The Craftsman Truck Series continues its incredibly busy, and active, month of May. All three NASCAR series are in action from Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, home of the cinematic classic, Logan Lucky




Charlotte has been a core track for the Memorial Day Weekend race for quite some time and it’s also a huge part of one of the biggest weekends in motorsports. We have the Monaco Grand Prix Sunday morning followed by the Indianapolis 500 that afternoon. We kick off the summer season with Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200. 

This race also marks as the start of the 2024 Triple Truck Challenge, so we get a pure Truck Series field with no Cup Series drivers getting to consider as we’ve seen plenty of times already this year. The Truck Series is getting light on remaining regular season races so let’s take a look at how to approach Friday night’s race with our expert NASCAR DFS picks.

North Carolina Education Lottery 200 NASCAR DFS Lineup Picks

Charlotte Motor Speedway is that typical 1.5-mile intermediate that produces some quality racing. The beauty of this race is we have enough of a sample size from comparable tracks to decipher who should show up fast off the hauler and then we can grind down and finalize our driver pool once we are given the starting order.

As mentioned in the opening paragraph this is the first race of the 2024 Triple Truck Challenge. Charlotte, Gateway, and Nashville play host(s) to this year’s TTC. If a driver wins one of the three races, they’ll take home $50,000. If they win two of the races, they’ll earn $150,000. And if they win at all three tracks, they’ll win a cool $500,000.

This is truly a track where you want to target multiple dominators in your NASCAR DFS tournament lineups. Friday’s race will be for 134 laps broken into 30-30-74 lap stages. As we’ve seen across the last four races at this track, we can expect at least two drivers to lead 25+ laps. In some instances, like 2020 and 2023, we saw three drivers do it. This is also a track where we should see comers and goers with plenty of drivers moving up and finishing well. But alas, this is the Truck Series, and we should account for some chaos, right?

Maybe, but on the other hand we haven’t seen too many cautions at this track for the Truck Series. The “return to racing” weekend in 2020 during the pandemic saw seven cautions for 37 laps. But in the last three races we’ve only seen five cautions (two of which are for stage breaks), for 32 laps at the most. So, if we get more of the same, it may just be a fairly clean race.

We don’t know the starting order as of this morning. We’ll get practice and qualifying Friday afternoon so be sure to expect updates in RED as we’ve done in the past.

North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Practice Notes




Top Price NASCAR DFS Core Plays

Corey Heim ($11,000)

Shocker, right? Heim has been the class of the field of late and it’s no wonder why he’s the favorite to win the Craftsman Truck Series championship. It appears a promotion to the Xfinity Series next year is in the cards for him. In the last three races (North Wilkesboro, Darlington, and Kansas) he has two wins, 222 laps led, and 108 fastest laps.

From a performance perspective there has been no one more consistent and reliable than Heim this year. He started P25 earlier this year at Vegas and worked his way through the field to finish third while collecting 18 laps led. In his debut at Charlotte in 2023 he led 49 laps and finished as the runner-up to Ben Rhodes. You have to like his chances for tonight’s race especially when he’s shown he can easily post 60+ fantasy points on DraftKings. Update: Ty Majeski was very fast in practice but I'm operating under the mindset that Heim and his team have this set up for cooler track conditions which we'll get later this evening. He's an easy dominator candidate starting P2 tonight.

Christian Eckes ($10,800)

Track history indicates that Eckes is a good, but not great play. However, the form and performance on intermediate tracks this year has been much improved for Eckes. He already has two wins on the year but those came on shorter tracks like Bristol and Martinsville. Nevertheless, Eckes has looked strong on intermediates this year.

He hasn’t led as many laps as Heim of late, but he still finished sixth or better at Vegas, Texas, Kansas, and Darlington. He led laps in all those races (again, just not as much as Heim) and has led double-digit laps in each of the last five races. I feel like a broken record constantly leading off the Truck Series Playbooks with these two drivers, but it’s for good reason. You also shouldn’t have many issues fitting both drivers into your tournament lineups. Update: Eckes had some contact during practice and tagged the wall. The damage sustained didn't look too severe. However, the team took the truck straight to the garage for repairs. He won't post a qualifying lap and will start at the tail of the field offering plenty of PD upside.

Nicholas Sanchez ($10,000)

I’m skipping over Ty Majeski ($10,300), who has looked better and sportier of late, because I like the consistency we’re starting to see from Sanchez. The Miami native went through a bit of a dry spell following his win at Daytona earlier in the year. However, he’s finished seventh or better in each of his last five races. The downside? He hasn’t really led a ton of laps, which is something Majeski has done in that sample size.

