We’re at Auto Club Speedway today for the Xfinity Series Roseanne 300, which is the last race for the Xfinity Series until early April, as the series will be taking next week off while the Cup Series is at Martinsville, and then the following weekend off for Easter. In this race last season, it was Kyle Larson who went to victory lane, as him, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch pretty much battled it out all day up front. The good news (maybe?) is that there’s only two Cup Series regulars in the race today, so we could very well see some of the Xfinity guys challenge for the win. Auto Club Speedway is a big 2-mile track that is most similar to Michigan International Speedway. Tire falloff should have a major effect today as well, so it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to look back at the Atlanta race as well to get an idea of who did the best job at managing their tires.
We’re done with the super-ultra-high pricing for Cup drivers this weekend. Joey Logano (understandably) is set at $11,200 for Saturday’s Roseanne 300, but with guys like Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch not racing in the Xfinity Series this week, the 2nd-highest driver (salary-wise) is Elliott Sadler at $10,600, and then Cup regular Austin Dillon comes in next at $10,200. In other words, it’s very possible that we see a very good race this weekend with only one Cup driver really in the mix (sorry Austin).
California NXS DraftKings Strategy
Because this is a 2-mile race track and the event itself is only scheduled for 300 miles, that means we’re looking at a 150-lap shootout for the Roseanne 300 trophy. In DraftKings terms, that means just 37.5 FPTS are up for grabs for laps led today, and probably around 65 or so FPTS for fastest laps depending on the number of cautions and duration. Therefore, from a strategy perspective, that means that minimizing negative place differential is key this weekend. Additionally, we’re kind of trained to focus on drivers moving up and getting positive place differential, but in last year’s Xfinity races at 2-mile tracks, a lot of the guys that qualified up front also finished there. Having the dominator is obviously going to be the most important thing today, but mid-tier drivers with a shot at a top 10 result are also those to key in on.
Xfinity Series Driver Targets for Auto Club
Joey Logano ($11,200) – Logano didn’t win the pole for today’s Roseanne 300, but he should have the car to beat. Joey loves his car on the long run and that’s what we should see a lot of today. He said that Christopher Bell, who did win the pole, has a good short run car, but the #22 Ford is better on the long runs–and I agree. Logano was 2nd-fastest in both practice sessions here at Fontana on Friday and had the 3rd-best ten-lap average in that final practice session as well. Joey led the most laps (70) in this race one year ago, and Brad Keselowski led the most laps in the Michigan Xfinity race last season in this same car. Logano might not get the lead as soon as the green flag waves today, but he should be able to overtake P1 pretty easily within 5-10 laps and then take off from there.
Austin Cindric ($7,700) – I don’t hate playing Austin Cindric today. He qualified 14th for today’s race at Auto Club Speedway, but I think he has the opportunity to possibly challenge for a top 10 finish before it’s all said and done. Remember, Cindric came home 7th in this year’s Xfinity race at Atlanta, although you have to note that that was in the #12 Ford for Penske. Still, though, he showed that he can manage tires. Speed-wise, Cindric was 9th fastest overall in the final practice session this weekend and ranked 6th when it came to ten-lap average. In this sub-$8,000 price range, Cindric is my favorite play today, although I don’t hate Kaz Grala despite the fact that he qualified 12th. That starting spot should keep his ownership percentage a little lower.
Tyler Reddick ($9,300) – Coming into this race, you had to keep an eye on Tyler Reddick, simply because of how this #9 Chevrolet performed on the 2-mile tracks in 2017; both here at Fontana and at Michigan, the #9 Chevrolet came home inside the top 5 last season, although it has to be noted that it was William Byron behind the wheel and not Tyler Reddick. Still, it’s noteworthy. Now, the biggest reason why Reddick is a driver to target here in today’s Roseanne 300 is because he just missed it in qualifying and will roll off the grid from 16th when we go green. Austin Dillon also had a bad lap in qualifying and will start from 19th, but I still like Reddick because of the nearly $1,000 in salary savings. Reddick was also 5th-fastest in both Xfinity practice sessions here this weekend.
Dylan Lupton ($6,700) – Another total chalk pick here, but what can you do? Lupton wrecked during his qualifying run and will start at the rear of the field when today’s Roseanne 300 goes green. He’s finished between 21st and 27th in three of the four Xfinity races this season, and was 12th-fastest in Happy Hour here on Saturday. Dylan also made a longer run in that session, which tells me he liked his car a bit. Hopefully the backup car will be somewhat similar to where the primary car was. Realistically, Lupton should finish between 25th and 30th, which would equal around 24-34 FPTS in DraftKings. Obviously there’s always a fade opportunity in a situation like this, but his near-$7,000 price tag might keep his ownership percentage down a little more than most of us would expect.
Josh Bilicki ($4,900) – Josh Bilicki and the J.P. Motorsports crew have had a pretty good West Coast Swing, with finishes of 28th and 32nd at Las Vegas and Phoenix (respectively) after starting 39th in both races. Obviously this has made Bilicki a great punt play in DraftKings, and because of that, he is going to be one of, if not the highest-owned low-dollar option in the Xfinity Series race today. Bilicki will roll off the grid from 38th when we go green, so there’s very little risk there, and he’s one of the cheapest driver options out there. If you’re looking to go against the chalk here today, though, one of my other top low-dollar plays for the Roseanne 300 is Tommy Joe Martins at $5,200. He qualified a little high for today’s race (31st) but BJ McLeod Motorsports is another organization that has been good here on the west coast, and Martins has finished 27th and 25th in his last two Xfinity starts.
Disclaimer: I am by no means an Xfinity Series expert, and I don’t claim to be. And honestly, I wouldn’t be paying much attention to today’s race if DraftKings wasn’t offering contests. Take any thoughts here with a big grain of salt. So far this season I have had the following results: $32.34 profit at Phoenix, -$24.00 loss at Las Vegas, and $3.00 profit at Atlanta. Total profit for the season is $11.34.