Picks for the Dead on Tools 200 – NASCAR Truck Series (2022)
The NASCAR Truck Series has essentially been doing an every over week schedule since the start of the season, but they’ll need to gear up for the next two months. They’ll be racing every week until the end of June.
Two weeks ago, my top picks for the Truck Series Bristol Dirt race didn’t have much success. Hopefully, we’ll start a streak with this week’s race at Darlington.
The Truck Series has only raced at Darlington three times in the last ten years. How will that affect my top picks for the 2022 Dead on Tools 200?
John Hunter Nemechek (+350)
Last season, John Hunter Nemechek was the driver to beat in the Truck Series. He came up short in the championship battle, but we expected him back in contention in 2022.
It’s interesting to look at his 2022 numbers because he led 84 laps in his first three races but didn’t finish better than 24th. Nemechek has finished top-five in his last three races but has only led one lap.
Nemechek has done a great job building momentum, but we’d love to see him contend for wins. His Darlington numbers tell us he’ll do that on Friday night.
|Finishing Position||Laps Led|
Nemechek had the Truck to beat in last year’s Spring race. He was leading with less than 30 laps to go, but a big crash left him with damage. Nemechek recovered to score an eighth-place finish.
Sheldon Creed had the field covered in last year’s Summer race at Darlington, but Nemechek was a close second. Speaking of Creed, he was one of my top Xfinity Series picks for Darlington.
Nemechek is closing in on his first win of the season. It could very well come at Darlington.
Ben Rhodes (+800)
Ben Rhodes was the 2021 Truck Series Champion, but there were questions if he really deserved the title. After all, he wasn’t the best driver of the season. Rhodes’ 2022 success shows that his championship wasn’t a fluke.
Rhodes has finished top-five in five of the six races. He crashed at Las Vegas, but that was after winning both stages. It’s early, but he looks poised to win back-to-back championships.
He had a rough performance in last year’s Summer race at Darlington. However, check out his finishes in his first two starts at the track.
- 2020: 1st
- 2021: 2nd
Rhodes went into the 2020 Darlington race on a long winless streak. Sheldon Creed had a late pit-road penalty, opening the door for Rhodes. Rhodes led the final two laps en route to a Darlington victory.
He nearly made it back-to-back victories, leading 34 laps in last year’s Spring race. He and Creed went back and forth, with Creed taking the lead with three laps remaining.
We’ve seen a much improved Rhodes in 2022. He is coming off a dominant victory in the Bristol Dirt race. It wouldn’t surprise me if he scored another Darlington victory.
Grant Enfinger (+1400)
Grant Enfinger had a rough start with his new team, but he’s starting to hit his stride. Enfinger was on a streak of improving his finish, but his eighth-place run at the Bristol Dirt race matched his finishing position at Martinsville.
He continues to become more comfortable with GMS Racing. It shouldn’t be long before he scores a top-five finish. I believe he could do one better with a Darlington victory.
Honestly, I’m not sure why the best NASCAR betting sites have Enfinger at (+1400). He continues to improve with GMS Racing, and he has strong finishes at Darlington.
- 2020: 4th
- 2021: 5th
- 2021: 6th
The biggest drawback is he hasn’t led a lap at Darlington. Still, it’s hard to argue with his finishes compared to his odds. He hasn’t gained many stage points at Darlington, but he puts himself in a position to win.
In case you haven’t been able to tell, I love the value for Enfinger at Darlington. GMS Racing is starting to show speed, and Enfinger has been the beneficiary. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if he picked up his first victory of the season.
If nothing else, he presents excellent value.
Carson Hocevar (+2500)
Carson Hocevar is coming off the best performance of his career in the Bristol Dirt race. He led 55 laps and was in a great position to score his first career win. Unfortunately, he lost the lead with five laps to go. Still, he matched his career-best finish of second.
The 19-year-old has three top 10 finishes this season. He continues to move closer and closer to his first career victory. Could that victory come at Darlington?
Hocevar finished 11th in last year’s Summer race, but his performance in the Spring race has me intrigued about his chances.
- Starting Position: 14th
- Race Finish: 3rd
- Driver Rating: 98.4 (8th)
His driving rating showed that he didn’t have the best truck, but Hocevar put himself in a position to win. He was in contention for the victory but scored a third-place finish.
A performance like that is significant for a young driver. The driver rating tells us he had the eighth-best truck, but Hocevar managed to score a top-five finish. If he can do that consistently, he’ll be in victory lane.
Hocevar should be a top contender on Friday night. Like Grant Enfinger, he presents excellent value for Darlington.
Who Will Win the 2022 Dead on Tools 200?
There’s no denying that Ben Rhodes has been the best Truck Series driver in 2022. He has shown that his championship last season wasn’t a fluke.
Rhodes captured his first victory of the season in the Bristol Dirt race, and I believe he’ll make it back-to-back wins. He is running so well, and Darlington is one of his best tracks. I can’t find a reason not to make him my top pick.
Make sure you watch Friday’s Truck Series race at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Until then, bettors can visit Bovada to wager on the event.