For the second straight year, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Chicago for Fourth of July weekend. During the inaugural Chicago street race in 2023, this one was particularly messy. The Xfinity Series couldn’t catch a break. Cole Custer got the win. However, we only got to see 25 laps and nine of those were run under caution. Weather was a disaster for both series last year, and this race was called before it was even an official race. What can we expect this year? Well, better weather is a good start. Let’s take a look at the drivers and strategies for The Loop 110.




The Loop 110 NASCAR DFS Lineup Picks

Chicago takes over the streets of Chicago once again and we do have hopes for better weather this weekend. The Xfinity Series should get off without a hitch and we have an absolutely LOADED field of drivers for this race.

I don’t want to dwell too much on last year’s race. Personally, I think we can just throw it out the window. They ran 16 green flag laps. And if you had the right pit strategy and track position on lap 25, well that was your finishing spot. Nobody could have seen NASCAR calling the race complete after not finishing stage two, nor did they get halfway through the race.

But at the end of the day, this is a street course. We know the drivers to target for this race. And we know the lineup building strategy as well. We accept the dominator points if they come to us, but we do not build lineups with them in mind. If they’re acquired, then great. But they mean nothing if a driver can’t finish well. So, win equity and position differential are what we’re looking for.

Earlier in the week, Dustin Long tweeted out the layout and new choose zone for the races this weekend. So, feel free to gaze upon that if you’re unfamiliar with the unique layout.

As mentioned, the field is stacked for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. Shane Van Gisbergen has won the last two road races in the Xfinity Series and he won the Cup Series race at Chicago last year. But we also get Kyle Larson, Ty Gibbs, Joey Logano, John Hunter Nemechek, Daniel Suarez, and even Connor Mosack in this field. Some of the full-time Xfinity Series drivers come at a discount this week and we should still expect a little chaos. 

As always, this Playbook will be updated following Saturday’s practice and qualifying results.

The Loop 110 Practice Notes




Top Price Core Plays

Shane Van Gisbergen ($10,500)

Sometimes the most obvious play is the best one. Look, I have my reservations about Shane Van Gisbergen for Sunday’s Cup Series race. But for Saturday’s action, how can we not pay up for one of the top plays?

As mentioned a few moments ago, SVG has won the last two road races in the Xfinity Series. SVG even led 20 laps at COTA a couple months back but suffered from a poor finish. He hasn’t been the greatest qualifier on the ovals, but he is gradually moving up and scoring solid finishes.

But this is the kind of track that’s his bread and butter. SVG has led 31.3% of the laps on road courses this year and he has a pair of wins. Only makes sense to put him at the top of the board heading into Saturday’s action.

Update: SVG will start on the pole for this race. Don't go overboard with this play because if he's wrecked by someone he will kill all your lineups.

Kyle Larson ($10,300)

Larson is a threat on any track and at any level. It’s that simple. It’s also not that often where he isn’t the most expensive driver for a NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Larson started on the pole and won at COTA earlier in the year but led only one lap. But still, a win is a win and even 47.05 DraftKings points at that price tag was good enough.

Larson, like SVG, ran the Cup Series race at Chicago which provided more of a show than the Xfinity Series (obviously). Larson registered a 112.5 driver rating after starting P7 and finishing fourth.

We also aren’t long removed from Larson winning at Sonoma in the Cup Series a few weeks ago. So, it’s like I said, he’s a threat in any car and on any track. Running the 17-car for Hendrick Motorsports has its perks and you can naturally assume it may be better than SVG’s Kaulig Racing ride.

Update: Larson starts next to SVG on the front row. I would not play these two together. Choose one or none. Both were very sporty in practice and qualifying. Actually going to revise my stance on playing them together. It's fine if building 20+ lineups but the path to that strategy being optimal is very narrow. Both need to finish first and second and get most of the dominator points. I'll take this approach in two of my lineups.

Sam Mayer ($9,500)

It’s a bit bold to skip over Ty Gibbs ($10,000) and AJ Allmendinger ($9,800). And I’m sure they’ll make the driver pool once we know the starting order. But it is worth mentioning Sam Mayer has win equity for this race.

Mayer finally broke through last year with four wins and three of them came on road courses (Road America, Watkins Glen, and the Charlotte Roval) and we can’t forget that he finished as the runner-up at Indy’s Road Course last year. Mayer finished third at Sonoma a few weeks ago and was top 10 at COTA earlier in the year.

He may have slightly less win equity for this race but he’s still getting 14-1 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook and I think that’s certainly worth a sprinkle.

Update: Mayer will start P5 and is a good enough Tournament play. He was very fast in practice and looked pretty comfortable on this track.

