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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|John Hunter Nemechek||+300|
Chandler Smith to win the race at +500
Chandler Smith to beat John Hunter Nemechek head-to-head at +110
Grant Enfinger to finish in the top three at +150
Thursday night’s UNOH 200 opens the second round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, and if any driver has momentum entering the 200-lap race at the .533-mile short track, it’s John Hunter Nemechek.
After some midseason struggles, Nemechek has rattled off four straight top 10s, including a runner-up result August 13 at Richmond and a victory last Friday at Kansas.
Here’s the first problem: In seven starts at Thunder Valley, Nemechek has never won. Yes, he has four third-place results at the track, but he has never been able to close the deal.
Here’s the second problem: At +300 to win via DraftKings Sportsbook, the odds on Nemechek are simply too short, given the unpredictably of the high-speed action track.
Accordingly, we’re looking elsewhere for our winner.
Chandler Smith’s record at Bristol speaks for itself. In three starts at the World’s Fastest Half Mile, the driver of the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota has recorded three top fives, including a victory in last year’s race.
In fact, despite his small sample size at Bristol, Smith is one of only two former winners at the track in the field for Thursday night’s UNOH 200.
Smith clearly has a feel for the high-banked concrete short track, and he’s our pick to go back-to-back at Thunder Valley. At +500 he’s available at a reasonable price.
And since we’re picking Smith to win, we’re also picking him to beat favorite John Hunter Nemechek head-to-head at +110.
In all five of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Grant Enfinger has scored top-10 finishes.
Most recently, he ran second in last year’s race, when he was driving part-time for ThorSport Racing. Now he’s a full-time competitor with GMS Racing, and a late-season crew chief change to Jeff Hensley has made him even more competitive.
Enfinger, who grew up racing short tracks in his native Alabama, won the first race of the 2022 Playoffs at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Even though the odds are short (+150), we like the driver of the No. 23 Chevrolet to finish in the top three on Thursday night.
|UNOH 200 Information|
|Race||UNOH 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race|
|Location||Bristol Motor Speedway|
|Time||Thursday, September 15, 9 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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