Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2024 NASCAR All-Star Race

The classic NASCAR vibes just keep on keeping on this week as the stars of the Cup Series return to North Wilkesboro Speedway for its annual All-Star Race.

This one is going to look a little bit different guys. There are no regular season points or playoff berths. The only thing that matters is winning $1,000,000 and securing bragging rights.

The once dormant North Wilkesboro Speedway is once again the site of this event, and this time its back with a brand new surface. Last season, Kyle Larson whipped the field from start to finish on this .625 mile short track en route to his third All-Star win.

The new surface is going to provide an interesting challenge for teams and drivers to prepare for, as there is no telling just how it will affect tires.

Tires have been a huge obstacle on short tracks since the debut of the Next Gen car, as they either last a really long time, or they don’t last long enough like they did at Bristol earlier this season.

Also, for the first time in the history of the sport, there will be three different tire compounds for teams to choose from: the standard compound, an option compound that wears quickly but is much quicker on the stopwatch, and of course the wet weather compound should it rain.

See also
All-Star Race Format Revealed

Whoever cracks the code of tire wear and having the perfect balance on Wilkesboro’s unique layout will find the most success, as Larson did last season. It will be particularly hard to pass as well, as it usually is with the Next Gen car. Expect to see high aggression as these drivers will use the front bumper to move the car in front out of the way if the opportunity presents itself.

Look for drivers who excel at places like Martinsville, New Hampshire, and Phoenix to be at or near the front Sunday afternoon. There is also the curve ball of picking drivers who aren’t yet qualified for the main event, as they will have to either race their way in via the All-Star Open or by winning the fan vote. Only the top two finishers in the Open and the winner of the fan vote will transfer.

Qualifying is also a huge factor, as it is incredibly unique. The first lap will be a traditional time trial lap, and then the second lap will be a time trial plus a green flag pit stop. Total elapsed time will determine the pole sitter for both the main event and the first of two sixty lap heat races. Those heat races will determine the inside and outside row. The fastest pit crew will win the All-Star Pit Crew Challenge.

The format for this year’s All-Star Race is as follows:

There will be 200 laps, with all laps counting as per usual. There will be two “All-Star cautions at lap 100 and 150 similar to the stage breaks we normally have. However, teams will be required to make a mandatory four-tire pit stop at lap 100.

Oh, and just when you think things couldn’t get more interesting, every team will start the race on the optional tire compound. Drivers in the Open have the choice of which compound they start on, which could be a big advantage for those lucky enough to transfer. They will have a few more notes than the guys already in the main event.

Coverage begins on FS1 Sunday (May 19) at 5 p.m. ET with the Open, followed by the All-Star Race itself at 8 p.m. ET.

Let’s go over the rules again before we get into the lineup.

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 are added to or subtracted from their score. Then, if the driver leads a lap, they will earn 0.25 points for each lap led and 0.45 points for each fastest lap.

DraftKings NASCAR Scoring Rules

Fantasy Forecast

  1. Kyle Larson ($10,300)

Stats that matter: Defending winner of the All-Star Race, most All-Star wins among active drivers, career wins at Martinsville and Phoenix

For the second week in a row, I have to go with “Yung Money.”

It’s pretty simple really. The way he dominated this race last season (leading 145 of 200 laps) leads me to believe that Cliff Daniels and company definitely have this place figured out already.

Sure, he’s been pretty busy with practice for the Indy 500 this week, but Larson is used to a schedule like this. I don’t think he’ll be distracted not one little bit by all that this weekend.

When the pay window opens, expect driver No. 5 to be there front and center without question. His pit crew is also pretty quick, and if he can secure the pole in qualifying, it’s game over for the rest of the field.

2. Chase Elliott ($9,300)

Stats that matter: Finished fifth in 2023 All-Star Race, career wins at Martinsville and Phoenix, top 10 finishes at all short track races so far in 2024

For the first time in awhile, the No. 9 didn’t look very good last week in Darlington, running mid-pack for most the race.

However, that place isn’t nearly in Elliott’s wheelhouse the way North Wilkesboro is. The 2020 champion cut his teeth on tracks like this moving up the ranks, and last season he ran pretty much the whole event in the top-five.

