NASCAR DFS Trucks:  Heart of America 200

NASCAR DFS Trucks: Heart of America 200

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Heart of America 200

Location: Kansas City,  Kan.
Course: Kansas Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile tri-oval
Laps: 134

NASCAR Trucks Heart of America 200 Race Preview

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series returns to action this week at Kansas Speedway. Corey Heim won last time out in a rain-shortened visit to Martinsville. That race was initially delayed by lightning, and the evening started with the trucks racing on wet weather tires as the track dried. Heim dominated proceedings no matter the conditions, though. He led 82 of 124 laps and swept the stage victories in addition to winning the race, all while holding off veteran Kyle Busch who started on the front row. The victory puts Heim into the playoffs as the fourth championship eligible driver to score a win this season. 

Teams and drivers will have to knock the rust off after a few weeks off to regroup and improve as the unload at Kansas. Each race will continue to grow in importance as the playoffs approach. Only nine regular-season races remain to score that all-important victory that would secure a spot in the championship elimination battle. Winless teams will feel the pressure rise each week they fail to get to Victory Lane. Zane Smith and John Hunter Nemechek won the two Kansas stops last season. Smith already has two wins this year while six playoff spots remain to be claimed by 2023 winners. 

Key Stats at Kansas Speedway

  • Number of races: 25
  • Winners from pole: 4
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 17
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 24
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 139.875 mph

Previous 10 Kansas Winners

2022 fall - John Hunter Nemechek
2022 spring - Zane Smith
2021 - Kyle Busch
2020 III - Brett Moffitt
2020 II - Matt Crafton
2020 I - Austin Hill
2019 - Ross Chastain
2018 - Noah Gragson
2017 - Kyle Busch
2016 - William Byron

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Trucks return to a 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway this week for the first time since Texas in early April. While outright speed is critical to success on this configuration, track position and tire strategy can be factors as well. Drivers will want to qualify well in order to start the race in an advantageous position versus having to find opportunities to move forward through tire strategy or pitting off sequence. Restarts are another way for drivers to move forward, though. Restarts coming at the end of the race can be make or break opportunities for potential winners, too. The final cautions at Kansas tend to come with around 50 laps remaining, setting up a short-run duel to the checkered flag. However, Kansas typically has relatively few cautions overall with five of the last six races featuring five or fewer yellow flags. That trend means drivers and teams must find speed on track versus relying on a caution to enable them to make up ground. As a result, fantasy players should pay particularly close attention to practice and qualifying speeds when setting their lineups for Saturday's race. Typically, those that start the race in the top 10, finish the race in the top 10.

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NASCAR Projections

DraftKings Value Picks for the Heart of America 200 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $13,000
Ross Chastain - $11,500
Zane Smith - $10,800
Ty Majeski - $10,500

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Corey Heim - $9,900
Stewart Friesen - $9,700
Grant Enfinger - $9,500
Nick Sanchez - $9,300

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Christian Eckes - $8,700
Matt DiBenedetto - $8,300
Carson Hocevar - $8,100
Johnny Sauter - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Hailie Deegan - $7,100
Tyler Ankrum - $6,900
Rajah Caruth - $6,700
Daniel Dye - $6,400

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Heart of America 200

Zane Smith - $10,800
Nick Sanchez - $9,700
Christian Eckes - $8,700
Matt DiBenedetto - $8,300
Rajah Caruth - $6,700
Brennan Poole - $5,800

Cup Series regulars Kyle Busch and Ross Chastain both make good selections for many fantasy player lineups for the Heart of America 200. However, the lineups pay for it, too. For that reason, in addition to the fact that Truck Series drivers have been able to win despite the Cup guys interloping, Zane Smith may make the best value at the top of the list. Smith can race with the best of them and he has the advantage of running this equipment all season. He has two 2023 victories already and hasn't finished worse than 11th at this track in any of his six visits. He is also the defending winner. Fantasy players looking for the next big success probably already have their eye on Nick Sanchez. The Rev Racing driver has two top-10 finishes so far this season and finished 11th last time out at Martinsville. He moved to 12th in the championship standings and could become a playoff contender on points alone. However, a win seems entirely possible, too. Last year in ARCA competition at this track Sanchez finished first and second in two races. This will be the first time he races at the track in the trucks. 

Christian Eckes will be making his seventh series start at Kansas this week. He started the spring race of 2020 from pole and has not finished lower than 13th in any of the prior six races at the track. Similarly, Matt DiBenedetto brings a good deal of experience into the race. It is just his second season in the trucks, but he occupies 10th in the standings and averaged a Kansas finish of 9.5 from last season's races. Not choosing the Cup drivers at the top of the list make room for someone like Rajah Caruth further down. Caruth is an up and comer in the series with a best finish of 11th at Bristol. That was his second top-15 of the season and has been hitting the top-20 finisher list more frequently as the season progresses. This will be his first series race at Kansas, but he scored a second-place finish at the track in ARCA competition last year. Our last spot goes to veteran Brennan Poole. This will be Poole's fourth series start at Kansas. He finished 12th in both 2020 races at the track. He last attempted a start at Las Vegas, which is retired from with a rear gear issue.

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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