NASCAR DFS Picks: O’Reilly Auto Parts 253

NASCAR DFS PIcks O'Reilly Auto Parts 253

Article Overview:

Welcome to Left Turns – The NASCAR DFS picks write-up at Top Flight Fantasy Sports. Besides this article, we at Top Flight Fantasy Sports have the DraftKings NASCAR Control Tower & FanDuel NASCAR Control Tower putting tons of stats, projections, and proprietary grades in everyone’s hands. We also have a NASCAR DraftKings Optimizer & NASCAR FanDuel Optimizer that will be a huge help with all of the MME this season. And let’s be real about this – NASCAR is an MME sport. I know not everyone can play MME, so below I give you the plays I like best every week. You can use these plays as your core for MME as well.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Race Details:

Track: Daytona International Speedway Road Course

Type: Road Course (3.56 miles)

Time: Sunday, February 21, 2020 @ 3 pm EST 

Apparently my hope that we would see qualifying and practice went out the window after the first week with race number two, still in Daytona, having no practice or qualifying.

Here’s the scoop. This track was raced on for the first time last season and then again this week for the Clash race. That’s the history we have for this track. That’s going to make us rely heavily on the road courses in the circuit for the last couple of seasons to determine who we can use if drivers do not stand out from those 2 races, and since the clash race was only 21 cars, we can’t pull a ton from that race either.

In road races, we have a pretty boring race historically, but that hasn’t really been the case here. There’s been a lot of passing for the faster cars here than at other road courses. That means we can look at those drivers further back if we want to. We have a few no brainer drivers to select this week for sure though. Don’t pick a driver starting in the top 10 unless you expect them to be in the top 3 at the finish of the race.

The Dominators

These are your higher price drivers for NASCAR DFS. Depending on the race, and where they are starting, they are more than likely chalk. 

There’s a big name here, and he comes with a big salary on both sites. His name is Chase Elliott. Chase starts this race from the pole, and there’s a good possibility that he finishes the race here. In his last 10 regular season road courses, Chase has dominated with 5 wins adding in another top 5 and 2 more top 10 finishes. He was also leading the Clash race before he was spun out. He should be the highest owned driver this weekend.

From there, I think we have to like Martin Truex Jr. starting way back in 19th. Starting in the middle of the pack bodes well because he has the driving capability and the speed to really make moves and get to the front so we can benefit from him place differential. He showed this in the Clash race earlier this month when he made his way from 18th to 1st at one point before his race ended early. Historically, he’s done well on road courses with 3 top finishes, 3 more top 5s, and 2 top 10s.

Kyle Busch is another name we should see a bunch of based on his 1st place finish here in the Clash race. Busch will start this one from the 14th position, similar to his Clash start position (16th) and though it took a mishap for him to take the win, there’s no question that he’s capable of making his way to the top.

I think Ryan Blaney will be overlooked and it’s a gut feeling. Blaney was fighting with Elliott in the clash race when they spun out. In that race he was penalized twice, only to fight his way back to the front. Blaney has a win , with 3 top 5, and 3 top 10 finishes at road courses in his last 10. I’ll be playing him starting 27th for sure!


AJ Allmendinger gets a slight nod here if you want to play a little contrarian. He’s become a bit of a specialist on road courses and has raced here a couple of times on the Xfinity circuit. He’s starting pretty far back in 34th, but knows this course pretty well. A top 15 isn’t out of the question, but that’s a lot of money to spend for that finish. He had a bit of controversy in the Xfinity race, and if he happens to be spun at some point by a Penske driver I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised.

The Contenders

The mid-range drivers for NASCAR DFS. These drivers have top 5 potential and will often see some decent ownership. 

Seeing Alex Bowman starting all the way back in 36th should make for a good start this week. He is a decent road course driver and finished 12th here after starting 27th last season as well as a 7th place finish in the clash race a couple weeks ago. He has a top 10 finish in 4 of his last 8 road courses.

I like Kurt Busch this week as he’s shown a real knack for finishing well on road courses too. Busch will be starting 17th in this one, and he has 7 top 10 finishes on road courses in his last 10. He has the best place differential on road courses out of all of the drivers in the last 10 races as well!

I’m going to throw Chase Briscoe into the mix here as well. We’ve seen some of these young guys really make impressions in their rookie seasons. Briscoe led 25% of all road course laps last season in Xfinity and has 2 road course wins in 3 seasons. He’s starting 18th.

The Pack

Your lower tier priced players on both sites. These guys more than likely won’t win the race. Here we will target drivers who will get us points through Place Differential for NASCAR DFS.

We have a couple of drivers who’s names shouldn’t surprise you at all if you follow NASCAR.

First, Michael McDowell, winner of the Daytona 500 last week, will be starting 2nd at a road course. I mention this every road course race, but McDowell used to be an instructor at a driving school for exactly this type of course. That doesn’t mean he’s the best driver, but it means he knows what he’s doing. I can picture him sticking around the top in this one, but I can totally understand the fade here as well.

I seem to put this guy in my article every week, but Chris Buescher is great at road races. He has a 15th place average finish in his last 10 road courses. That’s pretty impressive considering the price we are paying for him.  He’s starting back in 30th, so if he can even get us a 20th place finish we’re getting a good return on him. I’d definitely spend down for him over a driver like Matt DiBenedetto who will probably net you the same points this week

This last one is going to be Aric Almirola. Almirola isn’t the typical selection on a road course, but he’s shown great speed and ability over the last year that has really opened my eyes to his racing. He will be starting 26th, and in his last 9 road course races, he has 2 top 10 finishes. If you look deeper though you’ll find that he has top 16 finishes in 5 of his last 6.

The Yellow Flags 

These are your deep punts – use with caution! They will help you fit the high-price drivers but may not do much more for NASCAR DFS. Minimize their use in your lineups. Do not use in cash!

No need to punt this one in my opinion. None of those guys will help this week


Good luck and have fun but remember that NASCAR is an extremely volatile sport. Never go a full 100% on any driver.

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Jeff Talbot

Jeff Talbot writes articles for both NFL & NASCAR. He is a member of the FSWA and is an avid player of all Daily Fantasy Sports. Find him on DraftKings and FanDuel @boottmills. Find him on Twitter @BoottmillsDFS