Miles the Monster looms large over the entrance to Dover Motor Speedway. He’s also sunk his teeth into the track as well. This is one of the toughest tracks on the NASCAR schedule for cars and drivers alike. It’s a grueling 400-mile race and it’s setting up to be even more grueling this year. Why more grueling? How are we building our DFS lineups for this challenge? What have the race trends been for the Wurth 400? All that plus practice and qualifying results for Dover to set your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.

Dover NASCAR Race Trends

The design of Dover might make it seem like it’s a companion track to Bristol, just twice as long, but that’s not the case. Dover is a beast of it’s own, unique, design and the trends below speak to that. The track itself is perhaps the most weather dependent track we have in NASCAR with it driving entirely differently depending on if it’s warm or cool outside. On Saturday we saw there was a lot of grip and tire wear thanks to the mid-50s temps, on Sunday however it’ll be in the 80s and present a whole new challenge. The trends below show the last five races at Dover with an average of stats between them. The cars were different, as was the weather, so it’s not an exact science but it’ll give us an idea.

The first few things that stick out at Dover is that passing is possible here, either from natural flow of racing or the chaos that can erupt here. There are at least six drivers a race that average double-digit position differential. The other thing, that is similar to Bristol, is that we expect to see two laps led dominators a race with how the laps led are distributed. A few things that are different here at Dover as that only 12 drivers on average finish on the lead laps by race’s end, and only 80-percent of laps led come from the top-10 starting spots.

Positive Place Differential162116212620
Six+ Place Differential Spots13117899.6
Double-Digit Place Differential1185346.2
Double-Digit Fast Laps1298799
20+ Laps Led443423.4
50+ Laps Led342222.6
100+ Laps Led111121.2
Lead Lap Finishers12151712812.8
Top-10 Finishers Start>P124332330%
Laps Led From Top-1022737630224039180%

Wurth 400 Practice and Qualifying Results

The following table shows the practice and qualifying results from Saturday. It shows the single-laps and multi-lap average ranks compared to the qualifying spot. It’s designed to show where each driver may run throughout the race if the long-run speed holds true.

DriverAvg. Prac to QualQual1-Lap5-Lap10-Lap
Kyle Busch-1111211 
Ryan Blaney-221110
William Byron13321
Tyler Reddick-1427 
Noah Gragson-145342611
Denny Hamlin061142
Chase Briscoe-12743123
Michael McDowell-186517
Alex Bowman-119222215
AJ Allmendinger-121093224
Austin Cindric-11111628 
Josh Berry11214178
Joey Logano-11313822
Daniel Hemric-1614352727
Martin Truex Jr11525134
Bubba Wallace-416182021
Ricky Stenhouse Jr-1117322526
Chris Buescher5181016 
Ty Gibbs51917213
Carson Hocevar82023157
Kyle Larson82121613
Ross Chastain10227919
Austin Dillon023272320
Brad Keselowski-1241535 
Corey Lajoie025373425
Harrison Burton-126363628
Jimmie Johnson122751229
Ryan Preece1128201814
Chase Elliott2329836
Todd Gilliland1030261916
Daniel Suarez-2312837 
Corey Heim832312912
Christopher Bell223319105
John H. Nemechek1034302418
Kaz Grala6352930 
Justin Haley3363333 
Zane Smith213724149

DraftKings Scoring History Trends at Dover

The following chart shows the average points scored by starting spot over the last five Dover races. It doesn’t take into account the drivers in each starting spot or why they started there as it’s main goal is to show how the strategy holds rather than hard-and-fast rules.

FanDuel Scoring History Trends at Dover

The following chart shows the average points scored by starting spot over the last five Dover races. It doesn’t take into account the drivers in each starting spot or why they started there as it’s main goal is to show how the strategy holds rather than hard-and-fast rules.

NASCAR DFS Strategy For Wurth 400

So with everything we see in the trends and the practice and qualifying results and the scoring history, how are we building lineups? Let’s break it down by site and some overarching strategy.

Firstly, we need dominators. Like we said on the podcast, we’re looking for two dominators with one of those leading over 100 laps. We also need as many top-10 finishers as possible. When we look at the trends above, we’ll notice that more than half of the top-10 finishers on average start inside the top-10.

