2017 Lucas Oil 150 Race Predictions

Nov 10, 2017 by Nascar Wagers

2017 Lucas Oil 150 Race Predictions

2017 Lucas Oil 150 Race Predictions
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Betting Preview
Friday November 10th, 8:49PM (EST) at Phoenix International Raceway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

Tonight the Camping World Truck Series will take center stage in the final race before next week’s championship finale at Homestead when the green flag waves for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. Currently Christopher Bell and Johnny Sauter are locked into the championship finale at Homestead. However, the race is still alive for the final two positions between Austin Cindric, Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, and John Hunter Nemechek. As the drama of the Chase continues to unfold, we take this time to preview tonight’s race and provide our best betting advice with our 2017 Lucas Oil 150 race predictions!

In recent weeks, Johnny Sauter and Christopher Bell have clearly separated themselves in comparison to the competition. Both Sauter and Bell have seemingly been in contention for the victory on a near weekly basis. I personally do not see that changing over these final two weeks especially at Homestead which is another 1.5 mile surface where both drivers have been dominate. However, I warned last week that the disparity in the Truck Series in terms of speed has been diminishing. In the last 5 races, we have witnessed 5 different race winners. With each passing week, it appears that we have more drivers jumping into contention for victories. Instead of the normal 1-2 favorites each week, the list of possible contenders continues to grow.

Tonight I believe we have the ingredients for another possible “surprise” scenario at Phoenix International Raceway. For starters, Phoenix is a one stop only race for the Truck Series unlike the Cup and Xfinity Series that both make two appearances each season at PIR. Additionally, Phoenix is unlike any other track the Truck Series has visited this year which makes handicapping a bit tougher because there is a certain level of the “unknown” from a setup and driving perspective. It is also worth noting that this is the only track that we have visited this season where we do not have a former race winner participating. So the level of “unknown” definitely appears elevated. However, I believe we have enough intangibles from the season and performance in recent weeks to steer our way to victory. Therefore, let’s talk about what we do know as tonight’s race inches closer to a green flag start.

From a historical perspective, track position has been very important in these Truck Series races at Phoenix. The biggest factors that play into the importance of track position are the facts that it is difficult to pass at Phoenix and these races are relatively short. By the numbers, 24 of the last 26 winners have started inside the top 10 starting spots and 7 of the last 8 have started inside the top 3 starting spots. Obviously track position is important everywhere but especially at Phoenix where lap times are rather quick. If drivers get into trouble or have to make any unscheduled pit stops, rest assured their chances of winning will almost immediately go out the window because they will lose 1-2 laps. Therefore avoiding trouble and clean air are extremely important.

In terms of starting spots, Christopher Bell won the pole for tonight’s race and he is surrounded by the 5 other drivers still alive in the Chase who are among the top 10 starting spots. Kyle Busch Motorsports trucks were really strong in both practice and qualifying between Bell, Noah Gragson, and Todd Gilliland who all qualified inside the top 5 starting spots. Gragson is a driver that has really performed well in recent weeks and broke through with a win at Martinsville two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Gilliland is a driver that I have been high on this year and is starting to put together finishes with top 5 results in his last two appearances. I know there are bigger names in the field to contend with Bell this evening but I think both of these teammates are capable of the upset.

Outside of the KBM trucks, I believe you have to consider Johnny Sauter at the top of the list. As stated previously, Sauter has been great everywhere in recent weeks and he has a pretty solid resume at Phoenix despite 0 wins. Another few drivers that I believe deserve consideration are Matt Crafton and John Hunter Nemechek. I know those names may not be the most appeasing to the ears. After all Crafton is winless this season and is constantly over valued. Meanwhile, John Hunter Nemechek has run into trouble nearly every week it seems lately. However, both guys drive well at Phoenix. Crafton has several top 5 finishes at Phoenix and Nemechek has been close as well in recent trips. I was personally impressed with John Hunter Nemechek’s speed in practice and he was 2nd fastest to Todd Gilliland in terms of 10 lap averages among the few teams that ran at least 10 consecutive laps.

Ultimately Nemechek and Crafton are likely high risk predictions. However, I have to mention both because they have shown strong potential at Phoenix in the past and they were fast in practice. I believe the risk may outweigh the reward for both drivers but I like to mention the guys that appeared fast for readers to also know their options. Lastly, I always like to leave everyone with a big dark horse type prediction surrounding a driver that nobody is discussing that should run well. Tonight’s pick goes to Austin Cindric who I believe will bring a lot of value in H2H situations. Cindric has been great in recent weeks with 3 top 5 finishes in the last 4 races including a runner-up last week at Texas. I believe this team and driver are peaking in terms of performance. Therefore, do not let the #19 truck slide under your radar from a value standpoint.

2017 Lucas Oil 150 Race Predictions

Matt Crafton +550 (1.25 units)
Todd Gilliland +850 (1.25 units)

Two Team Parlay

Christopher Bell +115 wins Lucas Oil 150
Team 2 – Open
Risking 1.5 units to win: TBD

H2H Matchups

Austin Cindric -130 over Ryan Truex (3 units)
Matt Crafton -145 over Noah Gragson (2 units)

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