Baptist Health 200 at Homestead-Miami (Truck Series) Predictions & Odds
- Austin Hill stands out in a season of surprises in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
- Kyle Busch still has a score to settle with Chase Elliott as the two Cup stars battle for the third straight race in NASCAR Trucks.
- ThorSport drivers aren’t getting an ounce of respect, despite a long history of success in the series.
|What||Baptist Health 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race|
|When||Saturday, June 13, 7:30 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
The Baptist Health 200 is the nightcap of a Saturday doubleheader in a four-race weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series event is sandwiched between two Xfinity Series races, the first at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and the second at noon on Sunday.
Austin Hill is the series leader and defending winner at the 1.5-mile track, but he’s hardly the favorite in Saturday night’s race. That distinction belongs to Kyle Busch (-143) who has been shut out in two Truck Series starts since NASCAR’s reopening in May. Busch and fellow Cup driver Chase Elliott renew their rivalry for the third time in as many races.
Homestead-Miami has been the host track for Ford Championship Weekend in November since 2001, the last time the track had a March date. Had the coronavirus pandemic not interrupted the NASCAR schedule, this event would have been run on March 20. The race will be contested at 201 miles (134 laps), with stage breaks at 30 and 60 laps.
NASCAR Truck Series at Homestead-Miami Odds
The odds for the Baptist Health 200 are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Any Other Driver||+4000|
Austin Hill Stands Out in a Season of Surprises (So Far)
Nearly everyone assumed that, when Hattori Racing Enterprises failed to re-sign Brett Moffitt and opted for Austin Hill after the 2018 season, the organization was making a mistake. After all, Moffitt had just delivered a first-ever championship to team owner Shigeaki Hattori.
But the critics were wrong, and Hill proved his mettle by winning right away in the 2019 season opener at Daytona. He finished the year with four victories, including a win in the finale at Homestead-Miami. Still, few took seriously the title chances of the 26-year-old from Winston, Georgia.
Fast forward to 2020. Hill (+1300) is the only driver to post top-10 finishes in each of the first four events of the season, including a runner-up run at Atlanta, and he leads the series standings by 21 points over second-place Zane Smith (+3300). Smith is another driver who has turned heads with a surprisingly strong start that includes a third-place result behind Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch at Charlotte.
Kyle Busch Has a Score to Settle with Chase Elliott
With a $100,000 bounty on the line on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott beat Kyle Busch to the finish line to collect the bonus money. Last Saturday at Atlanta, Elliott again finished one position ahead of the Truck Series all-time victory leader, but the results weren’t as distinguished. Both drivers had trouble, and Elliott came home 20th to Busch’s 21st—a far cry from the 1-2 result at Charlotte.
In Saturday night’s Baptist Health 200, Elliott (+350) has a chance to claim unquestioned bragging rights over Busch (-143), who saw a streak of seven victories in as many starts end with the runner-up result at Charlotte. Busch has two wins and six top fives at Homestead, but he hasn’t raced there in a truck since 2014.
Elliott has never raced at Homestead in a truck, but he was able to wheel his No. 24 Chevrolet to victory at Charlotte despite a sabbatical from the Truck Series that lasted more than two years. So don’t count him out for lack of experience.
ThorSport Drivers Deserve More Notice Than They’re Getting
Matt Crafton is the reigning and three-time NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series champion. Johnny Sauter is a former champion and one of the grittiest drivers on asphalt. Grant Enfinger is the most recent winner in the series, having triumphed in a nail-biter over Austin Hill at Atlanta. Ben Rhodes is young and consistently quick.
So why are these four ThorSport Racing drivers getting no respect whatsoever from the oddsmakers? Sure, ThorSport is based in Sandusky, Ohio, far from the North Carolina nexus of stock car racing. But that doesn’t explain why Sauter is the highest-rated representative of the organization this week at +2200, with Rhodes following at +3300 and Crafton and Enfinger going off at +4000.
We were on Enfinger at long odds for the Charlotte race but picked him a week early. At Homestead-Miami, all four drivers are worth a look.
Austin Hill (+1300)—The series leader has shown the ability to run with the superstars. But for an ill-timed late caution at Atlanta, Hill would have won easily there, instead of finishing second to Enfinger’s Ford, which was set up for short runs.