The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back for the sixth straight weekend and we’re hitting all the right notes heading into the Music City. Nashville Superspeedway makes for the next trip on the NASCAR schedule. For the fourth straight year we’ll see NASCAR swing through Nashville. The Craftsman Truck Series may only have four races left in the regular season. But the Xfinity Series actually still has 10 so the drivers aren’t as desperate to secure their playoff spots. 




We also have a fairly loaded field for this race. Noted Cup Series drivers Ty Gibbs, Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain, and John Hunter Nemechek are on the entry list for this race. No need to waste any additional time so here are the top drivers and lineup building strategies for Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250.

Tennessee Lottery 250 NASCAR DFS Lineup Picks

If you’re seeking my thoughts on the overall layout of the track, I suggest you read the NASCAR DFS Playbook for Friday night’s Craftsman Truck Series race. I touch on the size, the shape, the banking, and the comparable tracks. A bummer for the Xfinity Series is that they didn’t run at Kansas earlier this year and that’s an outstanding track comparison for this track.

The first two iterations of the Xfinity Series competing at Nashville were largely dominated by one driver. In 2021, Kyle Busch led 122 laps from the pole on his way to winning this race. Then the following year, Justin Allgaier (who we’ll preview shortly) led over 130 in his winning effort.

Last year saw a bit of a shakeup. With 11 cautions for 58 laps, we saw five different drivers lead 20+ laps but only Chandler Smith led over 35. And we also saw the drivers that started deep in the field in great equipment (Sam Mayer, Josh Berry, John Hunter Nemechek, and Daniel Hemric) move up easily. I almost want to consider that race an outlier because there were several poor qualifying efforts.

For the most part, I’ll once again lean into some multi-dominator lineup constructions and pay close attention to practice and qualifying Saturday morning. I will provide updates in RED along with the practice notes once the starting lineup is set in stone because with a loaded field, we’ll need to navigate and avoid chalk bombs.


Tennessee Lottery 250 Practice Notes




Top Price Core Plays

Ty Gibbs ($11,500)

Both Gibbs and John Hunter Nemechek ($11,300) are running for Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday. I’m sure I’ll end up with exposure to both, but it’s hard to ignore the prowess of Gibbs in this series. And it’s certainly a loaded field with the other Cup Series drivers, so I want to lean more on the better drivers, in my opinion.

Gibbs seems primed for a good shot at qualifying towards the front. He’s run three Xfinity Series races this year and he’s started first, second, and third. That kind of qualifying effort can certainly raise the odds that he can collect dominator points.

And most importantly, we have win equity with Gibbs. Two years ago in this race, he started P14 and finished fourth with a few dominator points. In the Cup Series this year, he’s actually been exceptional on the intermediate tracks even if Joe Gibbs Racing is known for their short track excellence.

We can’t go wrong with either Gibbs or JHN, but ownership will flock to one of them if they start on the pole.

Update: Gibbs is on the pole and he had the best long run speed in practice. Lock and Load.

Justin Allgaier ($11,000)

There was never a doubt that the king of concrete would be left out of this week’s article. Allgaier crushes it on concrete tracks and it’s no surprise that he won this race two years ago with nearly 70 dominator points.

Last year’s race was a bit of a dud. He started P16 and finished 14th. Alas, I won’t be avoiding him for one underwhelming race. When looking at other concrete tracks, he’s thrived on this track surface so it might be foolish to go with an aggressive fade.

Last fall at Bristol he grabbed the win with over 100 laps led. Moreover, he’s led 90+ laps in each of the last seven Xfinity races at Bristol and he’s regularly running in the top five.

The resume at Dover is just as good. He has a pair of wins there in his career and has led plenty of laps at that track over the last decade. And to bolster the argument a little more, he has posted a driver rating of 100+ in each of the last 11 Dover races.

We’ve seen Allgaier run up front at the intermediate tracks this year and it can only help his case that we’re getting a concrete surface this weekend.

Update: Allgaier rolls off P6 which is still okay. That puts him in line to potentially be a secondary dominator later on. Be mindful, he did make comments that he doesn't think the team has good short run speed, but they really like the long run speed. I say this because despite the short run concerns the team may have, laying down a P6 qualifying effort is still solid.

Cole Custer ($10,700)

Custer ran this race last year and finished ninth. However, he did start on the pole and led over 30 laps while finishing second in each of the first two stages. By all accounts, the performance was better than where he finished.

He has 13 finishes inside the top 10 across his last 14 races this year. The exception being Charlotte where he was caught up in a wreck. So, he’s largely doing his part to keep the car clean and score a good finish and we know there’s serious dominator potential, especially after he led 114 laps last week.

