The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will join the Xfinity Series in a double-header of racing Saturday at Pocono Raceway. The Trucks will be on the track for what should be an exciting race. This is the last race for the truckers before their playoffs start next week at Lucas Oil Raceway. It should be fun to see if another trucker can win at the “Tricky Triangle” and secure a spot in the playoffs. The CRC Brakleen 150 can be seen Saturday at 12 p.m. ET on FOX (Yes, the truckers get to be on FOX this week and not FS1).
STRATEGY FOR POCONO
The race in Pocono is scheduled for 60 laps (150 miles). That means there are only 15 points available for leading laps and 27 points available for fastest laps (42 dominator points).
The trend in the Truck Series at Pocono is for three drivers to dominate the race. The main dominator typically leads 20 laps and scores 12 fastest laps (10.4 dominator points). A second driver leads 18 laps and scores 12 fastest laps (9.9 dominator points). The third driver leads 12 laps and scores 6 fastest laps (5.7 dominator points). That is not enough dominator points to chase this week.
We need to focus our picks on finishing position at Pocono. We should win all of our contests if we can find six drivers who can finish in the top-10. It will also help if the drivers score some place differential points on their way to the top 10.
PRACTICE / QUALIFYING
The Truck Series practice and qualifying was rained out Friday. That means NASCAR set the lineup for the race “per the rule book.” That means there are some great picks who will be starting deep in the field. Ryan Preece and Austin Hill start outside the top-20. They are almost locks for 15-20 place differential points. These two drivers are going to be popular but it may be tough to win your DraftKings Contest without Preece and/or Hill in your lineup.
Here is the lineup for Saturday’s Truck Series race…
DRIVER RANKINGS FOR POCONO
CORE DRIVERS FOR POCONO
Top-Tier Drivers: John H. Nemechek ($11,100), Zane Smith ($10,800), Ryan Preece ($10,600), Corey Heim ($10,400), Austin Hill ($10,200), Carson Hocevar ($9,800), Christian Eckes ($9,500), Ty Majewski ($9,300)
Value Drivers: Ben Rhodes ($8,900), Tyler Ankrum ($8,500), Matt DiBenedetto ($8,300), Derek Kraus ($8,200), Matt Crafton ($8,000), Hailie Deegan ($7,400), Colby Howard ($7,200), Tate Fogleman ($7,000), Chase Purdy ($6,800), Todd Bodine ($6,700), Timmy Hill ($6,100).
* I like Tate Fogelman more than the model that produced the rankings this week.
Punt Plays: Spencer Boyd ($5,900), Lawless Alan ($5,600), Dean Thompson ($5,500), Kaden Honeycutt ($5,300), Tyler Hill ($5,000), Jesse Little ($4,900)
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST PICKS
JOHN H. NEMECHEK ($11,100): DraftKings makes Nemechek the highest priced driver each week, but should he be? Nemechek has only won one race and only has six finishes in the top-five this year (in 15 races). That could change Sunday though. Nemechek won the race at Pocono last year. He starts 12th so he is going to be a highly owned driver. I will fade him in most of my Tournament Contest lineup and use Nemechek in all of the Cash Contest lineups this week.
RYAN PREECE ($10,600): Preece will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 truck for DGR Saturday. Preece has driven this truck in six races this year. He won at Nashville and Preece has a 5th-place average finishing position. He starts 22nd so he should be a lock for 14-18 place differential points. Preece is going to be one of the highest owned drivers. I will eat the chalk in some Tournament Contest and play him in all Cash Contest Saturday.
AUSTIN HILL ($10,200): Hill will be behind the wheel of the No. 7 truck for Spire Motorsports. William Byron won the race at Martinsville in this truck and Chase Elliott finished 7th at Bristol. Hill has been pretty good at Pocono in the truck Series. He finished 2nd at the Tricky Triangle in 2020 and 5th last year. Hill starts 31st so he has a great chance to be the highest scoring driver in DraftKings Contests this week. We may have to eat the chalk in Tournament Contests and Hill is a lock for all Cash Contests at Pocono.
TODD BODINE ($6,700): Bodine will once again be behind the wheel of the No. 62 truck for Halmar Friesen Racing. Bodine has driven this truck in 5 races this year. His average finishing position in those races is 18th. He should score very well from the 34th starting position Saturday.
TIMMY HILL ($6,100): Hill is always in my lineup so there is no reason to fade him this week. Hill is consistently the most underpriced driver in DraftKings Contests. His 28.6 average DK Points per Contest at 15th-best, but he is the 26th highest-priced driver. Hill starts 20th Saturday so there is some risk in using him in your lineup, but I trust Hill to finish inside the top-20 at Pocono.
TYLER HILL ($5,000): Hill will be a good “punt play” this week. Hill has averaged 24.7 DK Points in his three races in the Truck Series this year (not bad for $5K). Hill has two races at Pocono on his resume. He started 30th and finished 19th in 2020 (35 DK Points) and Hill started 30th and finished 24th last year (24 DK Points). Hill starts 35th Saturday and should be a good pick to score 30+ DK Points for your lineup.
* This lineup should be good for Tournaments contest too.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMNT CONTEST PICKS
* My Strategy for the Tournament Contest lineup is to “fade the chalk” and use the drivers who start up front with a good chance to finish up front.
ZANE SMITH ($10,800): Smith has been the best driver in the Truck Series this year. I do not understand why he is not the highest-priced driver in DraftKings Contests. Smith has won three races this, has the best average finishing position, led the most maps, scored the most fastest laps and finished 13 of the 15 races in the top-10. Smith finished 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 2nd in his last 4 races. You cannot find a safer pick than Smith this week.
TY MAJEWSKI ($9,300): You can never have too many ThorSport Racing drivers in your lineup. Majewski has not been to Victory Lane this season but he has been consistently good. Majewski has finished half of the races in the top-5. He could add another top-5 finish to his resume this week. Majewski starts sixth so most people will fade Majewski and use drivers who start deeper in the field.
TYLER ANKRUM ($8,500): Ankrum has been one of my go-to-drivers this year because he is usually reasonably priced and he has the upside to finish in the top-10. That is the case again this week. Ankrum starts 14th and should have a good chance to finish in the top-10 at Pocono.
MATT DIBENEDETTO ($8,300): I expected a lot more from DiBenedetto in the Truck Series this year. I know his Rackley Racing truck doesn’t have the funding that the ThorSport Racing or KBM trucks have, but we have seen many drivers come down to the truck series in mid-tier trucks and dominate races (Ross Chastain in the Niece Motorsports trucks is one example). DiBenedetto is in a “must win situation.” He starts 16th and DiBenedetto should score some place differential points on his way to the top-10.
MATT CRAFTON ($8,000): Has Father Time finally caught up with Crafton? He has only finished 8 of the 15 races in the top-10 this year. Crafton is 70 points below the cutoffs for the playoffs so he has to win Saturday. I doubt he will win the race Saturday but Crafton should have a good chance to finish in the top-10. He has finished 4 of his last 5 races at Pocono in the top-10, including a 6th-place finish last year.
TYLER HILL ($5,000): Hill will be in my Cash and Tournament Contest lineups this week. Hill is all reward and no risk since he starts 35th. I am hoping the 5 drivers listed above all finish in the top-10 and hill can move up 10-15 spots in the race. This lineup should score well if that happens.
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