On DraftKings, we mainly want to focus on the drivers starting in the front half of the field based on scoring trends. The reason for that is with position differential and finish position being big parts of scoring on DraftKings, starting too far back can have them being lapped and capping their finish positions. That doesn’t mean we can’t play some of the budget drivers but we only want one guy starting worse than P25 in order to keep a higher floor for scoring in the lineup.

On Fanduel, we can go a bit deeper in the field than on DraftKings mainly due to the laps completed pts. Sure, being lapped means they don’t get all 40 of those points but what’s 39.9 compared to 40 anyway? We still want a laps led dominator but it’s less important to nail the second one in a build as a driver moving up and finishing better than a driver starting well and leading laps may score more points.

Top Tier Salary Driver Plays

Kyle Larson

The track history is quite good for Larson, as it often is at tracks. He does have a win here, though that was with Chip Ganassi Racing and not Hendrick. The performances have been a bit up and down with Hendrick to be honest, mainly based on just how hard he tries to the push the car and inevitably suffers a mistake because of it. There is PD upside here with Larson based on qualifying and if he can harness the practice speed he showed, there should be a shot for a top-five finish. If not and he only moves up to the top-15, there’s not enough value for him at this price.

William Byron

Dover has been a Hendrick playground throughout their history and of late that’s benefitted Byron the most. He’s been fast here consistently and that includes at practice on Saturday with the third-best lap times across a few different metrics. Starting P3 should give him a shot at leading laps early and often and he should be a real threat to win when all is said and done.

Ross Chastain

Chastain has flat out been excellent at Dover the last three races. He’s posted an average finish of 6.7 and that’s inflated because of a P15 finish in one of the races. He’s also led laps here in that span as well. This year and last, the Trackhouse cars have been good at the shorter intermediate package tracks and we expect similar results by the end of Sunday’s race. Oh yeah, when the car gets loose like it likely will on Sunday, Chastain is quite good at finding speed there too.

Mid-Tier Salary Driver Plays

Kyle Busch

He wasn’t going to be in the playbook until he landed on the pole. This is a track where the pole-sitter, if they get a good jump can lead a good chunk of laps early in the race. Last year he was on the pole for this race and on the first round of pit stops he sped and was sent to the back of the field. Assuming he can avoid the penalty(ies) this year he should be good as a second dominator in GPP builds.

Ty Gibbs

Another driver talked about on the podcast for the value he offers. Then he went out and qualified only so-so. Even more value is here. Just look at what he’s done at the shorter and intermediate tracks in this package this year. The only downside here is that with the price and the so-so qualifying effort, he’s likely to be very popular in builds for both styles of play.

Brad Keselowski

We said it on the podcast, but Keselowski tends to shine at tracks like this. He ran well in this package and track length a few races ago and Keselowski said his car felt smooth in practice. Starting P22 isn’t a death nell here, in fact it still gives him a shot at a top-10. If you want to play Chris Buescher as the pivot from Keselowski that’s perfectly fine as well as there is similar upside for Buescher and he is potentially lower-played.

Value Tier Salary Driver Plays

Ryan Preece

We’ve been saying for a little while that there are a few tracks we can use Preece at and this is one of them. While it doesn’t necessarily race like a short track, it does in some ways. He also moved up quite well at Bristol in this same package which is sure to help his case at Dover. Preece, the last time he was here, nabbed a P17 finish and getting a top-20 is solid enough for him.

AJ Allmendinger

As was stated on the podcast this week, Dover is a rhythm track and those tend to fit Allmendinger’s driving style. That rhythm clearly paid off in qualifying as he’s starting in the top-10. That starting spot should bring with it a shot to stick in the top-10 throughout the day. If he can hold his spot there’s value here.

Todd Gilliland

Gilliland has become kind of an indispensable cheap play this year at multiple tracks. This week is the same. He should have decent PD upside from his starting spot. Gilliland has posted 25 or more DK points four times with three coming at shorter tracks and with the intermediate packages on the cars. In his two Cup races at Dover, Gilliland has averaged eight spots of PD while starting in the 30s both times.

Justin Haley

Haley will be rolling off P36 on Sunday and that offers some nice PD upside. In the similar races this year, Haley has a nice history of moving up through the field after starting deeper than he should’ve. If that trend continues this weekend it’s a good spot to play Haley.

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