What caught my eye was the impressive run at Dover. He may have finished fifth, but he led over 90 laps, and he was the runner-up at Vegas. It’s definitely a loaded field in terms of competition, and Custer does not yet have a win. But if he can do what he’s done previously and be a primary or secondary dominator while scoring a strong finish, then he’s easily cracking the optimal lineup.

Update: Custer goes on to start P2 next to Gibbs and he also posted the second-fastest 10-lap average in practice just behind Gibbs.

Sam Mayer ($9,800)

Mayer is probably a cash game lock as he starts P24. He was top 10 in single lap speed and even sixth in 10-lap average. A top 10 finish with some fastest laps will get him to 5X value, but if he can grab a top five finish then he's flirting with 6X value.




Mid-Price Core Plays

Carson Kvapil ($8,800)

I gave a lot of thought to going with Sheldon Creed ($9,000) for $200 more. Creed is actually on a bit of a nice roll, but I’m not sure how much this track fits his strengths.

The same could also be said for Kvapil, and he may be even more of a risk. Why? Well, his sample size is rather small. He’s only run four races this year, but he’s finished top five in three of those and he even managed to lead 24 laps at New Hampshire last week.

At the end of the day, this is a great price tag for a driver who has shown he can put up 50+ fantasy points and that would crush value at this price tag. Dover is a pretty strong comparison for Nashville and Kvapil came very close to winning that race, but he ultimately finished as the runner-up.

Update: He rolls off P30 so again will be very popular this week. I will say that Sheldon Creed ($9,000) is a good pivot in Tournaments. Creed was in the green on his qualifying lap but dove a little too hard into one of the turns and got a bit loose so he starts outside the top 10. But he does have 10 runner-up finishes here and the JGR cars look fast this weekend.

Riley Herbst ($8,000)

Herbst hasn’t been featured too much this year, but he’s still a viable tournament play most weeks. He’s finished top 10 in each of the three Nashville races, and he was the runner-up last year and he finished third here in 2022.

Herbst also has some momentum. He did well on the back-to-back road courses of Portland and Sonoma, and he even finished as the runner-up at Iowa two weeks ago.

I’m pretty encouraged by the speed and results on intermediate tracks this year. He finished fifth at his home track (Vegas) in the spring and he was top 10 at Darlington as well. He is a driver that comes with a wide range of outcomes. But he is looking for a new ride in 2025 and he comes with sponsorship. Unfortunately, Herbst just lacks consistency.

Update: Better suited for Tournaments.

Jesse Love ($7,800)

Love starts dead last and will carry a ton of ownership. He's a cash game lock and could put up a big score as he moves up.

AJ Allmendinger ($7,500)

We know that it’s a bit of a down year for Kaulig Racing. They do have two wins, but they came from SVG on road courses. Whatever is happening in that shop, the speed hasn’t quite been there as we saw a few years ago when Dinger was more of a threat on the ovals.

But Nashville is an interesting opportunity. Allmendinger was a full-time driver last year in the Cup Series, but he did run in the Xfinity Series race at Nashville, and he won it. And back in 2022 he led 48 laps despite finishing 16th, and in 2021 he grabbed a top five here.

We clearly don’t have as much win equity based on what we’ve seen so far this year. But for a low-end mid-tier play we do still have top five equity. He finished sixth at Vegas earlier in the year and he was also sixth at Dover with additional top five finishes at Texas and Charlotte.

It is unfortunate that he’s without a win so far this year, but I do feel this is a week that the Kaulig cars can provide immense value at their discounted price tags.

Update: He starts P4 and likely won't carry much ownership today so he's good leverage for Tournaments. And you may only need 15% ownership to have that leverage.




Value Price Core Plays

Brandon Jones ($7,300)

Jones finally came through last week… Sort of. He had the luxury of starting P29 at New Hampshire, and he finished 14th for 44 fantasy points on DraftKings. That’s fine, especially considering his price tag. But mind you, he started deep in the field for the three races heading into New Hampshire and he was dreadful in those performances.

Jr. Motorsports carries heavy expectations. He hasn’t really had any standout performances at this track the last few years. But I do like how he’s looked in this package and on the comparable tracks in 2024.

He led 13 laps at Dover, and it helps that he started on the pole, but he went backward and finished 19th. He was at least competitive at Charlotte where he finished as the runner-up, and he was also top 10 at Vegas and Darlington.

