The Craftsman Truck Series is back in action from Kansas Speedway for the Kansas Lottery 200! While this weekend marks the final race of the regular season for the Xfinity Series, it’s actually the third playoff race for the Truck Series. Ty Majeski and Grant Enfinger won the first two races of the playoffs. They’re locked into the Round of Eight no matter what. The biggest storyline surrounding the Truck Series is that of Ty Majeski and the penalties levied on his team for a “wheel assembly violation.” It sounded like NASCAR discovered the team bleeding air pressure out of the right rear tire, which is a tremendously huge advantage in the long run. It’s a pretty significant violation and several people feel like the punishment wasn’t severe enough. The biggest impact is that he won’t have his regular crew chief for the next four races. But he’s still locked into the next round of the playoffs while drivers like Ben Rhodes and Nicholas Sanchez are fighting for a chance to advance to the next round while Matt DiBenedetto likely needs to win to move on.
The Craftsman Truck Series will go green late Friday evening at roughly 9:00pm ET for 134 laps under the lights in the Midwest! I anticipate there will be some very hungover Kansas City Chiefs fans in attendance for this loaded weekend as NASCAR comes to town with a lot on the line for each series. Kansas Speedway is a familiar track on the schedule as we were here about four months ago in the Spring. Grant Enfinger scored the win while leading 65 laps with a 147.2 driver rating.
Kansas Speedway is one of those “cookie cutter” 1.5-mile tri-ovals on the NASCAR schedule that generally produce some great racing so Friday’s race should be no different. We once again have 134 laps for this race and a two-or-three dominator build is quite viable. This race in the Spring saw five drivers lead over ten laps but only Enfinger led over 20. Nine drivers gained double-digit position differential points so it’s possible to move up. In general, with the amount these drivers wreck, there will be enough cautions for pit strategy and for other trucks to move up.
One thing I’ll note is that if you’re still playing NASCAR DFS, I commend you. These contests have taken a big hit with the return of the NFL. The payout structures for the Chrome Horn and Happy Hour are still okay but we aren’t getting the big prizes anymore unless we play the $10 GPP which rewards $10,000 to first place. But the payout structure isn’t great. For me, I’m still going to play 20 lineups in the Happy Hour. It’s only $300 to first place but I’m in it for the long haul and I’ll be in the NASCAR DFS Discord channel into the late hours Friday evening enjoying the race. Let’s dig into this week’s top drivers for the Kansas Lottery 200!
Kansas Lottery 200 Practice Notes
NASCAR DFS Driver Pool
Corey Heim ($11,000)
Heim will be my most heavily-owned driver with most DFS touts largely suspecting Majeski to regress mightily. I’ve written Heim up ad nausea. He’s led at least nine laps in each of the last 11 races and he hasn’t finished worse than eighth in that span. He finished second here to Enfinger in the Spring while leading 13 laps. I will get exposure to him regardless of where he starts. If NASCAR is cracking down hard on Majeski, and he isn’t as fast as he was in late July and August, then Heim emerges as the clear frontrunner in the playoffs. Update: Qualified P15 and still has win equity. I'm guessing he was off the pace in practice because his truck is probably set up for cooler conditions tonight.
Carson Hocevar ($10,400)
I will skip right over Majeski and consider a driver that seemed pretty excited about the fact that Majeski wasn’t as fast as normal after getting penalized. Hocevar seems to think it levels the playing field quite a bit and I tend to agree. Hocevar does have some upside. Over his last nine races he has seven top five finishes and he has three wins on the year at tracks like Texas, Nashville, and Richmond. He’s led 40+ laps in four of his last eight races so I certainly like the upside if he can string together a strong performance. Update: A lot of these expensive drivers are starting in the teens so that is certainly something to monitor. A lot of trucks might be set up to race at night. Hocevar rolls off P17 and is in good shape to be a good PD play.
Grant Enfinger ($10,300)
I normally don’t like playing Enfinger when he’s on everybody’s radar. However, Kansas is one of his favorite tracks. He won here in the Spring and he’s finished top five in six of his last seven races. He’s also coming off a dominant win at Milwaukee. Typically, when he wins, it’s in dominant fashion and he’s a clear favorite for Friday’s race. But I may be underweight because everybody seems “in” on Enfinger. I still really like the guy and hope he can deliver a championship in the final year of GMS Racing before they close up shop. But for DFS purposes I may look elsewhere. The track history has him firmly in play this week.
