NASCAR DFS Trucks:  CRC Brakleen 150

NASCAR DFS Trucks: CRC Brakleen 150

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

CRC Brakleen 150

Location: Long Pond, Pa.
Course: Pocono Raceway
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval
Laps: 60

NASCAR Trucks CRC Brakleen 150 Race Preview

The playoff battle is heating up in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Two races remain for drivers to win their way into the championship fight, and the first of those chances arrives this week at Pocono Raceway. Corey Heim won last time out on the road course at Mid-Ohio, snatching his second victory of the season. That leaves four spots among the top 10 available for drivers to qualify for the playoffs just via their point totals. The battle for that 10th and final spot is a hot one, though. Matt Crafton currently holds the transfer position, but only has a one-point margin back to Stewart Friesen in 11th. Things get even spicier considering Nick Sanchez is only one point ahead of Crafton, too. With positions eight through 11 separated by just five points, anything can still happen. Adding to the pressure are another 10 drivers outside of the playoff positions that could still win their way into the championship fight with a win this week. It all makes for an exciting showdown at the "tricky triangle" of Pocono Raceway and this week's Brakleen 150.

Key Stats at Pocono Raceway

  • Number of races: 13
  • Winners from pole: 4
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 10
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 13
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 136.813 mph

Previous 10 Pocono Winners

2022 - Chandler Smith
2021 - John Hunter Nemechek
2020 - Brandon Jones
2019 - Ross Chastain
2018 - Kyle Busch
2017 - Christopher Bell
2016 - William Byron
2014 - Kyle Busch
2013 - Austin Dillon
2012 - Ryan Blaney

Pocono Raceway is a long 2.5-mile oval with three unique turns. The triangle-shaped lap with different configuration of turns can pose a challenge for teams to find the fastest setups. Teams will aim to get their trucks handling well mid-corner in order to allow their drivers to get on the gas as early as possible to launch down the circuit's long straights. Out pacing other competitors to corner entry is the best way to get passes done, and grip through the long turn 3 can also be a driver's advantage. Getting the best corner exit possible pays dividends as the track's long straights require maximum speed. Typically, good handling and light tire wear throughout fuel runs enable the fastest trucks to distance themselves from the rest of the field, and teams that get the settings correct early in the day can extend their advantage by staying ahead of the adjustments on pit road. Pocono's long 2.5-mile lap length opens the door for unique pit strategies, but miscalculating the fuel can strand a driver far from pit road. Pitting under green at Pocono does not mean automatically losing a lap, and making stops early in the fuel window could put a driver back on track with less traffic. Caution periods can also throw a wrench into plans, but teams will have to be flexible to overcome those challenges.

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DraftKings Value Picks for the CRC Brakleen 150 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $13,000
Ross Chastain - $11,000
Christopher Bell - $10,700
Zane Smith - $10,400

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Austin Hill - $9,700
Christian Eckes - $9,500
Ty Majeski - $9,200
Grant Enfinger - $8,900

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Ben Rhodes - $8,700
Nick Sanchez - $8,500
Rajah Caruth - $8,200
Stewart Friesen - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Parker Kligerman - $7,800
Matt Crafton - $7,700
Matt DiBenedetto - $7,500
Tanner Gray - $6,500

NASCAR DFS Picks for the CRC Brakleen 150

Kyle Busch - $13,000
Nick Sanchez - $8,500
Rajah Caruth - $8,200
Matt Crafton - $7,700
Matt DiBenedetto - $7,500
Lawless Alan - $5,100

This fantasy lineup for Pocono takes advantage of the heated battle to make the playoffs. Drivers around the cut line are fighting for their seasons and have all the motivation to go for it at Pocono with regular-season chances running out. However, NASCAR Cup Series regular Kyle Busch could make things difficult. The star is one to beat whenever he makes an appearance in this series, and is even more difficult to overcome at Pocono. In his five series races at the track he has finished first or second four times. Starting with Nick Sanchez we get into the playoff fight. Sanchez sits ninth in the standings heading into the weekend, but is just two points clear of the first driver out of the playoff spots. It is a razor-thin margin that Sanchez will have to navigate the next two weeks, but his pace this season suggests he can get the job done. This will be his first series start at Pocono, but he has seven top-10 finishes already this season, including the last four races. Another driver with top-10 potential this week would be Rajah Caruth. Caruth is well behind the playoff positions, but he has five top-15 finishes this season. This will be his first series start at the track, but he has previously raced ARCA and Xfinity Series cars there. Caruth is an up-and-coming driver that offers fantasy upside each week as he gains experience. Lack of experience is not a factor with Matt Crafton. The veteran sits 10th in the standings and is seeking to wrap up his playoff spot. He has two top-10s from the last five races and has eight top-10s from 13 starts at Pocono. Consistency has been the challenge for this team this season, but Crafton has found his way into the mix and will be working to be at his best when it matters most. Similarly, Matt DiBendetto is hoping to cap off his second full season in the series with a playoff appearance. DiBenedetto is eighth in the standings and enters the weekend with five consecutive top-10 finishes pushing him forward. He finished 12th in this race last season. Lastly, Lawless Alan will make his third Pocono start in the series this week. He finished 17th last time out at Mid-Ohio and has finished in the top 20 in seven of his 12 current season starts.

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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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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