SpeedyCash.com 220 (TRUCKS)

Texas Motor Speedway

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Drivers to Target

$10k and above

Chase Elliott (22) – When Kyle Busch is in these races, he’s regularly priced over $15000. Now, Chase is entered and doesn’t even crack the $12000 threshold. In that case, I’d normally say he’s a lock. However, I am slightly hesitant this week. According to the GMS Racing website, Elliott will be racing a chassis from 2020 that won races at Iowa and Bristol. While it is nice to see wins, those tracks do not align with Texas at all. How much will that affect Chase’s ability to dominate? He may not win, but I trust his ability in a mismatched chassis better than a series regular driver in mediocre equipment. Regardless, given the place differential upside, he’s still nearly a lock for me in cash lineups.

John Hunter Nemechek (1) – JHN has had the highest driver rating in 3 of the 5 intermediate track races in 2021. In the other 2 races, he ranked 2nd behind his boss, Kyle Busch. The closest two tracks on the schedule based on shape, length, and tire wear are Vegas and Charlotte. Nemechek won both those races, and now is starting on the pole. There is a clear path to hog points, which is good since he needs at least 20 to hit 6x value. Why should we doubt him now?

Sheldon Creed (16) – After a slow start to the season, Creed has been running much stronger over the past month or so. In 2020, he had 7 top 3 finishes at 1.5 mile tracks. Fortunately, he’s also bringing the same chassis that he won with here at Texas last fall. At Vegas and Charlotte this year, he was good but not great. He does have some place differential upside which should supplant any hog points he’d normally need to hit value. 

Ross Chastain (24) – At the beginning of 2021, I wrote off the Niece Motorsports teams due to a decline in equipment over the 2020 season. However, Chastain has been impressive in the two races he’s run, finishing 7th at Atlanta and 2nd at Kansas. He also finished 10th here last spring and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him competing for a top 5 finish today. He’s another driver with strong place differential upside. Do we go with the hog points that Nemechek will likely score or do we focus on the place differential points? Either way, I’ll likely have at least 2 drivers from this range in every lineup.

$8k to $10k

Grant Enfinger (18) – He has 3 4th-place finishes in the past 6 Texas races. Also, at Vegas earlier this year, he ranked 3rd in driver rating on his way to a 7th-place finish. Did I mention that was in far inferior equipment? Now, he’s back in the #98 truck and provides some place differential. A top 5 finish will give us the 5x value we desire.

Matt Crafton (15) – Crafton is a similar play to Enfinger. They both run for ThorSport Racing, have similar top 5 upside, priced closely, and are both starting in the teens. Crafton has 4 top 5 finishes in the past 6 Texas races, finishing 6th, 9th (nice) in the other two. 2021 has been a mixed bag of results, but his best race this year was Vegas, where he ranked 4th in driver rating and finished 5th.

Josh Berry (33) – Now, he isn’t the plug and play when starting in the back that he has been in the Xfinity Series, mainly due to the equipment he will be in, but I still have some interest. This truck is capable to usually finishing in the 20th to 25th range. For whatever reason, there are always a lot of wrecks at Texas in the Truck Series. If he can avoid those wrecks, Berry is capable of top 15 potential. I trust his ability to stay out of trouble better than others starting 30th or worse. His price is a little high, but if he fits, I think he’s a strong play.

$6k to $8k

Tanner Gray (20) – I am not as confident in this play, but I currently have him projected for 5.1x value and a 13th place finish. Now, that’s a ceiling type projection, so it will likely require some help from other stronger trucks having issues. He did finish 10th here last fall and 12th at Vegas earlier this season.

Brennan Poole (27) – He is finally back in the #30 truck, taking over for Danny Bohn. He finished top 20 in 6 of the 8 intermediate track races he ran last season. Unfortunately, his two poor finishes came at Charlotte and Texas, but both were due to crashes. His finishes at the past 4 Texas races are 31, 7, 9, and 15. We need a 17th-place finish for 5x value.

Chase Purdy (28) – He’s in play every week, and I usually regret playing him every week. Now, his price continues to drop and he’s starting a little further back. While I fully expect Purdy to end up in a wreck, he has huge upside if he can avoid the mayhem. He is near 5x value with a 20th place finish and has the potential to earn a top 15 with a clean run.

$6k and below

Nearly everyone in this range is in play due to how the Texas Truck Series races tend to play out. Punting is often optimal at Texas, but it comes down to choosing the right one. So how do we narrow it down? I will likely fade any starting better than 30th. I’ll consider Howie Disavino III (30) as his equipment is slightly better than others in this range. Others worthy of strong consideration are Jennifer Jo Cobb (32), Ray Ciccarelli (36), and Norm Benning (35). Wait, what?!?!?! You heard me. If there’s ever a place to play these fools, it’s here at Texas. JJC has finished 24th or better in 5 of the past 6 Texas races due to going so slow that she avoids the wrecks. Also, she is from Texas, so maybe she brings better equipment. Likewise, Ciccarelli finished 22nd here last fall and 16th in spring 2019. Benning finished 26th and 34th here in 2020 and could gain spots again. He is more risky, however, since in recent weeks, he has been unable to maintain minimum speed on the track, resulting in penalties from NASCAR.