It’s always a party when Nashville is involved. That too is the case for the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday. Added to the schedule three years ago, Nashville has been putting on better and better races each year. This year there are hot temps, the intermediate package, and 300 laps of racing to bring the excitement for the Ally 400. What are the similar tracks to Nashville? What are the race trends at Nashville? How are we building lineups for DraftKings and FanDuel for NASCAR DFS? What are the practice and qualifying results for the NASCAR Cup race? Who are the top drivers to play for the Ally 400? All of that plus the preview podcast in this week’s playbook.

Nashville Forecast This Weekend

The weather is so hot in the Nashville area that the spotters on the roof are wearing cool suits. It’s going to be into the 90s, air temp-wise, and that will make things hot and slick on the track come Sunday. While those temps can bring storms, there isn’t a big chance of rain in the afternoon on Sunday, for once.

Similar Tracks To Nashville Superspeedway

Nashville is one of the more unique layouts on the NASCAR schedule. At it’s heart it’s a 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval track with relatively shallow banking of 14 degrees. The distance puts it in the intermediate grouping of tracks, as does the aero package on the cars. Tracks like Kansas and Las Vegas fit well, with Kansas being the best fit. Nashville’s concrete surface also puts Dover and Bristol into the comp list as well. When we look at the Nashville races the last two years, Bristol this year, and Kansas, Vegas, and Dover since 2022, that’s an 16-race sample size to work with.

Practice & Qualifying Results For Ally 400

Below is a table that shows the qualifying and practice results from Saturday’s Cup sessions. They are organized by qualifying order with the practice speeds averaged across the multiple metric ranks. It’s designed to show who may move up or drop back during the race over the longer runs.

DriverAvg. Prac to QualQual1-Lap5-Lap10-Lap15-Lap20-Lap
Denny Hamlin-16115201915 
Josh Berry-621310843
Christopher Bell-14321191412 
Kyle Larson-446996 
Brad Keselowski-95121218  
Tyler Reddick-761015   
William Byron-1771929   
Ty Gibbs5814422
Chris Buescher-991818   
Austin Cindric-1108620  
Austin Dillon-25113635   
Alex Bowman-2121413   
Chase Elliott-6132227162011
Michael McDowell61491167 
Carson Hocevar-1015272522  
Noah Gragson51616141187
Martin Truex Jr41720171295
Ryan Blaney171822111
Chase Briscoe-1619373730  
Ross Chastain152043211 
Corey Lajoie22123231516 
Ryan Preece-422302424  
Ricky Stenhouse Jr3232426231710
Bubba Wallace212431334
Harrison Burton-625313429  
Joey Logano192678756
Kyle Busch727292821149
AJ Allmendinger21281155  
Corey Heim1429171613  
Riley Herbst-330353628  
Daniel Suarez-2313332   
Todd Gilliland25325710  
Justin Haley333323126  
Erik Jones11342521   
John H. Nemechek103526302518 
Zane Smith163628221713 
Daniel Hemric93734332719 
Chad Finchum0383838   

NASCAR DFS Strategy For Ally 400

So knowing all of that, how are we building lineups for the Ally 400 on DraftKings and FanDuel? Well, with this being an intermediate track at heart, we’re following some of the building strategies we’ve used at places like Vegas and Kansas. We can expect to see two main laps led dominators with a third driver leading a decent chunk of laps as well. We’ve seen that be the case for the last two Nashville Next Gen races as well.

In terms of passing, the last two races at Nashville have seen 70% of top-10 finishers starting P12 or better. That’s not a huge sample clearly, but it fits with the track position type intermediates and short tracks. While passing up front has been tough to come by, passing further back has been easier. At Nashville we’ve seen 5.5 drivers a race move up double-digit spots in PD and most of those come from P10-P20 finishing positions. That gives us three different ways to build for tournaments this weekend, assuming there are less cautions in Cup than in the Xfinity and Truck races.

Firstly, we can sell out for laps led and finish position and build mainly around drivers starting inside the top-20 with one driver starting outside the top-25. The second way of building, better for cash, is build around PD plays from the back half of the pack and then get two drivers starting P15 or closer who can finish highly and lead laps. The last way to build is a bit of a mix of both where we pick two laps led dominators, a few drivers who offer several spots of PD and high finish upside, and then a driver or two starting P25 or worse with big PD upside but not elite finishing position upside.

Top DFS Plays For NASCAR Ally 400

Top Tier Salary Plays

Denny Hamlin

What a blazing pole time Hamlin set on Saturday. On the surface that might have bene surprising given the practice speeds were only so-so, but Nashville has been a great track for Hamlin previously. He’s led more laps in the Next Gen era here than anyone topping 80 laps in both races and being on the pole in the first Next Gen race. We should expect Hamlin to lead the first big chunk of laps, and then start to fall back some. If he and his team make some adjustments before, or in the race, he may be able to hold the lead for longer too.

Martin Truex Jr.

