The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each driver.
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NASCAR Price Check
1. Ross Chastain ($11,500) – Pocono is a terrible race track. Chastain started on the pole and led every lap except for the laps where he pitted under green before the end of stage 2. Not once did any other driver challenge him for the lead. Chastain didn’t have an amazing truck; in fact, it was terrible in practice. Chastain did have clean air and that’s all that matters at terrible race tracks.
2. Parker Kligerman ($7,300) – With the qualifying grid set by owners points, the #75 trucks has been locked out of each race since the season resumed. Finally, Kligerman made it into the field. Since 2017, in 18 races in the #75 truck, Kligerman is averaging a 15th place finish.
3. Christian Eckes ($8,200) – This will be Eckes’ second race at Pocono with crew chief Rudy Fugle. He had a good KBM truck last year, but he would have preferred track position. This is the first opportunity for Fugle and Eckes to compete against a field without Kyle Busch this season.
4. Johnny Sauter ($9,900) – At least Pocono restarts are interesting. This one ephemeral moment of joy for casual fans will surely be a vexing moment for DFS players. Last year, and every year, the cars spread out five wide on the front stretch at the beginning of the Pocono race, and Sauter suffered damage and went a lap down. He was able to rebound and managed to secure a top 10 finish. Others were not so fortunate.
5. Austin Hill ($9,200) – A mechanical failure took the #16 truck out early in the 2019 Pocono race. This track isn’t quite an intermediate track, so there is a question as to whether the Hattori truck will be the class of the field. However, Pocono is a track that favors machine over man, so the Hattori Truck should be in good shape.
6. Matt Crafton ($9,700) – The Thor Motorsports drivers admitted that Pocono is not one of their best tracks. Despite their struggles, all four trucks earned a top 10 finish at Pocono in 2019, but they were never in contention for a top 5 finish.
7. Brandon Jones ($10,100) – It’s not Kyle Busch, but it’s the Kyle Busch truck discounted $5,000. This might be a case of Jones simply trying to get extra Pocono reps to prepare for the Xfinity race. However, Jones has nothing to lose and a fast car. A risky pit road gamble could result in a win.
8. Tanner Gray ($6,300) – So far this season, Gray has a knack for finishing better than where he runs. This type of result is largely dependent on stage three cautions. At tracks where cars are turning laps as opposed to racing, stage three cautions do not occur.
9. Ty Majeski ($7,100) – Apologies to frequent readers, but this piece of information is worth repeating. Majeski has only had one bad race this season (20th at Atlanta), and that result was due to a green flag penalty in stage 3.
10. Brennan Poole ($7,500) – In 2016 and 2017, against a very healthy Xfinity field, Poole finished 12th and 15th while running for Chip Ganassi Racing. His average running position was slightly better than where he finished in both of those races.
11. Grant Enfinger ($7,800) – Thor and Enfinger are not comfortable at Pocono, but they build great trucks. Enfinger will lean heavily on his machine and will likely hold a position inside the top 10.
12. Zane Smith ($8,600) – A good sign from a young driver is maturity. After wrecking early at Homestead, he was quick to admit that he ran out of skill and owned his mistake. The GMS trucks have been great this season and the rookie has established himself as a playoff contender.
13. Brett Moffitt ($10,600) – It was hard for any driver to make noise last year at Pocono. Ross Chastain led a short, uneventful parade around the tricky triangle. Moffitt started 4th, averaged a 5th place position, and finished 5th.
14. Ben Rhodes ($8,400) – He’s been a top 10 driver at Pocono over his career, and he’s been a top 10 driver every week this season. Typically, Rhodes doesn’t offer much upside, but if the cautions fall at the right time, then Rhodes can get locked into a top 5 spot at a track where it’s hard to lose spots.
15. Todd Gilliland ($10,300) – The Front Row Motorsports truck has been a top 10 truck every week. Gilliland likely won’t pass the leader, and that’s not a slight against Gilliland, no one has passed the leader at Pocono in all three series over the last several years. If Gilliland guesses his way to the front via pit strategy, he could win this race.
16. Sheldon Creed ($7,700) – His average price and starting position made Creed a common cash play last season. His aggressive driving style and propensity to wreck flew in the face of that strategy. Last year at the beginning of stage 2, Creed tried to slide into a spot that wasn’t there and was turned into the wall.
17. Stewart Friesen ($10,900) – Turn one at Pocono is treacherous. The trucks reach peak speed, and then brake hard into a long sweeping corner. Freisen couldn’t make it stick, and he failed to finish one lap last year. Without practice, there will be more than one Friesen this year.
18. Raphael Lessard ($8,800) – His driver rating rank hasn’t budged much over the last four races (15th, 14th, 13th, and 12th). He’s a rookie, but this looks like another mediocre year from a KBM truck. Last year, Gilliland got fired and Burton’s money bought an Xfinity ride. Unless Lessard is filthy rich, he better start earning top 5s and a win by the end of the season.
19. Tyler Ankrum ($9,500) – Be careful with racing statistics. Ankrum finished 2nd at Homestead, but he hasn’t had a top 10 driver rating once this season. Ankrum finished 2nd at Pocono last July, but he wasn’t the 2nd best driver. A fuel only pit stop before the end of stage 2 boosted Ankrum to second. Due to the impossibility of passing at Pocono, Ankrum comfortably sat in 2nd place for the rest of the race even though he was on older tires.
20. Jordan Anderson ($6,900) – This season has not gone well for Anderson. He’s wrecked in both of the last two races and he failed to finish on the lead lap in the two races before those. This could be the week that his season turns around. Over the last five Pocono races, Anderson is averaging a 16th place finish.
Set your lineups here: NTS $100K Piston [$20K to 1st] (Trucks).
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.