a road race that has the No. 44 team off-kilter and it’s manifested mechanically with engine failures.
It was these same types of issues Martins had to sort through last season in his team’s first year. It appeared those problems were a thing of the past, but they’ve definitely reared their head of late, which would lend itself to fading Martin until he shows a string of consistency out of him. Fading Martins is a scary proposition with his starting position and dual top-16 finishes at Texas last season. On the other hand, this team is running badly, is a threat for mechanical failure, and Martin tweeted out this week he’s in need of funding for open race dates soon. If money is running tight in the No. 44 shop, getting these issues sorted out might not be feasible following a wreck and two blown engines.
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