Predictions for the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 – NASCAR Truck Series (March 4, 2022)
Following a week off, the NASCAR Truck Series returns with a trip to Las Vegas. Zane Smith pulled off a thrilling victory in the season-opener at Daytona. Smith wasn’t among my top picks, but Daytona is tough to predict, so I’m not worried.
Las Vegas should feature less chaos, making it easier to predict the winner. Which Truck Series drivers should we watch out for at the 1.5-mile track? Here are my favorite picks for the Truck Series race at Las Vegas.
Kyle Busch (-120)
It’s not often you’ll find a driver with minus odds. However, this isn’t an ordinary situation. Kyle Busch will jump down from the Cup Series to make his first Truck Series start of 2022.
Busch has been good at every track on the Truck Series schedule, and Las Vegas is no exception. Check out his performances in four starts at the track.
|Finishing Position||Laps Led (of 134)|
It hasn’t been much of a battle. Busch has owned Las Vegas, but we didn’t see him win last season. Busch started 29th but worked his way to the lead in the first 50 laps. However, Busch’s teammate, John Hunter Nemechek, held him off on the final run.
I know many fans don’t like when Busch comes to the Truck Series because he is so much better than these drivers. Popular or not, I couldn’t talk about my top picks and not include him.
Las Vegas is Busch’s home track, so there should be plenty of determination to score another victory. Perhaps that’ll give him some momentum for Sunday’s Cup Series race.
John Hunter Nemechek (+400)
John Hunter Nemechek was one of my top picks for Daytona. He looked strong, leading 50 laps and winning both stages. However, a late-race crash left him with a 24th-place finish. He should be able to improve upon that mark at Las Vegas.
Nemechek wasn’t much of a factor at Las Vegas during his time with NEMCO Motorsports. Last season, he made a pair of starts at the track with Kyle Busch Motorsports. His numbers look awfully impressive.
|Finishing Position||Laps Led (of 134)|
|2021 (Third Race)||1st||94|
|2021 (19th Race)||33rd||33|
He went toe to toe with Kyle Busch in the first Las Vegas race of 2021. Ultimately, Nemechek held off his late-race surge to score his first victory with the new team. Anytime you can beat Busch in the Truck Series, it’s impressive.
Nemechek won the pole in the fall race, leading 33 laps en route to winning stage one. Unfortunately, an issue took him out of contention. Without that, he could enter this race with a chance for his third consecutive win.
He represents the biggest challenge to Busch. He defeated him last season, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did it again.
Ryan Preece (+2000)
Ryan Preece found himself in a tough position after the 2021 season. He lost his ride in the Cup Series, and it didn’t look like there was an opportunity for the 2022 season. Preece failed to land a full-time ride, but a contract with SHR allows him to compete in 2022.
Preece will make select starts across the three series, including seven starts in the Truck Series. Las Vegas marks his first start of the season.
We don’t have much success in terms of his Las Vegas history. He finished sixth at the track in the Xfinity Series in 2018. He has six starts in the Cup Series, with his best finish being 15th last year.
Even so, I believe Preece can score a victory this Friday. He’ll drive the same No. 17 Team DGR truck he won at Nashville. We know the truck has speed, so it’ll be on Preece to drive it to the front.
Can he kick off his 2022 campaign with a win?
Matt Crafton (+3000)
Matt Crafton had a disappointing performance at Daytona. He finished top-five in stage two, but he was in the big wreck with under five laps to go. Crafton has had time to put that behind him, and he’ll shift his focus to Las Vegas.
Crafton is a veteran of the Truck Series. The 45-year-old has 25 starts at Las Vegas. He had a tough time at the track at the beginning of his career, but check out his numbers since that stretch.
- 18 starts
- 11 top-five finishes
- 15 top 10 finishes
- 132 laps led
- 7.7 average finish
Crafton had an issue in the first 2018 race and the fall 2019 race. If you take those out, his average finish moves up to 5.0. He has finished top-five in five of his last seven races at the track. It’s hard to believe you can find a driver with this much success at (+3000) odds.
Whether you think he’ll win or not, Crafton presents way too much value not to bet a little bit. It wouldn’t surprise me if he came through for bettors and picked up a big victory. It’d be his first victory since 2020.
Who Will Win the 2022 Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200?
There’s no value in betting Kyle Busch, but I can’t talk you into betting against him. Busch is always the best driver in any Truck Series race, and his Las Vegas stats only back it up. This being a home race will only motivate him more.
If Busch has an issue, John Hunter Nemechek and Matt Crafton should be there to take advantage. Either way, you can visit the top NASCAR betting sites to bet on your top pick.
Fans can tune into the Truck Series race Friday at 9 p.m. ET on FS1.