NASCAR DFS Trucks:  Buckle Up South Carolina 200

NASCAR DFS Trucks: Buckle Up South Carolina 200

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Buckle Up South Carolina 200

Location: Darlington, S.C.
Course: Darlington Raceway
Format: 1.37-mile oval
Laps: 147

NASCAR Trucks Buckle Up South Carolina 200 Race Preview

Grant Enfinger became the fifth different winner of the 2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season by taking the checkered flag a week ago at Kansas. The victory was the eighth of his career and leaves just five playoff spots open as the regular season marches toward a climax. The competition for those spots will continue to heat up with just eight races left for drivers to qualify for the championship fight, and the first of those eight remaining chances comes this week at Darlington Raceway. The trucks returned to Darlington for the first time in nearly 10 seasons in 2020, and this weekend's race will be the 11th time the series has raced at the track. Matt Crafton is the only driver to have been in all 10 prior Darlington races and he finished in the top 10 in seven of them. John Hunter Nemechek won last year's race with Carson Hocevar finishing second in one of his two top-five finishes at the unique oval. Complicating matters this week will be four NASCAR Cup Series regulars out to stop the regulars from getting to Victory Lane, though. With those five playoff spots remaining to be claimed the on-track action is sure to kick up a notch.

Key Stats at Darlington Raceway

  • Number of races: 10
  • Winners from pole: 2
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 7
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 8
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 133.645 mph

Previous Darlington Winners

2022 - John Hunter Nemechek
2021 fall - Sheldon Creed
2021 spring - Sheldon Creed
2020 - Ben Rhodes
2011 - Kasey Kahne
2010 - Todd Bodine
2004 - Kasey Kahne
2003 - Bobby Hamilton
2002 - Ted Musgrave

Darlington is one of NASCAR's oldest and toughest tracks. The unique oval has developed an intimidating reputation with its rough surface and high speeds. The unique banking and different radius turns create a narrow racing line which makes passing a challenge. The fastest line by the end of the race is likely to be as close to the outside wall as possible in order to maintain as high of a speed as possible through its last two corners and down the front straight. Given the toughness of passing, winners usually start inside the top 10. Only two series races have been won by someone starting lower, and no one has won a truck race from lower than 15th. Despite a small section being repaved the track's rough surface is still challenging for drivers throughout fuel runs, and four-tire stops will be the choice every time there is a pit road visit. Fresh tires offer more grip and much faster lap times. Any late restarts will bring most of the field to pit to road for new tires in order to take advantage of that speed difference. 

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DraftKings Value Picks for the Buckle Up South Carolina 200 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Ross Chastain - $11,500
William Byron - $11,100
Zane Smith - $10,700
Ty Majeski - $10,400

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Corey Heim - $9,900
Ben Rhodes - $9,700
Nick Sanchez - $9,200
Stewart Friesen - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Matt Crafton - $8,800
Christian Eckes - $8,600
Parker Kligerman - $8,200
Carson Hocevar - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Matt DiBenedetto - $7,900
Johnny Sauter - $7,200
Tyler Ankrum - $7,000
Rajah Caruth - $6,000

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Buckle Up South Carolina 200

Ross Chastain - $11,500
Matt Crafton - $8,800
Parker Kligerman - $8,200
Carson Hocevar - $8,000
Tyler Ankrum - $7,000
Hailie Deegan - $6,500

Ross Chastain is one of the fastest drivers in NASCAR recently, and his prowess makes him a contender in any equipment almost every week. He'll tackle his second Darlington race in the trucks this week in his fifth race in the series this season. He only finished 26th in this race last season but led 46 laps before a mechanical issue forced him to drop backward. Experience counts at this track, and that is why Matt Crafton should also make an appealing fantasy selection. Crafton has never won at Darlington, but his seven top-10 finishes from 10 tries make him very consistent and a reliable fantasy option. He finished fifth in this race last season and finished in the top five two of his last three tries. Similarly, Parker Kligerman finished fifth and sixth in his last two Darlington series starts. He led nine laps in this race last season, and this will be his 11th start in the series this season. He crashed out of his most recent start a few weeks ago at Dover but started that race from pole. Kligerman has been competitive in his part-time schedule this season and Darlington should be another top-five opportunity for him. 

Another driver with top-five potential is Carson Hocevar. The Niece Motorsports driver was the runner up in this race last season and has two top-fives from three Darlington starts. His average finish in those tries is an impressive 5.3, too. A 10th-place finish last week at Kansas ended a short three-race slump for Tyler Ankrum, which should make this week's race a good opportunity for fantasy players to grab him. This will be his fifth series race at this track, and he scored his Darlington best of ninth in last year's edition. His average finish from those starts is also good at 13.0. Our last choice this week is Hailie Deegan who will visit Darlington for the fourth time in her career. She crashed out of last year's race and has a best Darlington finish of just 20th, but she has been more of a top-15 contender this year with Thorsport Racing. She sits 15th in the standings and finished 16th or better in five of eight races so far this season.

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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