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NASCAR DFS: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Preview, Best DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks (August 10)

Phillip Bennetzen

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NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings and FanDuel: Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Live Before Lock Show for Sunday, June 20

Following Kevin Harvick‘s win at Michigan, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Virginia for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Let’s dive into the track information NASCAR DFS drivers need to know, what to expect for this weekend’s running of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond and some early NASCAR fantasy picks.

NASCAR DFS Preview: Federated Auto Parts 400

Richmond International Raceway Information

  • Track: Richmond International Raceway
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • Length: 0.75 miles (asphalt)
  • Banking: 14 degrees in the turns, two degrees on the front stretch, eight degrees on the back stretch
  • Best corollary tracks: Phoenix, New Hampshire
  • Dominator Points:
    • DraftKings: 100 – laps led, 180 – fastest laps
    • FanDuel: 40 – laps led
  • Past winners: Denny Hamlin (2022), Martin Truex Jr. (2021B), Alex Bowman (2021A), Brad Keselowski (2020)
  • Betting favorite: Martin Truex Jr. +600
  • Entry List: 36 drivers, including J.J. Yeley (15), Noah Gragson (16), and Landon Cassill (77)
  • Weather: High of 84, mostly sunny
  • Watch: USA
  • Listen: MRN (MRN, NASCAR.com, NASCAR Sirius/XM Channel 90)

On Track Schedule (All Times Eastern)

  • Saturday, August 13
    • 5:05 p.m.: practice
    • 5:50 p.m.: qualifying
  • Sunday, August 14
    • 3:00 p.m.: green flag (70/230/400 laps)

2022 Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR DFS Picks

2022 Points Standings

Then there were 15.

After being nothing more than an after-thought for much of the afternoon, Kevin Harvick emerged with the lead following the final round of yellow-flag pit stops (Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell wreck). Having the preferred lane on the restart was all Harvick needed as he sailed off with the lead, much like everyone else in that same scenario throughout the afternoon. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Joey Logano blocked Bubba Wallace for the bulk of the final 38 laps, and once Wallace finally made his way around Logano, there wasn’t enough time to overcome a four-second gap. Or, that the day’s fastest driver (Denny Hamlin) had yet another pit road penalty (loose wheel) that forced him to the back of the lead lap cars, although he was able to race his way from 24th up to third over the final 38 laps of the FireKeepers Casino 400.

With his victory, Harvick has added his name to the list of playoff drivers, and now just Richmond, Watkins Glen, and Daytona remain in the 2022 regular season. However, until he or another driver adds a second, third, fourth, or fifth win to their totals in 2022, Harvick might still be sweating his position in the playoffs. Harvick’s singular victory isn’t a guarantee of his spot and he’ll either need to outright win or add some stage victories over the next three weeks to pad his spot. If two more first-time winners, in 2022, win over the course of the last three races, they could push Harvick or anyone else with just one win back out of the playoffs. Although, the honor of sweating the final spot, truly belongs to Kurt Busch after missing the past three weeks due to a concussion. While he has the playoff waiver from NASCAR, and a win at Kansas, missing the past three events has robbed him of the chance to add playoff points while everyone else has been able to do so.

Speaking of getting squeezed out of the playoffs, that’s precisely what happened to Martin Truex Jr. despite another top-10 finish at Michigan. Over the course of the final 40 laps, Truex went from a solid 100-point cushion over Harvick for the last playoff spot to trailing Ryan Blaney by 19 points for the 16th spot. Luckily for Truex, he’s got his best chance to win and earn his own way into the playoffs as racing returns to Richmond, where Truex’s recent form is impeccable.

NASCAR Richmond International Raceway Preview

As previously stated, NASCAR returns to Virginia this Sunday for 400 laps around the 0.75-mile slightly banked oval at Richmond. This will be the Cup Series’ second venture to Richmond in 2022, the first iteration being won by Denny Hamlin who led just the final five laps en route to victory, despite being in 10th with 40 laps remaining.

Richmond’s box score looks like the bulk of other races held at short, flat venues in 2022, and with no changes on the horizon this weekend, it’s a safe bet that the Federated Auto Parts 400 is reminiscent of the Toyota Owners 400.

Like Phoenix, Martinsville (the Saturday following this race), and New Hampshire four weekends ago; the pole sitter stormed off with the lead. One design flaw of the Generation Seven car has been the ability of the pole sitter to sail off with the lead as they take the preferred groove and create a stream of dirty air behind them that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to move past. Racing at these short, flat venues and road courses has taken on a flare of the Generation Six car when NASCAR tried combining high horsepower and high downforce, a package that lasted all of a season because of how bad it rendered the racing for the lead. In the first Richmond race, Ryan Blaney started on the pole and led the first 128 laps, despite two restarts (laps 15 and 80). Although Blaney displayed the best long-run practice speed of anyone, with just the ninth-fastest green flag speed, he was destined to become a non-factor once he got stuck in traffic and no longer had clean air at his disposal.

Back at Phoenix, this same pole sitter scenario played out for Blaney as he led 143 laps, in all, that Sunday. However, that day, his car was a bit more competitive as he led in stints, and not in one fell swoop. Fast forward to New Hampshire, and Martin Truex Jr. starts P1 and leads 172 laps that day. It took 95 laps for Joey Logano to grab the lead from Truex, but once Truex wrangled it away on lap 121, he held it again for another 68 laps. For those that want to add Martinsville to this conversation, Chase Elliott started first and led 185 of 400 laps that day as well. Although the sample is just these three to four races, the fact remains that clean air creates a buffer for the pole sitter that can’t be ignored. Furthermore, the driver that has gone on to lead the most or second-most laps in each of these races all started in the top 10. When the passing upfront is hard, a driver needs track position and a convenient pit stall if they’re going to ascend to the lead.


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Add this to the fact that NASCAR DFS has seen the pole sitter go optimal, on DraftKings, in seven-straight events and it will be impossible to ignore whoever wins the pole on Saturday. Although Bubba Wallace only led the sixth-most laps this past at Michigan, he was well on his way to racking up a ton of dominator points if the race hadn’t been paused for a competition caution on lap 22 that saw Wallace trade track position for two new right-side tires. Even with just 22 laps led and 15 fastest laps, finishing second and scoring 53.25 DraftKings points and 61.7 FanDuel points at his respective salaries ($7,400 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel) was more than enough for him to be optimal.

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Phill Bennetzen is a father, husband, and Catholic as well as a self-professed annoying fitness guy. Phill heads up NASCAR content at Awesemo.com. You can contact Phill by emailing [email protected].


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