BrakeBest Brake Pads 159 at Daytona Infield Road Course

Camping World Truck Series

Friday, February 19, 2021

Welcome in, Speed Degens, to the first race preview article of the season! Last week, several members of our FSD Slack chat saw green screens, and we’re looking forward to building on that success this week!

Last Year’s Race

  • Last year’s optimal lineup: Sheldon Creed, Scott Lagasse Jr, Brett Moffitt, Matt Crafton, Raphael Lessard, Austin Wayne Self
  • 8 of the top 10 DK points scorers started outside of the top 10 to begin the race.
  • Best roster construction focused on finishing position as the optimal drivers finished 1,2,3,4,9,11. While targeting at least 5x value for drivers priced above $9000 and 6x value for all other drivers, it may come down to which drivers you believe can finish in the top 10.

**Note: Roster construction may differ slightly this year. Since the field is partially set based on finishing position, last week’s wreck fest at Daytona has some great trucks offering place differential upside this week.

Drivers to Target

$10000 and above

Sheldon Creed (5) – Here’s what I had to say about Creed at this track last year: “Creed is the best restarter in the series, which could be key to picking up positions on a track where drivers can spread out quickly. He finished 4th last year at Canadian Tire. In the Trans-Am Series, he was 4/4 top 10s at road courses and used iRacing to prepare, which many drivers relied on this week to prepare. He attributes his success at these tracks to an off-road racing experience due to the heavy throttle control required. He may be sneaky and is one of my favorite plays of those starting top 15.” He went on to be very impressive and pick up his second win of the season on his way to the series championship—my favorite choice to win the race.

John Hunter Nemechek (4) – Nemechek has made the Cup series’s unprecedented move to the Truck series to improve his chances of landing in a top-tier ride back in the Cup. He’s arguably the best truck in the field, racing for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He has been impressive at the Truck series’s road courses in the best with a win and 3 top 10s in 5 races. If Creed has issues, don’t be surprised if Nemechek is sitting in victory lane after the race.

*Austin Hill and Brett Moffitt are still good plays, but I may be taking a stand and fading them. They provide someplace differential upside and may gain some ownership due to that. In their past three road course races, they have 3 top 10s and 3 top 5s, respectively. Moffitt was the only driver who seemed like he had a chance at beating Creed here last year. However, he is in worse equipment this year, so while I think he can easily pullout a top 10, I have other dominators and place differential plays I feel stronger about. 

$8000 to $10000

Todd Gilliland (32) – He was running 6th here last year before issues took him out early. Before that, he had road course finishes of 11, 11, and 18. He’s not the best road course racer, but he only needs a 13th place finish to hit 5x value.

Stewart Friesen (30) – Friesen finds himself in a very similar situation to Gilliland but is a better racer, in my opinion. He has 3 top 10s in his three road course races, including last here at Daytona. He also needs to finish better than 13th to hit value, and I expect a top 10 finish.

Sam Mayer (36) – I’ve gone back and forth on this one, but I can’t ignore Mayer’s talent or starting position. He’s not in his usual GMS Racing truck, but Parker Kligerman performed well when running this truck last season in a limited capacity. Mayer doesn’t have others’ road course racing experience, but he did finish 2nd in the ARCA series last year and is arguably the most exciting prospect in the series.

Parker Chase (22) – Chase was a teammate of Kyle Busch at the 2020 24 Hours of Daytona and came from a road racing background. I would bet he struggles at first getting used to the rigidity and clunkiness of the truck compared to the sports cars he usually races, but he has the equipment to compete and the experience to be able to adjust. 

May consider: Matt Crafton.

$6000 to $8000

Raphael Lessard (12) – Lessard finished third here last year and needs a top 4 finish for 6x value. I don’t love him starting this high up, but he may come in under-owned and has legit top 5 upside.

Johnny Sauter (19) – Last year was not a good season for Sauter. I faded him almost all year, which proved to be the right move. However, this year, he is back in a Toyota and started on a high note, winning the pole last week at Daytona. His struggles are reflected in his price. He has 6 top 10s in his eight road course starts and was running around 10th last year before a wreck on the final lap caused him to drop out of the top 20.

Derek Kraus (31) – This is another strong place differential play. If last week was your first time watching the Trucks series, you probably think Kraus sucks after he wrecked four times. Last season, he wrecked ONLY 1 time all year! I’m not letting that affect my thinking one bit. He should be able to compete for a top 10 and only needs 17th to hit 5x value. 

Kaz Grala (24) – Grala is a very similar play to Parker Chase above. Last year at this track, he stepped into Austin Dillon’s Cup car on short notice and pulled out a top 10 finish. He has proven his ability on these trucks in all three series, but this truck isn’t the best. I wouldn’t play him and Chase together, but they’re potential pivots from those starting further back. 

May consider: Timothy Peters, Tanner Gray.

Under $6000

Timmy Hill (34) – To play the drivers in the $9k range and above, a punt may likely be needed. On a track where many don’t have any experience, I’ll take a chance on one of the best iRacers of this generation. He’s likely spent hours working on his craft online this week. He needs 23rd to pay off at 6x.

May consider: Norm Benning, Camden Murphy.

Final Thoughts

Focus on place differential and top 10 finishing potential, especially with so few dominator points available. If rostering a driver starting in the top 10, I would only play Creed or Nemechek, whichever one you think will win the race. It should be interesting seeing strong trucks having to work their way through the field, hopefully avoiding any damage. I may play 1 line with Creed and Nemechek, but I don’t think it will be a winning lineup.

Core Plays: Sheldon Creed, Stewart Friesen, Derek Kraus

Favorite GPP Plays: Sam Mayer, Johnny Sauter, Kaz Grala

Best of luck, Speed Degens! If you have questions or comments, feel free to hop in the FSD slack chat or hit me up on Twitter (@dsmaybin0308)!