The Craftsman Truck Series kicks off the 2024 season at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night! As is the case every year with NASCAR we start the season at Daytona and it’ll certainly be an outstanding weekend to start another season. Can it be frustrating for DFS? Absolutely, but we’ll get to that shortly. We’ve already kicked off a great week with the NASCAR Cup Series setting their starting lineup for the biggest race of the year. Former Daytona 500 winners, Joey Logano and Michael McDowell, flashed speed in their new Mustang Dark Horse  model, and both landed on the front row. The Toyotas stole the show Thursday night with Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell winning the Duels. Toyota, with nine cars in the Daytona 500 this year, could be a force especially if they can work in the draft with the Fords.


The Craftsman Truck Series has undergone a bit of a face lift. Kyle Busch Motorsports and GMS Racing, two prominent teams in this series, are no more. GMS closed up shop and KBM was sold to Spire Motorsports. Zane Smith, Carson Hocevar, Matt DiBenedetto, and Hailie Deegan are no longer in the series. But we still have recognizable names like Ty Majeski, Corey Heim, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, and Grant Enfinger still lingering. Ty Dillon lands a full-time ride with Rackley W.A.R. and he’s a name worth watching especially this weekend. But we have much to consider ahead of Friday night’s season opener so let’s dig into the top NASCAR DFS lineup picks for the Fresh From Florida 250!

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re a NASCAR DFS degenerate if you’re specifically researching for the Craftsman Truck Series. And I’m happy you’re here! Daytona International Speedway, the World Center of Racing, is a 2.5-mile “super” speedway with high banking, fast speeds, and plenty of wrecks. You can do all the NASCAR DFS research in the world for this style of race and at the end of the day, there’s only so much we can do. Even the best plays that make the most sense can wreck out. It ultimately comes down to your exposures and having the right leverage. And by all means, pray your drivers avoid crashing.

Zane Smith won this race the last two years. However, last year’s race was a bit of a disaster to start the year. Due to weather, we only saw 79 laps and 41 of those were run under caution. Despite the shortened race, nine drivers still finished at least five laps down and at least 11 drivers gained at least 10 spots of position differential including the winner, Zane Smith (Started P15) and the runner-up, Tanner Gray (started P19). At Talladega, a track similar to Daytona, half of the top 10 was composed of drivers who started outside the top 20, including the winner, Brett Moffitt (started P31). But overall we’ve seen anywhere from 10-20 drivers fail to finish this race in a given year.

It’s difficult to account for chaos, sure. But we can still build solid lineups for these races. I personally don’t love investing a ton of bankroll on Daytona or Talladega. There’s too much variance and these races are essentially lottery tickets. You’ll see plenty of salary left on the table. Do not be a casual player and try to spend every dollar of your salary on DraftKings. 

For Cash games for this race, you probably want to load up on drivers starting outside the top 20. More realistic, if you want a safer lineup, you’ll likely start drivers starting outside the top 30. 36 drivers ran this race a year ago. Of the drivers starting P30 or worse, only Clay Greenfield (started P31, finished 34th) failed to crack the top 25. Even Travis Pastrana started P25 and finished 13th. You can’t load up on too many drivers starting in the top 10 for your Cash game lineup. If they go backward, you’re losing points. Of the drivers that started in the top 12, eight of them finished 15th or worse. Going backwards in NASCAR DFS will cost you points. Moving up through the field will gain points. Hence why you’ll see #StackTheBack trending on NASCAR DFS Twitter anytime we’re racing at a superspeedway.

For Tournaments, you will need to mix in a few drivers starting inside the top 20. You have to take some risks mixing and matching drivers starting higher in the lineup while getting the safer PD (position differential) options. A lot of Tournament lineups across all three races this weekend may feature one or two drivers starting in the top 12 that may have the most win equity, then two drivers starting between P18-P30. And the last two spots will go to “back markers” starting deep in the field that you hope move up by keeping their rides clean.

Some things to keep in mind when building lineups? Don’t be afraid to stack a couple teammates or manufacturer candidates in the same build. The Chevrolets will all pit together and they represent about half the field. The Toyotas and the Fords will likely pit together as well. Teams and manufacturers will work together and “draft” together because you’ll see the field run in one giant pack. And if one person wrecks, they’re likely taking others with them.

