DFS NASCAR Trucks: XPEL 225

DFS NASCAR Trucks: XPEL 225

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Toyota Tundra 225

Location: Austin, Texas
Course: Circuit of the Americas
Format: 3.41-mile road course
Laps: 42

Race Preview

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series goes road racing this week with its second trip to Circuit of the Americas. Todd Gilliland won at the track last season, but Zane Smith will be driving that No. 38 machine this time. Last year's three road course visits produced three different winners. The series will tackle three road courses again this season, but Circuit of the Americas will be the only repeat venue from last year. Additionally, Ben Rhodes is set to be the only active Truck road course winner competing this weekend. He is still looking for his first win of the season, too. However, all eyes will likely be on Kyle Busch who will make his first road course appearance in the Trucks this weekend. He won last year's Xfinity Series race at this track in a dominating performance, leading 35 of 46 laps. 

Key Stats at Circuit of the Americas

  • Number of races: 1
  • Winners from pole: 0
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 1
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 1
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 70.790 mph

Preview COTA Winners

2021 - Todd Gilliland

The first road course stop of the season brings a return to the Circuit of the Americas, which is a 20-turn, natural-terrain road course featuring significant elevation changes and a mix of slow and fast corners. The course's long straights are followed by heavy braking areas where drivers will try to out-brake one another into the turn. Last year's races at the track showed that passing could occur almost anywhere, too. Teams and drivers must maximize grip throughout the lap while also maximizing top speed and gearing for top speed down the long straights. Brakes will also be a key component in a driver's ability to race hard and make passes late in the distance. The track's long lap distance opens the opportunity for teams to approach the race with potentially very different pit strategies. Those strategies coupled with yellow flags could be where this race is won. However, while strategy should be a heavy player in the outcome, drivers will have to be mistake-free throughout the race to have a chance to fight for the win at the end.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $13,000
Sheldon Creed - $10,600
John Hunter Nemechek - $10,400
Alex Bowman - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kaz Grala - $9,900
Zane Smith - $9,700
Ben Rhodes - $9,500
Chandler Smith - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Matt DiBenedetto - $8,900
Stewart Friesen - $8,800
Christian Eckes - $8,600
Tyler Ankrum - $8,300

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Matt Crafton - $8,100
Tanner Gray - $7,400
Brad Perez - $5,400
Matt Jaskol - $4,900

My Picks

Kyle Busch - $13,000
Kaz Grala - $9,900
Matt DiBenedetto - $8,900
Austin Wayne Self - $6,900
Taylor Gray - $6,400
Matt Jaskol - $4,900

Despite this being Kyle Busch's first Trucks race on a road course, he is a fantastic driver on these circuits no matter what vehicle he happens to be in. Busch won at this track last season in an Xfinity machine and could win again this season in a truck. Another superb driver on road courses is Kaz Grala. He raced in all three Trucks Series stops at road courses last season and finished no lower than 12th. Similarly, Matt DiBenedetto may be new to Trucks, but his road course ability is quite good. He has six road course top-10 finishes from 22 tries in the Cup Series and should be a top consideration for fantasy players this week. Austin Wayne Self started 29th and finished 16th in this race last season. He is a consistent top-20 finisher on road course circuits. Taylor Gray has just one series start on a road course to his credit, but he does have multiple road course top-10s in the ARCA Series. Former Indy Lights driver Matt Jaskol warrants consideration for selection as well. He grabbed a 19th-place finish at Atlanta last week and has the potential to outperform at road courses. He finished 19th at Mid-Ohio last season in the Xfinity Series despite starting 34th.

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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