North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (Truck Series) - Predictions & Odds
Our pick, Grant Enfinger +2800
- Kyle Busch looks to extend remarkable Truck Series winning streak in the first race in the series since the hiatus for the coronavirus pandemic.
- After two straight crushing losses in the NASCAR Cup Series, Chase Elliott will be chasing Busch in a battle of NASCAR superstars.
- Ford drivers have a fighting chance to win a Truck Series race at Charlotte for the first time ever.
|What||N.C. Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race|
|Where||Charlotte Motor Speedway|
|When||Tuesday, May 26, 8 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
In the sixth NASCAR national touring series race since the re-opening of the sport after a 10-week pause because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series finally takes center stage. The series race twice before the coronavirus caused the shutdown, with Austin Hill taking the checkered flag in the season opener at Daytona and Kyle Busch beating veteran Johnny Sauter to the finish line at Las Vegas.
Hill enters the Tuesday 134-lap event at Charlotte as the series leader, nine points ahead of Sauter in second place. Compared with last Sunday’s scheduled Cup Series 600-miler (which went to overtime to become NASCAR’s longest race ever at 607.5 miles), the Truck race will seem like a sprint, with stages of 30, 30 and 74 laps.
Tuesday’s race will be the first post-hiatus NASCAR event with women in the field—three of them. Natalie Decker, Jennifer Jo Cobb, and Angela Ruch all will take the green flag in the N.C. Education Lottery 200.
NASCAR Truck Series at Charlotte May 26 Odds
The odds for the N.C. Education Lottery are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
|John H. Nemechek||+4000|
Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, May 26
Kyle Busch Seeks to Extend Remarkable Winning Streak
If Kyle Busch (-134) enters a NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race, he’s not just in it to win it. He will win it if recent history is any indication. Busch hasn’t lost a Truck Series start since 2018, having won the last seven races he has entered.
Because of backlash against NASCAR Cup Series superstars—specifically Busch—dipping down into lower series, NASCAR last limited participation of Cup regulars in the Xfinity and Truck divisions to five events per year. Last year, Busch won all five Truck races he ran, after ending 2018 with a victory. In his first start of 2020, he won at Las Vegas. All seven victories in the current streak have come in his own Kyle Busch Motorsports equipment, with three different crew chiefs.
All told, Busch has won 57 of his 151 Truck starts. Before the break, his dominance provoked fellow Cup driver Kevin Harvick to offer a $50,000 bounty to any Cup driver who could beat the reigning Cup champion in a truck. So why run Tuesday’s race at all? The odds suggest we should simply hand Busch the trophy.
Chase Elliott Could Exact a Modicum of Revenge
In last Wednesday’s Cup race at Darlington, Chase Elliott was running second when Kyle Busch made a serious miscalculation. Trying to squeeze into a gap between Elliott and Kevin Harvick, Busch instead hooked Elliott’s rear bumper and sent the No. 9 Chevrolet rocketing into the inside wall near Turn 1, depriving Elliott of a chance to win the race.
Elliott expressed his displeasure with a one-finger salute, but on Tuesday night, he can exact some degree of payback by breaking Busch’s winning streak—and don’t think he won’t be trying. The only other Cup star in the race, Elliott also could take some of the sting out of another disappointment. On Sunday night, he was leading the Coca-Cola 600 comfortably with two laps left when Hendrick teammate William Byron spun to bring out a caution and send the race to overtime.
Brad Keselowski went to Victory Lane, and Elliott had to settle for third.
Ford Drivers Have a Good Shot to end Charlotte Shutout
Charlotte Motor Speedway has hosted 17 NASCAR RV & Outdoors Truck Series races. In 2003, Ted Musgrave won the inaugural event in a Dodge. Since then, Chevrolet and Toyota have shared the wealth, combining to win the next 16 events at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway.
Ford drivers, however, have a realistic chance to break the stranglehold on Tuesday night. ThorSport Racing’s three-time and reigning series champion Matt Crafton, 2016 champion Johnny Sauter, 2020 Daytona winner Grant Enfinger and 23-year-old Ben Rhodes all have shown excellent speed on intermediate speedways.
The organization’s switch to Ford before the 2018 season has given the Blue Oval brand a fighting chance. So don’t be surprised if a member of the ThorSport quartet ends Tuesday night in Victory Lane—if Kyle Busch isn’t there.
Grant Enfinger (+2800)—The odds against the driver of the No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150 is absurdly long. All three of Enfinger’s wins have come on big tracks, and the 35-year-old veteran from Alabama scored a win in the season opener at Daytona. So bet on Grant and hope for a big payday.