The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.
The DraftKings BrakeBest Brake Pads 159 At DAYTONA Presented by O’Reilly slate locks at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
1. Sheldon Creed ($10,400) - Everything came together last year. He had raw speed in his rookie season in 2019, but he was too aggressive and constantly ended up in the wall. Last year, Creed found the balance between speed and control. The 2020 Daytona Road Course win was Creed’s first legit win and the launching pad towards his championship.
2. John H. Nemechek ($10,200) - This will be his year. The last time that Nemechek had top notch equipment was his part time work with Chip Ganassi against a strong 2018 Xfinity field. He held his own and closed the season strong with a win and five top 10s. By the way, he has a road course win in the Truck Series.
3. Brett Moffitt ($10,000) - The only driver that had anything for Creed last season at the DRC was his teammate, Brett Moffitt. Unfortunately, the rematch won’t be nearly as exciting. Moffitt will be racing in downgraded equipment for Niece Motorsports.
4. Sam Mayer ($9,200) - This truck is not as good as the GMS truck he normally drives, but Parker Kligerman has done just fine in this truck. Mayer is new to Truck series road racing, but he has three top 5 finishes in his lower series road races (ARCA and K&N).
5. Johnny Sauter ($7,800) - His 2020 Daytona Road Course race was up and down, but he was much better than where he finished. Sauter was in 11th place before getting involved in a wreck in the chicane on the last lap.
6. Matt Crafton ($8,800) - His truck could not compete with Creed and Moffitt, but he was right behind them. Crafton made a couple mistakes, but so did everyone else. As far as skill at the Daytona Road Course goes, Crafton is capable of winning this race.
7. Austin Hill ($10,700) - Road course racing just isn’t his thing, but the same can be said for the rest of the field. All of the drivers lack experience, so it all comes down to equipment, and Hill has a championship level truck. Austin Hill ran the most laps inside the top 10 in last season’s race.
8. Derek Kraus ($7,500) - His 30th place finish in the 2020 DRC race is not a good representation of Kraus’ skill. In stage 2, Kraus was in 13th place before a race ruining wreck. In the K&N West series, Kraus held his own against top tier Xfinity and Cup drivers at Sonoma.
9. Kaz Grala ($7,100) - When Austin Dillon missed the Daytona Road Course race due to COVID-19, Grala jumped in the #3 RCR car without a moment’s notice and finished 7th. Grala finished 3rd in the Truck Series road course race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2017.
10. Jett Noland ($7,300) - The truck series is full of risks. Inexperienced drivers and unreliable equipment makes these races the most volatile DFS contests every week. His Niece truck can be a top 10 or a DNF. Noland has never raced a truck, but he was the 2020 Rookie of the Year in the Trans-Am series.
11. Raphael Lessard ($8,000) - Just because he grew up outside of America does not mean that he’s an experienced road racer. They have oval tracks in Canada, and that’s where Lessard raced. He’s not completely foreign to road racing, and his little bit of experience is more than most of the field. Lessard finished 3rd in the inaugural Daytona Road Course truck race.
12. Stewart Friesen ($9,400) - Several teams suffered battery issues in the heat at Daytona last summer. Friesen battled back and earned a 10th place finish. If Friesen can shake the bad luck that plagued him last season, then he’s a lock for a top 10 finish.
13. Tyler Ankrum ($9,800) - His 2020 Daytona Road Course race was uneventful, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Winning would be great, but the next best thing is to turn laps in superior equipment. That’s been the plan in his first two seasons, and the result has been two top 10 finishes in his two road course races.
14. Zane Smith ($8,600) - The inaugural Daytona Road Course weekend began with Zane Smith starting on the pole and missing turn one. He wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last. Smith is a championship contender, but road courses aren’t a part of the young driver’s repertoire.
15. Parker Chase ($8,300) - Sometimes the road ringers are accomplished, and sometimes they’re just experienced. Parker Chase is somewhere in between. He’s proven just about all he can as a teenager against the competition that he’s faced, but he’s not an Indy driver with a wikipedia page full of accolades.
16. Chandler Smith ($8,100) - This will be Smith’s first Truck Series road course race, but he does have experience at this track. Last season, Smith finished 9th in the ARCA race. A 9th place finish in ARCA is bad, but at least he got some road course laps.
17. Hailie Deegan ($6,500) - She’s popular, so her ownership will likely always be higher than it should be. In defense of her ownership, Deegan does have experience at this track. She finished 6th in the ARCA race last season, and she was decent in the K&N West race at Sonoma in 2018 and 2019.
18. Ben Rhodes ($8,900) - He’s not the best road racer, but with a clear track ahead of him, he’ll be pretty good. If Rhodes doesn’t make an egregious mistake and tallies up the early fast lap and laps led points, then he can be optimal.
19. Christian Eckes ($9,100) - Don’t hate the player, hate the game. This is the pay to play era, and if Enfinger doesn’t have the sponsors, then Eckes gets the Thor ride. Eckes had the best truck and the best crew chief last season and he didn’t do anything all year. At the Daytona Road Course, his team knew he didn’t have a chance, so they planned for a one pit stop strategy; he finished 12th.
20. Todd Gilliland ($9,600) - A mechanical failure ended his 2020 Daytona Road Course race. In 2018, Gilliland was on his way to a win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, but his teammate, Noah Gragson, dumped Gilly on the final turn of the final lap. Neither driver won the race.
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