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NASCAR DraftKings Preview | Trucks/Xfinity Series | July 23, 2022 | Pocono

NASCAR DraftKings Preview | Trucks/Xfinity Series | July 23, 2022 | Pocono

By: Dustin Maybin (@CUPharmDFS)

Welcome to another NASCAR DraftKings Preview! The point of this preview is to give you an idea of how winning lineups are constructed at a specific track. This week, the Trucks and Xfinity Series will be racing at Pocono Raceway.

Pocono is a 2.5-mile asphalt track with a very unique shape. It’s commonly referred to as the “Tricky Triangle” and has proven to be a difficult track for inexperienced drivers. Supposedly, each turn was created based on other tracks that are no longer on the schedule, Trenton, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. As you may have guessed, that makes analysis difficult with little correlation to other tracks. 

Pocono has the longest straightaway of any track on the circuit, allowing high speeds and a little bit of drafting. The turns have bankings ranging from 6 to 14 degrees, so looking at flat track performance may be feasible. The heavy braking into the turns off the long straightaways is similar to some road courses. Thus, with no true correlating track, I will be prioritizing Pocono history (though it’s limited) and 2022 performance overall. Teams that have shown speed should benefit greatly if no issues arise.

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NASCAR DraftKings Preview

Stage 1: CRC Brakleen 150 (Truck Series)

*Note: Practice and qualifying for the Truck Series were rained out yesterday, making this race even more difficult to predict.

Over the past 10 Pocono races, 9 of the 11 drivers to lead 20+ laps started on the front row. With only 60 laps in the race, dominator points are not a main focus of mine when building lineups. However, the best drivers should rise to the top here, and 20 laps led is a guaranteed 5 dominator points. Given that Zane Smith is starting on the pole and has been the fastest truck so far this season, he makes for an intriguing GPP option.

Over the past 3 Pocono races, an average of 6.3 drivers have lost 10+ positions. Given the influx of inexperience in the series in recent years and lack of practice time, recent races have been more chaotic. In fact, the past two races here have had wrecks on lap 1! Prior to 2019, only 2.2 drivers, on average, lost double-digit positions. I’m leaning toward more carnage and will prioritize more place differential upside.

88.3% of top 10 DraftKings scores at Pocono have come from drivers starting in the top 20. Considering fast drivers tend to qualify near the front and speed comes at a premium here, that should be expected. However, the past 3 optimal lineups at Pocono have been more balanced with only 50% of appearances coming from the top 20. There hasn’t been a specific trend with regard to optimal lineups, but I will be rostering at least 2 drivers from the top 20 in each lineup.

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Stage 2: Pocono Green 225 (Xfinity Series)

80% of top 10 DraftKings scores at Pocono have come from drivers starting in the top 20. The Xfinity Series has only raced here the past 6 years, so there is little data to go off of. However, track position and overall speed tend to correlate best with finish. I will likely be rostering at least two drivers from this range with one or more of them starting 10th or better.

8 of the 11 drivers to lead 20 or more laps started in the top 5. While it’s not as restricted to the front row as the Truck Series, drivers starting near the front are the most likely candidates to gain dominator points. With the race scheduled for 90 laps, there are approximately a maximum of 55 dominator points up for grabs. Only roster drivers starting this close to the front if you think they have the potential to lead laps and/or win.

Expect mayhem and plan accordingly. An average of 6.5 drivers have lost 10 or more positions over the past 6 Xfinity Series races at Pocono. Though not as convincing, 3.1 drivers have gained 10 or more positions. What does this mean? Top drivers are among those likely to be involved in wrecks, while backmarkers are likely too slow to get caught up in them and/or gain many positions from them. Only 1 driver with a top 10 score from starting 30th or worse came from a usual backmarker punt play. Prioritize place differential, but don’t sacrifice top 20 finish potential.

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Be on the lookout for our driver pool, updated projections in the NASCAR Study Hub, and core picks, and we’ll see you in victory lane!

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