NASCAR Truck Series DFS: 400 at Texas Motor Speedway DraftKings Preview

Brian Polking

While the XFINITY Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series head to the Irish Hills to visit Michigan International Speedway, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will make a second trip to Texas Motor Speedway. The fast, 1.5-mile oval will host Friday night's 400, the sixth race of 2019 at a mile-and-a-half track.

With the other series at a different track entirely, it is no surprise that there aren't any current Cup stars in the Truck field for this one. However, I use the word current because Greg Biffle will make his return to NASCAR, piloting a Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. Biffle had several strong seasons at the Cup level, and he is a former champion in the Truck and XFINITY Series. It will be nice to see him back behind the wheel, and he definitely should be on your radar at DraftKings.

Another interesting development for Friday's race is the decision of Ross Chastain to switch from earning XFINITY points to Truck Series points. The move allows him to race at Texas Friday night, but as far as his Truck title hopes are concerned, he has some work to do. The switch isn't retroactive, which means his win at Kansas doesn't lock him into the playoffs. He will be in a must-win situation between now and the postseason, but either way, he should continue to help you out at DraftKings.

When constructing lineups for Friday night's race, I plan to build around a couple of dominators. It is tough to look at trends from this season because Kyle Busch won four of the five previous races at mile-and-a-half tracks in dominating fashion. The one exception was Kansas, and in that race, two drivers both led 40-plus laps with Stewart Friesen leading 87 of the 167 laps before running out of fuel with the lead in the closing laps.

I expect one of the top Truck regulars to emerge with the car to beat and likely lead more than half the laps in this one. I also look for one or two other drivers to lead a small chunk of the race, and while I won't rule out using punt plays, I think a more balanced approach will be needed than when Kyle Busch was in the field. Qualifying and practice should help clear up which big names to target and who to use for cap relief.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter at @BPolking with any questions about drivers or lineup combinations after the starting lineup is set. In the meantime, check out the drivers I expect to target for Friday night's 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Image placeholder title


Must-Own Drivers

Stewart Friesen ($11,300)

Only one Truck Series regular has led more than 100 total laps in the five races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, and that is Friesen. He has actually led laps in three of those five starts, collecting three Top 5s and scoring the second-most driver points. He finished second to Kyle Busch at Texas back in March, and with Busch not in the picture this time around, Friesen could be the man to beat Friday night.

Johnny Sauter ($10,800)

Sauter has been strong at the mile-and-a-half tracks all year, and he finished third in the first trip to Texas. He's actually finished third or better in five of his last seven starts here, winning three times and leading laps in all seven races. You have to like Sauter's chances of piling up plenty of dominator points and contending for the win.

Matt Crafton ($10,100)

Crafton has finished sixth or better in each of the last four races at mile-and-a-half tracks this year, and he might be the best in the business at Texas. He has reeled off an incredible 16 straight Top 10s at the track, winning twice, logging 11 Top 5s and leading laps in 10 of those starts. You will have a tough time find a safer option to build around at DraftKings.

Image placeholder title
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Difference Makers and Value Plays

Brett Moffitt ($10,400)

He's had some bad luck this year, but there is no denying that Moffitt shows elite speed week in and week out. In fact, he leads all series regulars in fastest laps run, and he ranks second in laps led. Moffitt led 33 laps at Texas the first time around before cutting a tire while running the Top 5, but I expect him to be right back in the mix for a Top 5 and dominator points Friday night.

Ben Rhodes ($9,900)

Rhodes has been stout at the 1.5-mile ovals this year, notching four Top 10s and three Top 5s in the five races while leading laps in four of those starts. He's also had some strong showings at Texas, including a Top 10 run earlier this year and a runner-up effort in 2018. Rhodes should be on your short list of contrarian dominators.

