Credit Karma Money 250 (Xfinity)

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Saturday, July 11, 2021

Welcome back, Speed Degens, to another NASCAR DFS breakdown! Today, the Xfinity Series will descend upon Atlanta Motor Speedway. A steep, high tire wear intermediate track for some racing action. There are 163 laps scheduled, meaning there are approximately 110 hog points available. This is also the first track, with a second race on the schedule in 2021. So let’s get to the picks!

Drivers to Target

$10k and above

Kyle Busch (1) – He should dominate this race barring any penalties or mechanical issues. In his 4 Xfinity races this season, he has won the race and ranked 1st in driver rating in all 4. The last two times he raced in the Xfinity Series at Atlanta, he won, racking 72 hog points across those two races. He’s the best driver in the field in the best car and starting on the pole. Plus, we’ve seen him priced above $15000 at times. So lock him in and move on.

Justin Allgaier (8) – While he isn’t terrible at 1.5-mile tracks, Allgaier typically finds more success on the short tracks. However, he won at Darlington and Atlanta earlier this season, both of which have high tire wear. Coming back to Atlanta after ranking 1st in driver rating in the spring, I expect him to contend for a top 3 finish. He picked up 26 hog points en route to his spring victory but hadn’t eclipsed five hog points in the previous five Atlanta races. Either way, he’s a strong bet for 5x value.

**Note: I will likely be underweight on Austin Cindric. While he is very fast, I can’t play everyone, and he doesn’t have a finish better than 7th in his past 4 Atlanta races. Also, he ranked only 8th in driver rating at Darlington. AJ Allmendinger won’t pick up the hog points he needs to pay off his salary, and Josh Berry has limited upside in his Jordan Anderson Racing machine.

$8k to $10k

Ty Dillon (30) – He’s not in the JGR car, but he’s still a strong play, in my opinion, given his place differential upside. Dillon will be in the Our Motorsports #23 car. I know what you’re thinking; that car was 9 seconds off the pace on every lap last week at Road America! That was because Natalie Decker was behind the wheel and is terrible at driving. Dillon’s teammate, Brett Moffitt, has run around 10th to 12th in most races this season. A 12th place finish is all we need for 5x value.

Noah Gragson (9) – Gragson appears to be turning things around the past few weeks with four straight top 10 finishes. Atlanta is the type of track where I love targeting him. Homestead, Atlanta, and Darlington fit the mold of high-banked, high tire wear intermediate tracks. He had driver rating rankings of 1st, 4th, and 4th in those races this season. He finds success running a high line that few drivers choose to run. He’s a similar play to Allgaier, but with a $1400 discount.

Harrison Burton (5) – If you haven’t seen it already, go look up Burton’s paint scheme this weekend. You won’t be disappointed. At first, I thought he was starting too high for consideration, but with no hog points and a 2nd place finish, he can achieve the 5x value we’re looking for. He has finishes of 3rd and 5th in his past two Atlanta races and has ranked top 5 in driver rating at most intermediate tracks this season. I like the others I’ve mentioned more, but he’s a strong pivot.

**Note: I may consider playing Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones. They are in strong equipment and can never be counted out. Hemric has a top pit crew in the series and has ranked the top 5 in driver rating in 10 races this season. However, he will need some hog points to pay off his salary, and they’ve been hard to come by for him in races with Kyle Busch. I never like playing Jones, but he has top 5 upside if he doesn’t wreck.

$6k to $8k

Jeb Burton (11) – I don’t think Jeb will carry much ownership, but he’s too cheap, in my opinion. He’s in a Kaulig Racing car, which is elite equipment in this series. He started the season solid with three straight top 5s and five straight top 10s and has since been up and down. Burton was running 6th at Atlanta earlier this season when calamity struck. He pays off with a 9th place finish, which is easily attainable, barring issues.

Ryan Sieg (16) – If Sieg would let the race come to him instead of forcing moves, he would have much more success. If Sieg’s crew chief stopped making strategic moves just for the sake of being different, he would have much more success. He’s averaged an 11th place driver rating in the high tire wear races this season and now provides some PD upside. I wouldn’t be surprised by a top 10 finish, but I’d be happy with 12th.

Jeffrey Earnhardt (37) – It’s shocking to see Earnhardt priced this high, but it was to be expected after missing the race at Road America. The races with qualifying have been detrimental to Earnhardt and his team, likely due to most of them being road courses where he doesn’t excel. The good part is that it kept him from crashing another car and saved money that could be put toward this week. Starting 37th, he has top 20 potential, though 25th is more likely. He is a little overpriced, but the place differential is hard to pass up.

**Note: Brett Moffitt, Riley Herbst, Michael Annett, and Jeremy Clements are acceptable pivots in this range.

$6k and below

Kyle Weatherman (38) – He’s extreme boom-or-bust, but he’s the only punt down here that I feel comfortable playing. His ceiling at the moment is likely around a 25th place finish, but that would be 6x value. Given the salary relief he provides, he’s the strongest play in this range. However, mechanical issues can be prevalent with these backmarker cars, so don’t be too overweight on him.

Jade Buford (27) – I’m not a big fan of playing Buford on steep oval tracks, considering road courses are his specialty. However, he has top 20 upside and provides another punt option if needed. 

Final Thoughts

The spring race at Atlanta featured two drivers priced above $20k and two drivers below $6k in the optimal lineup. While I don’t believe that will happen this week, playing two top drivers is likely the route I will go; I just don’t want to double punt if I don’t have to. In that optimal lineup, all drivers achieved a 6x value. Starting positions for the six drivers were 18, 6, 35, 36, 20, 37. This shows that place differential and choosing the right dominator are essential to success. Though Kyle Busch was not in that race, Martin Truex Jr. was and had the fastest car all day.

Cash Core: Busch/Dillon/Weatherman

GPP Core: Busch/Gragson/J. Burton

**BONUS: Here are my favorite PrizePicks (in order) for today’s race!

  • Kyle Busch OVER 39.75 fpts
  • Noah Gragson OVER 33.5 fpts
  • AJ Allmendinger OVER 34.0 fpts
  • Harrison Burton OVER 33.5 fpts
  • Austin Cindric UNDER 34.5 fpts

Best of luck today! If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter (@dsmaybin0308)!