The 2024 NASCAR season kicks off this weekend from Daytona International Speedway! We’ve already had plenty of action, as is always the case with Speedweeks at Daytona. The NASCAR Cup Series kicks off with the Daytona 500 on Sunday with plenty of big names and previous winners all vying to win NASCAR’s biggest race. Don’t forget to check out this week’s NASCAR DFS Podcast as Matt Selz and I give the lay of the land for lineup construction. Matt also offers up his NASCAR Best Bets and Betting Picks for the Daytona 500 as it’s always fun to chase longshots at this type of race. But for Saturday we’re digging into the NASCAR Xfinity Series so let’s getting into the top NASCAR DFS lineup picks for the United Rentals 300!


Saturday’s race isn’t without its own concerns. This race is in Florida and it wouldn’t be the opening weekend at Daytona without rain in the forecast. The weather for Friday was promising and the Craftsman Truck Series was able to complete their race after having it shorted last year. But Saturday and Sunday don’t look great. Fortunately, the lineup is set for the Daytona 500 and it’s possible they get the race in Sunday night. Saturday for the Xfinity Series? “Not great, Bob!” Rain started early in the morning and it isn’t expected to stop until Sunday late-afternoon or in the evening. We very well may not see Xfinity run until Monday if there’s even a window on Monday.

But we’ll cross the “weather” bridge when we get to it. We still have this field of drivers to preview. As is the case with each year, there’s always turnover. Jesse Love and Daniel Dye get huge promotions to the Xfinity Series. Love takes over the 2-car for Sheldon Creed at Richard Childress Racing while Dye steps into the 10-car for Kaulig Racing. Even Josh Williams, one of the more liked drivers in the Xfinity Series, gets an equipment boost and he’ll be in the 11-car for Kaulig Racing. A.J. Allmendinger is back to running the Xfinity Series full-time this year. It was a bit of an odd move especially after he scored a win in the Cup Series last year. But it seems like Kaulig feels this may be their best shot at winning a title in any series and Dinger has said previously he wants to win a championship regardless of the series. Sheldon Creed and Chandler Smith left Chevrolet and their respective teams to join Toyota as they round out Joe Gibbs Racing’s team of talented, young drivers. And Shane van Gisbergen makes his Xfinity Series debut with Kaulig Racing after winning in his NASCAR Cup Series debut on the Chicago Street Course last year. He’s an instant favorite to win Rookie of the Year just given his driving prowess. But how will he fare on a superspeedway?

When examining previous races at Daytona and Talladega for this series, the thought process remains the same. But as is the case with Daytona we find the ideal mix of lineup construction boils down to taking some risks. It’s okay to play about three drivers starting inside the top 20 and one of them can also start inside the top 10. The remaining three drivers can simply be sources of position differential starting deeper in the field. Here’s a look at my best NASCAR DFS lineup from the Truck Series race on Friday.

This lineup was sitting top 10 in a few low-dollar GPP contests heading into the final lap. The wreck for Taylor Gray cost him about 15 spots since he was running top five on the back stretch. But as you can see, it has a combination of a driver starting in the top 10 (Nick Sanchez started P6 and won the race), Taylor Gray started P12 and came very close to a strong finish, while Enfinger and Heim started in the 20’s, and Parsons and White started outside the top 25. These races are a lottery ticket so get comfortable leaving money on the table and trying to make a unique lineup. For Cash games you can stack the back, but you need to take some risks in Tournaments.

United Rentals 300 NASCAR DFS Lineup Picks

Top Price Core Plays

Austin Hill ($10,000; Starting P2)

Austin Hill is one of the few drivers you make an exception for when it comes to this type of racing. It doesn’t matter where he starts, he’s going to be a fine play. He won at Daytona five years ago in the Truck Series and he’s won the last two Spring Daytona races to kick off the season. In his four races at Daytona in the Xfinity Series he’s led a total of 116 laps which is impressive when you consider laps led are hard to project at a track like this. And it shows he is consistently running up front or finding a way to at least get there. Now everything we know about Daytona says to be light on drivers starting closer to the front. So if Austin Hill is going to be heavily-owned starting within the top five then perhaps it’s good leverage to fade. He also has two wins and a runner-up finish at Atlanta’s new configuration, and while he’s led 60+ laps on two separate occasions at Talladega, the results haven’t carried over. He’s a tough driver to fade because of the win equity he possesses but you have to make a stand somewhere.

