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NASCAR DFS Truck Series Preview | Heart of America 200 | Kansas Speedway

Nascar DFS Trucks

NASCAR DFS Truck Series Preview | Heart of America 200 | Kansas Speedway

By: Dustin Maybin (@CUPharmDFS)

Welcome to the latest installment of my NASCAR DFS Truck Series Preview! This week, NASCAR will be racing at Kansas Speedway. Today’s race is set for 134 laps, meaning there are a maximum of 90 dominator points up for grabs.

Kansas is a 1.5-mile “cookie-cutter” intermediate with low to medium tire wear. Comparable tracks on the schedule that could be used for analysis are Las Vegas, Charlotte, Texas, and Michigan. Given that Las Vegas is the only one that has already been raced in 2022, overall performance this season on non-drafting ovals is also a strong indicator of potential success. 

Access to the Core Plays from the Rise or Fall NASCAR experts are FREE for today’s Truck Series race! Check them out!

Stage 1: Trends to Follow

Drivers starting in the top 20 should be included in more lineups than those who are not.

Over the past 10 Kansas races, 84% of top 10 DraftKings scores have come from drivers starting 20th or better. Likewise, these drivers have made up 73.4% of optimal lineup appearances over the past 5 races. On average, only 6.3 drivers (median = 4) per race gain 10 or more place differential points at Kansas, while 9.7 drivers finish more than 10 laps down. 

What does this mean? There is minimal passing through the field for the most part. Especially with regard to backmarkers, most of their positions are gained through attrition of strong trucks having unexpected issues. Speaking of backmarkers…

Avoid drivers starting near the back for the most part, especially punt plays.

Drivers starting worse than 25th have only been responsible for top 10 DraftKings scores at Kansas 11% of the time over the past 10 races. Likewise, over the past 4 races, drivers starting worse than 30th have made an optimal lineup just twice. On both occasions, these drivers (Chastain, Deegan) had clear top 15 potential. 

Punt plays starting in this range just have not worked out due to lower amounts of attrition or variance and less pit strategy due to low tire wear. Drivers starting worse than 25th who made an optimal lineup either at Kansas (past 5 races) or a comparable track (past 10 races) gained, on average, 18.3 positions. If they can’t achieve a top 20 finish without the help of attrition, they shouldn’t be in lineups.

There have been 62 cautions through the first 7 races of 2022, similar to the 60 seen in 2021 at this point. In the three years prior, there had been no more than 48 through 7 races. While this may appear to lend credence to more attrition, typical backmarkers are passing 7.7 drivers on average per race due to issues. Despite a higher amount of cautions, that is less than the 10.6 and 9.7 observed pre-Covid in 2019 and 2018, respectively, so punt plays are still risky.

Drivers starting in the top 10 are best choices as potential dominators and/or race winners.

4 of the 5 past Kansas races have featured 2 main dominators with the only exception being in 2021. Kyle Busch’s dominator points were canceled out by Ross Chastain’s place differential at a lower salary, and Sheldon Creed had issues after leading 41 laps. Unless a similar situation arises where a top tier driver qualifies extremely poorly, nailing the dominator(s) will be essential to DFS success.

22 of the 23 Truck Series races at Kansas have been won by a driver starting in the top 10. The only exception was the 2nd leg of the doubleheader in 2020 when the lineup was set by inverting the finishing order from the previous race. Excluding that race, 89.7% of drivers leading double-digit laps in the last 10 races at Kansas started in the top 10 as well. 

Past optimal lineups at Kansas have followed a similar construction, which can be used to set parameters when building on Fantasy Cruncher.

  • Roster no more than 2 drivers priced above $9,000.
  • All drivers should be capable of hitting 5x value at their ceiling projection.
  • Roster 3 to 5 drivers starting in the top 15, with at least 2 coming from the top 10.
  • Roster no more than 2 drivers starting worse than 25th.
  • Spend at least $49,000.

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NASCAR DFS Truck Series Preview

Stage 2: Drivers to Target

John Hunter Nemechek ($11,300) – Nemechek has been arguably the best driver on intermediate tracks this season and is now starting from the pole, setting him up for great dominator potential. He’s finished top 5 in his past 3 races here even when in worse equipment, won last week at Darlington, and ranked 3rd in driver rating at Vegas earlier this season.

Tanner Gray ($7,400) – Normally, I would avoid targeting Gray when starting in the top 10, but at his price, he comes with upside this week. He ranked 5th in driver rating at Vegas this year and has finished 4th at Kansas in the past. If he holds position, he should pay off.

Austin Wayne Self ($6,800) – Starting 23rd, Self provides some place differential upside. It’s been a typical up-and-down season for him, but he has ranked top 15 in driver rating 3 times. Five of his last 7 finishes at Kansas have been between 13th and 18th, which achieves the 5x value we are looking for.


Best of luck! Don’t forget to check out the core plays, race notes, and study hub to complete your lineup preparation. If you have any questions, feel free to follow me on Twitter or hit me up in the Team Rise or Fall Discord!