Mike Forbes previews the NASCAR Truck Series at Kansas Speedway.
The Nascar Truck series heads back on track this weekend at the Kansas Speedway for the 21st Annual Wise Power 200. Technically this is a 201 mile race which will see the drivers complete 134 laps around the 1.5 mile track.
Forty teams are entered into the race which will go Green 7:30PM Eastern Saturday. That means all of the teams will be able to start the race. One team (the 34 truck) has not named their driver for the race.
Once again Kyle Busch will be racing in his own Number 51 truck and he will roll off second behind his teammate John Hunter Nemechek. Anytime Kyle Busch is entered into a Truck race he is going to be the favorite and cost a ton of salary on both major sites. Most of the time he will pay off that investment but if you are going to use him you need him to basically win the race. If he doesn’t, most likely you will not have enough value in the rest of your lineup to cash.
His teammate Nemechek is another one of the drivers that will carry a huge salary and once again he usually performs up to it. The last time he raced here in this series he came home 4th. With his current equipment, and the seasoning he has had since then, he should be a lock for a top three finishing spot.
Matt Crafton, who is no stranger to running a truck on this track, will be a driver to watch on Saturday. He is going to be starting 12th but he is not far removed from a win here last July. He followed that up with an 8th place finish in the fall but this is a track where Matt and the 88 team perform great at. Crafton only has one finish outside the top ten since 2012 in Kansas.
Grant Enfinger starts all the way back in the 29th spot. I cannot overstate just how much I love his starting spot. I don’t love it because of who he starts around but I do love it because that truck has been strong this year and his average finish here is 6th through six races. Last year he put up a 3rd and a 4th so if he can get anywhere near that we will have a ton of value. His salary won’t be cheap but if his usage isn’t too high this is the guy we can build our lineup around.
Chase Briscoe, who is running in the Cup series this year, is also entered into this race. He starts one spot below Enfinger in the 30th spot. Chase was really good last year in the lower series even though that hasn’t translated too much at the cup series this year but he has to be a driver to watch out for this weekend.
The fact that he hasn’t been great in the cup series means casual fans may not understand just how good he ran Xfinity cars last year. He is going to be in premium equipment Saturday and he is another driver with a ton of upside. I’d bet he ends up finishing with almost as many points as Busch and costs a couple grand less.
Another Cup series driver racing this weekend is Ross Chastain who will be entered in the 44 truck. He will roll off the grid 34th. If you are following my article you know where I am going with this. Any cup driver who will be starting that far back is a big value. Starting 34th he will most likely pick up 15-20 spots in the first stage. I think there are better options to win, but from where he is starting, I love Chastain this Saturday.
Timmy Hill is a cup driver that I would not waste a start on this weekend. I like Timmy Hill but he rolls off 25th Saturday and there are just too many other cup drivers in the field with higher upside that I would hold off on starting Timmy unless he comes out at 7k or less for this race.
Let’s look at some other Truck series regulars who should be on our radar this weekend. Austin HIll will start 7th this weekend and has five top tens in his six races at this track. His only non top ten was his first race here way back in May of 2018. He also won here last year. Starting 7th there is a little bit of value if he can finish in the top five.
Christian Eckes is someone we should be paying attention to as well. He will roll off 17th in the 98 truck and his finishes last year were 13th, 2nd, and 6th. I love his starting spot this week and he could be a driver to target in the middle of our lineup.
Let’s run through the full field rankings for Kansas.
- Kyle Busch
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Matt Crafton
- Chase Briscoe
- Grant Enfinger
- Todd Gilliand
- Austin Hill
- Christian Eckes
- Zane Smith
- Sheldon Creed
- Brett Moffitt
- Ross Chastain
- Derek Kraus
- Ben Rhodes
- Chandler Smith
- Johnny Sauter
- Stewart Friesan
- Tanner Gray
- Carson Hocevar
- Tyler Ankrum
- Chase Purdy
- Raphael Lessard
- Spencer Davis
- Timmy Hill
- Hailie Deegan
- Ryan Truex
- Jordan Anderson
- Tate Fogelman
- Austin Wayne Self
- Timothy Peters
- Spencer Boyd
- Kris Wright
- Danny Bohn
- Jennifer Jo Cobb
- Jesse Iwuji
- Dawson Cram
- Bret Holmes
- Ryan Reed
- Norm Benning
- 34 Toyota Truck (Driver not officially named yet)
For lineup construction notes I want to start with Briscoe at the top for $11,500. His 30th starting spot is too good to pass up and the fact that he costs $3,500 less than Busch makes him a perfect drive3r at the top of our lineup.
I would pair him with one of these drivers at the top. Nemechek at $10,100, Zane Smith at $9,100, Crafton at $8,700.
In the middle of our lineup, I like Christian Eckes at $8,100. I can see pairing him up with Johnny Sauter at $7,300 or Tyler Ankrum at $7,800. I would also consider Jordan Anderson, who I don’t have high in the rankings, but the fact that he is starting 36th gives us some value at $7,100.
At the bottom of my lineup, I like Todd Gilliand at $6,900. I don’t love his starting position but I will take his very low salary as a trade off. There is a ton of talent there and I would be hard pressed to pass up that value.
Hill at $6,700 isn’t bad but his upside isn’t what we would like. Tanner Gray at $5,900 is a solid value that I really like for this race. Timothy Peters is $6,300 and is worth a start at the bottom as well.
My ideal lineup will look like this.
1. Chase Briscoe
2. Matt Crafton
3. Christian Eckes
4. Johnny Sauter
5. Todd Gilliand
6. Jordan Anderson
If you are placing a wager on a driver to win this race, I would look at Matt Crafton for value but you cannot deny that Kyle Busch is the huge favorite in this race. He has been finishing up top but only behind his teammate recently. I think that changes this weekend.
I’ll be back with a Cup series preview article and you can follow me on twitter @mikejforbes for updates all weekend long!