The field is set for Friday evening’s NASCAR Trucks race at Las Vegas with John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith on the front row. Let’s dive into the NASCAR DFS preview for the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200, where we will go over the Awesemo projections and find the best NASCAR DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
NASCAR DFS Trucks Picks: Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200
John Hunter Nemechek, 1st ($10,400 DraftKings)
Chandler Smith, 2nd ($8,600 DraftKings)
Fresh off his third-place finish at Bristol last Thursday evening, Nemechek returns to his bread and butter of the 2021 Trucks season – an intermediate track. For the year, Nemechek has led 526 laps. 266 of those laps have come at the five intermediate track races of Las Vegas, Atlanta, Kansas, Charlotte, and Fort Worth. Nemechek has won three of those races, including the first Las Vegas race, while he finished top five in the other two events. Notably, his team owner Kyle Busch won the other two races that Nemechek failed to win at. The Kyle Busch stable has speed and performance figured out at this type of venue and it should continue on Friday night in Las Vegas.
In this same vein, Chandler Smith deserves consideration as well in tournaments. Oddly enough, in two of the five intermediate races that Nemechek started on the pole, he went on to only lead 21 laps or fewer in those races. At Atlanta, Nemechek lost the lead on the initial green flag start and at Kansas after only 11 laps. The door is open for Smith to get a better start than Nemechek and use that same Kyle Busch horsepower and take the lead over Nemechek. If Smith does this, it will be the first lap he has led an intermediate track all season. The numbers point to Nemechek being the more probable bet for dominator points. His probability to be a top-two dominator, according to the Top Driver Tool, sits at an astounding 73.9%.
Austin Hill, 10th ($9,800 DraftKings)
First, third, first, and third. Those are Hill’s previous four finishes here at Las Vegas. Perhaps, more importantly, is that Hill has won back-to-back Fall events here in Las Vegas. While he has not been a dominator in either of those victories, he has led over 29 laps in both events giving himself an added boost of potential dominator points. Just eliminated from the playoffs, the will to win and advance obviously no longer exists. However, that does not mean the will to win this event is off the table. With nothing but a win to race for, expect to see more aggressiveness out of Hill tonight. For the season, Hill is four for five in terms of top-five finishes at intermediate tracks – with no laps led. Expect that to change, as he is no longer races for points but one of his better shots at grabbing his third victory of his 2021 campaign.
Drew Dollar, 18th ($7,500 DraftKings)
If Nemechek and Smith make the rounds for this article, by default the third Kyle Busch driver should be included as well. To begin with, this pick is not for double-ups or head-to-head games. Dollar, in his five starts this year, has just one top-10 finish back at Daytona. Every other finish has been 20th or worse, losing place differential in all four of those races (Charlotte, Fort Worth, Nashville, Bristol) and wrecking out in two of them. It would almost seem better just to fade Drew Dollar outright based on these results. However, the majority of research for DFS players in Trucks races comes down to box score hunting.
If people are focused on these bad numbers, Dollar’s unofficial rookie campaign, they are going to miss out on a fast truck that could contend for a top-10 finish. However, according to the latest ownership projections, it appears a hefty portion of DFS players may be headed in this direction with Dollar in tournaments.
Tanner Gray, 29th ($7,700 DraftKings)
Reliable place differential is hard to come by in this field, especially considering drivers starting 25th or worse. However, here comes Gray rolling off the grid in 29th thanks to his early exit at Bristol last week. In this season’s five intermediate races, Gray is doing precisely what any DFS player would expect from a David Gilliland driver. He is finishing races, a lap down at the worst, generally in the teens with an average finish of 16 in those five events. That puts him squarely in play for cash and tournaments alike, especially considering that Las Vegas might be his best track with finishes of 12th, third, and eighth in three career starts here. Point per dollar, Gray ranks as a top-five option this week.
Bret Holmes, 34th ($5,700 DraftKings)
Making his fifth start of the 2021 Trucks season, Holmes looks to rebound from an embarrassing 37th place finish earlier this Spring at Las Vegas. Yet, rebounding is all Holmes has attempted to do in the 32 Truck with another crash at Charlotte and finishes of 32nd at Atlanta and 27th at Kansas. In four intermediate track races, for the former ARCA champion, he is essentially finishing where he started averages-wise. It is odd because when Sam Mayer takes the wheel of this Truck, he is at least competitive with three top-10 finishes.
This is all to say be leery of chasing the potential of Holmes when his numbers suggest that his shot at upside is tied to Friday night becoming an attrition race that he somehow manages to avoid.
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