Truex has been very good here in the last few years having finished P2 last year and arguably should’ve won the first run of the Next Gen car here if not for a terrible pit strategy. This is the furthest back he’ll have started in the three races and he doesn’t quite have elite top-end speed. However, if the race stays green, the 19-car should get faster the longer it’s on the track and move up well. There is risk here that he only moves up a few spots or that pit strategy doesn’t work for him, but if things play out in his favor, there’s value here with a shot at some laps led in a pit cycle.

Ryan Blaney

The lightning-quick speed for Blaney has shown up again. We’ve seen this in this package throughout the year for Blaney at Vegas, Kansas, Dover, and Bristol all showing it of. Blaney finished P3 here in 2022 and started P13 last year before wrecking out halfway through. If he can put the speed to use this week, we should see him be a serious PD play with a chance to lead some laps in a pit cycle.

Ross Chastain

The defending race-winner will roll off P20 this time but still showed similar speed to what won him the race last year in practice. If he can utilize pit strategy to jump positions, we could see him be a factor at some point. That being said though, there is risk here. After putting up 11 top-10 finishes in the first 13 similar races of the sample set, he’s missed the top-10 each of the last three similar races. If returning to his team’s home track gets his mojo back and he keeps it clean, it could be a big week for Chastain.

Mid-tier Salary Plays

Tyler Reddick

It’s been a hit-and-miss run for Reddick of late but this week is looking like a hit again. The practice speed was solid as is the qualifying spot of P6. Let’s not forget that 23XI has been generally good at this type of track the last year and change as well. If he finishes P5 with a handful of fastest laps/laps led he’ll hit value, but just know that in the last 16 similar races he has as many P7 or better finishes as P30 or worse finishes with five each.

Ty Gibbs

Don’t be surprised if Gibbs winds up as a dark horse dominator. He’s looked good at Vegas and Bristol and Dover and at Kansas before having issues. The same was true in practice for Gibbs where he put up some of the best laps run. Even though he qualified P8, there are cars he should be able to quickly workaround at the drop of the Green Flag. The win equity is here for Gibbs but he’s certainly a threat for a chunk of laps led and a top-five finish.

Alex Bowman

We’ve been joking much of the season that Bowman is the forgotten man at Hendrick this year. We’re banking on the fact that DFS players may forget about what he’s done at similar tracks too. He’s posted three-straight finishes of P8 or better at similar tracks. Perhaps starting P12 and running similar speeds at practice might not jump off the page but that’s what we’re counting on and having him go out and finish a handful of spots higher, at his sponsor's race no less.

Bubba Wallace

Another intermediate track for a 23XI driver, another week we expect speed. Wallace showed that top-end speed at practice but then had a rough qualifying session in which he just couldn’t get to the line he wanted too. That should give him plenty of PD upside. Wallace has finished P12 and P15 here in the Next Gen races but moved up from P30 to nab that P12. Starting P24 this week with top-10 upside is pretty much what we expect from Wallace in this car at intermediate tracks.

Josh Berry

Another week of Berry starting near the front. The last time we saw this he led laps and then faded late. We could see a similar race pattern this week for Berry as well. The practice speed indicates it’s not a surprise to see him on the front row to start the race, plus the fact that it’s his home track. That being said though, he does have fast cars around him and it may be a bit of a battle to find more than a small chunk of laps to lead while nabbing a top-six finish.

Value Tier Salary Plays

Todd Gilliland

He’s been very good most weeks and this week is likely to be similar. It hasn’t much mattered where he’s started, Gilliland is a threat for a top-15 finish. As we talked about on the pod earlier in the week, we’re not looking much at previous history for Gilliland at this point because this year has been so different from previous Cup season for him. The secret is out with him though and he’s likely to be the most popular budget tier driver.

Erik Jones

We’ve talked previously about playing Jones at tracks where he’s comfortable and Nashville fits that description. In the Next Gen races here he’s nabbed a P11 and P8 finish while starting P23 both times. He’ll start further back this weekend but still had better speed than that at practice. It’s been a generally bad season for Jones but him and his Toyota have been better at intermediate races including two top-15 finishes this year in similar races.

AJ Allmendinger

Nashville has been a good track for Allmendinger previously with two top-20 finishes, including a P10 last year. It’s been a rough go of it in the Cup Series for Allmendinger this year but the speed appears to be back from him this week given his practice showing. If he can move up quickly, there is top-15 upside from Allmendinger this week while he gets twice as much track time running the Xfinity race as well.

John H. Nemechek

We talked about Nemechek on the podcast earlier in the week and his reasonable finish history of late. In the last four similar races, he’s not started better than P26 but has finished better than P22 in all of them, including two top-13s. The speed at practice was an average of 10 spots better than his qualifying spot which fits that history pattern as well.

Zane Smith

There are plenty of PD upside plays this week, several are listed in the playbook. However, Smith is one who might be overlooked because of lackluster showings previously. He’s flashed speed at other races when he moved up 13 spots at Dover and started P16 at Bristol. Both are concrete tracks. Smith appears to have speed again this week before screwing up his qualifying lap so we’ll take the savings and PD upside with him in GPPs.

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