North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (Truck Series) Predictions, Odds & Picks
- After Chevy and Ford wins in last two races, Toyota looks to reassert supremacy.
- ThorSport has five trucks at Charlotte—and the only two former winners at the track.
- With practice and qualifying this week, starting position becomes more meaningful.
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North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Odds
|John H. Nemechek||+280 |
|Sheldon Creed||+400 |
|Zane Smith||+500 |
|Austin Hill||+550 |
|Ben Rhodes||+900 |
|Matt Crafton||+1400 |
|Drew Dollar||+1400 |
|Grant Enfinger||+2200 |
|Stewart Friesen||+2200 |
|Todd Gilliland||+2200 |
|Johnny Sauter||+2500 |
|Chandler Smith||+2500 |
|Christian Eckes||+3300 |
|Tyler Ankrum||+5000 |
|Carson Hocevar||+5000 |
|Any Other Driver||+5000 |
|Derek Kraus||+7000 |
|Ty Majeski||+8000 |
|Bayley Currey||+10000 |
|Tanner Gray||+10000 |
|Ryan Truex||+10000 |
|Chase Purdy||+15000 |
|Timothy Peters||+20000 |
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Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott was the winner of last year’s Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway, but he won’t be competing on Friday night as he prepares for the grueling Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.
In fact, there are no Cup regulars moonlighting in the Truck Series event, which will be contested over 134 laps (201 miles), with stage breaks scheduled after 30 and 60 circuits.
How to Watch North Carolina Education Lottery 200
|North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Information|
|Race||North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race|
|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway|
|Time||Friday, May 28, 8:30 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
After Two Straight Losses, Toyota Looks to Reassert Truck Series Supremacy
Reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed won on May 7 at Darlington in his No. 2 Chevrolet, breaking a streak of seven straight Toyota victories to start the season.
Last Saturday in the inaugural NASCAR race at the Circuit of the Americas, Todd Gilliland took the checkered flag in his No. 38 Ford, extending Toyota’s “losing streak” to two races.
But with the return of the series to Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile intermediate track, Toyota once again should be in the driver’s seat.
“It’s very exciting to get back to a mile-and-a-half,” says Nemechek, who leads the series standings by 31 points over second-place Ben Rhodes.
I feel like our 1.5-mile and short track programs have been really good. I feel like our whole program in general has been good. We kind of missed it on one of the road courses and the dirt stuff. I feel like we can kind of throw those away now and focus on the future.
The immediate future is Charlotte, and Nemechek (+280 at PointsBet Sportsbook) is the odds-on favorite to win the race—as he should be.
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ThorSport Has Five Trucks—and the Only Two Former Charlotte Winners
Favorite though he is, John Hunter Nemechek isn’t the only weapon in the formidable Toyota arsenal. In fact, ThorSport Racing has five Tundras entered in Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
Of the five drivers, Ben Rhodes is available at the shortest odds (+900). A two-time winner this season, Rhodes has finished 10th twice and 16th at the three intermediate speedways so far this season.
At Charlotte, however, Rhodes has four top 10s in his last four starts, including two top-fives. So he’s a threat on Friday.
Three-time series champion Matt Crafton (+1400) has won twice at Charlotte, in 2008 and 2016. Teammate Johnny Sauter, who triumphed in 2018, is the only other winner at the track entered in Friday night’s race.
Sauter, however, hasn’t won a race at any track since the sixth event of 2019. That’s why he’s posted at +2500—and it would take a leap of faith to make that bet, even at those favorable odds.
Eckes’ breakthrough victory will come sooner or later. Who knows? It might be Friday.
With Pole Qualifying, Starting Position Takes on Added Importance
When NASCAR racing returned last year from a 10-week hiatus necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, practice, and qualifying, for the most part, did not.
That remained status quo when the sanctioning body formulated the schedule for 2021. Qualifying will be held only at five new tracks this season, as well as for three marquee weekends—the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600 and the season finale at Phoenix.
The Coke 600 weekend includes Friday’s Truck Series race, and drivers will be able to test their speed in time trials. That should give a good indication of who will be fast for the race and who will not.
In 18 previous Truck Series races at Charlotte, pole winners have triumphed four times. Ten other winners have come from the top nine on the grid.
The exception is Crafton, who picked up his two Charlotte victories from 18th and 17th, respectively. Regardless, it might be wise to wait until after qualifying to place a bet on the outcome.
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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]