This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Location: Clermont, Ind.
Course: Lucas Oil Raceway
Format: 0.69-mile oval
NASCAR Trucks TSport 200 Race Preview
The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series championship elimination races commence with this week's TSport 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway. The seven-race, three elimination round format will be the eighth time the championship has been decided in this manner, and the championship finale will take place at Phoenix Raceway on championship weekend. This is the second season in a row that the knockout races kick off at Lucas Oil Raceway. Last season's race was the first visit by the trucks to the short oval since 2011, and Grant Enfinger drove to Victory Lane. Friday night's event will be the 19th time the series has raced there, and only two races produced a winner that started outside of the top five. Regular-season champion Corey Heim will enter the weekend as the top-seeded championship contender, hoping to fend off the other nine championship-eligible drivers seeking to knock him off of that perch.
Key Stats at Lucas Oil Raceway
- Number of races: 18
- Winners from pole: 5
- Winners from top-5 starters: 16
- Winners from top-10 starters: 17
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
- Fastest race: 88.704 mph
Previous 10 Lucas Oil Raceway Winners
Last season's return to Lucas Oil Raceway produced 10 caution periods and 12 lead changes among six drivers. Like most short tracks, the speedway tends to favor drivers that start inside the top five. Enfinger won last season from the fifth position, but Zane Smith was able to come home third despite starting 21st. The furthest back a driver has started and won was 16th. Given that history, qualifying well for Friday night's race will be a top priority for all teams. Teams won't have much time to get things right, either. Track activity is limited to Friday with teams having practice and qualifying just a few hours before the race kicks off in the evening. Track position could be the deciding factor, which means getting up to speed quickly is the aim versus being forced to make adjustments or strategy gambles during the race. The track's short lap distance will make strategy a difficult matter, too. Heading to pit road under green means losing a lap until the cycle completes, and any untimely cautions could trap championship contenders a lap down to the leaders.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the TSport 200 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
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NASCAR DFS Picks for the TSport 200
Zane Smith moved from 21st at the start to third at the finish at Lucas Oil Raceway last season. With a better starting position, he might have been capable of more, too. Smith starts the playoffs as the second seed, and he has been quick on short tracks this season with pole position at Bristol and Martinsville, as well as third-place finishes at Martinsville and Richmond. Stewart Friesen missed out on this year's playoffs, which gives him motivation to just go win races. Friesen finished fourth in this race last season. He enters this race weekend on the heels of two poor finishes in a row and looking to turn things around. Redemption is what he will be after these next seven races. Unlike Friesen, Matt DiBenedetto will be racing for this year's championship. DiBenedetto finished 11th in this race last season and has four top-10 finishes from the last five races. DiBenedetto has become a reliable top-10 contender each week, and last year's experience at this track could push him closer to the top five.
Taylor Gray has become a reliable top-15 finisher for fantasy players. He has four top-10 finishes so far this season and led one lap in this race last year. Fantasy players should expect another top-15 out of him this week. Jack Wood will attempt his eighth series start this week with Kyle Busch Motorsports. He has two top-10 finishes at Atlanta and Texas, but this will be his first short-track start of the bunch. He raced in this event last season, finishing 22nd. His No. 51 machine is in the playoffs for the owner's title, which gives him a lot to race for. Another part-time driver, Chad Chastain, will be attempting his second series start of the year. Chastain crashed out at Atlanta and then failed to qualify at Pocono. He qualified and finished 30th at the track last season.