Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2023 Enjoy Illinois 300

After enduring a long Memorial Day weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Madison, Illinois, for some much warmer weather at World Wide Technology Raceway.

See which drivers you should consider placing in your daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings lineups for the Enjoy Illinois 300, airing Sunday, June 4, at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

WWT Raceway, commonly known as Gateway, is a mostly flat racetrack at 1.25 miles in length. However, it’s not a normal oval; it’s shaped more like an egg, with smaller and tighter turns 1 and 2.

Last year was the first time the Cup Series took on the Midwestern racetrack, with Joey Logano finding his way to the front and winning the race. Also, it’s where Denny Hamlin‘s and Ross Chastain’s rivalry started, with Hamlin doing everything he could to prevent Chastain from passing him after the No. 1 made contact with the No. 11, sending him into the wall.

With so little data from the track to go off of, this weekend’s practice and qualifying sessions will be extra important. See which cars are fastest over the long run as well as who wins the pole. Last year, whoever got out front on pit road was able to lead laps. Even Michael McDowell held the position for 34 circuits.

Other races you can look at are Phoenix Raceway and Martinsville Speedway, two mostly flat, smaller tracks with little tire wear.

Before I move on to my picks for WWT Raceway, let’s see the results from Charlotte Motor Speedway:

DraftKings SalaryDriverDraftKings Score
$11,000Kyle Larson-2.6
$9,700Chase Elliott-19.5
$8,300Bubba Wallace44.35
$8,100Ty Gibbs9.9
$6,300AJ Allmendinger42.45
$5,500Corey LaJoie34

The good news is, Bubba Wallace, AJ Allmendinger and Corey LaJoie had strong fantasy scores on DraftKings. The bad news is that Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Ty Gibbs didn’t. Larson and Gibbs were collected in a crash in which the No. 5 spun around and Gibbs had nowhere to go.

Elliott, meanwhile, retaliated against Hamlin and wrecked both cars, with Hamlin getting the worst of it. Elliott’s now out of the race this weekend, and LaJoie, who finished 17th last week, will hop in the No. 9. Carson Hocevar will drive the No. 7; Hocevar was one lap down in eighth in the Xfinity Series race with Spire Motorsports.

Here’s a closer look at the DraftKings scoring rules …

The winner on the racetrack tallies 45 points, while second place gets 42, third 41 and so on. 10th place scores 34, while 11th gets 32 and decreases by one from there through 20th. This pattern repeats for 21st through 30th and again from 31st through 40th.

Additionally, drivers can earn or lose a point depending on where they began the race. For example, if William Byron started third and won, he would gain two points in addition to his finishing position points, totaling 47 fantasy points.

Drivers also can earn .45 points for each fastest lap and .25 for each lap they lead.

NASCAR DraftKings Scoring

Also, I’m hosting a free NASCAR DraftKings league that runs each week for the Cup Series only. It’s free to join, but as of now it’s just for bragging rights. You’ll get to compete against me and some of my colleagues here at Frontstretch.

Here is the link to the league:

2023 Frontstretch NASCAR DraftKings League

Now, here are my picks for WWT Raceway!

DraftKings Picks: Top Tier

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,300)
Career at WWT Raceway: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10
Average finish at WWT Raceway: 6.0

I’m going with Martin Truex Jr. because of how well he’s done in a few recent short tracks this year. He earned his first win in over a year at Dover Motor Speedway, leading 68 laps en route to the victory. He also led 145 laps at the other egg-shaped track on the schedule, Darlington Raceway, but ended up crashing out late in the race.

Additionally, at Martinsville he came home third, while at Richmond Raceway he placed 11th after leading 56 circuits. 

Last season at Gateway, the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing driver held the first position for 42 laps before ultimately finishing in sixth place. It’s these results and stats that show Truex may be one to beat if he has a fast car this weekend.

