Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Richmond Preview for DFS

Welcome to the Monster Energy Cup Series Preview. This week we will be looking ahead to the Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway. I’m RyanLarkin88 and you can follow me on twitter @Larkin8. If you are just finding the DFS Army and are not a  VIP member sign up and use code Xfinity to save 20%!! Our DFS Army VIP members get access to the Domination Station and Research Station post qualifying. Also, VIP members get access to our VIP Slack and direct contact to the NASCAR coaches. Come join the best team in NASCAR DFS!

This week the Cup Series heads to Richmond Raceway. The 3/4 mile short track is extremely rough on tires so pay close attention to long run speed in practice. Due to the tire wear drivers tend to focus on themselves and not race each other very hard especially the first half of the race. This leads to long green flag runs that can bring about green flag stops. Last year saw Ricky Stenhouse use a short pitting strategy during the stages to maintain a high running position which also gave him many fast laps. While it is hard to predict how the pit strategies will go I do think we could see more teams gamble with this strategy this year.

Quick Facts

Date: April 13th

Practice 1: Friday 11:05 pm ET.

Practice 2: Friday 1:05 am ET.

Qualifying: Friday 5:40 pm ET.

Race: Saturday 7:30 pm ET.

Laps: 400  Stages: 100/200/400

Drivers: 39

Defending Champion: Kyle Busch

AVG. # of Cautions: 5.7 excludzing stage breaks

AVG DNF’s: 2 per race


Lineup Building

Dominator / Top Tier

For most lineups I would look for 2 dominators with a really strong 3rd driver. We don’t usually see 3 outright dominators however it is possible. We also saw from 2014-2015 a string of single dominator performances. As for the drivers Kyle Busch is again the big favorite heading into the weekend. Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex are two others I believe who pose strong threats to Kyle this week. Hamlin has won 3 times at Richmond and has also led nearly 500 more laps more than any other active driver. Truex on the other hand has a poor track record in terms of finishes but has led roughly 700 laps in the last 5 races including performances of 163, 193, and 198 laps led. The Penske trio will round out the pre race favorites for me especially Logano and Keselowski who have combined for 3 wins and 1,122 laps led. With the race being 400 laps then dominators will be the most important part of your lineups.

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Mid to Low Tier

In this group I will be looking for drivers who can secure top 10 finishes but also potentially use strategy to get some fast laps. William Byron is someone who jumps to mind who has been strong on this style of track, finished 12th in this race last year and also has crew chief Chad Knaus who is known for his great strategy calls. As for drivers with favorable pricing, Almirola at $7700 and Suarez at $7500 on DK stick out instantly. Almirola has been a top 10 machine and Suarez has 3 straight top 10s as well as 2 top 10s in his last 3 Richmond races. Another driver I will keep my eye on is Jimmie Johnson who has finished 11th or better in his last 9 Richmond races.


I do not like this group at all this week given the incredibly low DNF rate thus they offer little in terms of position upside. Of course, if needing 2 extremely high priced dominators or 3 dominators it could mean taking Jeb Burton to make that lineup work. If that is the case then by all means play a punt as the dominator points gained will out weigh the punts low score.

If you are new to NASCAR check out this article I wrote explaining lineup creation!

I will be giving my Fanduel Top Plays in a VIP article prior to the race.

I will also answer any questions you may have in the VIP Slack!

This will conclude this edition of The Monster Energy Cup Series Preview. If you would like to reach out and talk NASCAR Follow me on twitter @Larkin8 or of course Become a VIP member and join me as well as our other DFS Army NASCAR contributors (Brady Miller, Taco, and NillyJay) in the NASCAR coaching channels.