DFS NASCAR Trucks: Toyota 200

DFS NASCAR Trucks: Toyota 200

This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.

Toyota 200

Location: Madison, Ill.
Course: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
Format: 1.25-mile oval
Laps: 160

Race Preview

The championship playoffs get underway this week for the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series. World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway hosts the first race of the elimination format with Austin Hill starting on pole position after winning his second race of the season last time out in a rain-shortened visit to Watkins Glen. This will be the sixth time the Trucks compete in the elimination format, and each year prior has produced a different champion. The seven-race playoffs will culminate with the season-ending race at Phoenix where 2021's champion will be decided. Along with Hill, Sheldon Creed is one of the 10 championship contenders, and he won last year's visit to Gateway. This is the first year the circuit will host a playoff race and is the fourth different circuit to host the opening round of the championship battle. 

Key Stats at Gateway

  • Number of races: 20
  • Winners from pole: 3
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 14
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 18
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 113.726 mph

Previous 10 Gateway Winners

2020 - Sheldon Creed
2019 - Ross Chastain
2018 - Justin Haley
2017 - John Hunter Nemechek
2016 - Christopher Bell
2015 - Cole Custer
2014 - Bubba Wallace
2010 - Kevin Harvick
2009 - Mike Skinner
2008 - Ron Hornaday

Gateway's unique format features different turns at each end of the circuit. Its relatively flat banking puts an emphasis on handling and tire wear. The track also has relatively shallow banking, which makes track position an important factor. The 200-mile race has consistently churned out winners that started the race inside the top 10. However, three of the top five finishers last year started 13th or lower. Only twice in Gateway's 20-race history on the calendar has the race been won by someone starting outside of the top 10, and one of those was Creed's victory last season. Without on-track qualifying, the best opportunity for teams starting further down the order to gain track position will be through fast pit stops, but all 10 championship-eligible drivers line up in the first six rows. 

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

John Hunter Nemechek - $11,600
Sheldon Creed - $11,200
Zane Smith - $10,800
Austin Hill - $10,400

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Ben Rhodes - $9,800
Grant Enfinger - $9,600
Todd Gilliland - $9,400
Ty Majeski - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Spencer Davis - $8,800
Stewart Friesen - $8,600
Johnny Sauter - $8,400
Tyler Ankrum - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Christian Eckes - $7,600
Derek Kraus - $7,000
Tanner Gray - $6,900
Hailie Deegan - $6,700

My Picks

John Hunter Nemechek - $11,600
Todd Gilliland - $9,400
Johnny Sauter - $8,400
Christian Eckes - $7,600
Derek Kraus - $7,000
Jordan Anderson - $6,000

John Hunter Nemechek has been the driver to beat for much of the 2021 season. He leads the series in wins with five and also has 12 top-10s. He will start on the front row Friday evening and won at the track in 2017. Todd Gilliland lines up third to kick of this championship fight. He finished second at this track twice and led 75 laps in last year's race. Johnny Sauter missed qualifying for the championship fight and will now be solely focused on winning races. He starts deep in the field in 20th but should be able to rack up the points, having finished in the top five at this track in seven out of eight attempts. Gateway results for Christian Eckes are not representative of his pace. He will line up eighth Friday and has a best Gateway finish of 14th from three tries. That obscures the fact that in those three races he led 91 laps, however. If he can avoid a DNF this week, he may be an overlooked value option for rosters. Derek Kraus started 10th and finished 13th in his first series visit to this track last season. He will start 17th this time and is aiming to become the top finishing non-playoff driver in the standings at the end of the season. Jordan Anderson will start 33rd Friday but has finished in the top 20 in five of his six track starts. He starts a few rows further back than he ever has at the circuit this week but should be able to safely deliver finish differential points to fantasy managers this week.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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