Ladies and gentlemen, the NASCAR Truck Series is back! After a two-week hiatus, the series heads to the “lady in black” for the Dead on Tools 200 Friday Night at Darlington. To say I’m pumped to have the Trucks back would be an understatement. In the month of May, we get FOUR #TruckNightInAmerica races, and I can’t think of a better place to kick off the return than Darlington Raceway.
Before we go over the Best Bets & DFS plays for Darlington, we first must look back at the success we had at Bristol Dirt. After watching practice and the heat races, I was confident we were in store for a great day. All “Rhodes” led to Ben Rhodes having the best truck most of the evening, and helping us hit our Top-3 play by winning outright.
Zane Smith got the best of Chandler Smith late in the race to give us a key H2H victory. The buzzer-beater moment in the race came to us from Joey Logano as he beat Chase Elliott at the very end to give us the H2H victory and a SWEEP for our Truck Best Bets at Bristol Dirt!
As the series heads to one of the oldest tracks on the circuit, experience and the ability to maintain consistent speed especially late in a run will be KEY. For many, they know Darlington is an abrasive racetrack that chews up and spits out tires in the blink of an eye. However, for those that are new, you’ll want to pay close attention to both practice and qualifying sessions. The truck that is able to maintain solid speeds on 5, 10, and 15 lap averages will more than likely determine the driver that’s in contention late Friday Night.
Speaking of Friday Night. The weather forecast for Darlington is up in the air. There’s a 50% chance of rain/thunderstorms from 3 PM local time on. Why does that matter? Well, Ross Chastain is “attempting” to qualify for the race on Friday, and before you run to bet him to win or finish Top-3, just know he MUST successfully qualify because if rain cancels qualifying, Ross will be going home (aka to his motorhome).
In addition, if you know qualifying has the potential of being canceled due to rain, there is a ton of value right now across the board, and you would be foolish to pass up on the current value just to see if Ross Chastain qualifies.
Now that the weather portion is out of the way, we can now focus on the highly anticipated #TruckNightInAmerica event of the week! Personally, I love handicapping the Trucks Series at Darlington. It’s one of my favorite races on the entire Truck Series circuit.
An extremely difficult track to master, and one that takes a total team effort, the winner on Friday might have a few scrapes from the “lady in black” but don’t worry, those are only battle wounds. Friday Night. Under the lights. Let’s Go!
NASCAR Trucks Best Bets: Dead On Tools 200
#66 Ty Majeski -115 vs. #51 Corey Heim -115 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
What have I been talking about multiple times in this article? Experience at Darlington Matters. As a result, I can get a matchup where an experienced driver across multiple series, Ty Majeski, is going up against a young Corey Heim. Although Heim has a win this season, he has only competed in two Truck Series events, both being superspeedway type tracks (Daytona & Atlanta).
Majeski in the ThorSport Racing #66 Truck, sits 7th in the series standings and scored a 13th place finish at Darlington in the fall of 2021. I don’t see this H2H being that close and see Majeski coming out on top come Friday night.
#4 John Hunter Nemechek Top-3 +105 (Barstool Sportsbook)
At plus money (+105) right now on Barstool Sportsbook, you can get on the best drivers at Darlington in JHN over the past year. In two races alone in the Trucks at the “lady in black”, JHN has an average finish of 5th, a series high-speed rating of 132.9, has led 104 laps, and has been no worse than 3rd in four stages during his Truck Series tenure at Darlington.
He’s the odds-on favorite right now to win at +350 and has the experience needed to be in contention late on Friday Night. At plus money, I can’t pass up on this value.
DraftKings DFS Driver Picks: Dead on Tools 200
#23 Grant Enfinger – ($9.1k)
Only one driver in the last three Truck Series races at Darlington has finished Top-10 in all events. His name? Grant Enfinger. Obviously, Grant is a driver that knows how to get it done here, and if GMS comes out fast in practice/qualifying, watch out for Enfinger to be a contender all race long. At $9.1k, he’s a must-own in my DFS lineups!
#75 Parker Kligerman – ($8.5k)
We had this guy in our DFS lineup a few weeks ago at Bristol so why not again? After an extremely strong performance, there’s no reason why Parker can’t be the surprise of the night and have himself a career finish at Darlington. We know he’s fast so he’ll put plenty of quick lap times down.
He’s aggressive enough that even if he qualifies in the teens, I have full confidence he can get to the front and maintain speed through the end. There’s too much not to like about Parker this week and at $8.5k, I can easily add him to many if not all of my lineups and have myself a day in various contests!
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