Well, guys, the Xfinity race went just about as expected yesterday. The best drivers were able to finish well except for some of the ringers who got overaggressive with the turns. Place differential was vital. However, due to some of the chalky PD drivers wrecking, winning lineups included both Cindric and Allmendinger. I don’t believe we will see a similar situation today and will continue to focus on place differential, especially with even less laps and less road course experience throughout the field.
$10k and above
Alex Tagliani (10800) – Starting 21st. Tagliani is the most experienced road course racer in the field. He has experience in IndyCar (AVF 14.5), Rolex SportsCar (6/6 top 10s), Xfinity (AVF 3.6), and Trucks (AVF 10.4). Most importantly, he has experience at this track, unlike many others in the field. He is also in the best truck in the field, the KBM #51, and should contend for the win, but we only need a top 5 finish.
Kris Wright (10500) – Starting 26th. Wright will be driving the #24 GMS Racing truck that has been wheeled by Chase Elliott and Chase Purdy mostly this year. He is the next most impressive road course racer behind Tagliani. He finished 2nd in the 2019 Rolex 24 at this track, has 2 starts in the ARCA West series this year, finishing 2nd and 3rd, and a 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge Championship with 6/6 top 3 finishes. He also has experience racing trucks in the past. Need an 8th place finish.
Mike Skeen (10200) – Starting 38th. Skeen provides the most PD upside on the slate—except for Tim Viens who I will not be playing—and is in a decent truck, the #8 that is typically driven by John Hunter Nemechek. Skeen does have experience at this track which is a huge plus. This will be his first truck series race since 2013 when his girlfriend slapped and dislocated the jaw of another driver after the race. Need 15th place finish.
*Note: It is a little difficult to fit all 3 of these drivers, but I will do it in at least 1 lineup and will have at least 2 of them in likely every other lineup.
$8k to $10k
Brett Moffitt (9300) – Starting 3rd. Moffitt has been the best road racer that races full-time in the series. In 3 starts at Canadian Tire—the only road course ran in the Truck series typically—he has an avg finish of 6.7 and won from the pole last year with 44 laps led and 21 fastest laps. In 4 road course starts in the K&N East series, he had four starts with an avg finish of 2.8 and 1 win. He doesn’t provide PD upside, but he is similar to the Cindric play from yesterday’s Xfinity race and could easily win this race. Need win or top 5 with 9+ dominator points.
Sheldon Creed (9100) – Starting 14th. As I mention every week, Creed is the best restarter in the series, which could be vital to pick 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 make. He attributes his success at these tracks to 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. Needs a 6th place finish.
Grant Enfinger (8900) – Starting 17th. In the ARCA series, he has road course finishes of 10th, 4th, 4th. In the 4 Truck series races at Canadian Tire, he has an avg finish of 14.3.I’m not crazy about playing him but he has a top 10 truckand could sneak into the optimal lineup. Need an 8th place finish to hit value.
Stewart Friesen (8800) – Starting 22nd. Friesen has been terrible this year but appears to be trending upward. In 2 starts at Canadian Tire, he has an avg start of 14.0 with two 7thplace finishes. Road courses tend to put the race more into the hands of the drivers, so I am not as worried as usual about his lack of speed. Need an 11th place finish.
Fades: Christian Eckes, Ben Rhodes, Tyler Ankrum
*Note: All other drivers in this range not mentioned are playable but much more risky. If I had to rank them, I’d go Kligerman > Sauter > Smith > Gilliland > Hill.
$6k to $8k
Jordan Anderson (7400) – Starting 25th. He’s miketuck12’s favorite driver in the series and is finally in a situation that I’m willing to play him. He has been somewhat disappointing so far this season, but in 5 starts at Canadian Tire, he has an avg finish of 16.8. Need a 16th place finish to pay off salary.
Austin Wayne Self (7000) – Starting 23rd. Self tends to run well at ovals and finish poorly due to wrecks. However, on road courses, he tends to have decent success. In 4 Truck series starts, he has an avg start of 19.5 and avg finish of 14.8. He also has 4 road course starts in the ARCA series with 1 first lap crash and avg finish of 7.7 in the other 3. Need 16th place finish.
Spencer Davis (6900) – Starting 31st. For the past seven races, Davis has been priced over $8k, likely due to being in better equipment last year. Now, his price has dropped almost 2k?! In 3 K&N East series road course starts, he has avg finish of 11.7. Need top 20 finish to pay off salary today, which he has done in 5 of 9 races this season.
Fades: Derek Kraus, Tanner Gray, Cory Roper, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Spencer Boyd
*Note: Fades mentioned above either start too high or are poor road course racers. Scott Lagasse Jr is in play starting 30th at 6400. However, he has much less experience than the other “ringers”, finishing worse than 20th in 2 Xfinity starts for RCR and no road course starts in the Truck series. He may be chalky and I’d rather go lower or target this mid-range.
$6k and below
Bryan Collyer (5300) – Starting 34th. Collyer does have experience on this track, which gives him an edge on some others. However, to my knowledge, he hasn’t run here since the Rolex 24 in 2007 and has no truck series experience. His truck is also slow, but if you need the salary relief, he isn’t the worst play, especially starting this far back. Need 25th place finish.
Norm Benning (5200) – Starting 32nd. Benning has one of the slowest trucks in the field, but he is in play if you expect wrecks to take out several drivers. Surprisingly, in 7 Truck series starts at Canadian Tire, he has an avg finish of 20.7. Need 25th place finish.
Natalie Decker (4600) – Starting 29th. Finally, she’s starting far enough back for us to consider her. She had little road course experience with only a 17th place finish at Road America in the ARCA series in 2017. However, she finished 16th at Pocono last year in this truck and in the top 15 there 3 of 4 races in the ARCA Series. I say that because of the flatness of turns that are somewhat similar to those in the infield of this track. She’s also in a much better truck than the other two mentioned in this range. Need 25th place finish.
*Note: I’m fading everyone else in this range. I think a lot of people will choose drivers in this range starting 30th or worse like Reuse, Smith, Kennedy, or Viens. They may see a new name and assume they’re a “ringer”. Reuse has 2 road course starts in this truck and no finish in the top 25. Kennedy has no racing experience listed on racing reference though he does have a little bit in a sports car series racing Mustangs, nothing notable however and in a terrible truck. Smith and Hocevar are dirt track racers, originally scheduled to run at Eldora (which was canceled) and have been thrown into this race. Viens is in a terrible truck and I trust others to move forward more.
Again, focus on place differential. The winning lineup may contain a driver starting in the top 10, but I would not play more than 1 of them in a list. You may have to double punt to fit in the top 3 drivers, but it could pay off greatly.
Core:- Alex Tagliani- Kris Wright- Spencer Davis
Favorite GPP plays: – Brett Moffitt- Sheldon Creed- Austin Wayne Self- Natalie Decker
Best of luck, everyone! Hopefully, we come out on the winning side. Regardless, I’m looking forward to getting back to more predictable tracks in the weeks ahead. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the Fantasy Sports Degens slack chat or hit me up on Twitter (@dsmaybin0308).