NASCAR DFS Picks: Top Drivers for the Goodyear 400 at Darlington (2024)

It’s throwback weekend, and the NASCAR Cup Series is headed to Darlington Raceway to celebrate. Known as the “Lady in Black” and “Track Too Tough to Tame”, Darlington is a tricky 1.3-mile oblong oval with a rough surface. The surface produces lots of tire wear, which forces drivers to manage their equipment carefully over the long run. It also means driver skill is more important while equipment quality is less so. Let’s dive straight into our top NASCAR DFS picks for the 2024 Goodyear 400 at Darlington, including Noah Gragson.

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NASCAR DFS Picks: Top Drivers for the Goodyear 400 at Darlington

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Chris Buescher | Goodyear 400 NASCAR DFS Picks | Darlington

This article was written before our NASCAR DFS projections run. Check back on Sunday morning for Stokastic’s industry-leading NASCAR DFS projections, including our top drivers tool!

Let’s kick things off with RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher ($7,800 at DraftKings). He’ll start in third, behind Tyler Reddick and teammate Brad Keselowski, but won’t break the bank to fit into your roster. He is coming off a pair of top-10s at Darlington last season, scoring a P10 in the spring and a P3 in the fall. He failed to lead a lap in either event, but he never had the chance to start this close to the front.

Buescher has the skill needed to manage tire wear and score a strong finish. He also doesn’t have a win yet this year (although he almost won at Kansas last weekend) and is likely coming into this one with an eye to the points standings, so I suspect he’ll be a bit more cautious than some drivers with a win sending it for more playoff points.

Over the last three seasons, Buescher has four top-10s at Darlington. He also improved his starting position in all six of those starts. In fact, of Buescher’s 13 starts at Darlington, all but three saw him finish better than where he started. It’ll be difficult for him to maintain that since he’ll start in third on Sunday, but he’s worth it for the price of $7,800.

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Noah Gragson

No driver stands out more to me as a point-per-dollar value than Noah Gragson ($7,200 at DraftKings). He’ll start in last after a bad qualifying run, but he ran the 13th-best single lap in practice and recorded the seventh-best 10-lap average, so I’m willing to dismiss his poor qualifying lap.

At DraftKings, we get pass differential and place differential points, which is crucial to justify this Gragson pick. He’ll generate points just for him moving through the field, which he should do, given the speed we saw him from earlier in the weekend.

Gragson is no stranger to Victory Lane at Darlington, either. He won here in 2022 after leading 82 laps. He also won here in 2021 after leading 40. Gragson’s last four Xfinity Series starts saw him finish no worse than fourth (and no worse than second in any stage) while recording no worse than the second-best driver rating in each race. Gragson achieved a driver rating of 136.6 or better in all four starts.

It’s not like Gragson was just Buschwhacking in Xfinity, either. Those four starts featured plenty of Cup Series regulars, including Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell. Gragson has real talent here, and getting him with a chance to generate so many differential points is an absolute blessing.

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Isaiah Sirois is a Sports Betting Analyst at OddsShopper/Stokastic specializing in basketball, football and motorsports. He uses a wide variety of analytical tools to identify value on event-specific markets, and you trust his columns will be stuffed to the brim with data. Basketball is Isaiah’s favorite sport to handicap, and he has covered NBA, WNBA, NCAA and FIBA markets for OddsShopper and other sites. However, Isaiah’s favorite sport to follow is auto racing, and you can usually find him watching NASCAR or IndyCar during their seasons. He will be a fan of Team Penske and Ford Performance until the end of time. Isaiah graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Emory University.

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