Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2023 Go Bowling at the Glen

NASCAR Cup Series drivers are ready to bowl a strike as they head to Watkins Glen International for some more road course racing. Let’s set your daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings rosters for the Go Bowling at the Glen, airing Sunday, Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network.

For the second straight week, drivers will duel on a road course, and the same rules apply as last week. There will be no stage cautions (unless there’s an incident), and the choose rule is in play.

The stakes are high this week at the 2.45-mile course, as just two races are left before the playoffs. Michael McDowell secured his spot in the postseason last week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and became the 14th winner of 2023. Since one of those winners was part-time driver Shane van Gisbergen (at the Chicago street course), that means three playoff spots are still up for grabs.

I expect drivers to go all out to try to win, especially ones that are generally good at road courses.

But with the stage cautions eliminated, could another long green-flag run occur this week? If it does, you would likely want to have drivers who start in the top 10 or 15 in your lineup. Last week, the top 10 finishers all started within the top 13 positions. At Sonoma Raceway, they qualified within the top 17 spots. Just something to keep in mind if the race stays green. Practice and qualifying are scheduled for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on USA.

Of course, if there’s a late caution, then the field will likely be shaken up a bit as drivers vie for positions.

Before I share some drivers I’m thinking about this week, here are the results from the Indy road course:

DraftKings SalaryDriverDraftKings Score
$10,100Shane van Gisbergen34.05
$9,200Chris Buescher38.9
$8,100Austin Cindric33
$7,500Michael McDowell62.4
$6,300Erik Jones7
$6,100Justin Haley-20

McDowell and his team executed nearly perfectly to grab his second career win, producing a high score on DraftKings. On the other end of the spectrum, Justin Haley was hit by Joey Logano in the esses and hit the tire barrier in the opening laps. Though he continued on, he was a few laps down, and as there were no more cautions, Haley couldn’t recover.

The top score in the $25,000 Happy Hour tournament was 287.55 and had Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, Daniel Suarez, McDowell, Chase Briscoe and Austin Dillon.

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 Kyle Larson 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

Chase Elliott ($11,000)
Career at Watkins Glen: 6 starts, 2 wins, 4 top fives, 4 top 10s
Average finish at Watkins Glen: 5.7

Chase Elliott has by far the best average finish at WGI, earning top fives in the last four races there. That includes back-to-back wins in 2018 and 2019. He also led 52 and 80 laps in each of those two events, respectively. Last year, he led 29 laps before ultimately coming home fourth.

The No. 9 also has done really well this year on the road courses he’s run, notching top fives in all three (he missed Circuit of the Americas with an injury). Elliott was fifth at Sonoma, third at the Chicago street course and runner up to McDowell last week. The only thing he hasn’t done in a Next Gen car on a road course is win, which is pretty surprising considering how good he is. I think he’ll change that this weekend at The Glen.

Christopher Bell ($10,000)
Career at Watkins Glen: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 2 top 10s
Average finish at Watkins Glen: 7.5

Christopher Bell‘s claimed top 10s in both of his runs at Watkins Glen, coming home seventh in 2021 and eighth last season. Last year’s result came after he started in the back, so it’s not impossible for one to drive through the field. It’s just harder if there are no cautions (as last year’s race started in wet and rainy conditions).

Bell is known for his road course skills as well, as he snagged a victory in the playoffs at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL last fall. This year, he has a pair of ninth-place finishes at Sonoma and the Indy road course.

While Bell’s salary is a bit high on DraftKings, he should perform well once again this weekend at the Glen.

(Also like Tyler Reddick)

Middle Tier

William Byron ($8,800)
Career at Watkins Glen: 4 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 2 top 10s
Average finish at Watkins Glen: 14.3

Byron is not normally one that I would choose on a road course, but he does have two top 10s at The Glen. He gained eight spots to eighth place in 2018 and earned sixth place in 2021 after starting 15th. Unfortunately, his other two results were in the 20s, including last year’s race.

But Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate has some respectable finishes on road courses the last couple of years. Last week Byron started in the back and earned a top 15; he also grabbed top 15s at Sonoma and the Chicago street course. Then at COTA, he placed fifth.

If he again qualifies outside the top 10, Byron should move up some positions on Sunday, earning valuable position differential points on DraftKings.

Ty Gibbs ($8,600)
Career at Watkins Glen: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Watkins Glen: 26.0

Ty Gibbs finished 26th in his lone Cup start at The Glen, but he’s performed better on the road courses as of late. The No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing pilot was ninth at both COTA and in Chicago. At Sonoma, he finished 18th, while last week he took home 12th place.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Gibbs has amassed four road course victories, including at WGI in 2021. As he grows in the Cup Series, he should continue to post good results, especially on tracks with left and right turns.

(Also like Austin Cindric)

Low Tier

Erik Jones ($6,500)
Career at Watkins Glen: 5 starts, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 4 top 10s
Average finish at Watkins Glen: 11.2

If this low tier looks familiar, it should. Yes, these drivers were both in last week’s write-up as well. Erik Jones has four top 10s in five races at Watkins Glen; this includes a 10th place last year with Legacy Motor Club. He gained 21 positions in that event!

He also earned ninth place at COTA last season, as well as a 15th at the Indy road course and an 11th at the Charlotte ROVAL in 2022. While his team has struggled much of this year, he does have the talent to get at least a top 20. Depending on where he starts, he could be good value on DraftKings.

Justin Haley ($6,100)
Career at Watkins Glen: 2 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Watkins Glen: 23.5

OK, I know Haley flopped last week, but that really wasn’t his fault. I also think that’s not the norm, as he earned a runner-up at Chicago and was 19th at COTA. And last year at the Charlotte ROVAL, he came home fifth.

Last season at the Glen, Haley earned 18th place. It didn’t score well on DraftKings, though, as he started 13th. Still, if Haley doesn’t qualify up front, he should be able to get a top 15. Might be harder if the race stays green, but he’s talented enough to get a good run.

(Also like Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Mike Rockenfeller)

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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