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FREE NASCAR DFS Atlanta Cup Series Breakdown and Cheatsheet

Welcome to my breakdown for today’s Cup Series race from Atlanta Motor Speedway. We have a wild one on the docket for today. The Cup Series gets it’s chance to take on this newly configured track which boasts 4 degrees more banking in the corner. NASCAR has been trying for years to get Super Speedway style, pack racing, on a 1.5 mile track. Well… it looks like they have finally succeeded. Yesterday’s races had all the feel of a Daytona and Talladega. We saw bump drafting, big packs, long trains, near misses, last lap passes, edge of your seat stage finishes, and even a “Big One”. Buckle up for a wild one today. We are gonna see an afternoon full of attrition and you are going to need to get lucky to get though clean for a big score today. But we are due for a bit of luck, so let’s get to the breakdown.

Breakdown

When your looking to prepare for today’s race the first thing you need to do is throw out all the past data from Atlanta, none of it matters. In fact, throw out the 1.5 mile data as well. It’s hard to even consider this track a 1.5 mile anymore with how it raced yesterday. I really want to lean into the Super Speedway drivers today. We saw those type of drivers rise to the top in both races yesterday, and I expect the same today. Primarily, I want to look more at Daytona than Talladega. Daytona is closer in width and has more of a handling aspect to it than Dega, which I think will be helpful today with the tighter corners here at Atlanta. Guys who are good at Daytona that have also been fast at tracks like Michigan and Vegas this season should get an even bigger boost.

If the race is going look and feel like a Super Speedway than our line up construction should mirror that as well. I am going to focus heavy on position differential. Moving through the field is not going to be a problem today and the top scores are going to come from guys who score 20-30 PD points. There is a chance that dominator points become a factor, we do have 325 laps on the slate, way more than a normal SS race. We did see a lot of single file racing at times yesterday and I think we can see some stretches like that today where someone leads a good portion of laps. But, with the draft, the leader is not getting fast laps as those get spread out more through the field. We should also see a handful of different guys take turns leading out front. All this will suppress the dominator ceiling. If I start a guy that gets up front and leads laps then great, but it’s not going to be a focus when I’m building. Because eventually, the single file shit is going to end. As the end of stages and the end of the race approaches, guys will start pushing it harder and mistakes will happen and guys will get shuffled. I honestly believe we are going to see some big wrecks on this tight track and the race will turn into a battle of survival. Embrace the chaos today. Stack the back is out in full force.

Anyone can become a victim of the chaos that is likely to unfold at some point in this race. Your likely gonna lose at least 1-2 drivers in every line up. If you lose a guy who started in the Top 10 your line up is likely dead. If they make it through the wreck, they still aren’t scoring as much as the guys starting further back that made it through. Low ceiling and low floor… I won’t be playing any drivers starting inside the Top 10. A-lot of casuals are going to play the big names starting inside the Top 10 today, which will give as a nice edge as these guys start dropping out of the race. You really want to keep the bulk of your line up made up of guys starting 20th on back. I honestly wouldn’t play anymore than 2 drivers in a line up starting inside the Top 20. And if your sticking to guys that have a proven history of working the draft, then your line up should still perform well given the off the chance that chaos does not happen.

It wouldn’t be a NASCAR slate without a handful of super chalky options. There are some very obvious PD plays on the slate that are gonna garner a ton of ownership. With all the unpredictability that encompasses this race, it makes no sense to jam in all the chalk that everyone else is playing. Guys are going to bust, some will be chalk, but no one is likely going to break the slate to where your dead if you don’t have them. It might even be a good idea to limit yourself to only one of the chalk guys per line up in your GPP builds and really take some swings with some dart throws in those contests. The draft is the great equalizer. Anyone, literally anyone, can end up with a solid day and a good finish today. Don’t be afraid to take some chances on some guys you normally wouldn’t consider. Even some of the back markers could provide solid scores on the slate today just by keeping their car clean and making it to the end. Also, don’t be afraid to leave salary on the table. My main line up today has over $4k left.

Cheatsheet

Below is my Cheatsheet for today’s race at Atlanta. Stats under the orange header are from the last 7 races at Daytona. Stats under the blue header are from the California and Las Vegas race this season. Really everyone is in play today, but I highlighted the guys that I like. Drivers highlighted in blue are guys that I feel will be chalk today. Drivers highlighted purple are guys that I like who I think will be low owned. And guys in green I like but fall somewhere in between chalk and low owned. They did practice yesterday but I did not include the speeds as I feel they are irrelevant with the draft.

The Chalk

The obvious chalk plays are Larson, Truex, Bell and Stenhouse. All start 20th on back. It’s hard to argue against either of these guys, they are chalk for a reason. They each provide a lot of upside and can all easily be played together. This would be a great start to a Cash line but we are going to have to make some pivots for a big score. The guy I like the best out of these four would be Ricky Stenhouse. Dude is a beast on super speedways. He is gonna be super aggressive on restarts and shouldn’t have any problems making his way to the front.

The Fade

My preferred fade would have to be Larson. This is mostly because I think he will be the highest owned driver on the slate. But also, he really isn’t the greatest super speedway racer. You can say the same thing about Truex as well and I kinda like the idea of fading both of them and hoping at least one busts.

The Lock

My lock for the day is Corey Lajoie. Lajoie is another guy who has excelled in Super Speedways through his career. He has an Avg finish of 13th in the last 7 Daytona races and he has shown great speed at the trio of Daytona, California and Vegas this year. So cheap and so far back, hard for him to go wrong here.

The Pivot

If your looking for low ownership and high upside then a good place to start is Austin Cindric, your 2022 Daytona 500 winner. Starting 16th and being priced above guys like Stenhouse and Bell is really gonna suppress his ownership. Yesterday, we saw both 2022 Daytona winners from the Truck and Xfinity series each score a Top 5. Expect this Penske 2 to be fast again as well.

Core 4

This is for S/E tournaments. If your playing cash then start with Larson/Truex/Bell/Stenhouse.

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