Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2024 Enjoy Illinois 300

Despite the obvious disappointment that a rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 brought, we did pretty okay fantasy-wise.

We didn’t have any top-five finishers, but all our guys had a pretty good run, led by Chase Elliott and Ty Gibbs. Both guys finished in the top 10 and ran pretty decently all evening.

Our bet slips did pretty well too. If you picked Brad Keselowski last week to win his group, you had some spending money on your Memorial Day Monday!

See also
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This weekend’s race comes to you from nearby St. Louis at World Wide Technology Raceway. This track is a relative newcomer to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. At 1.25 miles, this place has a short-track feel with wide and sweeping turns 1 and 2 and narrow turns 3 and 4. Those turns are flanked by two long straightaways.

If there’s a comparison to be made, this place races a lot like New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway with a little bit of Pocono Raceway sprinkled in. Hitting the correct balance setup wise will be crucial. Due to the short track feel, passing will be at a premium, so track position will be a big deal as well.

I strongly caution you to watch qualifying and pick your lineups accordingly. Otherwise, check the stats and go from there!

Now before we get to my picks for the week let’s review 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 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. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,500)

Stats that matter: 2 straight top 10 finishes at WWT Raceway, wins at New Hampshire, Pocono and Martinsville, 1 career NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Gateway

The high-salary group of drivers is an enigma this weekend.

Seeing as how I don’t see the winner of this race coming from this group, I went with a model of consistency. Take this with a grain of salt because he’s only had two Cup starts at this place, but he has an average finish of 5.5.

It has been a typically quiet and successful year for the former champion, and I think he will run extremely well here and pick up solid fantasy points along the way.

See also
Top NASCAR Odds and Predictions for the Upcoming Race Weekend

2. Joey Logano ($9,300)

Stats that matter: 1 career Cup Series win at WWTR, finished third in this race last season, won at North Wilkesboro Speedway two weeks ago, finished top 10 at both Richmond Raceway and Martinsville.

Here is who I really think is the top pick this weekend.

Logano finally was able to turn his fortunes around at North Wilkesboro, but that race showed me something else: this short track program is good.

The two-time champion has been really solid on short tracks this season. Martinsville was just a solid, solid points day but he very nearly won at Richmond.

I know he’s had some rotten luck in most points races this year, but I think this is where he’s going to lock himself into the playoffs.

3. Kyle Busch ($8,800)

Stats that matter: Defending race winner, 1 Xfinity Series win at WWTR, multiple wins at flat track short tracks throughout his career.

Speaking of rotten luck, let’s talk about Busch.

He has not been remotely great on short tracks this season, but he has a history of being very good here in the Xfinity Series. Plus, this is the site of his last win. If the No. 8 team can prepare a good piece for Busch this weekend, they’ll be in the hunt.

He just has to keep it out of trouble and find a little better luck.

4. Bubba Wallace ($7,800)

Stats that matter: Finished 4th and started 2nd at Martinsville earlier this season, 1 career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at WWTR, 2 career Truck Series wins at Martinsville.

Wallace has sort of regained his footing after a tough stretch of bad finishes between Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway. Now, he’s returning to a place he knows how to get around very well.

His second career NASCAR win came at this place in 2014 in the Truck Series, and though he hasn’t been very good at this particular short track in the Cup Series, he’s been incredible at Martinsville since the switch to the Next Gen car.

A track like this just suits Wallace’s skill set, and I think he’ll be in the mix for a top-10 run on Sunday.

See also
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5. Josh Berry ($7,200)

Stats that matter: 2 top-10 finishes in his last 3 starts this season, 1 career Xfinity Series win at Martinsville, 1st career Cup Series start at WWTR.

Berry is on a little bit of a roll as of late.

He collected his first top five of 2024 back at Darlington Raceway and finished 10th in the Coke 600 last week.

SHR has also been very much in the news this week after announcing its closure. With his future in a little bit of doubt and his team definitely needing a shot in the arm, Berry could be in line for another solid run.

It is hard to tell exactly what the No. 4 will be capable of from week to week, but I think if it plays to its driver’s strengths set up wise, it’ll be a great weekend for them.

6. Todd Gilliland ($6,400)

Stats that matter: Finished 15th at WWTR last season after starting 28th (+13), Finished 13th at Martinsville earlier this season, 2 career runner-up finishes in the Truck Series at WWTR

Speaking of headlines, it appears that Gilliland is going to be the senior driver of a three-car team at Front Row Motorsports next season.

When the green flag falls for the first time in 2025, it will be the driver of the No. 38 who sets the tone. What better way to show you’re ready for that responsibility than having a good run at the race right after the announcement?

Gilliland was pretty sporty at Martinsville and ran decent at North Wilkesboro for the NASCAR All-Star Open. That makes it easy to surmise he could be in line for another good finish at WWTR.

Prop Bets and Locks

  1. Denny Hamlin (-145) vs. Kyle Larson (+110): Both guys finished in the top five in this race last season, but the fact that Hamlin is favored is astounding. Sure, Hamlin was the runner-up, but his other start here in 2022? He wound up 11 laps down in 34th. Larson however, has finishes of 12th and fourth. This one should be easy money.
  2. Ryan Blaney (+850) to win: Remember what I said about the Team Penske short track program earlier? Well, it hasn’t been as effective with Blaney this season. The reigning champion is great here at WWTR though. With finishes of fourth and sixth here in two starts, it’s easy to see him in victory lane Sunday.
  3. Michael McDowell (+380) to finish in the top 10: McDowell is leaving FRM at season’s end, so a lot of you out there probably expect a dip in performance. However, McDowell finished ninth here last season, and in 2022 he led 34 laps and displayed impressive speed around the halfway point in the race. He even turned four fastest lap times. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t pull off a top-10 run again.

Well, that’s all for this week. Good luck and happy betting!

About the author

Screenshot 2024 02 13 12.27.21 Am

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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