Ben Rhodes ($9,700)
It was a tossup between Christian Eckes and Rhodes but I’m leaning toward the driver offering a discount. Rhodes only has one win on the season and it came at Charlotte where he led 37 laps. He only finished 16th earlier this year at Kansas but he did lead 17 laps and he finished third at Vegas toward the beginning of the year. Rhodes hasn’t been top ten in his last three races entering Kansas, but those weren’t comparable tracks. These intermediate tri-ovals are more up his alley. He’s also three points below the cut line to move on to the next round so he can’t afford to have a bad race.
Matt Crafton ($9,200)
Crafton is offering PD because he wrecked in practice and has to go to a backup. He'll be a Cash game lock because of the PD and you have to assume the Truck will be fine.
Nicholas Sanchez ($9,200)
Sanchez shows up with speed each week. He just doesn’t always leave with great results. He’s been particularly fast at the intermediate tracks. He was on the front row for Vegas and led eight laps but wrecked out. He then won the pole at Texas and led 168 laps but finished 16th. At Kansas-1 in the Spring he started and finished sixth. He started P34 but finished ninth at Charlotte. Then at Nashville he was on the pole and led 37 laps while finishing third. There’s definitely upside here with the affiliation with Kyle Busch Motorsports. So don’t sleep on this kid. He’s priced well for a second dominator assuming he qualifies well again. Update: Starts on the front row and has had speed at the intermediates this year.
Matt DiBenedetto ($8,800)
He’s an all-or-nothing play because he’s 20 points behind in order to move on to the next round of the playoffs. But during his time with Rackley W.A.R. he’s taken a liking to this track. He didn’t finish this race in the Spring but last year he finished 7th and 12th in both Kansas races. In 2022 he was top ten at Vegas and Texas and so far this year he’s been top 12 at Vegas, Charlotte, and Nashville. He’s got a lot of work to do and probably needs to win to move on. It’s highly unlikely he does that, but I like rostering a guy who knows he needs an all-time performance. Update: Starts P11 which isn't great. I'm downgrading him slightly and you can utilize Taylor Gray as a pivot. Or you can pay up to Stewart Friesen for $200 more.
Bayley Currey ($8,000)
Currey hasn’t raced much this year but in six races he has three top tens for Niece Motorsports. He finished 13th at Charlotte and was top five at Nashville. He had a poor showing in this race last year for Niece but finished 12th at Kansas in the Spring of 2021. He has shown he can get the most out of this truck. The downside is that he hasn’t really offered a ton of position differential as he’s qualified in the top 15 in each of his last five races. Update: Starts P22 which is great. Has the ability to move up and finish top ten as we've seen before.
Jake Garcia ($7,700)
It’s been a while since I’ve featured Jake Garcia. Seems like yesterday he was helping us all to a very profitable Friday night at Vegas earlier this season. On these 1.5-mile intermediates, he’s been pretty damn strong this year. He had a top ten at Vegas, top five at Texas, top ten at Kansas-1, and a top ten at Nashville. He also comes in with momentum having four top ten finishes in his last seven races and I don’t necessarily hate the price tag since he’s shown he can return 40+ fantasy points. Update: Starts P5 which isn't great. He probably goes backward. I'd pivot to Purdy in who we'll touch on shortly.
Chase Purdy ($7,500)
The good news when rostering Purdy is that you don’t really worry about the quality of equipment. He drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports so it’s some of the best in the field. He has three top 15 finishes at Kansas in six career races. He wrecked earlier this year but finished fifth and eighth in the first two stages. He finished eighth at Vegas and second at Texas earlier this season before finishing sixth over the summer at Nashville. In this pricing range he has maybe the best equipment, but Jesse Love’s is pretty competitive as well. Update: Purdy is on the pole which largely seems like he could go backward, but the KBM trucks look fast. Not sure if that'll translate when the track cools this evening, but he has a chance to finish top ten negate the position points lost if he leads plenty of laps.
Jesse Love ($7,300)
Noted ARCA winner, Jesse Love, makes his second career appearance in the Craftsman Truck Series. Earlier this year at Gateway he started P20 and finished ninth. He’s raced 20 total races between the ARCA Menards Series and the ARCA East and West series as well. He’s won half of those. He won the ARCA Kansas race in his debut earlier this year and is definitely in line for a ride at some point as he’s one of the most talented young drivers in the TRD pipeline. There isn’t much win equity but he’s in great equipment and seems ready to compete at this level. Update: Starts P9 so he's mostly a GPP play. Tyler Ankrum and Tanner Gray save salary and offer more PD.