Sanchez has shown some growth overall this year and we know the partnership with Spire Motorsports has benefitted him so far. He had a great showing at Kansas where he started P31 and finished sixth and prior to that at Texas he started on the pole, finished third, and had 15.25 dominator points. Update: Starts P16 and has top five upside. I'm hoping they set the ride up for race trim and cooler conditions.

Brett Moffitt ($9,200)

You can make an argument that Moffitt is more of an expensive mid-range play. I like to view him as a discounted top price option though. Now he’s only run a single race all year, but it came on a comparable track (Kansas) where he started P19 and grabbed a top five.

He’s back in the 1-truck Friday night for TRICON Garage and we should expect speed off the hauler once again. It’s always worth remembering that Moffitt is a former Truck Series champion, and he does have experience at Charlotte. I do think there’s some dominator potential for him, but it’ll be awfully hard to compete in that department with both Heim and Eckes. Update: Same spot as Kansas. Starts P19 and has top five upside in this equipment.




Mid-Range NASCAR DFS Core Plays

Grant Enfinger ($9,000)

I don’t love the mid-range for this race. We will definitely shake things up, if necessary, based on the starting lineup. $9,000 is steep for Enfinger especially since the equipment hasn’t looked all that great at times. But he is coming off a runner-up performance last week at North Wilkesboro so maybe there’s momentum?

The week before, Enfinger started P9 and finished 16th at Darlington but he at least collected 16 fastest laps along the way. Prior to that he was 12th at Kansas and 9th at Vegas. This still feels like we’re overpaying because he only has two performances all season with 40+ fantasy points on DraftKings and they both came on shorter tracks. So, don’t marry yourself to anyone in this range just yet. Be flexible and we’ll adjust later this afternoon.

Tyler Ankrum ($8,500)

Again, we aren’t latching ourselves to any single driver in the mid-range just yet, but Ankrum is a great tournament play because of his ceiling. However, he also has a very low floor as well. Charlotte is not his best track. Even in previous “good” equipment he finished 13th and 16th in 2020 and 2021. The last few seasons weren’t as fruitful for him, but he is in better equipment this year and it’s the same organization that Christian Eckes drives for.

Ankrum got off to a hot start this year leading 62 laps combined at Daytona and Atlanta but went cold for a stretch before leading 26 laps and finishing 8th at North Wilkesboro last week. He hasn’t led a lap on an intermediate this year, but he finished as the runner-up at Vegas and has flashed top five potential elsewhere. I imagine he won’t end up in our cash game considerations, but let’s examine the speed following practice. Update: Well I was correct in my read of Ankrum, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. He spun the truck in qualifying and starts outside the top 30. Do not go super heavy here because he's been chalky before and blown up lineups early on. Get some exposure but you do not go 100% with this play.

Tanner Gray ($8,000)

Gray brought a very fast truck to the track today. Unfortunately he'll have Corey Heim starting next to him and Ty Majeski starting right behind him. It's possibly the truck is not as fast during the cooler conditions we'll see for tonight's race. I'll mix him into a few lineups in case the speed translates this evening. However, he likely gets passed early on and from there he's in a dog fight to make the optimal lineup.

Stewart Friesen ($7,800)

With Matt Crafton ($8,700) priced up after back-to-back poor performances, I’ll lean into the $900 discount we have with Friesen. Big Stew comes in with a little momentum. He finished 10th last week at North Wilkesboro and was top 15 prior to that at Darlington and Texas.

However, we know there’s a higher ceiling especially on the intermediate tracks. And he’s largely been off our DFS radar because he typically qualifies in the top 15 and finishes around where he starts. So, the price is kept down a bit on DraftKings because he just hasn’t been an appealing DFS play yet.

I’m not guaranteeing a poor qualifying effort. That’s been Crafton’s MO so far this year. But Friesen has finished ninth or better in four of his last six races at Charlotte so if he qualifies P15 or worse I’ll take some chances. If he qualifies ahead of that range, we’ll need to take a look at the practice speed and long run performance. Update: qualified well so he's likely just a tournament-only play starting P12. Historically, this is still a good track for him. Matt Crafton once again qualified poorly so if you can afford the $8,700 to play him, he could grab a top 10 finish.




