LiftKits4Less.com 200 (Trucks)
Friday, May 5th, 2021
***Due to time constraints, this article will be much shorter than usual today and mainly focus just on who is in my pool. For questions about specific drivers not mentioned here, join our FREE Fantasy Sports Degens slack chat!
This week, we are racing at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, one of my favorite tracks! I love this history associated with it, the tire wear, the steep banking, and the throwback paint schemes. Whether in person (you need to go!) or on TV, it usually makes for exciting racing. There are 147 laps scheduled for tonight’s Truck Series race, which means a maximum of 100 dominator points available. Without further ado, let’s dig in!
Drivers to Target
John Hunter Nemechek ($11,100; starts 1st) – Easily the best driver in the series all year and the only one to be able to compete with Kyle Busch for wins in the races he’s entered. JHN also ran well at high-banked tracks last year in the Cup Series. Starting on the pole, I expect him to be the main dominator.
Parker Kligerman ($10,400; starts 36th) – Kligerman is a good driver with experience and also a talented iRacer. Why is that important? With the lack of practice, I think he can get the most of simulations, compared to other drivers in the field. He isn’t in the best truck, but we’ve seen Sam Mayer do decent in it. I expect him to take care of his equipment and end up top 10 which would pay off his salary.
Sheldon Creed ($10,100; starts 15th) – Creed and Moffitt were the only two trucks to have a substantial amount of laps led or fastest laps here last year. Moffitt is no longer in the series, so Creed is my default second favorite to lead laps behind Nemechek. Despite early struggles this season, Creed looked fast last week at Kansas, leading 41 laps. Given his place differential upside, he may still be optimal with a 2nd place finish if JHN completely dominates.
**Note: I will likely use 2 of these 3 drivers above in every lineup I make.
Bayley Currey ($8,600; starts 38th) – Man, Currey was impressive last week at Kansas in this Niece Motorsports truck. Typically, unless Ross Chastain is in them, Niece trucks have a ceiling of around a 10th place finish. Currey ran around there most of the race last week and has finished 18th or better in 6 of the 7 races he’s ran for Niece, which would yield a 5.2x value here at Darlington.
David Gilliland ($8,400, starts 35th) – I don’t think he’s a great driver and he doesn’t run all the time, but he does have experience here in the Cup Series. Also, he owns his truck team, so I could see him taking care of his equipment and taking advantage of others’ inexperience at Darlington. I have him projected for a 16th place finish, which would pay off similarly to Currey. He could be a lower owned pivot, but they may both work in a line together if you think one driver dominates OR if you are playing cash and mitigating risk by playing just place differential drivers.
Corey Heim ($6,900; starts 13th) – This is my favorite, somewhat sneaky play this week. Heim will be in Kyle Busch’s #51 truck, the fastest in the series. Heim is a name most won’t recognize, but he has ran some in the ARCA series. At Winchester Speedway, a similar but smaller track, Heim finished 2nd in 2019. Why does that matter? Erik Jones won 3 times there and has yet to finish outside the top 10 in the Cup Series at Darlington. I think Heim can achieve a top 5 finish tonight which would be my highest projected value behind JHN and Creed. Side note: I have a friend who bet on Josh Berry to win in the Xfinity Series and he won $15,000. His next gut feeling bet? Heim to win Darlington….
Chase Purdy ($6,400; starts 24th), Ryan Reed ($6,200, starts 19th) – These are two very similar plays and I expect them to be chalky given the lack of value down here in this range. Both are in GMS Racing trucks, capable of finishing in the top 10 if no issues arise, but that is a big “if.” Purdy always seems to find a way to mess up and cost us money. Reed, on the other hand, is a decent driver who’s had a lot of misfortune and bad timing in his career. Anyway, don’t worry about his last place finish from Kansas as he was in a terrible truck. Hopefully, others won’t notice the upgrade in equipment this week. Also, for what it’s worth, Purdy has ran decent at Winchester Speedway as well.
Carson Hocevar ($5,500; starts 14th) – This is a risky play, but may be needed for salary relief. Hocevar has been better than expected thus far in 2021 with 1 top 10 and 4 top 15s. I tend to like to target drivers with dirt racing backgrounds at steep tracks like Darlington and Homestead (think Larson and Reddick). Hocevar is a dirt racer and also won the Winchester 400 in 2020, leading 342 of 400 laps. This may not work with him starting 14th, but holding his position will yield 5x value.
Others worth consideration:
Austin Hill, Zane Smith – only if you think they take dominator points away from Creed/JHN
Chandler Smith – if you want a pivot off Currey/Gilliland and think he finishes top 5
Tate Fogleman, Spencer Boyd – salary relief punts with ceiling of 20th place finish
Everyone else priced under $6k not previously mentioned
Good luck this week! Again, if you have any questions, reach out to me on Twitter (@dsmaybin0308) or join our FREE Fantasy Sports Degens slack chat. Looking forward to the green screens tonight!