Jake Drew ($6,500)
Drew has made two starts this year and looked pretty good in both. He started P24 and finished 12th at Nashville in the 66-truck for ThorSport Racing and followed that up starting P20 at IRP in the 61-truck with Hattori Racing Enterprises and finishing 17th. He’s back in the 61-truck for HRE and he has a good pedigree with four wins last year in the ARCA West Series. He doesn’t have any win equity for Friday’s race, but he does have a shot at a top 15 finish. I will temper expectations given that he lacks experience on this type of track, but he could be a popular value play if he starts outside the top 20. Update: Hard to play him starting P10. All my favorite plays just had to go and qualify well.
Colby Howard ($6,000)
So Howard is going to a backup ride which is a shame because he apparently had a KBM truck for this race. I'm not kidding…
So while it sucks he's going to a backup ride, he'll roll off outside the top 30. He'll be a popular value play in this range but if his ownership is getting juiced based off the tweet above, I'm inclined to go light because maybe the backup isn't as fast…
Hailie Deegan ($5,700)
It’s always risky to play Deegan but you get a sense she prefers this kind of track. She actually made her Truck Series debut here three years ago where she started P34 and finished 16th. She then started P20 at this track in 2021 and finished 13th. Then last year she finished 17th at Kansas-1 and 22nd at Kansas-2. And to bring it all together she finished 12th here in the Spring. Now sprinkled in her resume are plenty of other top 15 and top 20 finishes on these intermediates and she finished sixth at Texas in the Spring. She’s not a slam dunk but she does seem to run well at Kansas so I’m willing to give her a shot Friday night. Update: She's probably going backward. Which doesn't take her off the table completely. She still could be top 15 but the negative PD will knock her score down.
Timmy Hill ($5,400)
The safety net of Timmy Hill is back once again! Always priced down and always moving up a few spots. This is actually the week before Timmy Hill is about to be very popular because he loves Bristol very much. But Hill has raced Kansas six times in his career and has two top 20 finishes while finishing 21st and 22nd in two other races. On the more “comparable” tracks he’s run this year he finished 22nd at Vegas, 24th at Darlington, and 16th at Nashville. Not bad for a guy who routinely starts pretty far back. Update: Starts P33… Probably finished 25th which still makes him a good play.
Brett Holmes ($5,300)
Brett Holmes is interesting just from a track history perspective. He’s had his up’s and down’s running a heavier Truck Series schedule this year, but he’s had some strong performance on this type of track. He finished 14th here earlier in the year but also finished 17th at Kansas in 2022. And in that same year he grabbed a top ten at Vegas and a top 15 at Texas. There is concern just based on recent form, but I’m curious to see where he qualifies.
Lawless Alan ($5,000)
If we’re looking at the closest track comparisons to Kansas, Alan surprisingly has top 20 finishes this season at Vegas, Texas, Kansas-1, and Charlotte. He’s still an absolute gamble because he could either lose the lead lap or just us out of our misery with a wreck. So I was a little surprised when I saw the consistency on the intermediate tri-ovals. The one thing I’ll note is that aside from the first Kansas race this year, he’s mostly finished right around where he starts. I have a feeling he’ll just be a Tournament-only play but he can find a way to 25-30 fantasy points. Update: Alan reportedly didn't make a qualifying lap because he was dealing with electrical issues. Play at your own risk.
NASCAR DFS Core Drivers
|Cash Games||Top Tier||Mid-Tier||Value Plays|
|Corey Heim ($11,000; Starting P15)||Matt Crafton ($9,400; Starting P31)||Timmy Hill ($5,400; Starting P33)|
|Grant Enfinger ($10,300; Starting P12)|
|GPP Plays/Pivots||Top Tier||Mid-Tier||Value Plays|
|Ty Majeski ($10,800; Starting P3)||Nicholas Sanchez ($9,200; Starting P2)||Colby Howard ($6,000; Starting P32)|
|Zane Smith ($10,700; Starting P14)||Taylor Gray ($8,500; Starting P16)||Bret Holmes ($5,300; Starting P24)|
|Carson Hocevar ($10,400; Starting P17)||Chase Purdy ($7,500; Starting P1)|