Toyota 200 (Camping World Truck Series) Predictions, Betting Odds, Picks
- John Hunter Nemechek is used to the underdog role, but now he’s the Playoff favorite.
- Austin Hill carries momentum from a two-race winning streak into the postseason.
- With two early victories, is Ben Rhodes the best of the rest of the title contenders?
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Let the Playoff begin. Drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have completed their regular season, and 10 competitors have qualified for the postseason, which starts with Friday night’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Illinois.
After three races in the Round of 10, two drivers will be eliminated. After three more races (the Round of 8), the field will be trimmed to four championship contenders who will compete for the Truck Series title in the season finale on Nov. 5 at Phoenix Raceway.
Friday’s event will be contested over 160 laps (200 miles) at the 1.25-mile track, with stage breaks scheduled after 55 and 110 laps. Sheldon Creed won last year’s Gateway race on the way to the series title.
Toyota 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Odds
The odds for Toyota 200 are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Click on ‘BET NOW’ below to head to the sportsbook and place your bet. Get a $1000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings.
|John Hunter Nemechek||+250 |
|Zane Smith||+550 |
|Sheldon Creed||+600 |
|Todd Gilliland||+800 |
|Austin Hill||+850 |
|Derek Griffith||+1200 |
|Ben Rhodes||+1500 |
|Matt Crafton||+1500 |
|Chandler Smith||+1800 |
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Toyota 200 How to Watch
|Race||Toyota 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race|
|Location||World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway|
|Time||Friday, August 20, 9 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
John Hunter Nemechek Has Shed Underdog Role, Enters Playoff as Favorite
At the end of the 2019 season, John Hunter Nemechek gave up a so-so NASCAR Cup Series ride at Front Row Motorsports in return for a top-quality seat in the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series.
Yes, it was a step back for the second-generation driver, but the move has paid dividends. Nemechek won five of the first 13 races this season and enters Friday night’s Playoff race with 2,049 points, 28 more than second-place Austin Hill could muster.
Having clinched the regular-season championship, Nemechek now has his sights set on the series title. The favorite’s role is a new one to Nemechek, who overachieved with his family-owned team before trying his hand in the Cup Series last year.
“It’s definitely nice to be called the favorite, but at the same time, just because we are called the favorite doesn’t mean that we stop working,” Nemechek says. “There’s a lot of work, a lot of detailed work, a lot of execution, a lot of optimizations from week-in and week-out, studying, a lot of things that go in to making you the favorite.”
Nemechek is the odds-on choice to win Friday’s race at +225, according to PointsBet Sportsbook, and we can’t argue with that pick. Now that the series is back on an oval for the Playoff opener, Nemechek can be expected to drive his Tundra into Victory Lane.
With Two Straight Wins, Austin Hill Is Riding a Wave into the Truck Playoff
Winless in the first 13 races of the 2021 season, Austin Hill came to life on the dirt at Knoxville Raceway and won the July 9 event there.
In the next outing for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers, Hill triumphed in a weather-shortened race on the road course at Watkins Glen International.
With a two-race winning streak, the driver of the No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota clearly has momentum entering the first race in the Round of 10. But can he sustain his charge when the series returns to an oval track?
Hill seems to think so. “I personally feel like we have the upper hand on everybody,” he says confidently. “I feel like we can compete with the 4 team (John Hunter Nemechek), and I feel like we’re the team that they need to be worried about the most.”
PointsBet Sportsbook has Hill at +850 for Friday’s race, an attractive price that’s certain to coax more than a few bets. An even better proposition is Hill at even money at DraftKings Sportsbook to finish in the top five, where his current momentum should be able to carry him.
Is Two-Time Winner Ben Rhodes the Best of the Rest in the Truck Field?
Ben Rhodes powered his No. 99 ThorSport Racing Toyota to a pair of wins in the first two races of the season. Since then, however, his fortunes have waned. Rhodes posted just three more top fives in the next 13 races.
Rhodes seems content to stay out of trouble and let other drivers make mistakes, so he’s not a likely winner in the Playoff opener and not a good bet to do so, even at long odds. But a top five certainly is a possibility. Take a shot and double your money if it hits.
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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]