DFS Picks for the 2022 Echopark Automotive Grand Prix at COTA

| March 24, 2022 8:08 pm PDT

As crazy as Atlanta was, my DFS lineup wasn’t that bad. Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Chris Buescher finished top 10, while Tyler Reddick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spent time out front. It was an unpredictable race, but we escaped with a solid performance.

This week, we’ll head to COTA as the Cup Series embarks on their first road course race of 2022. Road courses feature varying strategies, so picking a great DFS lineup isn’t easy.

Let’s see what I can do for my DFS lineup at COTA.

Kyle Larson ($10,400)

After a 2021 season where everything went right, it looks like the bad luck has caught up with Kyle Larson. Larson has three DNFs in five races, including last week at Atlanta.

It has been tough sledding, but Larson was money on road courses last season. Check out his finishes.

  • Daytona Road Course: 30th
  • COTA: 2nd
  • Sonoma: 1st
  • Road America: 16th
  • Watkins Glen: 1st
  • Indy RC: 3rd
  • Charlotte Roval: 1st

Road America was the only road course he wasn’t in contention. Larson crashed at the Daytona Road Course while running top-five. He should’ve won at COTA, but the race ended early because of rain. His teammate, Chase Elliott, won the race and is among my top picks for COTA.

Larson’s tough luck should end with a great performance at COTA.

Martin Truex Jr. ($9,700)

The emergence of Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson on road courses has caused people to forget about Martin Truex Jr’s expertise on road courses. He has four wins on the track type, but none since 2019.

Truex had three top 10’s on road courses in 2021. His best performance came at Watkins Glen, as Truex led 34 laps, finishing third.

He had a disappointing 35th-place finish at COTA, but that wasn’t indicative of his speed. Truex was in an early race crash with Cole Custer. Rain was the primary factor as Custer couldn’t see Truex. Rain won’t be a factor on Sunday.

Truex has been quiet in 2022. A road course race is what he needs to get back on track. He should be in contention for another road course victory.

William Byron ($9,300)

We know one driver entering this weekend’s race with momentum is William Byron. Byron picked up his first victory of the season at Atlanta. We don’t talk much about Byron’s road course numbers, but he has been in contention to win multiple races.

It’s misleading to look at Byron’s road course finishes from 2021 because issues prevented him from a good result. Instead, check out his most laps led.

  • Sonoma: 5 laps led
  • Road America: 15 laps led
  • Charlotte Roval: 30 laps led

Byron probably wins at the Charlotte Roval if not for a late caution. He had a big lead but got shuffled back on the ensuing restart.

Hendrick Motorsports has shown plenty of speed with Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. Will Byron become the latest Hendrick Motorsports driver to win on a road course?

A.J. Allmendinger ($8,800)

A.J. Allmendinger is my top pick for the Xfinity Series at COTA. Allmendinger is a former full-time Cup Series driver, but he returns to the series for road course races. Last season, Allmendinger didn’t waste his opportunities.

He had issues at Road America and the Charlotte Roval, but check out his other finishes.

  • Daytona Road Course: 7th
  • COTA: 5th
  • Indy RC: 1st

The Indy RC had a wild finish that saw many front runners crash. In the end, Allmendinger snuck through the carnage to score his second career Cup Series victory. That wasn’t his first great finish, as he scored a top-five at COTA.

This will be his first Cup Series start of 2022. Allmendinger should have enough speed to run in the top 10, and could compete for another top-five finish.

Michael McDowell ($6,200) 

Michael McDowell has been a non-factor this season. He finished seventh in the Daytona 500, but he’s riding a streak of four straight finishes outside the top 20. That streak should end at COTA.

McDowell has always been a solid road course racer. Check out his best results from the 2021 season.

  • Daytona Road Course: 7th
  • COTA: 8th

He led three laps at COTA, scoring a seventh-place finish. DFS players would love to see McDowell replicate that performance on Sunday. If you go back to 2019, his eighth-place finish at COTA concluded a stretch of four finishes of 12th or better in five road course races.

McDowell hasn’t been able to replicate that, but a 10th to 15th place finish could go a long way for DFS players.

Todd Gilliland ($5,600)

Todd Gilliland is a very intriguing option this week. Gilliland has a pair of top 20 finishes this season, which is good for someone in his position. This will be his first road course race in the Cup Series.

We saw Gilliland excel on road courses in the Truck Series last year. Check out his numbers at COTA and Watkins Glen.

  COTA Watkins Glen
Finishing Position 1st 4th
Laps Led 8 18

He didn’t lead many laps at COTA, but Gilliland ran away from the field. Gilliland led the final six laps, winning the race by almost eight seconds. He looked strong early at Watkins Glen but fell back to fourth.

It’ll be interesting to see how his Truck Series success carries over to the Cup Series. Will he compete for a top 10 finish?

My DFS Lineup for the 2022 Echopark Automotive Grand Prix

  • Kyle Larson ($10,400)
  • Martin Truex Jr. ($9,700)
  • William Byron ($9,300)
  • A.J. Allmendinger ($8,800)
  • Michael McDowell ($6,200)
  • Todd Gilliland ($5,600)

I feel pretty confident with this DFS lineup. Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., and William Byron have a strong chance to compete for the victory and score a top-five finish. Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland could surprise people with a top 15 finish.

The top NASCAR betting sites have a ton of value for this week’s race at COTA. Check them out to place your bets for Sunday’s race.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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