Welcome to the NASCAR DFS Truck Series for the Baptist Health 200 from Homestead-Miami Speedway!
This race used to close out the season for the Truck Series, but now it closes out the second round of the playoffs. After Saturday’s race, we will know what four drivers will be fighting it out in Phoenix for the title in a few weeks.
There was rain on Friday afternoon, so qualifying was rained out, but they were at least able to get the 20-minute practice session in, so we have something to go off when building lineups. As to no surprise, the top trucks in practice were also the playoff trucks. Christian Eckes topped the charts for single-lap speed, and John Hunter Nemechek was tops in 10-lap average. This is a race where we want to find potential dominators since we have 134 laps of racing in this race equalling over 93 dominator points.
Starting Position: 18th
Majeski has already won his way into the final four (Bristol) so he doesn’t need to push for the win, but that doesn’t mean he won’t. In Friday’s practice session, Majeski had the second-best single-lap speed and was 11th-best in 10-lap average. Some may argue that Majeski is racing the best he has all season (it’s me, I’m “some”) with his only win, five top 5s, and eight top 10s in his last races. Majeski could be one of the highest-owned drivers in the field, but with nothing to lose this team may try to run up front and win this race.
Starting Position: 19th
Heim will start one spot behind Majeski and will also be racing to win or bust. Heim is not a full-time driver in the series so he isn’t point racing or racing for a title, because of this Heim’s only goal is to win on Saturday. In Friday’s practice, Heim was only 12th best in single-lap time, but in 10-lap average, he was fifth fastest. Heim has been great in his 14 races this season, so much so that if you remove his four DNFs, he has two wins and eight top 10s in ten races. Heim also has an average finish of 9.6 in those same ten races.
Starting Position: 13th
Another driver who will probably be highly owned is Nemechek. While both Majeski and Heim are ONLY racing to win, Nemechek will also be looking to earn stage points as he starts this race five points back of the final four. Nemechek’s truck has a lot of speed, evidenced by his 3rd fastest single-lap time and top 10-lap average in Friday’s practice. I see JHN as a potential dominator and winner at race end on Saturday.
Other Potential Dominators: Ryan Preece ($10,500 – P1): Preece is only racing to win like a lot of drivers in this race, the only difference he has already done that this season. Preece also has eight top 10s and six top 5s in nine races (his worst finish is 11th). All four of Zane Smith ($11,000 – P6), Chandler Smith ($10,700 – P4), Christian Eckes ($9,700 – P5), and Ben Rhodes ($9,500 – P2) are potential lap leaders as well in this race. I like the idea of using two of the three drivers I wrote about above paired with one of these five potential lap leaders.
Grant Enfinger ($9,000 – P23): Enfinger will need to win this race to make the championship four. In Friday’s practice, Enfinger was top 5 in both single-lap and 10-lap averages. I wouldn’t put money on Enfinger winning this race, but anything can happen, especially for a driver who is in a must-win.
Starting Position: 20th
Homestead has been one of Crafton’s better tracks throughout his career, but especially recently. In his last seven races here in Miami, Crafton has finished top 10 in all of them and has one win. Crafton has also led laps in five of those seven races. With all the high-priced drivers having some place differential upside, there is a good chance that Crafton goes under-owned.
Starting Position: 31st
Gutierrez has only run three Truck Series races in his career, and all of them have come this season for Tim Self. This week the 19-year-old Gutierrez will be back in the #22 truck for the third time, looking for another top-25 finish. In Friday’s practice session, Gutierrez wasn’t fast, and that is worrisome, but I believe there will be some attrition in this race, and if Gutierrez can avoid it, he has the upside to smash value.
Starting Position: 25th
Gray, like his teammate Preece, showed some good speed in Friday’s practice session. Gray was 7th quickest in single-lap speed, but he did seem to fall off during the long run. In two career races here, Gray has finishes of 16th and 12th, and that is how I view Gray, a mid-teens truck.
Other Options: Carson Hocevar ($8,800 – P2, Colby Howard ($7,200 – P14), Parker Kligerman ($8,400 – P8)
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Make sure to check out my NASCAR DFS Tutorial to ensure you are ready and understand how I break down the races and build lineups (https://windailysports.com/nascar-dfs-pit-stop-2021-introduction-to-nascar-dfs/).
There were a lot of changes in the cars and what driver is in what car/truck in 2022; check out my What’s new in 2022 article (https://windailysports.com/nascar-dfs-whats-new-in-2022/)
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