Elliott also has been extremely consistent on short tracks this season, averaging a finish of 5.3. Looking at his performance earlier this season at Martinsville is very indicative of what this team is capable of when they hit a good balance early in the going.

I don’t know if he will be a true contender for the win Sunday, but he has one of the best crews on pit road statistically this season. That alone should secure him good track position from the jump, which will almost certainly grant you some points from a fantasy perspective.

3. Martin Truex Jr. ($9,200)

Stats that matter: Career wins at Martinsville, Phoenix, and New Hampshire, average finish of 8.0 on short tracks this season, won the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum

MTJ has been true to his nature this season, being quietly proficient on short tracks.

What stands out to me and makes the crafty veteran a must-have this weekend is those three Martinsville wins. If you have to pick a place that resembles this one, it’s got to be the “paperclip” and Truex is usually fantastic there.

Sure, he didn’t run very well here last year, and he didn’t run well at Martinsville this year either, but I think you have to go with his experience and crew chief James Small’s ability to adapt.

I don’t think he will finish on the podium for this one, but a top ten run could be what pushes you over the top in your groups this week.

4. Tyler Reddick ($7,700)

Stats that matter: Finished third in the 2023 All-Star Race, top 10 finishes at Richmond, Martinsville, and Phoenix this season

Last week was one of heartbreak for Reddick, but a million dollars could help him forget all about it.

I debated on whether to pick TR or teammate Bubba Wallace in this slot, but I had to go with the No. 45 because he’s a steal at $7,700. Reddick has been super solid on short tracks this season, with the only outlier being a 30th-place run at Bristol.

The only real problem with this pick is the fact that his pit crew has been wildly inconsistent since he joined 23XI Racing in 2023. If he’s going to contend Sunday, he is going to need a good starting spot, and would probably rather not have to win the heat race to get it.

Reddick is for sure the best value pick at this price this week.

5. Chase Briscoe ($7,500)

Stats that matter: Won at Phoenix in 2022, top 10 finishes at Martinsville and Phoenix this season, finished fourth in 2023 All-Star Race

On thing that stands out to me a lot when picking him this week, was watching him run this race last season.

Briscoe put on one heck of a show battling with Elliott, Wallace, and Reddick for position, often making daring moves throughout to secure a top-five. There is also the fact that he is a winner at Phoenix and he was very solid at Martinsville.

I don’t know really what to make of this team this season, as he has been often outshined by Noah Gragson on more than one occasion this season. However, at his low price and penchant for running well on flat tracks, I think it warrants his selection.

If he can transfer into the main event get some track position this weekend, Briscoe will be a hard guy to beat.

6. Justin Haley ($5,800)

Stat that matters: Ninth-place finish at Darlington last week

Let me get this out of the way first and foremost: I do not think he will transfer into the All-Star Race.

I am basing this pick completely on two factors, the first of which is pretty obvious. Last week in Darlington, Haley brought the Rick Ware Racing No. 51 Ford Mustang home in ninth-place.

NINTH. For RWR. On a driver’s track. That is quite possibly the most impressive thing he’s done in his entire career. Second is a little less obvious, but there have been flashes of what this team could be all season long.

He’s run well at places he shouldn’t at times this season, and hey, he could do it again this week too.

Prop Bets and Locks

  1. Noah Gragson (+700) to win the Open: Gragson’s momentum cooled a bit last weekend at Darlington, but not by much. His 14th-place finish was still pretty solid. With that being said, he’s still on a hot streak compared to where he was at this time last season. That alone, in my mind, makes him a legit contender to not need a fan vote to be an All-Star.
  2. Tyler Reddick (+115) over Christopher Bell (-115): While Bell won at Phoenix earlier this season, he was particularly bad at Martinsville. Even though he’s seen an uptick in performance over the last two weeks, all of the momentum is in the No. 45 camp this week.
  3. Chris Buescher (+1400) to win the All-Star Race: You know what would soften the blow of two consecutive weeks of heartache? A million dollars. I hesitate to call him an underdog, but he’s the best +1000 pick of the bunch.

That’s all for this week folks. Here’s to hoping your picks bring you home a big payday and not just the steering wheel.

As for me, I’m going to break out the moonshine, turn on Smash Mouth, and party like an all-star on Sunday no matter what.

Good luck, and happy betting!

About the author

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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.

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