These races are always fun to watch, but you’ll be pulling your hair out if you’re constantly watching your lineups on DraftKings. So be disciplined this weekend with how much you play. We have plenty of races we’ll be able to attack with more bankroll. So let’s take a look at the top plays for Friday night’s race ahead of qualifying!


Fresh From Florida 250 NASCAR DFS Lineup Picks

Top Price Core Plays

Christian Eckes ($9,800)

Some portions of this article are being written before we know the starting order. Eckes currently has the second-best odds on DraftKings Sportsbook (+900) to win outright. While Zane Smith flashed consistency winning this race in back-to-back years, Eckes finished third in both those races as well leading a combined 28 laps. Eckes also won last Spring’s race at the new configuration for Atlanta Motor Speedway, a track which now features “drafting” traits. With so many big names departing the Truck Series in recent years, Eckes seems primed for a big year and he’ll have plenty of Chevy’s to work with in this field. Update: Starts outside the top 25. Will be very popular in Tournaments. Possibly a good leverage spot, but he is Bob Pockrass's pick to win.

Corey LaJoie ($9,500)

LaJoie has plenty of name recognition at these types of tracks and you have to imagine Spire Motorsports fields some good trucks after buying out Kyle Busch Motorsports. In the NASCAR Cup Series, LaJoie has an average starting position of 29.5 at Daytona with an average finish of 18.1 in 14 races with just four DNF’s. Similarly at Talladega, in a dozen races he has an average starting position of 32.4 and an average finish of 20.3 so he can draft well and move up from where he starts. I don’t love him as an outright bet for this race (+1100) but there’s obvious intrigue for DFS since we know he’s a favorite play anytime NASCAR visits a superspeedway. We’ll have to see where he starts before we determine our exposure. Update: GPP-only after a good qualifying effort.

Ty Majeski ($9,400)

All three in the top range won’t all be great plays when it comes down to it. All three could very well qualify too well and then we have to consider how we go about getting exposure. Majeski could be an Alex Bowman-esque type of play. Bowman has historically qualified well for the Daytona 500 and thus becomes a bad DFS play. Majeski has qualified on the front row each of the last two years, but consistently runs inside the top 10 and has finished well in those races as well. So this may just be a GPP-only type play if he qualifies inside the top 10 again. He can still finish well and collect some laps led. But he will likely be too risky for Cash games. Update: Qualified well as we expected. Relegates himself to just Tournaments given the starting spot.

Pivots off LaJoie and Majeski: Corey Heim, Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger

Mid-Price Core Plays

Ty Dillon ($8,700)

Dillon falls into play as the ninth-most expensive driver in the field on DraftKings. So while he may be pricier, he’s reasonable at $8,700. Dillon takes over the 25-truck for Rackley W.A.R., a ride Matt DiBenedetto drove to victory at Talladega in 2022. Dillon is actually a respected superspeedway driver. He’s run Daytona plenty of times in the Cup Series and has a handful of top 15 finishes at Talladega from his time with Germain Racing. While I won’t give too much weight to the practice results, it is refreshing to see that he did well just driving in a truck on a superspeedway because let’s be honest, he’d rather be racing in the Xfinity or Cup Series. But given his background and familiarity with this style of racing, he emerges as a solid play ahead of qualifying. Update: Qualified P28 so a solid play with upside.

Tanner Gray ($8,100)

This suggestion is not a slam dunk by any means. Gray has wrecked in all four of his races at Talladega. Even in his first two career races at Daytona he failed to finish. But in the last two years he grabbed a pair of top fives including a runner-up finish last year in a shortened race. I’m not going to invest much in his practice speeds because they don’t really matter at a track like this. But for a guy who has shown he can put himself in contention, this is a great price for a driver getting +1800 odds (about 5.55% win equity). Update: Qualified in the top 10. Leave exposure to just Tournaments.

Johnny Sauter ($7,500)

He’s one of Bob Pockrass’ picks to finish in the top five for Friday night’s race and he comes with plenty of experience. Sure, it’s been a few years since Sauter ran this race in good equipment. But he did previously win this race in 2013, 2016, and 2018. He’ll be running this race for Niece Motorsports, so the equipment may not be as good as what he drove as a series champion, but we saw Carson Hocevar score some wins in similar equipment last year. Similar to other drivers that appear in this article, he has plenty of other manufacturer partners to pit and draft with and to get an experienced driver at this price tag could be a steal. I am mildly concerned he over-qualifies so we’ll monitor qualifying Friday afternoon. Update: Sauter qualified inside the top 10 so he relegates himself to just Tournaments for tonight's race.

