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NASCAR DFS: Enjoy Illinois 300 Picks

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to the Midwest for one of the trickier tracks on the schedule. The Enjoy Illinois 300 picks come on the heels of last week’s action at Charlotte. Was last week memorable? No. We’d all like to forget it. Weather got in the way of a great race. And now we get a Sunday afternoon race at a track where passing is incredibly difficult. To add fuel to the fire, this track sees minimal tire wear. So lineup building can be difficult. But the dominator points are abundant. Moreover, they’ve been fairly spread out in the two previous races we’ve seen at Gateway. So while this isn’t a technical or challenging track for the drivers, we do need to pick our battles when building lineups. Here are this week’s top NASCAR DFS options as part of the Enjoy Illinois 300 picks.

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Enjoy Illinois 300 Picks: The Top 10

  1. Michael McDowell (#34 Front Row Motorsports)
  2. Austin Cindric (#2 Team Penske)
  3. Ryan Blaney (#12 Team Penske)
  4. Christopher Bell (#20 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  5. Tyler Reddick (#45 23XI Racing)
  6. Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  7. Brad Keselowski (#6 RFK Racing)
  8. Bubba Wallace (#23 23XI Racing)
  9. Ty Gibbs (#54 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  10. Kyle Busch (#8 Richard Childress Racing)

Quite the top 10 we have here! Austin Cindric looks like a pretty easy fade. However, he’s finished 11th and 13th here in two races and led some laps in 2022. But starting P2 screams to us that he’ll go backward. His teammate, Ryan Blaney, is easily a better play. We’ve seen the defending Cup Series champion lead laps at this track in each of the last two races. The rest of this group is interesting. The Toyota’s loved their setup in practice. They pulled all their cars off early in practice to save their tires. And that was smart as five of them start in the top 10. Kyle Busch is the one tough read of this group. The track history is there. We touched on that in this week’s NASCAR DFS preview. But the recent form is awful so be mindful when building lineups.

Which Valued-Priced Enjoy Illinois 300 Picks Got A Points Movement Bump?


  • Noah Gragson – $7,500; Starting P27
  • Josh Berry – $7,200; Starting P29
  • Daniel Suarez – $6,900; Starting P31
  • Ryan Preece – $6,700; Starting P32
  • Todd Gilliland – $6,400; Starting P35
  • John Hunter Nemechek – $5,500; Starting P33
  • Zane Smith – $5,400; Starting P36


  • Chase Elliott – $8,500; Starting P17
  • Chris Buescher – $8,200; Starting P26
  • Josh Berry – $7,200; Starting P29
  • Noah Gragson – $7,000; Starting P27
  • Daniel Suarez – $6,200; Starting P31
  • Ryan Preece – $5,200; Starting P32
  • Todd Gilliland – $4,500; Starting P35
  • John Hunter Nemechek – $4,200; Starting P33
  • Zane Smith – $3,000; Starting P36

We don’t need to dumpster dive on FanDuel as much as we do on DraftKings. Nailing the value options on DraftKings will be vital to our DFS success on Sunday. But it is fascinating how the pricing varies. Chase Elliott doesn’t start all that deep in the field. However, he is a value on FanDuel. Elliott now touts the best average finish of all drivers in the Cup Series. Chris Buescher also jumps off the page as a top play on FanDuel. He’s had speed in his car and been in contention for wins. One interesting note is how bad Todd Gilliland is at qualifying when, in comparison, his teammate won the pole. SHR did terrible qualifying on Saturday. However, Berry does come from a flat track background. Daniel Suarez is likely the chalk in this range and he did finish seventh in last year’s race.

Which Higher-Priced Drivers Got A Similar Points Movement Bump?

  • Martin Truex Jr. – Starting P19
  • Kyle Larson – Starting P13
  • Chase Elliott – Starting P17 (DraftKings)
  • Chris Buescher – Starting P26 (DraftKings)

We’ve already touched on Elliott and Buescher. No need to beat a dead horse there. But when discussing the Enjoy Illinois 300 picks, we can easily see Martin Truex Jr. emerging as a popular play. He’s thrived on the flat tracks. As mentioned above, the Toyota’s felt great about their cars in practice. MTJ just simply whiffed in qualifying. And Kyle Larson doesn’t offer a ton of position differential. But by Larson’s standards, a P13 starting spot is a fairly deep spot in the field to begin a race. This isn’t the type of track he normally excels at. However, his Driver Averages profile indicates that he can move up on this track and still perform well.

Enjoy Illinois 300 Picks


  • Ryan Blaney – $10,800; Starting P3
  • Joey Logano – $9,300; Starting P12
  • Chris Buescher – $8,500; Starting P26
  • Ross Chastain – $8,200; Starting P16
  • Josh Berry – $7,200; Starting P29
  • Justin Haley – $5,700; Starting P21

I can’t recall the last time I played this many Fords. And the one thing I’m concerned about is the obvious narrative that the Toyotas absolutely love their setup. Playing both Blaney and Logano is an investment in Blaney getting around McDowell and Cindric and leading most of stage one. We only hope Logano can log laps led later on. Logano has been trending better and the Fords have found more speed. Targeting the position differential with Buescher is easy. Chastain may be somewhat contrarian and I’m hoping for leverage. But Berry is an easy value play in addition to Haley who has top 15 upside. The Rick Ware Racing alliance with RFK Racing has been beneficial this year and we hope that continues at Gateway for this specific lineup.


  • Martin Truex Jr. – $13,000; Starting P19
  • Ryan Blaney – $10,500; Starting P3
  • Kyle Busch – $10,000; Starting P10
  • Joey Logano – $9,000; Starting P12
  • Josh Berry – $7,200; Starting P29

If there’s one track where we don’t need drivers starting deep, it might be Gateway. It’s a very challenging track to pass at. It’s risky to lean on the track history of Logano and Busch. But Logano was at least fast in practice. Similarly, Busch did qualify well. But will the recent form get in the way of a third straight dominant race at Gateway? For the value play, you can go anywhere here. But I trust the background that Berry possesses. I also trust that MTJ, Blaney, Busch, and Logano can all finish well. And there’s plenty of win equity with those four drivers. If most drivers target more PD with drivers starting deeper in the field, then at least we’ve built a unique lineup.

White Flag Thoughts Before You Go

Obviously, it’s hard to top the anticipation from a week ago. But this race can top the actual entertainment and quality of racing. It shouldn’t be hard as the Coca-Cola 600 was a large disappointment. Gateway hasn’t produced great racing. But the sample size is small and we’ve seen good racing in this package this year. Additionally, don’t marry yourself to the idea you need to force position differential in your lineups. Dominator points should still be the priority with 240 laps on tap. And we’ve easily seen multiple dominators at this track in the last two races. Tires will not play a role here so don’t hesitate to plug in drivers and teams that know how to strategize better than others. Best of luck this week! Go drive yourself to victory lane!

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