This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Location: Clermont, Ind.
Course: Lucas Oil Raceway
Format: 0.69-mile oval
NASCAR Trucks TSport 200 Race Preview
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs get underway this week at Lucas Oil Raceway, which makes its first appearance on the schedule since 2011. The seven-race playoffs will take place over three rounds, shrinking the playoff field to the final four drivers who will race to become the series champion in the final race of the season at Phoenix. This is the first time Lucas Oil Raceway will host a round in the playoffs, and it will be the fifth different track since 2016 to open the playoff battle. The short oval hosted 17 Truck Series races between 1995 and 2011 with 12 different winners. This week's race will be the first trip back to the track in 11 years, which means only a few drivers have prior experience there. Matt Crafton will be the only playoff contender with prior series starts at the circuit and will hope that plays to his advantage Friday night.
Key Stats at Lucas Oil Raceway
- Number of races: 17
- Winners from pole: 5
- Winners from top-5 starters: 15
- Winners from top-10 starters: 16
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
- Fastest race: 88.704 mph
Previous 10 Lucas Oil Raceway Winners
Lucas Oil Raceway is a paved 0.69-mile oval west of downtown Indianapolis. The track has hosted NASCAR's Truck and Xfinity Series in the past, but this weekend's race will be the first visit of either series to the track since 2011. The short oval has overwhelmingly produced winners who started inside the top five. The furthest back a driver has started and won across the 17 series races run there was 16th. In fact, the pole winner has won five of those 17 races, too. Those statistics mean every team will be anxious to qualify as close to the front as possible. All on-track activity is limited to Friday, which means teams will have little time to turn things around if they start off on the wrong foot. Having track position at the start and maintaining it throughout the race distance will be a lot easier than trying to come from behind to win. The short lap distance will make the decision of when to come to pit road critical. That characteristic means teams will find it difficult to succeed by going off strategy, making it all the more critical to get things right as early in the day as possible and then minimizing mistakes thereafter.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the TSport 200 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
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NASCAR DFS Picks for the TSport 200
With just three finishes this year outside of the top 10, Zane Smith, the regular-season champion, could make an excellent choice for this week, too. He finished ninth at Martinsville, 10th at Bristol, and third at Knoxville, which are all tracks that should help him get started on the right foot quickly this week. Johnny Sauter has made the most of his three series starts this season with top-fives at Martinsville and St. Louis. He isn't only quick when behind the wheel either. He is one of the few drivers with past experience at this track, making four starts on the oval. His best result was a runner-up finish in 2004 when he led 139 laps. He also led 44 laps the last time the series raced on this track. Another experienced pick, and a playoff contender, is Crafton. He wasn't able to get the regular-season win he was seeking, but is in the playoffs where anything can happen. Crafton has 11 series starts at Lucas Oil Raceway with a best finish of third and an average result of 9.2. Colby Howard is looking to finish his first full-time season in the series well after earning his best finish of eighth at Mid-Ohio. He has been delivering consistent top-20 finishes recently, and as he gains experience he should start delivering more top-15s. Taylor Gray is another young driver looking to make an impression. This week will be his fifth start of the season and first since grabbing a 15th-place finish at Mid-Ohio. He has an ARCA start under his belt at this track, and will also race in that series at the track this week. That extra track time should help him get out of the gate quickly. He has also been a good qualifier in the trucks this year with an average start of 11.8, which could be his strength this week. Kris Wright wraps up the choices this week, having scored five top-20 finishes from 16 starts so far this season.