Justin Allgaier ($9,000)

He will be popular, but Allgaier wrecked in practice and then took on more damage when Alon Day wrecked him while the car was stopped on the track. Allgaier will start deep in the field with a short turn around to go to a backup car.




Mid-Price Core Plays

Sheldon Creed ($8,700)

I cannot pass up Sheldon Creed at $8,700. And sure, we may change our tune based on where he qualifies on Saturday but he was $10,000 at Portland a month ago (finished 13th) and then $9,500 at Sonoma (finished second). 

Creed also had a nice run on the short, flat tracks after the back-to-back road courses. At Iowa and New Hampshire he finished top five in both races, including another runner-up finish at New Hampshire.

Creed is always the bridesmaid but never the bride. He’s now finished as the runner-up in 10 Xfinity Series races and he still doesn’t have a win. But the equipment will be top notch as he drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. I’ll take the discount and pray the chaos is favorable for him.

Update: Need to keep an eye on Creed because he may require an engine swap but he's already starting at the rear as it is. Teammate, John Hunter Nemechek, will be scored from P6 but also has to go to the rear for an engine change.

Parker Kligerman ($8,200)

Kligerman grabbed a top 10 in this race last year, but again, take it with a grain of salt. Kligerman is a strong road course driver. One of his more notable wins in the Truck Series came a few years ago when he drove to the win at Mid-Ohio for Henderson Motorsports, a rather small organization.

But Kligerman has looked sporty on the road courses this year. He finished fifth at COTA, eighth at Portland, and 10th at Sonoma. Even better is that with the talent in this field, Kligerman is priced down a bit.

Considering Chandler Smith, Sammy Smith, and Daniel Suarez are priced around him it’s entirely possible that Kligerman doesn’t carry much rostership for this race.

Update: According to Kligerman's team there was water coming out of the exhaust this morning so that signals an engine swap. He qualified inside the top 10 simply because they needed to for pit selection next week at Pocono. They will drop to the rear so he's relegated to minimal Tournament exposure as he has a lot of work ahead of him.

Sage Karam ($7,700)

Sage Karam is a talented driver who even possesses an IndyCar background and if you’re good enough to drive in that series then you’re certainly good enough for some races with NASCAR.

Karam’s just never had much of an opportunity in good equipment. But he does get a bit of an upgrade this season with Sam Hunt Racing. The finishes still haven’t been stellar Karam but he’s run better than where he’s finished.

Take COTA for example. Karam arguably had a top 10 car. He even had an average running position in the top 10, but he only finished 17th. And it happened again at Portland. He finished 34th but had an average running position of 17th.

Again, he’s discounted a bit but just needs a good, clean race to break this streak of underwhelming results. He certainly has the talent for a top 12 finish in this field and there is optimism the equipment can hang with the big boys this weekend.

Update: Didn't post a qualifying lap and starting from the rear and he cannot give you negative points.

Connor Mosack ($7,500)

You can save $700 dollars simply going from Kligerman to Mosack and you can feel good about getting an equipment upgrade. Mosack ran a variety of races last year with Joe Gibbs Racing and Sam Hunt Racing so he’s no stranger to decent rides. 

Mosack finished 35th in this race a year ago, but I do find it somewhat worth mentioning that he had an average running position of sixth. He was simply one of the drivers that pit and lost track position and then the race was suspended, and from there it was eventually called. So in the record books, it looks like he had a bad day.

Last year he grabbed a top 10 finish at Portland and then a top five at Watkins Glen and both races came with Sam Hunt Racing. For this particular race he’ll be in the 88-car for Jr. Motorsports and we’ve seen Carson Kvapil drive this car to some stellar finishes on the ovals.

Update: Qualified well but still fine for Tournaments without much exposure. Maybe cap it at 15% though.




Value Price Core Plays

Jesse Love ($7,300)

More discounted drivers, and if you’ve read my Playbooks recently you’ll know I have my beliefs that Jesse Love is a good road course driver. He didn’t have the great showings at Sonoma or Portland but he wasn’t awful either by any means.

But he’s still driving for Richard Childress Racing and flashed upside on road courses in the ARCA Series. We’ve seen him priced much higher in previous races, even as high as $9,500.

But after a bit of a cold streak, he did right the ship last week with a top three finish at Nashville. I won’t say we should expect a similar finish here, but in a loaded field he might be able to pay off the price tag with a top 10 finish.

Update: Won't make a ton of lineups because he qualified in the top 10 but worthy of some dart throws in Tournaments. Brandon Jones ($7,100) is the cash game pivot if you need it as he'll start P32 but there's heavy risk any time you play Jones starting that deep in the field. 

