This Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to the legendary Talladega Superspeedway for the 30th annual Ag-Pro 300. My NASCAR DFS picks for DraftKings will be.. interesting. It’s fucking Talladega, baby.
I will not be attending the race weekend, sadly. But, fear not. I will be shot-gunning beers with the loyal Garage Fam at Nashville, Indy, Daytona, Talladega in the fall, and possibly many more.
So, let’s just get on with what I’m keeping in mind heading into the weekend.
Justin Haley’s emergence as the best plate-racer in the field should have the competition very concerned as he has won the last two races at Talladega. He seems undervalued at $9,200 via DraftKings.
Haley’s teammate, AJ Allmendinger, is the highest-priced driver in the field at $10,600.
At a racetrack with seemingly nothing but complete chaos and uncertainties, we have to find what is most likely to be certain. Obviously, that is incredibly difficult to come by.
With that being said, there are a few trends that point to some potential “certainties’.
The low-priced guys are your friends this weekend.
Looking at the last five Talladega races, here’s a list of unexpected drivers that have accrued Top 15 finishes:
Josh Williams, Garrett Smithley, Alex Labbe, Chad Finchum, Caesar Bacarella, Timmy Hill, Tommy Joe Martins, Gray Gaulding, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chris Cockrum, David Starr, Landon Cassill, Jeff Green, and JJ Yeley.
Drivers on this tier have exceptional point paying opportunities because of their standard starting positions in the rear of the field.
Team Chevy is dominant.
Historically, Chevy owns this track. They also account for five of the last six wins here at Talladega. If not for Chase Briscoe leading so many laps at this race last season, Chevy drivers would have a staggering command on the total number of laps led here over the past five races.
It would be bold to bet against Kaulig Racing and JR Motorsports.
With the exception of Daytona this season, with Austin Cindric winning, JR and Kaulig have absolutely run the show at the restrictor plate races. JR is on a bit of a winning drought even with all their successes. Don’t be surprised if that drought ends this weekend.
Hold your breath everybody. This is one of the most stressful races of the year as a bettor. But, we have no choice. We will find success.
It’s ‘Dega. All of my senses are feeling unbelievably American. I’ll be throwing down some Natural Light pilsners, wherever that may be.
Let’s get into my “‘Dega dart throws”.
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NASCAR DFS Xfinity Picks For DraftKings
AJ Allmendinger: #16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet – $10,600
You’re gonna see some familiar faces on this one- the first being ole AJ. Allmendinger is driving for the hottest team on plate races right now, and finds success at Daytona and Talladega in part of his aggression throughout the entire race.
I would expect AJ to mix it up early and get to the front. Don’t be surprised if he leads the most laps and gets his second win of the 2021 campaign.
Harrison Burton: #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota – $8,500
I love Harrison Burton. He is always slept on at the plate tracks. Now look, his Talladega resume is not good. He’s been snake bitten.
But, at Daytona, I loved what I saw out of Burton and the #20. He was so close to passing Cindric for the win and finished in the Top 5. I think Burton is a sneaky good play for Saturday.
Noah Gragson: #9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet – $10,000
This layout is almost identical to my article last week. But, I can’t argue with my reasonings. I’m on the Gragson train for the 37th time this year, and the stats don’t lie.
In four Talladega starts in the Xfinity Series, Gragson’s worst finish is 11th. Gragson is a guy who proved he can get it done at the superspeedways with a win at Daytona in 2020. I love Gragson as someone who can go and flat-out dominate this race on Saturday.
Additionally, I love Michael Annett ($8,600) as well, and the JR Motorsports fleet is always one to keep an eye on when the series races at Talladega.
Joe Graf Jr.: #07 Green Light Racing Chevrolet – $5,700
Graf has been in the news recently due to his on and off-track scuffles with Gray Gaulding a couple of weeks ago. But I have a good feeling Graf could make the news in a positive connotation after this weekend.
Graf’s price tag is too appealing. He’s in a racecar that is certainly faster and more reliable than many of his competitors in his tier. He has a much lower chance of a mechanical failure than many of those mentioned competitors, and if he stays out of the wrecks, he has an awesome chance to provide your lineup with an optimal punt play.
Natalie Decker: #23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet – $6,000
Please. Please just keep the car in one piece. If you do this, you will have a very good day.
Natalie is starting P38. If she can (for the Love of God (Dale Earnhardt)) keep her car in one piece, I think she will finish in the Top 25. PLEASE!
It’s a gamble. But I’m willing to take it for the love of ‘Dega. Also, women actually have a solid history of finishes at this track throughout all three NASCAR series. I’m riding with Natalie (gulp).
Justin Haley: #11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet – $9,200
I’m not sleeping on this man anymore. I missed out on all three of his superspeedway wins last year. I learned my lesson. He has the chance to do something very special and difficult to do in any NASCAR series this weekend.
3 straight wins at Talladega.
Haley is a restrictor plate master already. He even swooped into the Cup Series and stole a Daytona win while driving a 2015 Dodge Journey.
Seriously, his car was a hand-grenade. But, he played the field and caught the rain while leading, and the rest is history.
Haley won’t need any rain to find the front this weekend. I will be playing a good bit of Justin. He will be strong and battling for the lead throughout the entire race. Pencil him in as a great pick to win his third straight ‘Dega race.