It’s ‘Dega week! Kickoff the spectacular racing weekend with the NASCAR Trucks DFS and Betting Preview at the legendary Talladega Superspeedway. The trucks roll off early on Saturday to get the party started at ‘Dega this weekend.
Las Vegas last weekend was more like ‘Las VegaDega’ as the level of carnage was quite unexpected. Christian Eckes in a solid, feel-good story, captured his first career win as ThorSport shined in a one-two-three-four finish.
We now head to a place where ThorSport can shine again. Ben Rhodes, Johnny Sauter, and Grant Enfinger are very strong drivers at superspeedways as they account for a combined 6 superspeedway wins. Enfinger and Sauter are former Talladega winners (2016, 2013, respectively).
This is a race where anything can happen, and almost anybody can win. The intensity will be through the roof all weekend long as these truckers attempt to master the most frantic, chaotic race on the schedule.
It’s DFS NASCAR Trucks Talladega nugget time.
Toyota and Chevrolet have won every single Talladega race held at this track except for Mark Martin’s Ford capturing the inaugural race here back in 2006. Toyota and Chevrolet account for all eight remaining playoff teams.
Speaking of playoff teams: dating back to the beginning of the playoffs in the Camping World Truck Series in 2016, not a single playoff driver has gone to victory lane at Talladega. That alone speaks volumes about the volatility and unpredictability of trucks at Talladega.
Raphael Lessard is the defending winner of this race in a finish that ended under caution in 2020. He was driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports at the time but lost his ride with GMS early this season. He will not defend his crown.
Sticking with KBM: in the last 4 Talladega races, they have fielded at least one truck in the Top 3. Twice they featured 2 in the Top 3. Weirdly enough, the #51 has finished 3rd in this race 4 years in a row.
There will be only one 2-time ‘Dega winner in this field: Parker Kligerman. Kligerman won here back in 2012 and 2017. He starts 37th on Saturday.
Let’s just face it: to win here you’re gonna have to be good to be lucky, and you’re gonna have to be lucky to be good. It’s gonna be a wild race. The unpredictability factor will be through the roof.
THE DALEADEGA DRIVE TO SURVIVE PRESENTED BY @Hooters
-💰 & Hooters gear up at stake for all 3 NASCAR races at ‘Dega
-1st Place on Sunday wins $1K and a 🎟 to the ‘22 Daytona 500
— dale tanhardt (@daletanhardt) September 28, 2021
NASCAR Trucks Talladega Picks for DraftKings
Grant Enfinger: #98 ThorSport Toyota – $9,100
In 5 starts here dating back to 2016, Enfinger has 1 win, 2 Top 5’s, 3 Top 10’s, and no finish worse than 19th. He’s led a total of 96 laps in that span as well.
If you add in a win and a runner-up at Daytona in 2 of his last 3 starts there, Enfinger brings a very strong resume to the superspeedways, and he will be back in the #98 that Eckes won in last weekend.
If you look at the data and the film, it’s apparent that Enfinger typically finds his way to the front at the superspeedways, and he’s currently in the most desperate position he could be in as a part-time driver with much to prove- especially after Eckes delivered a win in the #98 last week. I like Enfinger as a top play on Saturday as he starts 17th.
Johnny Sauter: #13 ThorSport Toyota – $9,900
Talk about desperate- talk about having much to prove: can old-man Sauter prove he can still get the job done?
Sauter has been a dominant force at Daytona and Talladega over the years, securing 4 total wins. That total arguably should be 5 after he was disqualified from his victory here in 2019 in a very questionable call blocking call.
Sauter missed out on the playoffs this year and very well may have four races remaining as a full-time driver in this series. It feels like it would be appropriate for Sauter to get his final win here at a place that has been up and down for him.
There’s certainly a gut feeling here with Sauter, but the stats don’t lie either; he’s statistically the strongest plate-racer in the field. The average start of the winner of this race over the past 5 years is 11.8. Where does Sauter start? 11th.
Lawless Alan: #45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet – $8,100
I bet you didn’t expect to see a guy named ‘Lawless’ in this article. I’m not sure I did either.
But here’s the deal: there’s always somebody “random” who finds their way to the front and runs super well in this race. Here’s a list of drivers who scored Top 10’s from 2016-2020:
Codie Rohrbaugh, Jordan Anderson (not as random; solid plate-racer), Bryan Dauzat, Max Tullman, Wendell Chavous, Vinnie Miller, Clay Greenfield, and Tyler Young. Honorable mention: Jennifer Jo Cobb and Bobby Gerhart each finished 11th once.
Now consider the fact that this truck has speed, and it’s starting 36th. There’s gonna be some guys starting deep in the field that will score big points. I think Lawless will be one of those guys. Also, Talladega is pretty lawless itself. It just feels right.
Drew Dollar: #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota – $6,900
Look; if you’re gonna win this weekend, you’ll have to do something different. I think it’s the perfect time to tail Dollar.
Hear me out here: In his last 4 superspeedway starts in the ARCA Series (yes; I am using ARCA to provide useful information here) he has 1 win and 3 Top 5 finishes. In his first superspeedway start at Daytona earlier this year, he finished 10th.
At a time where all bettors are against him because he’s an absolute wrecking machine on intermediates and short tracks, I think Dollar proves everybody wrong with a strong run this weekend. The guy is a good superspeedway racer, he’s driving the #51 that has finished 3rd here 4 years in a row, and his P18 starting spot offers some solid upside with place-differential.
Just to be clear, I love Parker Kligerman. But everybody and their grandmother will own him on DK on Saturday. So I went elsewhere with my picks. Book Drew Dollar as a solid punt play and even a dark horse to win the race. Yep, I said it. Fight me.
NASCAR Trucks Best Bets
Grant Enfinger +1000
Ben Rhodes +1400
Johnny Sauter +2000
Parker Kligerman +2200
Jordan Anderson +5000