A.J. Allmendinger ($9,800; Starting P3)

Just beneath Austin Hill is Allmendinger who returns to the Xfinity Series full-time to help get Kaulig Racing their first championship. Even though he was full-time in the Cup Series last year, Allmendinger ran five races for Kaulig in the Xfinity Series in 2023 and won two of them. He’s been vocal in the past that this isn’t his favorite style of racing. And yet, during the 2022 season he finished 10th and 3rd in the two races at Atlanta while leading 66 laps. He finished 3rd at Talladega in the Spring of 2022 and then won in the Fall. And in his four Xfinity Series races at Daytona in 2021 and 2022 he collected four finishes in the top five. Now here is my concern with Allmendinger for 2024 at superspeedways; he had better teammates in the past. During those 2021 and 2022 seasons he had teammates like Justin Haley, Jeb Burton, and Landon Cassill. Those three drivers are above-average superspeedway drivers and they can race comfortably in the draft. For this race his teammates are Josh Williams, Daniel Dye, and Shane van Gisbergen. SVG is very inexperienced on superspeedways. He wrecked five laps into last night’s ARCA race. Williams has wrecked in 7-of-13 Xfinity races at Daytona. So Dinger might be looking for other Chevys to work with in this race. But there’s a good amount of win equity despite this being a style of racing he may not like. Update: I wouldn't play both Hill and Allmendinger in the same lineup. That could be disastrous. Pivot to Cole Custer if you need more PD.

Cole Custer ($9,300; Starting P17)

Speaking of Custer, since the race was postponed to Monday and I have extra time, I figured I'd write a couple additional drivers up. Custer consistently ran toward the front at Atlanta last year and even finished 3rd in the Summer race. He finished 9th and 5th respectively in the two races last year at Daytona and to the surprise of no one he was top five once again at Talladega. Even in the Cup Series he had moderate success and rarely wrecked out. Now we get the defending Xfinity Series champion at a slight discount while offering position differential? He'll be popular for sure, but a good play on paper.

Daniel Suarez ($9,000; Starting P18)

We don’t generally think of Suarez as a good superspeedway racer. However, in the Daytona 500 last year, Suarez started P24 and finished 7th. In both races at Talladega in the Cup Series last year, he managed to finish in the top 10 and that extends his streak of three straight top 10’s at Dega with Trackhouse Racing. It’s hard to truly say that he’s figured out drafting and how to be in contention at the end for these races. But for this Xfinity Series race, he’s expected to start deep in the field without qualifying. He’ll be in the 08-car for SS Green Light Racing which isn’t a great car, but in this race the playing field is leveled a bit. This car likely starts pretty far back in the field because of where it stands with points from last year. But that’s a good thing for DFS. If gambling on Austin Hill you’ll need some PD options from across the pricing spectrum. Now we might change our tune if NASCAR is able to get qualifying in. We just have to wait on the official word for the starting lineup.

Mid-Price Core Plays

Jeb Burton ($7,900; Starting P16)

We should expect Burton to be very popular whenever they run this race. Not only is he a great superspeedway racer but it sounds like he’ll start at the rear which locks him into Cash game lineups and several GPP builds as well. Over his last six races at Daytona, Burton has an average finish of 11.8 including a pair of top 12 finishes at both Daytona races a year ago. He has two career wins at Talladega on his resume including one from last year. Now that win at Talladega automatically locks him into the race. However, Jordan Anderson Racing moved around owners points to get a third car in this race that’ll be driven by Anderson himself. And the team owner is a pretty good superspeedway driver. So with the points being moved around, and Burton locked in either way, if qualifying is cancelled Burton will start in the back. From there, if he avoids the carnage, he’ll easily move up through the field. Even if he finishes 15th he’d still be coming close to 50+ fantasy points on DraftKings. Update: Burton ended up qualifying P16 so he won't start as deep in the field as originally though. But there are pivots in the table below. He's no longer Cash game viable.

Jordan Anderson ($7,600; Starting P29)

Anderson likely comes with significant exposure, as will the next driver, but he's a respected superspeedway driver. He was the runner-up in the Truck Series openers at Daytona in 2020 and 2021 and last August, in the second Xfinity Series race of 2023 at Daytona, he started P37 and finished 15th. He doesn't have as much PD to offer for this race, but P29 is still a good starting spot. I do think his ceiling might be finishing anywhere from 10th-15th in this field. But he does have the luxury of having Jeb Burton as a teammate.

