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NASCAR DFS: Toyota Owners 400 Picks

The NASCAR Cup Series will run under the lights on Sunday night. The Toyota Owners 400 will feature 400 laps around the 0.75-mile short track of Richmond Raceway. Kyle Larson made an appearance in this week’s NASCAR DFS preview. Given how qualifying shook out, it’s possible he leads the entire first stage. But we’ll address that in more detail shortly. Richmond Raceway can be a frustrating track when building NASCAR DFS lineups. It’s a short track, and that leads to cars getting lapped. Furthermore, this is a high tire wear track. That plays right into the hands of Larson. However, we also should expect some drivers to get off-cycle with their pit strategy. The purpose of this is to give yourself a chance at a win in the event of a late caution. Let’s take a look at the Toyota Owners 400 picks for Sunday’s race.

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Toyota Owners 400 Picks: The Top 10

  1. Kyle Larson (#5 Hendrick Motorsports)
  2. Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports)
  3. Ross Chastain (#1 Trackhouse Racing)
  4. Alex Bowman (#48 Hendrick Motorsports)
  5. Bubba Wallace (#23 23XI Racing)
  6. Todd Gilliland (#38 Front Row Motorsports)
  7. Martin Truex Jr. (#19 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  8. Ty Gibbs (#54 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  9. Austin Cindric (#2 Team Penske)
  10. Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske

Larson wins the pole. Anybody surprised? Didn’t think so. He’s always in play to win the pole. And the good news is that nobody starting immediately behind him is a direct threat to overtake him in stage one. Assuming the first stage is clean, it’s possible Larson leads every lap. Martin Truex Jr. and Ty Gibbs are threats for dominator points later in the race. But they start three rows behind Larson. By all accounts, Larson might not see much pressure early on. He can take advantage of the clean air and run up front. Moreover, he’s great on high tire wear tracks. Most GPP lineups will start around Larson/MTJ or Larson/Gibbs. And that’s fine but we can find ways to differentiate outside the top 10.

Which Value-Priced Toyota Owners 400 Picks Got A Points Movement Bump?


  • Chase Briscoe – $7,600; Starting P32
  • Josh Berry – $7,500; Starting P30
  • Michael McDowell – $7,000; Starting P31


  • Kyle Busch – $9,000; Starting P15
  • Chase Briscoe – $7,200; Starting P32
  • Josh Berry – $7,000; Starting P30
  • Michael McDowell – $6,500; Starting P31

Normally, there are plenty of value plays listed. But these are the drivers that offer enough position differential, who I also believe can stay on the lead lap. We need to be mindful that there will be drivers from all over the pricing spectrum that lose the lead lap. These drivers, even Kyle Busch on FanDuel, offer PD and can stay on the lead lap. But we’ll certainly need some cheaper drivers. Justin Haley and Daniel Hemric come to mind. They start deep enough in the field where they can lose the lead lap but still provide positive fantasy points for the Toyota Owners 400 picks. By spending up for a pair of dominators in the $10K range on DraftKings, we may not have to dive deep into the driver pool. But we do like Briscoe and his teammate Josh Berry to move up and hopefully maintain the lead lap.

Which Higher-Priced Drivers Got A Similar Bump?

  • Christopher Bell – Starting P29
  • Kyle Busch – Starting P15 (DraftKings)
  • Chris Buescher – Starting P14
  • Tyler Reddick – Starting P19
  • Brad Keselowski – Starting P23

We don’t have too many deep-field starters in the more expensive tiers. However, Bell is the exception. He rolls off P29 and it’s a track Joe Gibbs Racing excels at. But you have to ask yourself, do you want to spend up for position differential or dominator points? Bell could hit the jackpot if he provides both. But Saturday’s Xfinity Series race saw Sheldon Creed priced at $10,000 and start P20. Ownership was a bit on the lighter side because there was an understanding that dominator points were more of a priority. The same logic arguably applies to Bell for this race. We can easily pay for the other four drivers for position differential. They can pay off their price tags more easily with a good finish. Bell can put up a good score, but other drivers priced around him may have higher ceilings on DraftKings.

Toyota Owners 400 Picks


  • Denny Hamlin – $11,200; Starting P11
  • Kyle Larson – $10,200; Starting P1
  • Brad Keselowski – $8,200; Starting P23
  • Chase Briscoe – $7,600; Starting P32
  • Josh Berry – $7,500; Starting P30
  • Justin Haley – $5,300; Starting P36

There’s some good and some ugly here. We haven’t touched on Denny Hamlin much in this article. He doesn’t have the early dominator upside of Larson, but there’s still some win equity. And yes, we punt to Justin Haley. But Haley and Rick Ware Racing have arguably provided better speed than Kaulig Racing for some races. We have two dominators and win equity with Larson and Hamlin. I wouldn’t even rule out Keselowski to potentially lead laps. Furthermore, we get PD points from Briscoe and Berry. To round it out we have Haley, who likely loses the lead lap, but still scores at least 28 fantasy points with a top-25 finish. There is room to pivot as well. You can pay down from Hamlin to MTJ or Gibbs and allocate the remaining funds to upgrade from Haley.


  • Christopher Bell – $13,500; Starting P29
  • Ty Gibbs – $12,500; Starting P8
  • Kyle Larson – $11,500; Starting P1
  • Chase Briscoe – $7,200; Starting P32
  • John Hunter Nemechek – $5,000; Starting P18

We go back to the well with Kyle Larson. Risky on FanDuel? Sure. Laps led don’t matter as much on FanDuel as they do on DraftKings. However, the win equity is still there. We get a significant chunk of that with Larson, Gibbs, and Bell. I’m more comfortable playing Bell on FanDuel because the dominator points matter less. He can still move up through the field on his own accord. He scores well with a good finish. Briscoe is another position differential target with top 12 upside. And lastly, JHN provides some upside as a cheaper, contrarian play. As mentioned in this week’s preview article, he has previously run very well here in the Truck and Xfinity Series.

White Flag Thoughts Before You Go 

As much as we may want to look at practice speeds and tire fall off, we have to take all the data with a grain of salt. Practice and qualifying for this race were run Saturday morning. This race won’t go green until Sunday as the sun sets. This is a night race at Richmond. For that reason, everyone is enamored with Martin Truex Jr. But the track conditions will be different from where they practiced. And even then, there was a distinct advantage to the drivers practicing in the first group than the second. We also know certain teams may have been set up for race trim. Incorporate practice into your own analysis but don’t take it as scripture. Track history and performances on comparable tracks should still loom large. Best of luck with this week’s Toyota Owners 400 picks!

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