Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2024 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400

After a good week for our lineup at Martinsville Speedway, it’s time to gear up for a weekend in the Lone Star State.

After short tracks the past two weeks, the NASCAR Cup Series brings the traveling circus to No Limits, Texas, the home of Texas Motor Speedway. Texas is certainly not a whole lot of fans’ cup of tea, as it has had some less than great racing in the recent past, but hopefully it will put on a good show Sunday, April 14.

Texas is an D-shaped, 1.5-mile speedway with a tri-oval frontstretch similar in design to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Texas’ turns are wider, though, and requires a setup that is both fast and aerodynamically sound. Raw speed will carry the day. Look for the drivers who’ve showed speed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to be the guys at the front for this one.

See also
Through the Gears: Texas Best Bets

A short practice session will take place on Saturday, April 13, and will lead into qualifying. It would be wise to pay attention to practice, as the cars who have the long-run speed will be the guys you should target with your bets and picks for the week.

Coverage for the race on Sunday will begin 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

Here’s a quick recap of the rules:

Points will be awarded on DraftKings for finishing position, position differential, fastest laps and laps led. The driver who wins the race scores 45 fantasy points, while second gets 42 points, third gets 41 points and so on, at least through the top 10. The 11th-place finisher scores 32 points, 21st gets 21 points and 31st gets 10 points.

However many spots they lose or gain on the track is added to or subtracted from the score. Then, if the driver leads a lap, they will earn 0.25 points for each lap led. They’ll also earn 0.45 points for each fastest lap.

DraftKings NASCAR Scoring Rules

Alright, let’s get into this week’s picks:

Fantasy Forecast

  1. Tyler Reddick ($10,000)

Stats that matter: 1 career win at Texas (2022), finished second at Las Vegas, career average finish of 10.4 at Texas.

Like I said, the fast guys at Vegas are who I’m going with at Texas, and as much as I thought about going with Kyle Larson here, his price tag is much too high. I think Reddick is going to be tough to beat this weekend.

See also
4 Burning Questions: Is 2024 the End of Next Gen Parity?

Reddick finished seventh at Martinsville and will have good momentum heading into this race. What’s more, I think Reddick would’ve gotten the win had he had a few more laps at Vegas.

With his astounding average finish and a win here under his belt already, Reddick’s a safe bet to qualify well for Sunday and have that good long run speed. If his crew can execute on pit road, look for the No. 45 in victory lane when it’s all said and done.

2. Ross Chastain ($9,200)

Stats that matter: Finished second at Texas last season, finished fourth at Las Vegas.

The “Melon Man” comes into Texas needing a momentum boost, and this week could 100% be the one that does it.

Chastain was fast here last season and had a very good chance at winning. He was also really good at the only other intermediate race, in Las Vegas, this season. He’s also reasonably priced at $9,200. The only cause for concern in my mind is just how mediocre he’s been the last two weeks.

However, I don’t think that’s enough not to take him this week. Chastain should be a factor, even if it’s not until late in the going Sunday afternoon.

3. Ty Gibbs ($8,500)

Stats that matter: Finished fifth at Las Vegas, finished third in his last NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Texas, average finish of 10.3 in 2024.

Remember how I said a few weeks ago that Gibbs was kicking at the door of his first career Cup win?

While that may not be the case right now after rather pedestrian runs at Richmond Raceway and Martinsville, I look for Gibbs to bounce back this weekend. He was really good at Vegas, and prior to the back-to-back short tracks, was finishing up front week every week.

I think JGR as a whole will be good this weekend, and the young gun will be the one leading the charge.

4. Alex Bowman ($8,400)

Stats that matter: Average finish of 12.4 in 2024, two career top-five finishes at Texas.

OK, so Texas has not been very good to Bowman over the years.

This pick is based entirely on a feeling to be completely honest. After the Hendrick Motorsports parade at the front last week at Martinsville, the No. 48 could be in line to lead the charge. Bowman’s average finish this season is pretty impressive, and it seems like he, more than most, feeds off of momentum in a big way.

I don’t know if Bowman will be able to get the win this weekend, but I look for his team to keep him in the fight and grab some position differential points at the very least.

5. Noah Gragson ($7,200)

Stats that matter: one career Xfinity win at Texas, finished sixth at Las Vegas.

Here’s my weekly Stewart-Haas Racing pick.

Gragson hasn’t had the best couple of weeks, much like some of the other guys on this list. I remember just how good he was at Texas in Xfinity in the past, and based mostly on that, you should give him a shot.

He also ran well at Las Vegas, and I think this team will bring the speed this week in qualifying and hang around toward the front. Who knows? Maybe he’ll net some points for a top-10 finish just like he did at Vegas.

6. Austin Dillon ($6,300)

Stats that matter: one career win at Texas (2020).

The famous No. 3 is struggling mightily to begin 2024, but Dillon has something that most of his counterparts in this salary bracket do not: a win at Texas.

That win in 2020 came at a similar time to this one in Dillon’s career, as most had written him off as a bust. The conditions are right for another random good run for this team.

And boy, does he need one. Desperately.

Prop Bets & Locks

  1. William Byron (+600) to win: There is nobody on the circuit as hot as this guy is right now. He’s got a series leading three wins and is emerging as an early championship favorite. The odds are good, and the driver is good. Take this money line all the way to the bank.
  2. Chase Elliott (+650) as top finishing Chevrolet: Don’t look now, but this team is starting to catch fire after back-to-back top fives. Elliott has never been great at Texas, but he’s had some good runs there in the past. This a good prop to look at this weekend.
  3. Ford to win (+380): It is true that Ford is still looking for that first win of 2024, and Texas could absolutely be the place it gets it. Joey Logano has won there before, and many from the Ford stable have won there in Xfinity. Take a leap of faith on this one.

That’ll do it for this week. Last weekend, I hit big on taking Bubba Wallace as top-finishing Toyota, and I hope you find money in your pocket just like I did.

Good luck, and happy betting!

About the author

Garrett joined Frontstretch as a news writer in 2023, and became a fantasy racing and betting writer in 2024. Hailing from the heart of coal country in southern West Virginia,  he's a married father of three and currently enrolled in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at New River Community Technical College in Beaver, WV. He has been a racing fan since 1998, primarily watching NASCAR, but branching out to F1 and IndyCar as his love for motorsports has grown.

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