E.P.T. 200 at Kansas Motor Speedway

NASCAR Truck Series 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Last night’s truck race went well as multiple members of Fantasy Sports Degens made huge profits! We honestly expected Eckes to pull away at the beginning, but after Moffitt beat him into turn one, he was no longer a factor. If not for that and Chastain’s troubles, we may have had more, but regardless, let’s move on to the 2nd half of this doubleheader. (Side note: Why is the race sponsored by a home pregnancy test? Weird, but I digress…)

Roster Construction

This is the 1st doubleheader in the Truck Series. Fortunately, we have seen this scenario play out in the other two series. Winning lineups have tended to have chalky PD plays and 1-2 doms. This race will be similar but may be different since there are not many good trucks that had issues in last night’s race. Chastain finished 34th, but he is being replaced by Travis Pastrana (yes, that Travis Pastrana) for today’s race. I really like the midrange drivers, so let’s dig in a little deeper.

$10k and above

Austin Hill (15) – Man, his truck looked very strong in last night’s race! He had an avg running position of 2nd, 19 fastest laps, and 65 laps led on the way to his first win of 2020. Tied for the 2nd fastest truck of the year and significant PD upside, Hill is a strong play in all formats.

Brandon Jones (2) – Like yesterday, I do not feel good about this play. His price makes it even tougher to feel comfortable with. Despite having the season’s fastest truck (when Kyle Busch drove it), his avg running position was 12th. He should get out to an early lead starting alongside Chase Purdy on the front row, but the question is: How long does he stay there? He needs a 5th place with 30 laps led or a win with 10 laps led to pay off his high salary. Okay pivot option. 

Brett Moffitt (14) – I was wrong about the start of last night’s race, thinking that Eckes would lead early. I underestimated that Chevy power (sorry, dad) as Moffitt ran the most fast laps (21) and led the 2nd most laps (21) en route to a 2nd place finish. His truck may not be as strong in traffic, but given the PD upside and his speed trending upward in the past 3 races, he is a good play today.

Fades: Christian Eckes, Johnny Sauter

$8k to $10k

Zane Smith (10) – I loved this play starting 7th yesterday and I do again today. His price has increased significantly but at times last night, he appeared to be the best truck on the track. He had 14 fast laps, 17 laps led, avg running position of 5th, and the 3rd highest driver rating in last night’s race behind Hill and Moffitt. 

Stewart Friesen (27) – Friesen is just not the same driver he was in past seasons. The switch from Chevy to Toyota and lack of practice have really hurt him this year. He did run into issues in last night’s race and has ranked outside the top 20 in green-flag speed this season. However, we need a 13th place finish to pay off his salary and he should be able to contend for that.

Grant Enfinger (13) – For some reason, he’s always higher owned than I expect him to be. In my opinion, he is a 5th to 10th place driver, but he eeks out the top 3 performances when others struggle. Fortunately for us, he needs a 7th place finish to achieve 5x value. The upside is limited, but he can surprise at any moment. I see him as the Brad Keselowski of the Truck Series.

Tyler Ankrum (33) – Ankrum dealt with right rear tire and brake issues Friday night that put him in the garage and caused him to finish multiple laps down. I expect him to be the chalkiest driver on the slate. Needs a 17th place finish to hit value. He has had better avg running position and finishing position than that in every race this season (excluding the mayhem that is Daytona).

May consider: Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes

Fades: Sheldon Creed, Spencer Davis, Brennan Poole

$6k to $8k

Tanner Gray (18) – I much prefer Tanner Gray starting back here than the 13th starting position he had last night. He ran around 15th all night. He has 5 top 12 finishes this year and needs 11th to pay off. Similar to Enfinger, the ceiling is likely 5x.

Raphael Lessard (16) – People refuse to play him and I understand why. He has yet to record a single top 10 finish this season.  However, he has an avg running position of 12th or better in 4 races this season including the last 2. He looked fast last night, running 5th at the halfway point and just needs to finish. 

Derek Kraus (11) – Again, one of my favorite plays. The kid continues to rack up the top 10 finishes and Draftkings refuses to adjust his salary. All we really need is another top 10 today. Given he just finished 5th in this truck and ran around 8th all race, he is one of the safest options on the slate.

Travis Pastrana (34) – This isn’t BMX. This isn’t Nitro Circus. Why would we even consider Pastrana who hasn’t run a race since 2017?! Well, there aren’t many good plays down here for one. Two, he has run 3 Truck Series races, all at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a comparable track to Kansas with finishes of 15th, 16th, and 22nd. He is running Ross Chastain’s truck which is the 10th fastest in speed this season and starting 34th thanks to Chastain’s issues in last night’s race. Prior to his brake issues, Chastain was running in the top 10. Do I expect that out of Pastrana? No, but he’s an intriguing play at 6600.

Fades: Greenfield, Anderson, Purdy, Lyons, Self, Roper, T. Hill

Under $6k

I really do not want to go down to this range. Some potential punts are starting too close to the front or have not shown the ability to move up any further than 30th in the race. If you really need the salary relief, you could consider Natalie Decker or Spencer Boyd as they have the potential to finish around where they start, but I’d still rather not go any lower than 6k.

Final Thoughts

There will be several drivers going to the back due to driver changes or modifications to the truck and that information will be released in the morning. This shouldn’t affect our strategy as those expected to go to the back are already starting 25th or worse. My lineups will likely center around Austin Hill, Tyler Ankrum, Derek Kraus, and another dom. 

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up in the Fantasy Sports Degens slack chat or on Twitter (@dsmaybin0308). Best of luck!