Dead On Tools 200 Predictions, Odds, Picks (Truck Series)

  • NASCAR’s hottest driver dips down into the Truck Series at Darlington Raceway
  • Ben Rhodes is the only former winner in the field with a legitimate chance this week
  • After a rocky start to the season, John Hunter Nemechek is decidedly on an upswing

Dead On Tools 200 Odds

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Winner Odds
John Hunter Nemechek +350
Ross Chastain +450
Ben Rhodes +800
Ryan Preece +1000
Chandler Smith +1000
Zane Smith +1200
Corey Heim +1500
Ty Majeski +1500
Parker Kligerman +1800
Stewart Friesen +2000
Grant Enfinger +2000
Matt Crafton +2000
Carson Hocevar +2000

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Dead On Tools 200 - Ben Rhodes

After racing on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the asphalt at demanding Darlington Raceway.

Friday night’s Dead On Tools 200 will be contested over 147 laps (200.1 miles), with stage breaks scheduled after 45 and 90 laps at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped track.

Sheldon Creed swept both Truck Series races at Darlington last year, but the former series champion is competing only in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend.

Dead On Tools 200 Predictions

NASCAR Cup’s Hottest Driver—Ross Chastain—Returns to the Truck Series

No other driver in any of NASCAR’s top three touring series has been on a bigger roll than Ross Chastain, who already has posted two victories in his maiden Cup Series campaign with Trackhouse Racing.

All told, Chastain has five top-three finishes in 11 Cup races this season, and on Friday night, he’ll race the No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet for the second time this season.

Chastain has three career victories in 96 Truck Series starts, all with owner Al Niece in 2019. He should be a factor at Darlington, where he first gained widespread attention in 2018, when he won the pole and the first two race stages in his first of three starts with Chip Ganassi Racing.

We think Chastain will be a competitive force on Friday. What we don’t like is the price. Chastain is paying a stingy +450 (via DraftKings Sportsbook) to win in a rare Truck Series start. Unless you’re fully committed to the Watermelon Man, we suggest you look for better value elsewhere (see below).

There’s Precedent for a Ben Rhodes Double-Up at the Lady in Black

Reigning Series champion Ben Rhodes and 58-year-old former champion Todd Bodine are the only former Darlington winners in the field for Friday night’s Dead On Tools 200.

You can forget about Bodine. His prospects of coming out of retirement and being competitive against the Truck Series regulars are slim and none.

Rhodes is another matter. The driver of the No. 99 ThorSport Racing Toyota won at the Track Too Tough to Tame in 2020.

Friday’s race will mark the 10th Truck Series event at Darlington. The previous nine races have produced three two-time winners—the late Bobby Hamilton, Kasey Kahne and Sheldon Creed.

What that indicates is that those who achieve mastery at Darlington tend to turn in repeat performances. We think Rhodes will do just that, and at +800 via DraftKings, he’s a far better value than Chastain with just as much chance of winning.

After Rocky Start, John Hunter Nemechek Is on a Major Roll

Defending regular-season John Hunter Nemechek couldn’t get out of his own way in the first three races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.

At Daytona, Las Vegas and Atlanta, the driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota finished 24th, 25th and 24th, respectively.

Nemechek’s next three starts couldn’t have afforded a bolder contrast. He ran second at Circuit of the Americas, fourth at Martinsville and third on the Bristol Dirt Track.

Obviously, Nemechek comes to Darlington on a hot streak, and he’s an excellent choice to contend for the win. But he’s also the favorite at +350 (DraftKings), and we have the same objection that we do to Ross Chastain—not enough reward for the risk.

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How to Watch Dead On Tools 200

Dead On Tools 200 Information
Race Dead On Tools 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race
Location Darlington Raceway
Time Friday, May 6, 7:30 p.m. ET
How to Watch FS1

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Reid Spencer

Expert on NASCAR

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]