Pivots off Gray and Sauter: Layne Riggs, Chase Purdy

Value Price Core Plays

Note: This section will be worth paying attention to once we know the starting order. We’ll want some cheap back markers that lose the draft and avoid the carnage. We’ve seen drivers in the past simply move up and finish in the top 15 because they avoided the chaos of Daytona. So don’t take the following plays as scripture until we know the starting lineup.

Timmy Hill ($6,200)

For this race today you’re going to see drivers that we normally only recommend for superspeedways. Timmy Hill actually isn’t one of those drivers. He will appear in several NASCAR DFS Playbooks simply because he’s usually a cheap driver that can safely deliver 25-30 fantasy points as long as he doesn’t have any issues. In his last two races at Daytona, Hill has started P32 and P35 while finishing 16th and 14th respectively. In 2022 at Talladega, he started P33 and finished 15th (he didn’t race in last year’s race at Dega). In the first race at the new Atlanta configuration, he started P23 and finished 22nd. But in last year’s Atlanta Spring race he started P18 and finished eighth. Sure, we would love to see more involvement overall in these types of races. But Hill is on a small team and he splits time in the truck with his brother. But he’s experienced and has shown that running in the back has its perks because he’s done well to keep his rides clean and drive them to a solid finish. 

Cory Roper ($6,100)

I love the results from Roper on superspeedways, I just don’t love the sample size. Here’s what we’re looking at:

  • Daytona (2021) – Started P31, Finished 3rd
  • Daytona (2020) – Started P19, Finished 14th
  • Daytona (2019) – Started P25, Finished 20th (Wrecked)
  • Talladega (2023) – Started P35, Finished 22nd (DVP)
  • Talladega (2021) – Started P31, Finished 6th

Only five races, but as you can see he still managed to move up and score well for DFS even though he didn’t finish two of the five races. But he’ll be a driver to keep an eye on during qualifying and we can’t rule out going back to the well if he starts deep in the field especially with his upside for a top 10-15 finish. He also has the benefit of several Chevy’s to work with. Update: Starts P30 so he certainly has appeal for a top 20 and may not carry significant ownership.

Jason White ($5,600)

He’s racing in far from the best equipment but I’m going to assume he qualifies outside the top 30 as he’s done each of the last four years. Coincidentally enough in all four of those races he’s safely moved up at least 13 spots in each race. That’s perfect for what we’re looking for in Cash and GPP tournaments. Don’t be discouraged if/when he loses the draft. This is the kind of field that can wreck multiple times and you actually want him to be out of the draft and avoid the wrecks when that happens. Update: White qualified for the race and starts deep in the field. Great PD option at a cheap price.

DNQ'S From Qualifying

The following drivers did not qualify for the race and should not be included in your driver pool:

  • Ryan Huff ($6,000)
  • Clay Greenfield ($5,700)
  • Mason Maggio ($5,100)
  • Jennifer Jo Cobb ($5,000)

Fresh From Florida 250 NASCAR DFS Lineup Picks

Pricing TierDrivers
Top PriceCorey Heim ($10,000; Starting P26)
Christian Eckes ($9,800; Starting P25)
Ben Rhodes ($9,600; Starting P24)
Grant Enfinger ($9,200; Starting P22)
Stewart Friesen ($8,900; Starting P17)
Mid PriceTy Dillon ($8,700; Starting P28)
Layne Riggs ($8,600; Starting P21)
Chase Purdy ($7,900; Starting P18)
Jake Garcia ($7,400; Starting P16)
Jack Wood ($7,200; Starting P23)
Stefan Parsons ($7,000; Starting P27)
Value PriceTimmy Hill ($6,200; Starting P33)
Cory Roper ($6,100; Starting P30)
Lawless Alan ($5,900; Starting P35)
Jason White ($5,600; Starting P34)
Mason Massey ($5,400; Starting P32)
Spencer Boyd ($5,300; Starting P31)