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Odds are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook
|John Hunter Nemechek||+300
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The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway for the first of three events in the Triple Truck Challenge, an incentive program that offers a $50,000 bonus to the winner.
Saturday’s Toyota 200, which precedes Saturday’s debut NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Portland (Oregon) International Raceway, will be contested over 160 laps (200 Miles) at the 1.25-mile track, with stage breaks scheduled after 35 and 70 laps.
Sheldon Creed won the last two Truck Series races at the St. Louis area speedway, but he has graduated to the Xfinity Series and will be racing in the Pacific Northwest this weekend.
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The oddsmakers have this one right. At +300 via DraftKings Sportsbook, Kyle Busch Motorsports driver John Hunter Nemechek should prevail in Saturday’s Toyota 200.
First of all, Nemechek is the only former winner in the field. When he took the checkered flag in 2017, he did so in a truck fielded by his family-owned team. This year, he’s driving primo equipment owned by Kyle Busch Motorsports.
In six starts at Gateway, Nemechek has posted a fourth and a sixth in addition to his victory. Last year, in his first run with KBM at Gateway, his No.4 Toyota was gobbled up in a 10-truck wreck on the frontstretch on Lap 114.
The resulting 22nd-place finish, however, shouldn’t dissuade you from backing Nemechek on Saturday. A bet on Nemechek won’t make you rich, but he’s the favorite for good reason.
We gave you last week’s Truck Series winner (Ross Chastain), and now we’re on a roll!
Despite a wealth of experience, 45-year-old Matt Crafton has been lagging behind his much younger ThorSport Racing teammates—Ben Rhodes, Ty Majeski and Christian Eckes—all of whom either have won or contended for wins this season.
Perhaps Crafton hasn’t adjusted to the departure of long-time crew chief Junior Joiner, who retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2021 season. Crafton and current crew chief Jeff Hensley have yet to find the necessary speed in the No. 88 Toyota.
This could be the week. World Wide Technology Raceway is an egg-shaped, technical track that should favor a veteran driver. Crafton has competed in 18 of the 21 races at the track, and last year he finished second to Sheldon Creed by a mere .292 seconds.
Hailie Deegan is getting a fair share attention in the lead-up to Saturday’s Toyota 200. There’s a reason for that. The 20-year-old from Temecula, Calif., scored a career-best finish in last year’s Gateway race—seventh.
To date, that’s Deegan’s only top 10 in 33 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.
So ignore the hype. Don’t waste your money on a bet on the No. 1 Ford, even though Deegan is listed at +1000 (DraftKings) to finish in the top five. In her second year with the David Gilliland Racing team, she has been a trouble magnet—with a best finish of 17th (three times).
Dean Thompson has a better chance to scratch the top five at +5000, so if you’re looking for a real long shot…
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|Toyota 200 Information|
|Race||Toyota 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race|
|Location||World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Metro St. Louis)|
|Time||Saturday, June 4, 1:30 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
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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