Mike Forbes previews the Liftkits4less 200 at Darlington Raceway!!
The Nascar Camping World Truck Series will head to Darlington Raceway for only the second time since 2011 as the series will battle it out in Darlington in the 2nd Annual Liftkits4less.com 200. Whenever you have a series that is either new to a track or that doesn’t have much history to go on you will need to use some other options when it comes to evaluating your options when playing DFS.
That is exactly what we are going to need to be looking at when we rank these drivers this weekend. It is not as if we have to go into this blind, however, we do have a race to look at from last year in which Ben Rhodes ended up leading only 4 laps, although that included the most important one as he captured the checkered flag.
Other lap leaders from last year’s race included Sheldon Creed who led a race high 82 laps before finishing 18th, Brett Moffitt who led 63 laps before finishing 10th, Timmy Hill led two laps and came home 9th and Derek Kraus led a lap and finished 2nd.
The rest of the top five included Austin Hill in 3rd, Grant Enfinger in 4th, and Christian Eckes in 5th.
There is only one full time Cup series driver starting in this race and that is Timmy Hill who will drive the number 56 truck and start 26th.
What that tells me is there is no cheat code or special circumstance that is going to stand out for us. This weekend it will be all about performance. I am going to be looking at guys based on how they are doing this year and what we should expect from their teams.
This year it seems to start and end with John Hunter Nemechek. His return to the truck series has done wonders for his career. Sometimes taking a step backward can backfire but for Nemechek this looks like exactly what his career needed. His season last year in the 38 car did not go as he planned. He had the foresight to take a step back and get into some premium equipment and show exactly what he can do. There is no question about his talent but now we are seeing the results.
He once again starts on the pole so there isn’t a ton of value in terms of starting position but he is as close to a sure thing as we can get in Darlington where hitting the wall is almost expected. Don’t let his price tag or starting position scare you as he is a driver to start Friday.
Next I want to talk about last year’s winner Ben Rhodes. Not only is he 2nd in driver points this year he also seems to thrive at these types of tracks. Starting 4th we should expect him to be up front all race long and he has shown that he can race with the Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota’s.
Hill is a driver who intrigues me this week. He came home 3rd last year in Darlington and will start on the outside pole this week. I have loved what I’ve seen from Austin and his team this year and this race should be no different.
If you are noticing a trend here you are not alone. The cream has definitely risen in the Truck series and most of the key drivers are starting up front. That shows the lack of parody in the lower series that we sometimes see when we look at these races. Usually there is a huge gap in quality when it comes to teams at this level and you see that in the finishes.
That is not to say there aren’t some chances for value as we move down the starting lineup. For example, I like what I have seen from Hailie Deegan as the year has progressed. Rolling off 10th is not ideal for us to select her for our lineups but if she continues to progress they way she has she may be a driver we need to look out for moving forward.
Creed at 15th is almost a steal. He is in superior equipment and led laps here last year. He has a bunch of talent that is what is needed at tracks like this. At 15h he is another driver who almost falls into the must start category for this race.
Kraus, who will roll off 20th, is another value pick. I already mentioned what he did here last year and he seems to be getting stronger each week. I love his 20th starting position and I believe it gives us a ton of upside.
He isn’t what i call a lock by any stretch as a crash that puts him out of the race isn’t out of the possibility. Depending on his salary and who you use at the top if he can be your 3rd or 4th driver you will be looking at a solid lineup.
Enfinger who will roll off 17th seems like an easy play this weekend as well. He finished 4th here last year and that team although not performing at the top of the series has had some decent results. I love his starting position and I think there is plenty of value to be had here.
Next let’s go through the full field rankings for Friday night’s race.
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Ben Rhides
- Austin Hill
- Sheldon Creed
- Zane Smith
- Matt Crafton
- Derek Kraus
- Todd Gilliand
- Chandler Smith
- Tanner Gray
- Grant Enfinger
- Stewart Friesan
- Corey Heim
- Johnny Sauter
- Carson Hocevar
- Timothy Peters
- Tyler Ankrum
- Hailie Deegan
- Timmy Hill
- Austin Wayne Self
- Ryan Truex
- Erik Darnell
- Codie Rohrbaugh
- Kris Wright
- Ryan Reed
- Chase Purdy
- David Gilliand
- Spencer Davis
- Parker Kilgerman
- Akinori Ogata
- Tate Fogelman
- Jordan Anderson
- Spencer Boyd
- Bayley Currey
- Cory Roper
- Danny bohn
- Jennifer Jo Cobb
- Dawson Cram
- BJ McLeod
- Norm benning
At the time of this article salaries have not been released yet on either site but we can still talk about lineup construction and who we want to target Friday night.
At the top I think you know who I am going to go with and that is Nemechek. This holds especially true for cash game players. Tournament players may want to take more of a risk at the top but I think we need to have that sure thing up top in order for us to feel good about our cash lineups.
For the 2nd spot I could go in a few different directions. I really like Creed and what he brings starting further back. Enfinger provides a ton of value as well starting 18th. Rhodes and Matt Crafton are also guys I like up here but if we construct our lineup correctly we may be able to slide one of them into the 3rd spot and really feel good about our chances.
In the middle, besides the drivers I mentioned above, I like drivers like Deegan and Kraus if their salary allows us to use him in this area. Truthfully, Kraus may be a good selection even if we have to use him in the 2nd-3rd spots but I like him even better if we can slide him in around 4th.
A couple other drivers worth considering here would be Corey Helm and his number 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports truck, as well as Tanner Gray.
At the bottom of our lineup there are a couple of drivers who we can use for value. Parker Kligerman is a driver who has some upside down here and he rolls off 36th. Jordan Anderson has the potential to be a value pick and allows us to pay up at the top and still get some points at the bottom. If we can pay a little more down here Hill isn’t a bad choice as well as Corey Roper. Both of those drivers have potential value as well as long as they can keep it in one piece.
If you are looking to place a wager on who will win this race I would focus my attention on Hill and Nemechek. Neither will give you great odds, but there is enough there where placing a wager on them can be profitable. If you are looking for a longer shot I would go with the veteran Crafton or even Stewart Friesan who I think has some upside.
I’ll be back with a full track preview later in the weekend and you can follow me on Twitter @mikejforbes for updates as they happen.