The Checkered Flag- DPA’s Premium Coverage of The Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Motor Speedway


Welcome back Playmakers! The series makes a stop in Virginia this week. Richmond is a short track with a lot of great side by side racing action. It should be a great race to watch, a perfect pick for a playoff race. Because of the racing package the cars will be using it actually levels out the field a bit. Making it possible for a few more drivers to showcase their skill. 9 races remain in the season and the winner, if they are playoff eligible, wins his ticket into the next round. Because of the amount of laps and the high possibility of lower placed cars getting lapped, Dominator plays, and those who can stay up front, carry a little more weight in your builds. They should be what you focus on first. Let’s take a look at who I think are the guys most worth being in your lines for this week: 


Kyle Larson | 1st | 11,000DK | 12,000FD |

Larson is always an option. He won here in 2017. Surprisingly, he hasn’t led many laps here over his career. There’s a good chance he adds 20-50 laps to that career total today. I don’t think he’s a lock, this isn’t one of his most dominant tracks, but he’s obviously a very strong option to build around. I will use him more in cash style games than gpp, but a very good option for either. 

Denny Hamlin | 2nd | 10,400DK | 13,500FD |

Hamlin put on a show last week grabbing his first win of the year. This is the perfect time to peak as a driver and I get this feeling we might be seeing it from Denny right here. He is into the next round of the playoffs already. I’m sure the focus of this race is to try to get some playoff points that transfer to the next round, by either winning a stage or the race itself. So Denny is definitely a great option here. He is also from Virginia. Not far from this track actually, so this is a hometown race for him. I don’t want to lock him in but I am going to have a lot of exposure to Hamlin. He should contend for a top5 finish here or better. He is -110 to finish top5 on DK sportsbook. 

Martin Truex | 3rd | 10,200DK | 14,000FD |

Truex had the reputation of not being very good on short tracks. It took him years to finally get his first cup win at a short track. When it came, it was Richmond, and ever since he solved that puzzle he has been one of the best on this track. This team consistently beats itself. They are probably as mistake prone as any of the big name teams/drivers. It seems like every week Truex has to work his way through the entire field several times to make up for some pit road mishap. If they can actually not get in their own way with some dumb penalty this could be a great spot for Truex to get a win. Winning a race is never easy, but these guys have proven in the past that they can put together a game plan that makes them successful and in a spot to be competitive at the end of the race. This should continue here this week. I like him as a dominator play. But, it’s no guarantee. If they can clean it up and run a good race Truex should be a contender here. 

Joey Logano | 6th | 10,700DK | 12,500FD |

Logano is consistently great on this track. I’m going to have a couple bucks on Logano to win this week. He’s finished 4th or better in 6 of the last 8 races at Richmond. Including finishing 2nd and 3rd, twice. He’s been on the doorstep of a win here for a couple years. Today could be the day. I also think he could be overlooked as a dominator play. So he definitely interests me. If you can make some combo of Logano and Truex or Hamlin or even Kyle Busch, you have two of the top plays to win here today as your core. That’s a good start to any build. 

Also Consider 

Kurt Busch | 4th | 7700DK | 9000FD |

This would be the gpp play for early dominator. In a similar spot weeks ago Kurt ended up getting the lead from a similar spot. Kurt is pretty good here. He usually finishes just outside the top10. Back to back 13th place finishes here his last two. I’m not a huge fan, but I will make 1 line with him as a cheap dominator play to match with higher salaries.

Chris Bell | 10th | 9600DK | 10,000FD |

When Bell was in xfin he was lights out at Richmond. He won 3 out of the 4 races he was in. In cup he has a top5 and a 14th place finish here. The kid is going to win a race here at some point in his career. I like this spot for cash games and gpp. I think he is a great cash game play. I’m pretty sure Bell is a top10-12 car here at worst. I’ll pay a little more to get a guy I know is damn good here. Bell is one of my favorite plays this week. I expect at least 10-15 fastest laps out of him. With an outside shot at maybe a top5 or better. Chris Bell is -135 to get a top10 finish on DK Sportsbook. 

Aric Almirola | 9th | 7500DK | 9200FD |

In a similar spot last year Almirola started 10th and finished 7th here. That would pay off his price tag. He’s worth taking a shot on if you are a multi entry player. And he’s perfectly fine to use if you are only playing 1 line. He should be lower owned. 

Place Differential

Kyle Busch | 15th | 11,500DK | 13,000FD |

Kyle has his back against the wall after wrecking last week. He will need to have great races the next two to make sure he makes it to the next round. I don’t expect him to have issues two weeks in a row. But it’s always a possibility. He has decent upside, he is expensive though, so I don’t think he’s a must play. I do recommend some exposure though. 

Chase Elliot | 12th | 11,200DK | 10,500FD |

Chase hasn’t been great lately but he’s in a good spot here. As most popular driver he usually carries an bit higher ownership. I don’t think he’s a must play, but another solid option. 

William Byron | 14th | 9900DK | 9800FD |

Byron needs a good run here to have a shot at moving on in the playoffs. Decent potential and the price isn’t terrible. Could be a good alternative to Kyle Busch for cheaper. 

Austin Dillon | 19th | 8400DK | 8500FD |

Really nice spot for Dillon. I think he contends for a top15 in this spot. With the pressure off because he isn’t in the playoffs I think Austin will probably drive better. And he’s probably willing to take some risks he wouldn’t have earlier in the season. This is an interesting play. Good for both cash and gpp, but slightly more gpp.

Matt DiBenedetto | 28th | 8100DK | 7800FD |

This is your high upside play of the week. Matty has done well here on a few occasions and he starts low enough that he offers a big place diff potential. I think he will have some of the highest ownership of the day, and rightfully so, you should use him too. 

Daniel Suarez | 22nd | 6900DK | 6300FD |

I think he goes overlooked today and could be a top20 car. This is a decent gpp play as your punt. Both he and Stenhouse are very similar this week. 

Ricky Stenhouse | 23rd | 6700DK | 7000FD |

Risky Ricky always is dangerous. This is a good track for him though. Gpp only as like the last guy on your team. I wouldn’t have a ton of exposure either. But worthy of consideration. 

Bubba Wallace | 27th | 6300DK | 6000FD |

I don’t expect a ton here but starting 27th he has a chance to pick up some spots and pay off his price. He’s better than 27th. 

Corey Lajoie | 25th | 5500DK | 4000FD |

Corey is in the midst of the best stretch of races in his cup career. He’s been over achieving for weeks. Because the track is short the leader tends to catch up to the back of the pack pretty quick, once people get lapped, it’s hard for them to really improve their score by improving their position in the race without several caution flags. Starting 25th keeps Lajoie from falling down a lap for sure. And from that point, after stage 1, he could just hang strong all race around 25th. For 5500 he’s definitely worth a look. I think with another nice performance here today Lajoie’s price starts creeping up over 6k price on DK for most races the rest of the year. I would pay 6k for him in this spot.