Henry 180 (Xfinity)
Road America, Saturday, August 8, 2020
45 laps, 4.048-mile paved track
2019 – 8 of the top 10 finishers started in the top 10. 3 drivers led 10 or more laps. 6 cars didn’t finish the race due to mechanical issues.
2018 – 9 of top 15 started in the top 15. 2 drivers with 10 or more laps led. 9 cars had mechanical issues.
2017 – Oddly enough, only 2 of the top 10 started in the top 10. 3 drivers led 10 or more laps. 6 drivers bowed out with mechanical issues.
2016 – 10 of top 15 started in top 15. 2 drivers led over 10 laps. 7 drivers with mechanical issues.
With only 45 laps, there is a max of 31.75 dominator points available. Thus, we need to prioritize place differential above everything else. Many of the high-priced options will have to win to pay off their salary. At most, I will play 1 driver starting in the top 10 in every lineup. There are several new drivers considered “road course ringers” here. Each of the past 4 years, at least 6 cars have had mechanical issues, which takes me off of some in questionable equipment (looking at you, Tommy Joe Martins). The winner of the race will likely come down to pit strategy. Those who decided to forgo stage points and pit prior to the end of the stage set themselves up for success in the end last year.
$10k and above
AJ Allmendinger (33) – Despite his $12000 price tag, he is easily the best play on this slate. Starting 33rd, he only needs to finish 9th or better to hit value. In his past 6 road course races, he has 5 top 4 finishes. He also had the fastest laps and 2nd most laps led here last year.
Austin Cindric (2) – Of the full-time Xfinity drivers, he is easily the best road course racer with top 3 finishes in 6 of 9 road course races dating back to 2018 and the most laps led over that span as well. Finished 2nd here last year. The main issue I’m having is he has to lead at least 12 laps AND win to pay off or finish the top 5 and dominate over half the race. Unlikely but he is a good dom choice and will probably be chalky.
Justin Allgaier (12) – He has 2nd best average finish (5.4) on road courses since 2018 with 8 top 10s in the past 9 races. He also won here in 2018. Given the PD upside, I rank him above Cindric this week. Beware though: Allgaier is tied for the highest percentage of crashes ending his day early this year.
Chase Briscoe (7) – The best driver overall this season and also won at the Indy road course earlier this year with a driver rating of 145. Still not as good as Cindric or Allgaier at these tracks in my opinion.
Noah Gragson (9) – I honestly don’t want to play him this week, but I am forced to mention him given he has the best average finish (5.2) in his 5 Xfinity road course races so far. However, he has only led 1 lap and is yet to win. My least favorite in this range.
$8k to $10k
Justin Haley (4) – Haley is an underrated road course driver. He has 3 top 10s in 6 races including a 2nd place finish earlier this year at Indy. At last year’s race here, he had the highest driver rating of any of the drivers racing today.
Andy Lally (23) – Though he hasn’t run an Xfinity race since 2018, he hasn’t finished worse than 15th at this track. Need a top 10 finish to pay off salary. He’ll be driving the #02 car normally piloted by Brett Moffitt, which is a 10th-15th place car most weeks. Risky but could be a sneaky play.
Alex Labbe (21) – Another driver needing a top 10 finish to hit value. Has 3 top 10s in the past 7 road course races and an average finish of 12.7. This team did get caught trying to practice their road course package at Daytona a few weeks ago. It may not matter much, but it’s interesting they were working on it that hard.
May also consider: Jeremy Clements(18), Kaz Grala (6), Myatt Snider (29)
Fades: Daniel Hemric, Ross Chastain, Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones
$6k to $8k
Preston Pardus (37) – Starting dead last, I will likely have quite a bit of Pardus today. He finished 10th earlier this year at the Indy road course for the same team in his first start. Needs 21st to achieve 5x value.
Josh Bilicki (30) – This is his first Xfinity start since finishing 23rd at the Indy road course. This is likely a 20th to 25th place car, so he would need some help to hit value, but anything can happen at road courses.
Jade Buford (19) – BJ McLeod is stepping out of his own car to let Buford wheel it. He did finish 14th at the Indy road course, albeit with a different team. This is a 15th-20th place car in terms of speed.
May also consider: RC Enerson (24), Scott Heckert (27), Tommy Joe Martins (36)
Fades: Riley Herbst, Michael Annett, Chad Finchum
$6k and below
Kyle Weatherman (32) – He has had a rough time the past 3 races, but prior to that, he was a consistent threat to overachieve and finish top 15. He finished 15th at the Indy road course earlier this season and only needs a 23rd place finish to pay off. He is also the 2nd highest-rated passer in the series this year.
Bayley Currey (25) – Weatherman’s teammate, Currey, is the top-rated passer in the series this year. Their success has been surprising considering the typically poor performance of Mike Harmon Racing. He did perform poorly at Indy, so risky option but has been running well.
Jesse Little (14) – Little has run around 10th-15th most of the year and finished 18th at Indy earlier in the season. Given his low salary, he can achieve 5x value with a 17th place finish. Punt play I am most comfortable with, considering the other PD options on the board.
May also consider: Joe Graf Jr (26), Mike Wallace (20)
Fades: Jeffrey Earnhardt, Jesse Iwuji, Kody Vanderwal, Stephen Leicht
Whichever high-priced dom you think wins the race
Remember guys, focus on place differential. It will be extremely hard to be optimal with 2 drivers over $9k starting in the top 10 in your lineup as each of them has to win to hit value. If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter (@dsmaybin0308) or join us in the Fantasy Sports Degens Slack chat. Good luck!