Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2023 Ally 400 at Nashville

The NASCAR Cup Series is back after an off week and heads to Nashville Superspeedway. Read on for my daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings picks for the Ally 400, airing Sunday (June 25) at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.

Nashville is a very unique 1.33-mile D-shaped oval with a concrete surface and just 14 degrees of banking in the turns. Since it’s so different from any other track, how can you decide which drivers would be best to utilize on DraftKings?

Well, you can look at the past two races in Music City to see who dominated or gained the most positions on the track. Last year, Chase Elliott held on for the win after leading 42 laps, while Denny Hamlin led 114 circuits and finished sixth. Two others also led over 50 – Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. – but finished in the 20s. In 2021, Kyle Larson dominated en route to victory.

You can also look at events at the two other concrete tracks, Dover Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway, focusing in particular on races run with the Next Gen car. However, both ovals are shorter and shaped differently, so keep that in mind when choosing your roster.

Additionally, Darlington Raceway and World Wide Technology Raceway are right around the same length as Nashville, though Darlington’s rougher on tires and WWT has longer front and back straightaways. I’d focus on their data the least.

Per usual, the biggest portion of your research should focus on practice and qualifying this weekend to see who’s quick and might lead laps. Tyler Reddick topped the charts in both single lap and 10-lap average runs. Qualifying airs on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on USA Network.

See also
Tyler Reddick Quickest at Nashville in Cup Practice

Before I reveal my picks for Nashville, let’s look back at the results from Sonoma Raceway:

DraftKings SalaryDriverDraftKings Score
$10,100Kyle Busch58.95
$9,700Ross Chastain40.6
$9,100Austin Cindric26
$8,100Kevin Harvick42.45
$7,900Chris Buescher44.8
$7,400Michael McDowell34.15
$5,900Ricky Stenhouse Jr.32.45

Austin Cindric didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, but the rest of them did admirable. Kyle Busch finished runner-up while Ross Chastain earned a top 10. Additionally, Kevin Harvick gained 10 positions on the track to finish 11th while Chris Buescher and Michael McDowell essentially swapped their starting and finishing positions (Buescher started seventh and finished fourth; McDowell started third and finished seventh).

The top scoring lineup in the $6,000 Quarter Jukebox tournament consisted of Larson, Busch, race winner Truex, Joey Logano, Ryan Preece and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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. Tenth 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 overall.

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

NASCAR DraftKings Scoring

Now, here are my picks for Nashville!

DraftKings Picks: Top Tier

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,900)
Career at Nashville: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Nashville: 22.0

Truex appears to be on a resurgence this season, as the current points leader earned his second win two weeks ago at Sonoma after leading 51 laps. And where did he earn his first victory of the season last month? Dover, another concrete racetrack like Nashville. 

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver also led 79 laps en route to finishing eighth place at Kansas Speedway and 145 at Darlington before crashing out late while racing Chastain for the lead. That 31st-place result was only his second finish outside the top 10 in the last nine races.

Though Truex has only finished 22nd in each of the Cup Series’ two events at Nashville, he showed a lot of speed in practice on Friday, going second quickest in single-lap speeds. He also posted the fastest average speed of five consecutive laps. It will be interesting to see if he can qualify up front and get that clean air.

William Byron ($10,100)
Career at Nashville: 2 starts, 0 wins, 1 top five, 1 top 10
Average finish at Nashville: 19.0

William Byron was fifth fastest in practice and had the fourth-best 10-lap average speed. Like Truex, the No. 24 has been strong in the first half of the year. Byron won two of the first four races of the season, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. Then, last month, he earned his third victory of 2023 at Darlington, though he only led seven laps.

The Hendrick Motorsports pilot has dominated several other events this year, including at Las Vegas where he led 176 laps. At Richmond Raceway, Byron was out front for 117 circuits before ultimately coming home 24th, while at Dover he led 193 laps before finishing fourth.

Although Byron has yet to lead at all at Nashville, he did finish third there two years ago. Look for him to have a good finish once again.

Ross Chastain ($9,600)
Career at Nashville: 2 starts, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 2 top 10s
Average finish at Nashville: 3.5

Chastain hasn’t found victory lane yet this season but he does have five top fives and seven top-10 finishes so far. Most notably, he finished second at the Monster Mile after leading 98 laps — the most he’s led in 2023. He also led 93 at the Lady in Black but crashed out racing with Larson and ended up 29th.

The No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Team driver is just one of two who earned top fives in each race at Nashville (the other being Larson). Chastain was second in 2021 and fifth last year. He must really like this track and ran fast in practice again Friday: he was third in single-lap speed and second in 10-lap averages. 

After a rough few weeks, Chastain eked out a top 10 at Sonoma before the break. Could he carry that momentum into Nashville? I think so, as long as he doesn’t crash into anything.

See also
Through the Gears: Nashville Betting Preview

Middle Tier

Bubba Wallace ($8,400)
Career at Nashville: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Nashville: 16.0

You may be seeing a theme here. That’s right; Bubba Wallace also had a fast No. 23 Toyota in practice, going sixth quickest. He didn’t run much more than 10 laps in a run, but he did have the fourth-fastest average speed over a five-lap period.

Last season, in his second year with 23XI Racing, Wallace gained 18 positions to finish in 12th place at Nashville. So far this year, he’s notched four top fives and five top 10s, with three straight top fives at Kansas, Darlington and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, Wallace crashed out at Gateway a few weeks ago, ending his streak. 

Based on strong speed in practice, if Wallace can qualify near the front, he could be a contender for the lead, especially if there’s a short run. Keep in mind Wallace would love that elusive victory to lock down a playoff bid; he’s currently sitting right near the bubble (15th).

Chris Buescher ($7,500)
Career at Nashville: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Nashville: 33.0

Chris Buescher had a solid single-lap time in practice, going ninth on the chart and seventh in 10-lap average speed. It’s a strong start to the weekend at a track where he hasn’t finished better than 30th.

Actually, Buescher’s had a really strong stretch of races, starting with his 14th place at Martinsville in April and capping off with a fourth at Sonoma. Buescher earned a ninth at Dover and drove from 27th to 10th at Darlington. Additionally, he was eighth at Charlotte and gained 15 spots at Gateway to finish in 12th.

Look for RFK Racing, especially Buescher, to continue their powerful runs.

Low Tier

AJ Allmendinger ($6,500)
Career at Nashville: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Nashville: 19.0

AJ Allmendinger’s season hasn’t been the greatest, but he has earned a couple of sixth places at Daytona International Speedway and Sonoma. Plus, he has a few 14th-place finishes at Kansas, Charlotte and Gateway, gaining several positions at the two 1.5-mile ovals. 

Since Nashville is shaped like some of the 1.5 milers, perhaps Allmendinger could nab another top 15. He did have fairly good pace in practice, going 10th on the board in a single lap. The No. 16 Kaulig Racing driver also was ninth quickest in five-lap average speeds.

Hopefully, he’ll keep up the good work this weekend.

Corey LaJoie ($5,300)
Career at Nashville: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Nashville: 17.5

Corey LaJoie’s stats this season aren’t flashy at all, but they’re certainly admirable. His best finish so far in 2023 came at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a fourth-place performance at a pack racing track. And while most results have been in the 20s, he does have a few finishes in the teens at Auto Club Speedway, Dover and in the Coca-Cola 600. The latter two results were several spots up from where he started.

Speaking of which, that’s exactly what happened in 2021 for the Spire Motorsports driver at Nashville as LaJoie gained nine spots en route to 15th. That’s really all you need from a driver whose salary is this low.

Follow @JT_GiantsFan

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.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via