NASCAR By the Numbers: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500

I’ve switched the article from cash and tournament plays to core plays and large field tournament plays. Core plays will be both cash plays and drivers I’m using in tournaments. I switched to large field tournament plays because I wanted to get more high-end ceiling low floor options in the article. Always open to feedback, feel free to reach out to me.

This Sunday at 3:30pm ET, we head to Texas Motor Speedway for the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500. Bristol was wild last weekend, and this weekend kicks off the round of 12. Big names like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick were eliminated last weekend. Also, Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon were eliminated, and Reddick has been one of the fastest cars all season. We have so many questions about this new car and the issues it’s having, Bristol was not a good look for this car. This weekend we have a 500-mile race on a 1.5-mile track. The All-Star race was at Texas earlier this season, and we had a lot of tire issues. Goodyear made some adjustments to the tire, and the Cup Series will be using the same tire from Kansas 2. I’m still concerned about a 500-mile race and won’t have any driver over 50% this weekend.

The stages are 105, 105, and 124, which is a total of 334 laps. With 334 laps, we’re looking at 33.4 laps led points and 33.4 laps completed points on FanDuel. On DraftKings, we’re looking at 150.3 potential fastest laps, and 83.5 laps led points. There have been at least eight cautions in nine of the last ten races at Texas. Even with the cautions, we’re looking at 200+ dominator points on DraftKings. With 200+ dominator points, we’re looking for two to four dominators. This season we haven’t had a lot of one dominator, and with this new car, I lean to building more three dominator teams. With qualifying, I might loosen up my groups and even build some teams without groups. I think there are multiple cars starting outside the top ten that has the potential to get fastest laps and laps led.

Last 5 Texas Optimal Lineups

2021 – Kyle Larson (1st), William Byron (12th), Kevin Harvick (24th), Daniel Suarez (19th), Erik Jones (21st), David Starr (38th) – $49,800 – 2 Dominators

2020 2 – Kyle Busch (9th), Martin Truex Jr. (6th), Clint Bowyer (21st), Christopher Bell (15th), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (22nd), Matt DiBenedetto (14th) – $50,000 – 3 Dominators

2020 1 – Ryan Blaney (2nd), Austin Dillon (21st), Tyler Reddick (24th), Erik Jones (23rd), Joey Logano (9th), Aric Almirola (1st) – $49,800 – 3 Dominators

2019 2 – Kevin Harvick (1st), Aric Almirola (6th), Daniel Suarez (7th), Clint Bowyer (24th), Alex Bowman (5th), Austin Dillon (21st) – $49,100 – 3 Dominators

2019 1 – Clint Bowyer (25th), Denny Hamlin (6th), Erik Jones (11th), Jimmie Johnson (1st), Daniel Suarez (4th), William Byron (2nd) – $49,700 – 3 Dominators

DraftKings – Starting Position on the Left, Potential Finishing Spot on Top

FanDuel – Starting Position on the Left, Potential Finishing Spot on Top

Core Plays

Christopher Bell – Starting 22nd – DK: $10,300 – FD: $12,500 – This season we’re seeing a lot of teams pick up five to eight tenths from practice to qualifying. These teams can’t be that aggressive with the tire pressures in the race, and we see long run speed show throughout the runs. Bell had top ten lap-to-lap fall off in practice. He didn’t have top five raw speed, but he’s clearly been the fastest Toyota car over the last month. Looking at the four comps to Texas, Bell has the second-best green flag speed, and the second highest driver rating. With Bell starting 22nd, he has a high floor and a high ceiling.

Ryan Blaney – Starting 14th – DK: $9,600 – FD: $11,500 – Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, and Kyle Larson had the fastest cars in the All-Star race. With that said, they also were aggressive with the tire pressures. Blaney had 41 fastest laps in the 140 lap All-Star race. This is the same package, and while that race was at night, it’s a good building spot for this team. Blaney didn’t make a long run in practice but had some of the best lap-to-lap fall off. He’s another driver starting outside the top ten that has the upside for fastest laps and a top five finish.

Alex Bowman – Starting 17th – DK: $8,400 – FD: $8,000 – Bowman and Logano had the two best long run cars in practice on Saturday. Bowman ranked 2nd in 5-lap and 10-lap averages in practice. He only picked up five one hundredths from qualifying to practice. It makes me think he has a lot of speed, and they didn’t want to push the issue in qualifying. It was a rough summer for this team, but he has a 103.3 driver rating at the four comp races for this weekend. He also had finished top ten in each of those four races and has averaged 17.5 fastest laps in those races. Plus, my early week research and data liked Bowman a lot. Again, I expect the dominator points to be spread out, so I’m targeting high upside place differential plays as my core plays.

Large Field Tournaments

Joey Logano – Starting 2nd – DK: $8,900 – FD: $9,000 – Like I mentioned above, Logano had the best long run car in practice. We have some tire fall off this weekend, and Logano had the most speed with top five fall off. Keselowski put down at lap in qualifying, but I just don’t trust the speed of that 6 car. Logano unloaded with a lot of speed, and I like him or Byron to be an early dominator. My only concern about Logano, he has only averaged four fastest laps over the four race comps to this weekend. I haven’t decided if I’m playing Keselowski in cash games, but I will likely have one or two of these top four starting in cash games.

William Byron – Starting 3rd – DK: $9,100 – FD: $11,000 – This summer we saw a different William Byron that won at Atlanta and Martinsville. He had speed from time to time, but something seemed off. I’ve heard from multiple sources that William Byron was the HMS test car after he picked up his second win. Byron is back, and he’s had a lot of speed over the last three races. He’s backing that up with some speed in Texas this weekend. He made his long run in practice on older tires, and I hope people just overlook him because he fourth in 10-lap average. I almost pulled the trigger on an early week Byron bet, and I regret not firing at +1800. I will be getting some money on him at +1400.

Ross Chastain – Starting 12th – DK: $9,200 – FD: $10,500 – The biggest surprise earlier this season was the speed of Ross Chastain. He never had a ton of speed in practice but always had race speed. He’s been one of the most aggressive drivers on restarts. Looking at the four comp races, Chastain had the best raw speed and the highest driver rating in those four races. Even with an average starting position of 14th, Chastain averaged the most laps led and the second most fastest laps. I love his ceiling and I’m still not concerned about drivers getting back at him. Until someone does it, it’s all talk.

Stevie gives an in-depth look on three cash game drivers, three tournament drivers, and two value plays. “I’m going to make sure it’s the best Fantasy NASCAR article in the industry” – Stevie. This article will be posted after qualifying each weekend.

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About the Author

  • Stephen Young (stevietpfl)

  • The long-time host of the popular Morning Grind, Stephen Young is also one of the top NASCAR, NFL, NBA and MLB analysts in the industry. The RotoGrinders lead NASCAR analyst is a multiple time finalist for the Fantasy Sports Writer Association Racing Writer of the Year. He has qualified for multiple live finals.

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