To celebrate Independence weekend in the United States, NASCAR heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for the 4.048-mile Road America Motorsport Road Course. Drivers will have the challenge of left and right turns on the longest course the Circuit currently runs on. Road America boasts 14 turns and a couple of very long straightaways that should lead to some action-packed racing.
Kyle Busch won this event last year but is not entered to race this weekend. Cup Series regulars on the entry list include Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, and Ty Dillion. Another notable entry is that of Truck Series regular and former Cup driver John Hunter Nemechek.
Kyle Larson in the Hendrick Motorsports entry snagged the pole Friday evening and will start from the 1st position on Saturday. Ty Gibbs, Riley Herbst, Cole Custer, and Sam Mayer round out the Top-5 starting spots. This is very important to note while building your DraftKings and other fantasy lineups. This race is only 45-laps long, and with the track being so long, a lot can happen on each lap.
NASHVILLE RECAP: The concrete king performed royally for us at Nashville superspeedway! Justin Allgaier won convincingly after a dominant day leading 134 of the 188 laps on the day. Trevor Bayne, the part-time Xfinity Series driver and youngest Daytona 500 winner in history, came in second.
The Nashville heat was so intense that several drivers had to be taken to the infield care center directly after the race. Noah Gragson vomited inside of his helmet in the waning laps, and Natalie Decker was seen collapsing onto a stretcher as she exited her car. All drivers were treated and released with a clean bill of health.
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NASCAR Xfinity Best Bets: Henry 180 At Road America
Austin Hill Over Sheldon Creed (-120)
Both of these Truck Series greats have moved into full-time action for 2022. It’s been a rocky season for both, but Hill’s luck has turned around and he’s been getting solid finishes. Both drivers have proven their worth on road courses so this is just simply a case of taking the more consistent teammate.
AJ Allmendinger Over Ty Gibbs (-110)
Two very solid road course racers here. The Portland race showed us, Gibbs, dominating for a while but eventually, it was the veteran Allmendinger who was there when it mattered. I’m very big on AJ this weekend in both races.
Dinger has experience on this track in all types of cars with a heavy background in road course racing. He’s won both Xfinity races on road courses this season. Gibbs is much more prone to being great but then making the big mistake that could cost him the head-to-head in those final four miles.
To Win: AJ Allmendinger (+600)
This is an overreaction to Allmendinger starting last. Before qualifying AJ was 4/1 now he has dropped to 6/1. I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks up 10-15 spots in the first lap of this race. Will he be able to catch Kyle Larson is probably the biggest question, But there is a good chance for an overtime finish here and if that happens, give me AJ.
To Win Longshot: Sam Mayer (+2000)
Mayer has come so close to getting that first Xfinity Series win, and It’s only a matter of time before it happens. He’s in that JRM equipment which we all know is the best there is. If he’s able to keep it a clean race and be in the mix at the end (or if chaos ensues and he can keep it clean) we could see Mayer hoisting that trophy.
NASCAR Xfinity DraftKings DFS Picks: Henry 180 At Road America
DFS Top Play: AJ Allmendinger ($11,300)
Allmendinger is a virtual lock for your fantasy lineups today. His car had a braking issue and the team was unable to get it fixed before qualifying. Allmendinger did not post a qualifying lap and will start dead last in the 38th position.
Garage Guy Chase joined me on the NASCAR GAMBLING PODCAST and we both expressed our love for AJ in this race. He’ll have an uphill battle, but if you have to pick someone to fight that battle, he’s the guy!
Great Play: John Hunter Nemechek ($8,600)
Another very chalky play, but again a driver with great talent. He also has a good car starting near the back. A poor qualifying lap leads to a 35th place starting position for the driver of the #26 Sam Hunt Racing car.
Nemechek is a veteran driver and solid road course racer. Look for him to work his way through the field and give you that solid place differential.
Solid Play: Miguel Paludo ($8,500)
Paludo is a sports car racer hailing from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Paludo is a 4-time Porsche GT3 Champion, most recently in 2020. The veteran sports car racer was in this same JRM #88 entry at COTA and scored the 9th place finish.
His qualifying effort wasn’t great (he Starts 25th), but this allows for solid place differential points.
Value Play: Joe Graff Jr ($4,900)
This is really digging at the bottom of the pile. Most might not come down this far with some of the obvious place differential plays being a little cheaper, but this could be a place to make your lineup different.
Graff Jr was able to score a 21st finishing position at Portland just two races ago. Starting 37th, he has a very low floor, but the potential for a higher ceiling if he plays his cards right.