– 2 mile track
– 100 laps with stage breaks at laps 20 and 40.
– 2019 winner: Austin Hill
– Qualifying set by random draw
Last year’s optimal lineup featured the drivers that finished 1,2,3,4,5,9 and started 6,18,17,8,23,30, respectively. This tells me we need some PD upside plays. However, they don’t have to come from deep in the field necessarily. The optimal lineup would’ve likely included the polesitter if he hadn’t gotten involved in a wreck on pit road at the end of stage one, considering he led 23 of the 1st 25 laps. Of the 23 trucks still running at the end of the race, 22 were on the lead lap. Given the size of the track, punts have more viability as long as they make it through the race without damage. While this is an intermediate track, it does have quite a bit of drafting similar to the plate tracks in this series. Speed and avoiding wrecks will be paramount in finishing well. Dom points are expected to be spread out among mostly the top 10 drivers.
With that being said, there are a few different routes you can go:1) Pay up for high-priced drivers with PD upside. Similar to plate tracks.2) Play 1 of them, in addition to 2-3 drivers with top 5 potentials, possibly 1 punt.3) Focus on mid tier and top 5-10 finishing potential.
Chandler Smith (1) – He is driving the fastest truck in the series and starting on the pole. He is also the best prospect entering the NASCAR circuit in quite some time, in my opinion. Given his 22nd place finish at Kentucky, people may fade him. However, the race was shortened by rain and pitting trapped him towards the back. I will have quite a bit today.
Brett Moffitt (2) – Moffitt has the best track history of anyone in today’s field with two wins in the last four races at Michigan and the fastest truck here last year. However, both of those wins came with a different team and truck. Overall, he has the 4thfastest truck this season, but has ranked just 13th among full-time drivers in position retention on restarts. It’s possible he could lead at the start but I’m wary considering he ranks 17th in restarts from the non-preferred groove. Trending upward but still not quite there yet.
Christian Eckes (3) – I never seem to get him right. After he screwed people from the pole a few weeks ago, I’m not sure what to think. Ranks 6th in central speed this season, but in the final 25% of races, his speed has ranked 17th. Has led laps in all but 2 races and had fast laps in all but 1 but I trust others starting up front more.
Matt Crafton (4) – Crafton has been running well recently and is a consistent top 5 threat. However, he needs dom points to pay off this week and him just has not been a good source for them this season. Overpriced and starting too close to the front in my opinion.
Austin Hill (5) – Hill has been 2nd fastest behind Kyle Busch’s #51 this year. He has finished top 10 in 9/10 races this season and ranks 1st in average driver rating. Last season, he won this race as well as at Daytona. That truck that Moffitt won with at Michigan? Yeah, it was this one. Given his speed and history at large tracks, he is one of my favorite high-priced options today.
Grant Enfinger (6) – He needs a 5th place finish to pay off his salary. While he does have 4 top 5 finishes this year, his average running position has been worse than 5th in every race except Daytona! Add in that he ranks 14th in central speed this year and I will gladly fade.
Zane Smith (7) – My favorite driver in the Truck Series and arguably the best one this season. Over the past four races, he has the highest average driver rating, most laps led, and most fast laps. Has had a top 5 average running position in 3 of past 4 and in the 3rd fastest truck. Still way underpriced given his talent and equipment.
Sheldon Creed (8) – While he ranks as the best restarter overall and from the preferred groove, his finishes have involved quite a bit of luck. Only 2 times this season has Creed averaged a 5thplace running position; one was in a rain-shortened win and the other was when he started 2nd at a track with little passing. I’ll pass.
Derek Kraus (9) – He has been one of my favorite plays of late and is still underpriced! Surprisingly, this rookie has the 4th best avg finish of all drivers this season with 4 top 10s in the last 5 races. Now that his price has come up some and he’s starting in the top 10, he’s not a lock but I still like him this week.
Ben Rhodes (10) – Sneakily has been one of the best drivers this season, ranking 2nd in driver rating. Lacks dom potential but has run in the top 7 in 5/10 races this year. 2nd fastest truck at Michigan last year but ran into trouble late. Should be solid option for top 5 potential.
Raphael Lessard (11) – I have played him way more than I should’ve recently. He has tons of potential and is in sound equipment, but he needs 9th place to achieve 5x value. I’m fading until he can at least get 1 top 10 this season.
David Gravel (12) – Lots of unknown here. Gravel will be driving the #24 GMS Racing truck that Chase Elliott and Chase Purdy have driven this year. He is a dirt racer who was supposed to make his first Truck Series start at Eldora this summer, but it was canceled. No practice and starting 12th? I’ll pass until I see more.
