2017 Ford EcoBoost 200 Race Predictions

Nov 17, 2017 by Nascar Wagers

2017 Ford EcoBoost 200 Race Predictions

2017 Ford EcoBoost 200 Race Predictions
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Betting Preview
Friday November 17th, 8:18PM (EST) at Homestead-Miami Speedway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

The final race of the season for the Camping World Truck Series takes place tonight with the running of the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. All eyes will be on the “Championship 4” which includes Johnny Sauter, Christopher Bell, Matt Crafton, and Austin Cindric. After several weeks of drama surrounding the Chase, tonight the formula is simple with the highest finisher being crowned the series champion. We take this time to provide our expectations surrounding tonight’s season finale and provide our 2017 Ford EcoBoost 200 race predictions!

While everyone will have their eyes on the championship drivers this evening, the main item of importance to us is determining the future winner. Among the championship drivers, I don’t believe Austin Cindric nor Matt Crafton will be able to win this race. Crafton is still winless this year on the pavement and did not show much speed in practices this morning. The former series champion has scored a win at Homestead as recently as 2015. However, the #88 team just has failed to produce the speed this year and I do not like their chances this evening. I also give Cindric very little hope tonight as well. Unlike Crafton, Cindric has shown speed in recent weeks but I just do not think he has enough speed. More importantly, I would fear retaliation from Ben Rhodes after last week’s incident that earned Cindric the spot in the “Championship 4.”

For the other two championship drivers between Johnny Sauter and Christopher Bell, I think everyone expects the championship to come down to these two drivers and potentially the overall victory in the Ford EcoBoost 200. Both Sauter and Bell have been dominate this year. Bell leads the series with 5 victories and has arguably been the best driver all season. However, Sauter is in championship form similar to the way they ended the season last year in route to the Truck Series championship. Sauter has won the last two races and it appears to have a lot of momentum on his side. The #21 also led the opening practice with the fastest lap of the weekend.

Still, I am not sure I could give Sauter the advantage tonight in terms of expectations. The team’s fast lap in the opening session was due to a mock qualifying run and more importantly Christopher Bell showed a lot of speed in race trim. The #4 team worked on race trim from the opening of the first practice and was strong throughout both of this morning’s sessions. I watched lap times very closely among both practices and Bell was clearly the fastest of trucks that were running consecutive laps.

Still, I would not hand the trophy over to Bell just yet. One thing about Homestead is that strategy will come into play. Lap times have significant falloff over the course of green flag runs. Lap times can fall off as much as 1-2 seconds just after 10 laps and that leaves room for strategy calls on pit road. I would not be surprised to see several strategy scenarios play out tonight with a championship on the line. Rest assured teams will probably elect 4 tires with every pit road stop but remember Truck Series teams are limited on the amount of tires they have to use. Therefore, the strategy that capitalizes the best use of new tires could be a winning strategy.

There are a few drivers that I believe will be at the front of the field tonight that could be potential dark horses. From a speed standpoint, I really like the way the #27 of Ben Rhodes has looked throughout practices. Rhodes has been strong on the 1.5 mile tracks this season and scored his first win at Las Vegas. I think Rhodes is a legitimate dark horse for tonight’s Ford EcoBoost 200. However, I would also add the likes of Kaz Grala and Noah Gragson into the conversation for drivers I expect to have a strong performance.

Gragson has been running very well in recent weeks and arguably the best truck last week at Phoenix before he was caught up in a wreck while battling Bell for the lead. Still, the #18 is one of the best trucks in terms of speed in the series and Gragson has been doing a great job in recent weeks behind the wheel. Gragson may be a stretch for the outright victory but I think he holds a lot of value in H2H situations along with Kaz Grala. Grala unloaded very strong and had a solid test at Homestead a few weeks ago. Grala and the #33 team are another group that is peaking as the season ends. Grala has posted finishes of 5th, 29th, 7th, 6th, and 5th in the last 5 races. Therefore, I believe he also holds some value in H2H situations as well.

2017 Ford EcoBoost 200 Race Predictions

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Ben Rhodes +1150 (1 unit)
Chase Briscoe +1350 (1 unit)

Two Team Parlays

Christopher Bell +145 wins Ford EcoBoost 200
Team 2 – Open
Risking 1.5 units to win: TBD

H2H Matchups

Ben Rhodes -145 over Justin Haley (3 units)
Matt Crafton -115 over Austin Cindric (2 units)

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