Ryan Sieg ($7,100; Starting P32)

There’s a little more risk with Sieg than there is with Burton. Sieg is a constant mid-range play every week that has some top 10 equity, but he could also kill your lineups as well. But for this race, he starts in the middle of the pack. That’s problematic because it likely means he takes on damage if there’s an early wreck. But he’s a solid drafter and races well at this track type. He started P22 in this race last year and finished 8th and then in the Summer he started P38 and finished 6th. Last year’s race at Talladega didn’t work out in his favor. He started P31 and finished 22nd after being caught in a late wreck, but he did lead 18 laps. In 2022, he grabbed a pair of top five finishes at Dega. He may not carry a ton of exposure because of where he’s likely going to start and I wouldn’t play him in Cash games. But for Tournaments he is a driver I may try to be overweight on.

Value Price Core Plays

Anthony Alfredo ($6,900; Starting P10)

After a season making the most of what he could with BJ McLeod Motorsports, Alfredo transitions back to Our Motorsports. Two years ago in this race he started P16 with this organization and finished 7th. Even last summer at Daytona with McLeod’s team, he started P20 and finished 8th. On top of that he also has a pair of 6th-place finishes at Talladega. Is he completely safe from wrecking? No, he wrecked in last Spring’s race at Dega and he wrecked at Daytona in the Summer of 2022 with Our Motorsports. But for a driver who is under $7,000 on DraftKings we’ve seen him get up into the top 10 and finish well so there is a nice ceiling with Alfredo. Update: Qualified very well so limit exposure to just Tournaments. Still has upside. But another driver to consider specifically for Tournaments would be Parker Retzlaff. He's somewhat similar to Cory Roper from Friday's Truck Series race. Both have small sample sizes on superspeedways but the results have been respectable. Retzlaff starts very high so ownership will be minimal. But I do have him in three of my 20 lineups because I think there's a chance he grabs a top five.

Brennan Poole ($6,300; Starting P33)

There aren’t too many arguments for Brennan Poole if you simply look at his results at Daytona. In six career races here, he’s failed to finish four of them. However, he’s only raced here once since 2018. During his time with Chip Ganassi Racing, he over-qualified the car and wasn’t a great DFS play in some of those races. In last Spring’s race at Talladega he grabbed a top five finish with JD Motorsports. And last Spring at Atlanta, he started P29 and finished 13th. Poole is a driver with plenty of experience, it’s not like he’s coming into this race entirely green. He has talent, but he just hasn’t been in good equipment in years. What I like is the potential starting spot. He’ll probably start outside the top 20, but won’t carry the ownership and exposure of some of the drivers starting in that range. I think there’s huge upside at very low exposure for Tournaments.

BJ McLeod ($5,100; Starting P38)

This one is simply. McLeod starts dead last and can't cost you negative points. He's without a doubt, the safest play for Cash games. And keep in mind, I only list a few value options down below but anyone starting outside the top 30 is in play like Frankie Muniz, Natalie Decker, and Blaine Perkins. But McLeod is the safest play on the board because he can't lose points with negative PD. In the Cup Series at Daytona, McLeod touts an average starting position of 35.8 and an average finishing position of 22.7 and even if he may lose the draft, that might help him avoid any wrecks in front of him. It's actually been four years since McLeod ran the Xfinity Series race to kick off the season at Daytona but he did manage to finish 13th simply by avoiding the carnage.

United Rentals 300 NASCAR DFS Lineup Picks

Pricing TierDrivers
Top PriceAustin Hill ($10,000; Starting P2) 
AJ Allmendinger ($9,800; Starting P3) - GPP Only
Cole Custer ($9,300; Starting P17)
Daniel Suarez ($9,000; Starting P18)
Mid-PriceSheldon Creed ($8,600; Starting P14) - GPP Only
Ryan Truex ($8,400; Starting P20)
Riley Herbst ($8,200; Starting P11) - GPP Only
Brandon Jones ($8,000; Starting P22)
Jeb Burton ($7,900; Starting P16) - GPP Only
Jordan Anderson ($7,600; Starting P30)
Sage Karam ($7,200; Starting P33)
Value PriceRyan Sieg ($7,100; Starting P32)
Daniel Dye ($6,800; Starting P26)
Brennan Poole ($6,300; Starting P34)
Josh Bilicki ($6,100; Starting P27)
Ryan Ellis ($5,600; Starting P36)
BJ McLeod ($5,100; Starting P38)