This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Location: Madison, Ill.
Course: World Wide Technology Raceway
Format: 1.25-mile oval
NASCAR Trucks Toyota 200 Race Preview
Ben Rhodes grabbed the lead and sped away to win his first win of the season at Charlotte a week ago. Remarkably, his victory was also Ford's first NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series win at the 1.5-mile oval. His victory also took away one more of the playoff spots as the regular season schedule rapidly marches toward closure. Just five races remain for drivers to book their spots in the championship eliminations. Six contenders are locked into that field with four races remaining for winless drivers to book their spots in the fight, and the action picks right up again this week at World Wide Technology Raceway. Series points leader Corey Heim, who finished second to Rhodes last week, is the defending winner at this speedy oblong oval. Unfortunately, Heim will not race this weekend due to an illness. The Toyota 200 will be the 23rd time the series has raced at the track, and those 23 races produced 20 different winners.
Key Stats at World Wide Technology Raceway
- Number of races: 22
- Winners from pole: 4
- Winners from top-5 starters: 16
- Winners from top-10 starters: 20
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
- Fastest race: 113.726 mph
Previous 10 World Wide Technology Raceway Winners
2022 - Corey Heim
2021 - Sheldon Creed
2020 - Sheldon Creed
2019 - Ross Chastain
2018 - Justin Haley
2017 - John Hunter Nemechek
2016 - Christopher Bell
2015 - Cole Custer
2014 - Bubba Wallace
2010 - Kevin Harvick
World Wide Technology Raceway is best known for its oblong shape. The track has relatively flat banking, but the wide turns offer the potential for drivers to try differing lines. Despite those characteristics the track still places a heavy emphasis on handling and tire wear. Vehicles that are off on balance will tend to run their tires harder, which generates a downhill snowball as teams work to get back on pace to move upward in the running order. The emphasis on handling makes track position an important factor, too. Twenty of the 22 prior races run at the track have been won by drivers starting inside the top 10, and Corey Heim won last year's event from pole. No driver has ever won starting lower than 20th, which means fantasy players will want to pay particularly close attention to qualifying if possible.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the Toyota 200 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
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NASCAR DFS Picks for the Toyota 200
Zane Smith may not have a Gateway win on his resume quite yet, but his three top-10 finishes from four tries make him a top choice this week. He has two victories already in 2023 and has led 80 total laps in those four starts at this track. His consistency makes him one of the more reliable options this week. Similarly, Matt DiBenedetto's Gateway race last season makes him an attractive option this week. He started that race last year in 16th, which was his first series visit to the track. He drove all the way to the sixth-place finishing position. He didn't lead any laps that afternoon, but it was a veteran-like performance similar to what he has been offerin fantasy rosters this season. He is on a run of two consecutive top-10 finishes heading into this week, and all of these factors make him a top choice this week. Another veteran fantasy players should be considering this week is Matt Crafton. Both he and DiBenedetto are seeking the wins that would assure them of a playoff appearance and both appear quite close. Crafton is currently eighth in the standings and brings 10 top-10 finishes from 19 starts at this track. Tyler Ankrum is a bigger stretch than the prior two selections, but his two finishes at this track were both top-15 efforts. If he can avoid trouble or a DNF this week he should be a top-15 contender again, which would be his third from the last five races in an otherwise challenging season.
Points leader Corey Heim will unfortunately miss this week's race due to illness. Substituting for him will be Jesse Love, who won at Charlotte last week in ARCA competition. That win was his third in a row in that series, and this week he'll get his first taste of Truck Series competition. This is an up and coming driver that fantasy players should keep tabs on for the future, and his momentum in the ARCA Series could give him a confident platform for this week's series debut. Bret Holmes finishes the lineup for the Toyota 200 with his top-15 finishing potential. He has two top-15 finishes from the last five races and consistently is in the mix for top-20 results every week. He and the team have a new sponsor this week, which should give them some extra incentive to get the most out of this week's potential.