Those tracks may not be the best comparison by any means. But this 9-car is in comparable equipment to Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, Sammy Smith, and Carson Kvapil. The poor string of results prior to New Hampshire are suppressing his price tag. And Jones is always a risky play even when he lines up as a strong one. The variance persists once again this week, but I’m on board ahead of practice and qualifying on Saturday.

Update: Starts P13 which is perfectly fine. Likely does't have a ton of ownership, but if you need a pivot off Jones and Sieg, I would try to pay up to Jesse Love.

Ryan Sieg ($7,000)

Sieg has been just okay at Nashville. He hasn’t finished outside the top 20 and he did grab a top 10 at this track two years ago. But he’s carrying some momentum heading into this weekend after he finished 12th at Iowa and sixth last week at New Hampshire.

But the performance data on the intermediate tracks this year indicates that he could be dialed in for this race. Yes, he had engine failure at Dover and was an absolute dud. But on the higher speed intermediate tracks, he’s done well.

Sieg finished seventh at Vegas and was the runner-up at Texas when he came incredibly close to scoring his first career win. He then finished 13th at Darlington and seventh at Charlotte.

The price is so cheap that even if he started P11 and finished 10th, he’d still hit 5X value at his price tag. But hopefully we get a little more PD out of him and a similar top 10 finish to possibly get 40+ fantasy points.

Update: Risky. Qualified very well. I would cap exposure to 20% and avoid him in cash games.

Shane van Gisbergen ($6,500)

SVG does just enough to pay off the price tag. And we have to keep in mind, he comes from a road racing background. That was on full display when he won at Portland and Sonoma earlier this month. But he’s putting in the work and getting better at the ovals.

He typically doesn’t qualify very well on non-road courses. Look at last week where he started P28 and finished top 20, thus hitting value. Same thing happened at Charlotte. He started P29 and finished 15th. At Dover? He started P31 and finished 18th. And at Texas he started P33 and finished 18th.

He’s proving that on the ovals he is capable of grabbing a top 20. At this price tag, that’s perfectly fine and it helps if he starts deeper in the field. If DraftKings continues to keep the price tag low, then we can keep going back to the well.

Update: Starts P28 and I do think there's a top 15 in him today. The speed in practice wasn't great, but this is the Xfinity Series and he could still move up simply by avoiding the wrecks. You can also consider teammate, Josh Williams ($6,300) who starts in the row ahead of SVG. They could easily work together and move up early on.

Anthony Alfredo ($6,000)

I’m sure I’ll have some additional plays in the $5K range as punts once we know the starting order. I did want to include an additional value option since I previewed some of the pricier names in this range.

Alfredo has raced here twice, and per usual, he runs in bad equipment. Two years ago, with Our Motorsports, he grabbed a top 20, and last year with BJ McLeod’s team he finished 23rd. That’s actually not awful given what we know about the funding for these teams.

And sure, Alfredo is obviously back with Our Motorsports. But he’s coming off back-to-back top 20 finishes at the short, flat tracks of Iowa and New Hampshire. And yet, the performance data on the intermediates is arguably better than those top 20 results.

Alfredo started P37 at Vegas and finished 16th. He also grabbed a top 10 at Texas (started P12) and Dover (started P21). I also don’t hate the 14th place finish at Darlington and the 16th place finish at Charlotte. It does depend on where he starts, but he’s probably the cheapest driver I can get a slightly decent read on prior to practice and qualifying.

Update: Rolls off P17 but I think he's still playable in tournaments.




Tennessee 250 NASCAR DFS Driver Pool

Pricing TierDrivers
Top TierTy Gibbs ($11,500; Starting P1)
 John Hunter Nemechek ($11,300; Starting P15)
 Justin Allgaier ($11,000; Starting P6)
 Cole Custer ($10,700; Starting P2)
 Sam Mayer ($9,800; Starting P24)
Mid-TierSheldon Creed ($9,000; Starting P14)
 Carson Kvapil ($8,800; Starting P30)
 Austin Hill ($8,500; Starting P5)
 Riley Herbst ($8,000; Starting P9)
 Jessee Love ($7,800; Starting P38)
Value TierAJ Allmendinger ($7,500; Starting P4) - GPP Only
 Brandon Jones ($7,300; Starting P13)
 Parker Retzlaff ($6,700; Starting P21)
 Shane van Gisbergen ($6,500; Starting P28)
 Josh Williams ($6,300; Starting P26)
 Anthony Alfredo ($6,000; Starting P!7) - GPP Only
 Brennan Poole ($5,500; Starting P18) - GPP Only