Grant Enfinger ($9,700)

He's been the model of consistency at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, logging four Top 10s in the five races and scoring a series-best 208 driver points. Enfinger has also led laps in all five of those races, leading eight laps and finishing fourth in the first trip to Texas. At the very least, he should be a staple of cash lineups this weekend.

Ross Chastain ($9,600)

In a surprise move, Chastain decided to declare for Truck Series points heading into this weekend. The move means he can race this weekend at Texas, and he has been the most consistent performer in the series in 2019. Chastain has finished in the Top 10 in all eight races in 2019, posting a 6.4 average finish and finishing seventh at Texas the first time around.

Austin Hill ($9,400)

Hill has been a high-risk, high-reward DFS option at the 1.5-mile tracks this year, but he offers intriguing upside at a midrange price. Mechanical issues knocked him out of the race at Las Vegas and the first trip to Texas, but he has finished seventh or better in his other three starts. I don't love that his price tag has jumped, but I love Hill as a GPP option this weekend.

Greg Biffle ($9,200)

The veteran is making a return to NASCAR, and he will do so behind the wheel of the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51. He hasn't driven a Cup car since 2016, and he hasn't been in a Truck race since 2004. Still, he has elite equipment and loads of experience, and he is cheaper than the top Truck regulars. I think he can be dangerous in a one-off, nothing-to-lose return to the Truck Series.

Todd Gilliland ($9,000)

He has a forgettable 14th-place run at Texas earlier this year, but he had two excellent runs at the track in 2018. Gilliland finished sixth and fourth in two starts here in 2018, leading at least 60 laps in both. He has also finished in the Top 10 in his other four starts at mile-and-a-half tracks this year. If Gilliland is finally going to have a breakout performance, it could happen this weekend.

Tyler Dippel ($8,400)

Dippel has been an unsung hero DFS players at the 1.5-mile tracks all season long. He has a 12.2 average finish in the five races, posting a 12.2 average finish and gaining an average of 8.2 spots per race. Dippel has gained at least four spots in all five of those starts, finishing 17th or better in all five and 13th or better four times. He finished 14th in his first Truck start at Texas in 2018, and he gained 16 spots and finished eighth in the first trip to Texas back in March. Dippel should be a safe, mid-priced source of 30-plus points Friday night.

Brennan Poole ($8,100)

Poole has been trending in the right direction at the 1.5-mile tracks this year, and he has been exceeding even the most optimistic expectations. He has cracked the Top 20 in all four of his starts at 1.5-mile tracks this year, posting an 11.0 average finish. Poole finished ninth at Texas earlier in the year, and he came out of nowhere to finish second at Charlotte a few weeks ago. You have to like his upside at this price.

Kyle Benjamin ($7,800)

He hasn't had a chance to make many starts in NASCAR's national series, but Benjamin always seems to make some noise when he does get the opportunity. He has led laps and finished in the Top 5 in his only two Truck starts, and he has led laps in four of his eight XFINITY starts, logging a pair of Top 3 finishes. Driving for the same team that Ross Chastain has been piling up Top 10s for this year, I expect Benjamin to have a solid showing Friday night.

Sleeper Specials

Jordan Anderson ($7,100)

Anderson's 22.2 average finish in nine Truck starts at Texas isn't terrible for a driver with this cheap of a price tag, and he has quietly been having a decent year at the 1.5-mile tracks. He has compiled a 17.8 average finish in the five races so far, finishing 21st or better in all of them and logging back-to-back Top 15s at Kansas and Charlotte. If Anderson starts outside the Top 20, dial him up for cap relief.

Anthony Alfredo ($7,000)

There aren't many low-priced plays that I love this weekend, but Alfredo is worth a look. He drives for DGR-Crosley, an organization that can challenge for Top 15s and Top 10s, and Alfredo has finished 18th or better in three of his four starts for the team this year. If he ends up qualifying around 25th, use him to free up some cap space.

Learn more about the Fantasy Football World Championships! $150K to first place! Compete against the best ranked players in the world!