Johnny Sauter (13) – Easiest fade for me. He continues to be priced way too high. Average running position 13th this season.Needs 2nd to pay off and likely still isn’t optimal given how much salary he takes up.
Tyler Ankrum (14) – About a 7th-10th place truck. Given the price, I’ll fade and hope for the best.
Jeb Burton (15) – While this is a Niece Motorsports truck, it ranks 26th in speed. Usually, Natalie Decker drives it, though. Despite the upgrade in driver, the price is way too high based on name alone and starting position.
Tanner Gray (16) – Another driver I had liked playing this year but more so when he was priced below $7k. Needs 11th place finish but hasn’t ran around there all year. Ranks 20th in speed.
Brennan Poole (17) – Needs 13th to hit value. Has only two races where he ran the majority of the race in top 15, one of which was when he started 4th due to the invert in the 2nd half of a doubleheader.
Ty Majeski (18) – Has burnt me several times this year in a similar spot. Top 15 truck, but risky as he runs into trouble quite a bit.
Todd Gilliland (19) – He has run poorly of late but does have the 7th fastest truck this season and top 10 avg running position in 8/10 races. Provides some PD upside and only needs 9th to pay off.
Ryan Truex (20) – Truex is driving the #40 that Chastain is usually driving, which is a top 15 truck. Need a top 15 finish to hit value. Had a bad result in his only other race this season but it was due to a late pit crew penalty. Has the 2nd best positive PD in the 4th qtr of races this year.
Stewart Friesen (21) – Just not the same driver in his Toyota this year that he was in a Chevy last year. Ranks 23rd in speed and have just been terrible this year. Overpriced and I am fading until further notice.
Clay Greenfield (22), Jesse Iwuji (23), Jordan Anderson (24)– No analysis needed. Just don’t play them. Greenfield and Anderson are overpriced. Iwuji will probably nail the wall in every turn.
Tate Fogleman (25) – Typical popular PD play but risky. I like others starting further back more.
Codie Rohrbaugh (26) – Nope.
Austin Wayne Self (27) – Has finished top 20 in 5 of past 6. In fact, he has finished top 20 in all but one race excluding Daytona (for obvious reasons) and Pocono (where he got wrecked lap 1). Likely chalky.
Cory Roper (28) – See Tate Fogleman.
Josh Reaume (29) – Driving the truck typically driven by Angela Ruch, which is about a 25th-30th place truck. Needs 24thfor value so will need some help. Decent history here last year and very cheap. Could take a flier.
Tyler Hill (30) – I like when his brother Timmy is driving more, but Tyler is finally starting far enough back to be a good play. I trust him more than the other punts below $6k. The race likely has to break a certain way for this to work and he will likely be chalky though.
Spencer Boyd (31) – See Fogleman, Rohrbaugh. I like cheaper options and those starting further back more, but ok play.
Timothy Viens (32) – Driving the worst truck in the series, a 2017 Silverado, and has finished 13 and 16 laps down in his last 2 races in this truck. Lowest priced options but you’re definitely hoping for wrecks if you play him.
Jennifer Jo Cobb (33) – 3rd slowest truck in the series. Similar play to Viens.
John Hunter Nemechek (34) – Highest priced driver and will likely be chalky given the immense PD upside he provides. Plus, casuals will see his name and recognize him from the Cup Series. Average 16th in speed in 2 races this season with finishes of 6th and 24th. Need top 10 to pay off, which is possible, but it limits your exposure to other top 5 finishers and potential doms.
Parker Kligerman (35) – He is a similar play to Nemechek. Has been in the optimal lineup in the races he’s running this year but needs 12th to pay off. Around a 15th place truck in my opinion. He and Nemechek could easily make me look like a fool, but I feel like they’re trap plays.
Norm Benning (36) – See Viens and Cobb. 2nd worst truck in the Series. They are priced too high.
Ray Ciccarelli (37) – Slightly higher priced than other punts but has 30th place speed on average. Also finished 9th here last year, placing him in the optimal lineup.
Dawson Cram (38), Trey Hutchens III (39) – Similar plays. Starting this far back, they can’t kill you, but will need help to make it into optimal lineups. Wish they were priced below $5k.
Austin Hill – 10100
Chandler Smith – 9500
Todd Gilliland – 8900
Zane Smith – 8400
Ben Rhodes – 8100
Derek Kraus – 7700
Ryan Truex – 6800
Austin Wayne Self – 6000
Johnny Sauter – 10400
Stewart Friesen – 9100
Tyler Ankrum – 8700
Jeb Burton – 8300
Raphael Lessard – 7400
Brennan Poole – 7000
David Gravel – 6500