Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2023 Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

For the fourth time this season, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to a road course as they take on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Read on to see who you should place in your daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings rosters for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard, airing Sunday, Aug. 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Cup drivers have competed on the 2.439-mile Indy road course twice so far, and each race has had exciting finishes. AJ Allmendinger broke through for his second Cup win in 2021 after Chase Briscoe bumped Denny Hamlin out of the lead in the final two laps. Then last year, Tyler Reddick dominated the circuit, surviving an overtime finish.

There are a few changes to this year’s event, one of them being the restart zone. It’s now moved up to between turns 13 and 14, as opposed to the frontstretch in previous races. It’ll hopefully alleviate some of the traffic by the time the field enters turn 1.

Also new for this year on road courses is that there are no cautions when the stages end (unless an incident occurred on the track), so you might see differing pit strategies. Additionally, the choose rule is in effect, so drivers can choose whether they want the preferred line entering turn 1 or if they want track position.

See also
Through the Gears: Indianapolis Road Course Betting Preview

Practice might not be as important this week, since drivers run laps on a longer course and with slower speeds in the infield. Still, some drivers will stand out in the brief session. It will start on Saturday at 11:35 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports app, with qualifying at 12:35 p.m. ET on the same app.

Look at drivers’ stats from previous road courses to decide who might be worth rostering on DraftKings this weekend.

Also of note: William Byron‘s not allowed to qualify after his No. 24 failed inspection three times on Friday. He’ll serve a pass-through penalty after the first lap on Sunday. Since this is a road course, he likely won’t lose a lap, especially if he can make some moves and pass some cars before his trip down pit lane.

This penalty might make him popular on DraftKings, but since he’s crashed out of both races there, I’m probably not playing him very much. Byron did lead 28 laps and finished fifth at Circuit of the Americas, though, so he’s not a bad choice.

Here’s a quick look at the rules for DraftKings:

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 it decreases by one from there through 20th. This pattern repeats from 21st through 30th and again from 31st through 40th.

Additionally, drivers can earn or lose a point depending on where they started the race. For example, if Hamlin started seventh and won, he would gain six points in addition to his finishing position points, totaling 51 fantasy points.

Drivers also can earn 0.45 points for each fastest lap and 0.25 for each lap they lead.

NASCAR DraftKings Scoring Breakdown

Here are the drivers you should consider for the Indy road course:

DraftKings Picks: Top Tier

Shane van Gisbergen ($10,100)
First start at Indy (1 previous win on a road course)

I rarely choose drivers with so little NASCAR experience, but I had to highlight Shane van Gisbergen. He drove through the field after several restarts and passed Justin Haley with ease in the shortened Chicago street course race. His time in the Recpo Supercars Championship helped him adjust well to the Next Gen car, as the Australian V-8 Supercar was “one of the kind of genesis points” for the Next Gen, per NASCAR’s Chief Operating Officer Steve O’Donnell after van Gisbergen won Chicago.

Speaking of Supercars, van Gisbergen is a force to be reckoned with in that series. For example, in the 2022 season, he won 21 races. 21! SVG also has three titles in the land down under.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on van Gisbergen in practice, and I fully expect him to adjust well to the twists and turns of the Indy road course.

Chris Buescher ($9,200)
Career at Indy road course: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10
Average finish at Indy road course: 11.0

Chris Buescher‘s salary is one of the highest it’s been this year; usually his salary is in the $7,000 range on ovals and between $8,000 and $9,000 on road courses. Though his price on DraftKings is a bit high, he has some momentum that he could carry with him this week at Indy. He won back-to-back races at Richmond Raceway and Michigan International Speedway, the first time he’s ever won two events in one year.

The No. 17 RFK Racing driver also has a strong run going on road courses, earning eight consecutive top 10s on this track type. This year, Buescher drove from 32nd to eighth at COTA and finished fourth at Sonoma Raceway and 10th at Chicago.

He also has fairly good results at Indy, earning a 12th in 2021 and a 10th last year (after his car caught fire).

He may not contend for the win this weekend, but Buescher is still a good choice on DraftKings.

(Also like Reddick, Allmendinger, Christopher Bell)

Middle Tier

Austin Cindric ($8,100)
Career at Indy road course: 2 starts, 0 wins, 1 top five, 2 top 10s
Average finish at Indy road course: 5.5

Austin Cindric is just one of two drivers to have two top-10 finishes at the Indy road course, finishing in ninth in 2021 and runner up last season. He’s skilled on this track type, earning five such victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

While he’s yet to grab a win in Cup on a road course, he does have two top fives and six top 10s in the last nine road course races. This year, Cindric’s No. 2 Team Penske car placed sixth at both COTA and Chicago. He’s almost a sure bet to earn another top 10 this Sunday.

Michael McDowell ($7,500)
Career at Indy road course: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10
Average finish at Indy road course: 19.0

Michael McDowell‘s always one to consider on DraftKings at road courses, and for good reason. In the last eight road course events, he’s earned one top five and six top 10s. This includes a seventh-place finish at both Sonoma and Chicago. And at COTA, while he didn’t earn a top 10, he did gain eight positions to come home 12th.

At Indy, McDowell was caught up in a late crash in 2021, but he rebounded to eighth in 2022.

McDowell’s contract with Front Row Motorsports was renewed this week, so he’ll look to carry that good news with him to Indy.

See also
Friday Faceoff: Is Chris Buescher a Championship Threat?

Low Tier

Erik Jones ($6,300)
Career at Indy road course: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10
Average finish at Indy road course: 11.0

Erik Jones hasn’t had the best finishes on road courses this season, but he does have a 16th at Chicago. Last year, he had several races where he advanced several spots on the racetrack. At COTA and Watkins Glen International he gained 21 spots en route to ninth and 10th, respectively. He also finished 11th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.

The No. 43 of Legacy Motor Club has also finished around 20 positions further from where it started at the Indy road course. Jones was seventh in ’21 and 15th last year.

Additionally, Jones has had some good runs lately, finishing 16th or better in six of the last seven races. That includes three top 10s, with a 10th last week at Michigan. Jones hopes to keep it up at Indy on Sunday.

Justin Haley ($6,100)
Career at Indy road course: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10
Average finish at Indy road course: 13.5

As I mentioned above, Haley was leading late but couldn’t hold off van Gisbergen at Chicago. He led 23 of the 78 laps, a fairly large portion of the race. He also earned a fifth at the Charlotte ROVAL last year after starting 13th.

Now, last year at the Indy road course, Haley finished 19th, two spots lower from where he started. However, he earned an eighth place there in 2021 driving for Spire Motorsports.

If Haley starts further back, I will likely want him in my lineup, as he’ll earn more DraftKings points that way.

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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