The 2022 NASCAR Truck Series heads to Illinois on Saturday, June 4, for the 2022 Toyota 200. It will mark the 22nd iteration of the event and the 10th race of the season. The race will take place at Gateway Motorsports Park, where the world’s top NASCAR Truck Series drivers will compete over 160 laps on the 1.25-mile quad-oval racetrack.
The 2022 Toyota 200 promises to be one of the most closely contested races of the season, and according to the Toyota 200 odds, it just might be. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any great betting opportunities for us to take a look at.
So without further ado, here is our Toyota 200 betting preview, with all the information you’ll need to make smart bets on the upcoming race.
Toyota 200 Betting Picks
John Hunter Nemechek
We have trusted John Hunter Nemechek to deliver time and time again this season, but he has disappointed us several times. Last week, we entrusted Nemechechek to win in Concord, yet he could only manage a third-place finish.
Although an unsatisfactory placement, Nemechek did not disappoint with his driving. With a podium finish, Nemechek is now at five top-5s over the last seven races. The only two races where he didn’t finish inside the top-5 were the Kansas and Texas race, where he placed sixth.
Ignoring his iffy start to the season in Daytona (24th), Las Vegas (25th), and Atlanta (24th), Nemechek has been one of the most consistent drivers of the Truck Series, and considering his form, it’s surprising to see him not win more than one race.
Some might argue that this won’t change this weekend, seeing how he has a fairly iffy record on Gateway Motorsports Park. He was 22nd here last year and 25th in his previous appearance in 2018. However, Nemechek won this race in 2017 and has a sixth and fourth-place finish in the 2016 and 2015 races.
Admittedly, his most recent trips to Illinois did not result in any spectacular finishes. But we must also consider that Nemechek has been one of the most consistent drivers of the 2022 Truck Series season.
Stewart Friesen came out of nowhere to become one of the hottest drivers of the 2022 Truck Series, with back-to-back top-10s. However, his early-season showings have been fairly mixed, with a 16th-place finish at Daytona, a bronze medal from Las Vegas, and a sixth and ninth-place finish in Atlanta and at COTA.
Over the next four races, Friesen did not break into the top-10, with his best finish coming at Bristol (11th), but he found his stride in Texas, where he claimed his first W of the season. Last weekend, he continued with his impressive driving and finished in ninth place to claim his fifth top-10 of the season.
Obviously, Friesen is not the most consistent driver in the field, but he seems like he has a solid chance to claim his second W this weekend. And that is mainly due to his past results on this track.
Friesen was fourth here last year, fifth in 2020, third in 2019, and 13th in 2018. So besides his debut race on the track, he has not placed outside of the top-5 at Gateway Motorsports Park once.
It’s also worth noting that Friesen has managed solid results in Illinois in the past seasons despite not showing much in the races leading to the Toyota 200. With that in mind, he is definitely one of the drivers we should keep an eye on.
The current no.2 on the Truck Series leaderboard, Ben Rhodes, is also the ninth-most successful driver at Gateway Motorsports Park. Over the three starts here, he has managed an average finish of 7.3, and he was third here in 2021. Moreover, his driver rating over that stretch is seventh-highest.
Unfortunately, his form ahead of the race isn’t that great. He had a phenomenal start to the season with five top-5s across the first six races (+ a victory in Bristol). But he has only two top-10s across the last four, with a 25th-place finish in Darlington, 10th in Kansas, 27th in Texas, and 10th in North Carolina.
If Rhodes can find his early-season form, he should be in the mix to win the race. But given his iffy showings over the last few races, it’s fair to doubt his chances to shine this weekend.
Toyota 200 Betting Trends
- Ted Musgrave (2001, 2005) and Sheldon Creed (2020, 2021) are the only multiple winners of the race.
- GMS Racing is the most successful team of Toyota 200, with three wins (2018, 2020, 2021).
- Besides GMS Racing, Ultra Motorsports, Kevin Harvick Inc., and Kyle Busch Motorsports are the only three teams to win the race more than once.
- Chevrolet is the most dominant manufacturer of Toyota 200, with 11 wins, including straight victories between 2017 and 2021.
- Toyota (5), Dodge (3), and Ford (2) combined don’t have as many wins on the track as Chevrolet cars, and not one since 2016 (Toyota).
Toyota 200 Betting Predictions
The race’s cars might not be the most successful on this track, making anyone wonder whether betting on a Toyota driver is the right call. But even with that handicap, we have a hard time looking past Stewart Friesen as our favorite pick for the race.
Hunter Nemechek is someone who we should keep an eye on, but at the offered Toyota 200 odds, we’re far more excited about wagering on Friesen. Perhaps this one time when we don’t back Hunter Nemechek, he will come out on top and make us regret doubting him, but there’s far more value backing Friesen to win his second race of the season and his first Toyota 200.
Prediction: Steward Friesen to win