Ryan Blaney ($10,100)
Career at WWT Raceway: 1 start, 0 wins, 1 top five, 1 top 10
Average finish at WWT Raceway: 4.0

Like Truex earlier this year, Ryan Blaney also brought home his first victory in some time, claiming the checkered flag last week in the Coca-Cola 600. But he’s had several good results prior to that triumph; he placed third at Dover and drove from 31st to seventh at Martinsville. At Phoenix, the No. 12 was runner-up after starting in eighth place.

At WWT Raceway in 2022, Blaney earned a fourth-place finish and he led 12 laps. And to close out the season, he finished in third at the Paperclip and second in the championship race at Phoenix. Don’t count out Blaney to go back-to-back on two very different track types.

Ross Chastain ($9,600)
Career at WWT Raceway: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10
Average finish at WWT Raceway: 8.0

Chastain has seemed to have quieted down some, especially in the last two races, finishing in the 20s at Darlington and Charlotte. However, he did finish in second at Dover, staying out front for 98 laps. He also gained 21 spots to place 13th at Martinsville, while at Richmond, he ended in third.

Though the No. 1 had his battle with Hamlin in last year’s event at Gateway, he still fought back to end in eighth place. Not bad, all things considered. At other shorter tracks in 2022, Chastain finished near the front: he was second and third in the spring and fall, respectively, at Phoenix, fifth and fourth at Martinsville and was eighth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

He should get back on the right track this week at Gateway.

Middle Tier

Alex Bowman ($8,600)
Career at WWT Raceway: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at WWT Raceway: 13.0

Alex Bowman missed several races after breaking his back in a sprint car crash, so he may be a bit more risky as he’s still recovering. However, I like his fight and tenacity; he’s now back in the top 16 in points, finishing 12th at Charlotte. 

Earlier this year, he advanced from 23rd to 11th at Martinsville, finished eighth at Richmond and gained nine spots to ninth place at Phoenix. He hasn’t led a whole lot of laps, though, so he would likely just be a good option if he gains several positions and finishes well.

Aric Almirola ($7,200)
Career at WWT Raceway: 1 start, 0 wins, 1 top five, 1 top 10
Average finish at WWT Raceway: 5.0

Aric Almirola has had a rough year so far. He sits 25th in points and has earned just one top 10. Where? At Martinsville, when Stewart-Haas Racing somehow had their cars up to the best speed they had all year. He finished in sixth place in that race.

There was one other notable event this season — Richmond, where Almirola drove from 32nd to 13th. Richmond wears tires, but it is pretty flat, so he might run similarly this week.

Last year at Gateway, the No. 10 earned a top-five after starting eighth. It was one of Almirola’s few bright spots of the season, besides his eighth place in the summer at Richmond and in the spring at Martinsville. Check out his practice speeds this week to see if he has a fast enough car to stay in the top 10.

(Also like LaJoie)

Low Tier

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,400)
Career at WWT Raceway: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at WWT Raceway: 32.0

It feels somewhat like slim pickings in the lower tier this week. The good thing about these lower-priced drivers is you only need a few positions gained for them to meet their value. I’ll start with one who’s had some much better runs so far this season: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Stenhouse currently is 13th in points after winning the Daytona 500; he’s locked into the playoffs as long as there aren’t more than 16 winners. He’s improved tremendously thus far, with seven straight finishes of 15th or better. Last week at Charlotte, he finished seventh, while at Martinsville he gained eight spots en route to eighth. 

Can he continue this strong streak for the JTG Daugherty Racing team? If you think he can, place him in your lineup.

AJ Allmendinger ($6,100)
Career at WWT Raceway: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10
Average finish at WWT Raceway: 10.0

Allmendinger has just one top 10 so far this year, a sixth in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. So why am I choosing him?

Well, he’s had a lot of bad luck where he’s spun out and/or crashed late in the race after running in the top 15. But he did advance from 29th to 18th at Dover. Allmendinger has had three top-20s in the last four events.

Another reason why I’m considering him is because of his performance last year at Gateway. Allmendinger gained 25 spots on the way to 10th place. If he can do something similar, he would score very well on DraftKings.

About the author

Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor and involved with photos, social media and news editing. A California native, Joy was raised as a motorsports fan and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.

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