DFS Picks for the 2022 Wise Power 400 at Auto Club
Setting your DFS lineup for a superspeedway race is always treacherous. Bubba Wallace nearly won the Daytona 500, but he was my only driver in the top 10. Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wrecked while running in the top 15.
The NASCAR Cup Series shifts its focus to Auto Club. The 2.0-mile track will host an event for the first time since 2020. We should see less carnage, so hopefully, we’ll have a better time with our DFS lineup.
Here is my top lineup for Sunday’s race.
Ryan Blaney ($10,000)
Ryan Blaney came oh so close to winning his first Daytona 500. He almost passed teammate Austin Cindric, but a late block dropped him to fourth. This week, Blaney will aim to pick up his first victory at Auto Club.
Following a 35th-place finish in his first start at Auto Club, Blaney put together three straight top 10 finishes.
- 2017: 9th
- 2018: 8th
- 2019: 5th
In the 2020 race, Blaney was neck and neck with Alex Bowman. Blaney led 54 laps, winning stage two. He came up short, but it looked like he’d at least finish second. Unfortunately, he pitted late with a tire issue, relegating him to 19th.
He continues to improve at Auto Club. I feel good about Blaney’s chances to lead laps and score a great finish on Sunday.
Alex Bowman ($9,000)
An early crash in the Daytona 500 left Alex Bowman out of contention. That seems like the theme of his Daytona 500s, but hopefully, he can put that behind him.
Bowman didn’t do anything noteworthy in his first four starts at Auto Club. However, he came through with a dominant performance in 2020.
- Starting Position: 3rd
- Finishing Position: 1st
- Laps Led: 118 of 200
Bowman was fast all weekend, and it took him less than 15 laps to lead. He won stage one before falling behind Ryan Blaney. Bowman reclaimed the lead in stage three and never looked back.
We don’t typically see Bowman dominate races. However, he can run up front and lead laps. Bowman did it at Auto Club in 2020, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did it again.
Kurt Busch ($8,800)
Kurt Busch’s 23XI Racing tenure didn’t get off to the best start. He was never in contention, and a late-race crash relegated him to a 19th-place finish at Daytona. A trip to Auto Club could jump-start his season.
He started on the pole and stayed in the top-five the entire race. He was sitting pretty, leading the race on the final lap, but Brad Keselowski came out of nowhere on four fresh tires. Busch led 65 laps, finishing second.
Busch finished third at Auto Club in 2020. Last season, he was one of the best drivers in total speed at high-wear tracks. Hopefully, that’ll carry over to 2022.
Brad Keselowski ($8,600)
Brad Keselowski might not have won the Daytona 500, but he drew headlines for his aggression. Nonetheless, he had one of the best cars, leading a race-high 67 laps. He came up short at Daytona, but Auto Club represents an excellent chance to bounce back.
Keselowski has been on quite an impressive run at Auto Club. Check out his last six finishes.
- 2015: 1st
- 2016: 9th
- 2017: 2nd
- 2018: 4th
- 2019: 3rd
- 2020: 5th
He was running around the back half of the top 10 for much of the 2015 race. However, a late pit stop gave him fresher tires than the leaders. Keselowski passed Kurt Busch on the final lap to score the victory. In 2019, he led 42 laps, finishing third.
I have his teammate, Chris Buescher, as a longshot for Auto Club. It could be a big day for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.
Austin Dillon ($7,800)
Like most drivers, Austin Dillon ran into trouble in the Daytona 500. He’ll also aim to rebound with a good finish at Auto Club.
Dillon has been good, not great at Auto Club. In seven starts, he has four finishes of 10th or 11th. It’s not great, but it’s optimal for someone in his price range. I’d also like to show his best starting position at the track.
- 2016: 1st
- 2018: 5th
- 2019: 1st
Typically, starting up front isn’t good for DFS. However, starting on the pole typically leads to laps led. I’m not saying he’ll replicate that this week, but it’s within the realm of possibilities.
Dillon showed speed on high wear tracks in 2021. A top 10 finish would go a long way for DFS players.
Corey Lajoie ($5,100)
I was all over Corey Lajoie as a sleeper last week. He almost came through with a top 10 run, but we’ll take a 14th-place finish at Daytona. It’ll be tougher to have that performance at Auto Club, but it could happen.
Lajoie has done nothing at Auto Club. He has three finishes of 29th or worse, but that’s not why I’m putting him in my DFS lineup. Last season, Lajoie had a 24.9 average finish. Check out his best results on high-wear tracks.
- Darlington: 22nd
- Atlanta: 22nd
- Darlington: 15th
He outperformed his seasonal average, including an impressive 15th place finish at Darlington. It’s hard to find someone in this price range that can finish in the 15-20 range. Lajoie should be a great option at the bottom of your lineup.
My DFS Lineup for the 2022 Wise Power 400
- Ryan Blaney ($10,000)
- Alex Bowman ($9,000)
- Kurt Busch ($8,800)
- Brad Keselowski ($8,600)
- Austin Dillon ($7,800)
- Corey Lajoie ($5,100)
It’ll be tough to pick a DFS lineup for the first few races because we don’t know which drivers will succeed in the Next-Gen car. I’m relying on a mix of Auto Club success and 2021 stats to make my selections.
Sunday’s Cup Series race isn’t your only NASCAR betting opportunity. Make sure you check out my Xfinity Series picks for Auto Club.