Value Price NASCAR DFS Core Plays

Bayley Currey ($6,900)

We’ll kick off the value portion of the article with a pair of Niece Motorsports drivers. Something tells me more DFS players will land on the next driver we discuss, but don’t sleep on Currey. Last week was disappointing as he finished where he started but we aren’t too far removed from his top 12 performance at Kansas earlier this month.

Ross Chastain ran this race two years ago in the 41-truck and Currey finished 13th in this race a year ago in this ride as well. The upside is certainly there, and we also shouldn’t sleep on Matt Mills ($6,600), who is another affordable driver for Niece Motorsports. He hasn’t had a great year, but he’s in the 42-truck and Carson Hocevar had some outstanding runs in that truck at Charlotte the last few years. Update: We downgrade because he qualified P10. Wouldn't get more than 10% exposure in tournaments. See Honeycutt's section.for an additional pivot. I'm still going to get roughly one-to-two shares of both Currey and Honeycutt but won't be including them in the driver pool below.

Kaden Honeycutt ($6,700)

I’m not entirely sure what is going on with this price tag, but Honeycutt will likely emerge as a popular value option on this slate. He’s run four races this year (Atlanta, Bristol, Martinsville, and Kansas) and he’s finished 12th or better in all four races returning DFS totals of ~63, 43, ~30, and ~58 fantasy points.

This is also the same truck Ross Chastain drove a couple weeks ago on his way to winning Darlington. We shouldn’t assume that Honeycutt is a lock, however. We do need to be mindful of the starting spot because I’m likely avoiding him if he starts in the top 15. It might also be worth mentioning this will be his debut at Charlotte. That’s not a huge knock on him as this isn’t a severely technical track, but I’m optimistic for a fifth quality run from him tonight. Update: Like Currey, we downgrade Honeycutt because of the starting spot. The drivers mentioned below are worthy pivots (Parson, Hill, Holmes, Massey) but don't sleep on Daniel Dye either. He's always risky but he starts dead last and can't get you negative points for a $6,500 play.

Stefan Parsons ($6,400)

This is a great price tag for Parsons as he’s once again in the 75-truck for Henderson Motorsports. His worst performance in five races this year has been 24 fantasy points at COTA and that was because he started and finished 19th. He’s gained spots in the other four races and grabbed a top 10 finish in April at Texas.

He had a strong showing last week at North Wilkesboro, but this team also hasn’t brought the truck to Charlotte in recent memory. They are still a smaller organization with a bunch of part-time employees, so we obviously don’t go all-in here. But from what we’ve seen this year, he’s been one of the more reliable value options when he has raced.

Timmy Hill ($6,000)

It’s another week where we likely look to Hill and Bret Holmes ($5,900) in this range. As is always the case, Hill feels like the better cash game play. And Holmes is better suited for tournaments. But ultimately it comes down to qualifying and both usually qualify outside the top 25. Moreover, they’re both in need of bounce back weeks after poor runs at North Wilkesboro.

In his last four races at Charlotte, Hill has an average starting position of P26 and an average finishing position of 19.25 which sounds par for the course, right? Three weeks ago he started P32 at Kansas and finished 22nd and then started P27 at Darlington and finished 13th

Holmes has also had finishes of 12th (Vegas), 14th (Kansas), and 17th (Darlington) so both are capable of finishing in the top 20. But Holmes has the tendency to start a little higher than Hill at times. I do still like both but trust the floor of Hill a little more.

If you need a cheaper play to consider early on, Mason Massey ($5,700) has gained at least eight spots of position differential at Vegas, Texas, Kansas, and Darlington this season and he’ll likely make the table below assuming he qualifies in the same range as Hill.

North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Driver Pool

Pricing TierDrivers
Top PriceCorey Heim ($11,000; Starting P2)
Christian Eckes ($10,800; Starting P35)
Ty Majeski ($10,300; Starting P3)
Nicholas Sanchez ($10,000; Starting P16)
Taylor Gray ($9,500; Starting P14)
Mid-PriceBrett Moffit ($9,200; Starting P19)
Grant Enfinger ($9,000; Starting P17) - Tournament Only
Matt Crafton ($8,700; Starting P22)
Tyler Ankrum ($8,500; Starting P34)
Tanner Gray ($8,000; Starting P1) - Tournament Only
Stewart Friesen ($7,800; Starting P12)
Value PriceDaniel Dye ($6,500; Starting P36) - Can't Get Negative Points
Stefan Parsons ($6,400; Starting P23)
Timmy Hill ($6,000; Starting P26)
Bret Holmes ($5,900; Starting P27)
Mason Massey ($5,700; Starting P29)