Alex Labbe ($6,700)

This is definitely more of a read on the driver than the equipment. But Labbe does yield better results on road courses than any other type of track. 

Back when he was full-time with DGM Racing, he finished 10th and 11th in a pair of races at Portland, was 9th at Mid-Ohio in 2018 and then 11th in 2021. He also finished between 8th and 13th in all four races at Indy Road Course. Even at the Charlotte Roval, he’s never finished worse than 15th in six career races.

For this race he’ll be with SS Greenlight Racing. This isn’t the best organization by any means but neither was DGM. But the latter was, and still is, good at setting their cars up for road courses. Labbe started and finished 26th with Joey Gase Motorsports at COTA earlier this year and then he started and finished 19th with SSGR at Sonoma.

Labbe won’t carry any win equity but he’s affordable to the point where you don’t need much out of him and he’s still good enough to finish in the top 12.

Ryan Sieg ($6,500)

Sieg is normally priced up by about $500-$1,000 so this is another friendly discount we’re getting for this race. As always, you need a warning with Sieg. He isn’t afraid to take risks for track position. So, he has upside but an incredibly low floor as well. I also imagine he qualifies between P15-P20.

The track position game has its pro’s and con’s but you just hope he doesn’t wipe out the field by staying out on older tires. Because this track has almost no run off.

Sieg does have some good performances on road courses though. In three of the last four Road America races he finished 13th or better with two of those performances yielding top 10 finishes. He’s finished 13th and 9th in the last two races at the Charlotte Roval.

He hasn’t been stellar on road courses this year. But he was top 15 at both COTA and Portland and then finished 20th at Sonoma. Those are okay results and can be optimal at this price tag if he offers PD. I do think there’s potential for a top 10 with Sieg but he’s not without risk.

If you need an absolute punt for this race, I think Kyle Sieg ($4,700) is viable. Kyle Sieg doesn’t have the upside of older brother, Ryan. You can almost count on Kyle to qualify poorly and we did just see him finish 18th at Portland and 23rd at Sonoma after starting outside the top 30 in both races. I’m getting the sense he’ll have a similar qualifying effort and as the second-cheapest driver in the field he may have a relatively safe floor for a punt play.

Update: The opinion on the Sieg brothers hasn't changed. Ryan starts P22 which is fine and Kyle starts P35 which is perfectly fine as a punt. If Kyle somehow can finish 24th he'll returned over 6X value for a punt play.

Jeremy Clements ($6,400)

There are actually an abundance of value plays starting deep in the field for this race. Clements rolls of P34 and has a good shot to finish in the top 20. Josh Williams ($6,300) will be popular as well. He's teammates with SVG and AJ Allmendinger so the equipment is still good and Williams will roll off P30.

Josh Bilicki ($5,800)

Obviously, there are the usual suspects in the value tier that I’m looking at in addition to the Sieg brothers. I’m sure I’ll be tempted by Brenna Poole ($5,500) and Kyle Weatherman ($5,400) but for now we can focus on Bilicki.

Bilicki might be the driver below $6,000 that I have the most confidence in prior to practice and qualifying. He’s arguably the best road ringer in this range. He grabbed a top 12 at Portland last month, but mind you, he drove for Joe Gibbs Racing for that one.

But with DGM Racing at Sonoma he started P31 and finished 16th. In the road races last year with DGM he was top 20 in all three (Sonoma, Road America, and Indy). It was only when he went to another team that he finished 25th in a pair of road races at Watkins Glen and the Roval. Not a ton of upside with this play, but he should certainly be on our radar as is the case with most road races.




The Loop 110 NASCAR DFS Driver Pool

Pricing TierDrivers
Top TierShane Van Gisbergen ($10,500; Starting P1)
Kyle Larson ($10,300; Starting P2)
AJ Allmendinger ($9,800; Starting P11)
Sam Mayer ($9,500; Starting P5)
Cole Custer ($9,200; Starting P10)
Justin Allgaier ($9,000; Starting P36) - Backup Car
Mid-TierSheldon Creed ($8,700; Starting P37) - Engine Swap
Austin Hill ($8,500; Starting P13)
Daniel Suarez ($8,000; Starting P31)
Sage Karam ($7,700; Starting P38) - Backup Car
Value TierJesse Love ($7,300; Starting P8) - GPP Only
Brandon Jones ($7,100; Starting P32) - Always Risky
Alex Labbe ($6,700; Starting P16) - GPP Only
Ryan Sieg ($6,500; Starting P22)
Jeremy Clements ($6,400; Starting P34)
Josh Williams ($6,300; Starting P30)
Josh Bilicki ($5,800; Starting P24)
Kyle Sieg ($4,700; Starting P35) - Punt