Noah Gragson became the first driver since Sam Ard in 1983 to win 4 Xfinity Series races in a row. 4 was quite the task and 5 will be even harder considering Talladega is next up on the schedule. Texas Motor Speedway provided a chaotic weekend of racing. Saturday’s Xfinity race featured a huge wreck that took out a few contenders including John Hunter Nemechek who I wrote about last week and looked like he was going to win that race.
Talladega is the 2nd race in the round of 12 for the Xfinity Series. Noah Gragson has already punched his ticket into the round of 8 via his win at Texas. Points will be very important this weekend, more important will be avoiding the chaos. When “the big one” hits and tons of cars wreck out, surviving is the key. Anyone can win this race, and anyone can pay off in DFS, don’t feel like you need to use all of your salary because you don’t, and more so this week than any other, expect to lose, tighten your seatbelt and enjoy the wild ride that is Talladega.
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NASCAR Xfinity DraftKings DFS Picks
DFS Top Play: Riley Herbst ($9,100)
Herbst will roll off from the 23rd starting position Saturday. This is a great place to start your lineups, Herbst offers the place differential you’ll need. He always has a good track record on superspeedways this year. Kicking the season off with a 4th place at Daytona, another 4th place finish at Atlanta, 7th at the first race here at Talladega, 9th the second time at Atlanta, and 15th a few races ago at Daytona. This proves Herbst has what it takes to avoid trouble and put himself in a position to score a solid day. One warning, Herbst will be a highly rostered driver. So if you are entering a few different lineups leave him out of some to be different from the field.
Great Play: Timmy Hill ($6,900)
Checking in at a very nice $6,900 price tag hill is almost a must-play. Starting 36th he’s got a safe floor without the downside of negative points. We talked about Hill this week on the NASCAR GAMBLING PODCAST and his superior ability to be very smart and navigate his way through these races. You won’t see him mixing it up for the lead all race long, he’ll run a smart clean race near the back and avoid the wrecks best he can. In 20 career Xfinity starts at Talladega and Daytona Hill has never finished worse than 29th and has 9 top 15 starts including a 2nd place finish at Daytona a few weeks ago.
Value Play: Brandon Brown ($7,300)
Brown is another driver similar to Hill that races for a family-owned team and is very smart about staying out of trouble and running the race to be there at the end. While the spring race didn’t go that way for Brown with a 30th place result, he won here last year, and in his 5 other career starts at Talladega Brown has finished 15th or better. A few weeks ago it was another 4th place finish at Daytona for Brown. Brandon is also making his final scheduled start for his family-owned team, an emotional aspect that will have Brown fighting even harder for a solid finish.
NASCAR Xfinity Best Bets
Riley Herbst Over Daniel Hemric (-115)
Head to heads are tougher to bet in superspeedway races. However, this is a clear mismatch of drivers if we are looking at their finishes on this style of track this year. Herbst has beaten Hemric in 4 of the 5 races in 2022 with the lone exception of the second Atlanta race where Hemric bested Herbst by just 4 positions. Hemric has finishes of 28th, 35th, 34th, 5th and 19th on superspeedways this year. The reigning series champion has had a pretty disappointing season and I don’t expect much of a different result at Talladega.
Top Toyota Timmy Hill (+1500) or Jeffery Earnhardt (+1800)
One of the most fun parts of betting superspeedways is you can just sprinkle partial unit bets on some different long shots and have a better chance than normal of them happening. There are only 7 Toyotas in the field for this race. While 3 of them are Joe Gibbs Racing cars, they don’t have the normal advantage of a regular track.
One mistake by them, or someone around them can cost them their day. I talked above about Hill and his ability to avoid chaos. Earnhardt finished 2nd here in the spring, he was in an RCR car at the time and this weekend is in an Emerling-Gase ride. This doesn’t concern me as much as it would on a non-superspeedway. If either or both of these guys can keep it clean throughout the day this bet has a great chance of hitting.
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To Win: Austin Hill (+800)
Hill has been the darling of superspeedway racing this season in the Xfinity Series. With wins at Daytona and Atlanta, along with another 2nd place finish at the first Atlanta race Hill has this style of racing figured out. He led 67 laps in the spring here and is a sneaky DFS play as well. A very very low floor starting on the pole, but he won’t be highly rostered and if he can survive the chaos. We could see that RCR #21 lead quite a few laps on his way to winning this race.
To Win Long-Shot: Ryan Sieg (+3000)
If you’ve read these articles often, you know I can’t help but have one of these Sieg cars in here somewhere. Sieg has finished in the top 6 at Talladega 4 times including a 2nd place finish here in October of 2020. Sieg has come so close so many times to the first superspeedway win, maybe this is the weekend.