NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Win Simulations: Fr8 208

Jim Sannes
Jim Sannes@JimSannes
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Win Simulations: Fr8 208

KFB is back in the Craftsman Truck Series this weekend in Atlanta -- but things will look a lot different this time around.

Kyle Busch is scheduled to make his first of five starts this season in Saturday's Fr8 208. He's always a force in this series, having won a whopping 37.6% of his career starts.

But most of those -- the past 101 races and 48 wins -- came while driving for his own team, Kyle Busch Motorsports. Last fall, Busch sold that team to Spire, ending an epic run that saw the team win triple-digit races.

Busch will drive for Spire this weekend, and a lot of his former team still works for Spire. Thus, it's not entirely different, but it's a new element we haven't dealt with when analyzing Busch for a while.

Add on the fact that Atlanta is a decently high-variance track for the Truck Series, and it's hard to know what a proper valuation of Busch is.

I used the same process I use to evaluate every driver when building out my model for the race. Frankly, though, my confidence in whether I'm correct is not super high.

So, here are the sims, but please take them with an extra grain of salt.

Sim Win
Sim Podium
Sim Top 5
Kyle Busch18.8%34.9%43.9%
Corey Heim10.1%24.9%34.4%
Christian Eckes9.5%24.0%34.9%
Ty Majeski6.8%18.4%28.2%
Ben Rhodes6.0%17.2%27.5%
Nick Sanchez5.8%16.0%25.1%
Taylor Gray4.6%13.9%23.2%
View Full Table

Busch's win rate in Trucks the past three years is 33.3%. When you combine that with the new team and a volatile track type, I understand why the sims have him at 18.8%. It's just hard to know whether that's correct, and it's something we should keep front of mind when looking for value elsewhere.

Even with Busch potentially a bit overvalued in FanDuel Sportsbook's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series betting odds at +250, value elsewhere is still thin. Most of it lies in the longshots.

Stewart Friesen (+3500) and Colby Howard (+6000) are the only guys my model has at least a half percentage point above their implied odds at FanDuel. I think both are fine considerations.

Friesen's form has fluctuated somewhere between "weird" and "bad" since last summer. He had 5 top-5s in first 14 races only to log 0 across the final 9 races.

Two of Friesen's better finishes, though, did come at 1.5-mile tracks in Kansas and Homestead. In Homestead, specifically, he had an eighth-place average running position, his fourth-best mark of the entire year. That's a great track for Friesen as it features big tire degradation, something we won't see here, but it was good to see he wasn't completely broken.

Friesen has never won on a pack track, and it's absolutely not his best track type. But he did finish sixth in the first race at the reconfigured Atlanta, so he's not totally out to lunch. I think he's fine to sniff as a longshot.

As for Howard, he's driving for TRICON Garage this week, meaning he'll be in solid equipment. Howard has shown he can flash upside at pack tracks before, finishing eighth in Talladega in 2022 and fourth in Daytona last year.

This is Howard's age-22 season, and he has shown that youth plenty. That Daytona run last year was his lone top-10 while running a full schedule for CR7. This is an eqiupment upgrade for him, though, and he has a top-15 average running position in 4 of 6 career pack races. With his implied odds at 1.6%, down from 2.2% in the sims, Howard's deficiencies seem fully accounted for.

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Which drivers stand out to you for Saturday's race? Check out FanDuel Sportsbook's latest NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series betting odds to see the full menu of options.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.