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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
The 2023 season is one of the massive realignments in NASCAR’s Truck Series. First and foremost, Craftsman has returned as the title sponsor, replacing Camping World.
The field also is replete with driver and manufacturer changes. Accompanying Kyle Busch’s move from Joe Gibbs Racing to Richard Childress Racing is the switch of his Kyle Busch Motorsports truck team from Toyota to Chevrolet.
ThorSport Racing returns to the Ford camp from Toyota, while the newly-christened TRICON Garage picks up the Toyota banner.
As the most formidable veteran talent in the field for Friday night’s race, Elliott probably deserves to be the favorite.
But you have to weigh the utter unpredictability of speedway racing against Elliott’s obvious acumen, and that balance favors betting on a driver at higher odds than the +650 Elliott carries at DraftKings Sportsbook.
So we recommend looking elsewhere for your winner.
Why would we focus on Grant Enfinger when the driver of the No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet finished 29th in both superspeedway races last season?
The answer: those races were an aberration, and both results stemmed from late crashes that were not of Enfinger’s making.
The Alabama driver is an experienced veteran who brings ample superspeedway skills to the table. His resume includes one win at Daytona and one at sister track Talladega, as well as four top fives and six top 10s in 17 combined starts at the two facilities.
Accordingly, we give Enfinger considerable respect at +1000 via DraftKings Sportsbook. But he’s our second choice to win the race, not our first.
The 2022 campaign hardly could have gone better for Front Row Motorsports Ford driver Zane Smith.
He opened the season with a victory at Daytona International Speedway. He closed the season with a victory at Phoenix Raceway, securing the series championship in the process.
Smith won four races in 2022 and finished second five times to post an outstanding average finish of 7.7 for the season.
He comes to Daytona brimming with confidence, and by the time he gets behind the wheel of his truck for the first time on Friday, he will have run laps in a NASCAR Cup Series car as he tries to race his way into the Daytona 500.
All things considered, we like Smith to repeat as the winner of the Daytona season opener at +1000 via DraftKings.
And for an extreme long shot, we think Matt Crafton is worth a look at +4000. The three-time series champ doesn’t have a glowing record on superspeedways, but he’s a 23-year veteran with a new manufacturer (Ford) and a new crew chief (Shane Wilson).
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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]More info on Reid Spencer
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