2022 Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

The NASCAR Cup Series takes a trip to Hoosier State for some road racing. Let’s see who will accept the bricks at the Verizon 200 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track Sunday, July 31 (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

The 2,439-mile racetrack is the fourth of six laps on the road in the Cup schedule, and it runs clockwise rather than counterclockwise as it does on the ovals. The 14-lap course has a long, straight forward stretch between Turns 6 and 7.

Of course, last year’s inaugural cup event saw the famous Turn 6 break up late in the race, causing many of the top contenders to crash. Not exactly what IMS wanted to be known for when first on the road, but Roger Penske and track officials learned from that and installed a concrete barrier in the area.

With only one race on this design in the cup, how do you prepare your DraftKings rosters for this weekend’s event?

First, take a look at who led the laps there, in both the Cup and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Also, there have been three other road laps this season that you can check out who finished well and led some laps. But don’t forget the other modern road races, as drivers who run well back then will likely do well this weekend as well.

And be sure to check out training and qualification, as it airs Saturday at 9:35 a.m. ET on USA Network. Whoever is able to put together the right pit strategy will most likely win the race, which could be the driver who starts in the top five.

Before I move on to my picks for the Indy road course, here are the results from Pocono Raceway:

salary driver DraftKings Points
10600.00 dollars Kyle Bush 72.15
$9000.00 Kevin Harvick 8.9
8300.00 dollars Tyler Riddick 54.25
$7,900.00 Daniel Suarez 47.5
$7200.00 Austin Cendrick -3.65
$6800.00 Chris Bucher -14.2
49800.00 dollars the total 164.95

In DraftKings’ daily fantasy, disqualification doesn’t count in terms of drivers ending up on the racetrack, so Kyle Busch clocked in at second. But Kevin Harvick, Austin Sendrick and Chris Bucher got into trouble during the race, which sent scores down. (Had I known early on that Boecher would have done well, I wouldn’t have played him.)

In the $6000 Jukebox Quarterly tournament on DraftKings, three users tied for first place, scoring 332.5 fantasy points. They had Bush, Denny Hamlin (record winner), Tyler Riddick, Eric Jones, Michael McDowell and Cole Custer.

In terms of DraftKings points scoring, the rules are the same as last season: 0.45 points for each fastest lap and 0.25 points for each lap. In addition, drivers can earn a point for each position they gain on the track (relative to where they started). They can also lose a point for every position lost, so keep this fact in mind if you decide to play a polesitter.

Here are the DraftKings rules of the road this season.

Now, to my DraftKings picks.

Note: The following drivers are part of the sample NASCAR DraftKings lineup; You can use this information to create your own information.

DraftKings picks for the 2022 Verizon 200 in the IndyRoad tournament

Chase Elliott ($10,600)
Career in Indy Road: 1 start, 0 wins, 1 top five, 1 top 10
Average finish in Indy: 4.0

Formerly known as the track racetrack, Chase Elliott has shown strength on multiple types of tracks this season, racking up four wins on the ovals (and the triangle). But that doesn’t mean he didn’t run well on the road.

Elliott led 26 laps at the Sonoma Raceway before returning home in eighth. Then at Road America, the #9 had a big fight with Reddick before #8 left him late. In addition, he placed fourth at the Circuit of the Americas. It’s only a matter of time before the current points leader finds a way to win the road track.

Daniel Suarez ($9,400)
Career in Indy Road: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top five, 0 top 10
Average finish on the Indy Road: 37.0

Daniel Suarez was one of the drivers who crashed late in last year’s event, so his finish doesn’t reflect the way he ran. Instead, look at his performance on the road courses this season.

At COTA, Suarez was ahead for 15 laps before he got into trouble and is 24th.

Then at Sonoma, the No. 99 earned his and the Trackhouse Racing team’s first Cup Series win, driving 47 circuits.

Finally, in Road America, Suarez led from 17th to 5th — quite impressive, considering how tough the race on road courses this year has been in the next generation cars.

My only hesitation with Suarez is his salary. $9,400 feels too steep for someone who was previously in the $7,000-8,900 range over the past few months. But it could still work out if he finished fifth in a row in the top 10.

Austin Cendrick ($9,100)
Career in Indy Road: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 Top 5 players, 1 Top 10
Average finish in Indy: 9.0

Austin Sendrick has a bit more Indy road track experience than some of the other Cup drivers, winning the Xfinity race last year. In the cup event, he survived the chaos and brought home the ninth place.

This season, the road courses were some of the toughest for the Daytona 500 winner, taking the top 10 in each. Cindric finished eighth in COTA, fifth in Sonoma, and seventh in Road America. He showed tenacity at the Sonoma event, starting way back in 25th.

Even though Cindric’s salary is over $9,000, he might make up for his worth if he qualified in his 20s and made the top 10, or qualified well and led some laps.

Kevin Harvick ($8,400)
Career in Indy Road: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 top five, 0 top 10
Average finish on the Indy Road: 14.0

I know it seems like Kevin Harvick comes highly recommended, but that’s for good reason. In every road event this year, he finished another place than he qualified. He just missed the COTA top ten, but in both Sonoma and Road America he secured multiple positions to finish fourth and 10th, respectively.

That seems to be the case for most of the season as well, including at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway. Harvick was third in the first after starting in 18th, taking 21 positions in the latter en route to fourth.

It will be interesting to see Harvick perform on the smoother IMS road track, compared to some of the other tracks with different elevations.

Dark Horse Artists

Eric Jones ($7,100)
Career in Indy Road: 1 start, 0 wins, 0 Top 5 players, 1 Top 10
Average finish in Indy: 7.0

Eric Jones had quite the race last year, avoiding carnage and driving to seventh after starting in 28th. He had a similar result at COTA earlier this year, moving up 21 places to ninth. And at Sonoma, he landed some positions as well, although he finished only in 22nd place.

Last week at Pocono, Jones came in 11th after starting 34th, a very strong race for the #43 Petty GMS Motorsports driver. And at Gateway’s World Wide Technology Raceway, Jones started 21st and finished 7th.

This type of round can really boost your DraftKings points, since each position earned is another fantasy point. Hopefully Jones will continue to do so this weekend.

Todd Gilliland ($5400)
Professional courses on the road: 3 starts, 0 wins, 0 top five, 0 top 10
Average completion of road cycles: 21.7

Having decided on the above drivers, there is not much salary left. But you can do worse than Todd Gilliland. I mean, he wasn’t bad in the rookie season (although he wasn’t great either).

One of his best results was in COTA, when he went from 29th to 16th. Then at Sonoma he was 24th, while on Road America he held several positions and finished 25th.

Let’s face it, Gilliland likely won’t make the top ten this weekend. But a teenage ending is out of the question for the Front Row Motorsports driver.

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