After breaking off from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for a couple of weeks with races at Iowa and Gateway, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series has a companion event on tap this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. In fact, Friday night's Camping World 225 will kickoff a triple-header of action at the 1.5-mile oval.
The Truck Series has been hitting the mile-and-a-half tracks early and often this year, and the trip to Chicagoland will be the sixth race at a 1.5-mile oval in the first 12 races of the season. Kyle Busch clobbered the competition in the early races at these tracks, but now that he is no longer in the picture, we have seen the dominator points spread out among the top Truck regulars.
Yes, there is a smaller group of drivers who have been extremely consistent at these 1.5-mile tracks, but no one has been able to separate themselves when it comes to leading a bunch of laps. At Texas a few weeks back, four different drivers led at least 20 laps. Prior to that, three different drivers led double-digit laps at Kansas, and two drivers led 40-plus in that race.
As a result, I think you need to make sure to roster two or three of the stronger options who have a chance to earn those valuable dominator points. If no bigger names start deeper in the field, you will probably just want three solid options who are starting towards the front. You can always swap one of them out for a driver with a bunch of place differential upside if need be. Regardless, one-dominator lineups just aren't going to get it done.
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @BPolking after the starting lineup is set, but until then, here is a closer look at the drivers I plan on targeting at DraftKings for the Truck Series Camping World 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Grant Enfinger ($10,500)
He's been the safest option at the 1.5-mile ovals this year, posting a 6.3 average finish in the six races and finishing 11th or better in all of them. More importantly, he has led laps in all six of those starts, leading 40-plus laps twice. Considering he has finished eighth or better in all three of his starts at Chicagoland, I don't see him slowing down this weekend. Enfinger should be in all of your cash lineups.
Johnny Sauter ($10,100)
He's back after a one-race suspension, and Sauter returns at a Chicagoland track where he has posted excellent numbers over his career. He has finished in the Top 5 in each of his last four starts here, winning the 2017 race. Sauter has also led laps in four of the six races at mile-and-a-half tracks this year. He looks like a great bet for some dominator points and a strong finish.
Stewart Friesen ($9,900)
Friesen has been one of the best sources of dominator points in 2019, and he has led the most laps at the 1.5-mile tracks among the series regulars. He also has three Top 5s in the six races at the mile-and-a-half ovals, and that doesn't include a strong run at Kansas when he led 87 laps before running out of gas with the lead on the final lap. Expect him to be a major player for the win Friday night.
Difference Makers and Value Plays
Ross Chastain ($11,200)
Chastain's story is incredible, and other than his win at Iowa that turned into a disqualification, he has yet to finish outside the Top 10 in 2019. He's now officially locked into the playoffs after his win last weekend at Gateway, and in the six races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, he has a 7.3 average finish and a win at Kansas. On the flip side, he has just one Top 5 and has led just 13 total laps in those six races, so you have to be a little careful about using him at this price. If Chastain has some place differential upside, then absolutely build around him in cash contests. If he starts in the Top 5, you won't want to go overboard on your usage.
Brett Moffitt ($10,700)
Moffitt has had issues with consistency this year, but he has still been one of the steadiest sources of dominator points all season. He has a couple of Top 5s in the six races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, and he went to victory lane in his Chicagoland debut last season. You will want to have some exposure to Moffitt this weekend. His ceiling is too high.
Matt Crafton ($10,300)
We are still waiting on a dominant performance from Crafton this year, but he has been close at the 1.5-mile tracks. He has finished sixth or better in the last five races at mile-and-a-half ovals, leading laps in two of the last three. Keep Crafton in mind as a pivot to the usual high-priced suspects.
Ben Rhodes ($9,700)
Rhodes can be a little more volatile than some of the other drivers for the top teams, but in six starts at the 1.5-mile tracks this year, he has four Top 10s, three Top 5s and has led laps in all but one race. He has also finished sixth and second in the last two races at Chicagoland. Rhodes could end up being a great contrarian dominator Friday night.
Austin Hill ($9,300)
Hill is a boom-or-bust DFS option, but you can't ignore his upside at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year. Mechanical issues knocked him out of the race at Las Vegas and one of the two races at Texas, but Hill managed to finish eighth or better in his other four starts at 1.5-mile ovals, leading laps in the last three. At the very least, you have to consider using him in GPP contests.
Brandon Jones ($8,900)
Jones will get the call in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 this weekend, and while he might not lead a bunch of laps, he should be near the front Friday night. He finished fifth at Kansas a few weeks back, and he also logged a Top 5 at Chicagoland last year while driving for KBM. His Top 5 potential becomes even more inviting if he has some place differential points available. Keep an eye on him.
Tyler Dippel ($8,100)
Dippel got caught up in a wreck the last time a series visited a 1.5-mile oval, but he has been solid in the other five races at these tracks. In those five starts, he has a 12.2 average finish and has gained an average of 8.2 spots per race. Dippel was able to move up at least four spots in each of those five races, finishing 13th or better four times. Don't dwell on the Texas wreck. Dippel can help your lineups this weekend if he starts towards the middle of the pack.
Tyler Ankrum ($7,900)
Ankrum has been stuck in some garbage equipment the last couple of races, but he is back with DGR-Crosley this weekend, and he has shown some legit upside at the 1.5-mile tracks for this team. He has finished 11th or better in three of his four starts, leading nine laps and finishing third at Texas a few weeks back. This is a bargain price for a driver with Top 10 potential.
Jordan Anderson ($7,700)
He has a 20.2 average finish in four starts at Chicagoland, and last year, Anderson gained nine spots and finished 17th here. He has also been a sneaky DFS play at the 1.5-mile ovals in 2019, compiling a 17.3 average finish in six starts. Anderson has actually cracked the Top 15 in the last three races at mile-and-a-half tracks this season, gaining 13 spots at both Charlotte and Texas. If he starts outside the Top 20, he should be a safe, lower-priced option. Keep him in mind for cash lineups.
Jennifer Jo Cobb ($6,900)
Her ceiling is very limited, but she been able to work the place differential category to her favor at the mile-and-a-half tracks. She has a 21.6 average finish in five starts, gaining an average of 6.0 spots per race and posting a positive differential in all five of those races. As long as she starts outside the Top 25, she will have potential as a punt play.
Spencer Davis ($6,700)
Davis has made six Truck Series starts over the past two years, but Friday night's race will mark his first start for Niece Motorsports. Of Course, Ross Chastain has shown this team's equipment can run up front, and Davis managed Top 15 finishes in all three of his previous starts at 1.5-mile tracks. Granted, those starts came for Kyle Busch Motorsports, but he could still have a shot at a Top 15 for Niece.