By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
The last time the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visited Bristol Motor Speedway, Ryan Blaney took home the victory in dramatic fashion, coming from the back after being penalized for jumping a restart early. Blaney beat Kyle Busch by just over half a second. John Hunter Nemechek was the highest finishing Truck Series regular in third.
The last time a contender for the Truck Series Championship took home the victory was in 2012 when Timothy Peters took home the checkered flag. There are no NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers entered in this weekend’s race. Timothy Peters is the only past Bristol winner in the field this weekend.
Truck Series Chase
12 races into the 2016 Camping World Truck Series Season, there have been seven different winners. Two of those winners, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson, are not eligible for the Truck Series Chase. Matt Crafton, William Byron, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Christopher Bell have all won at least one race, and are likely to be in the Chase thanks to those wins. Byron, who has a series-high five wins, is currently the only driver who is locked into the 2016 Truck Series Chase. Crafton with two wins, has likely boosted his odds of locking himself into the Truck Series Chase.
The reason why most drivers are not locked in as of now is the fact that only eight drivers will make the Truck Series Chase. Even with four races left in the regular season, there is still a possibility that the series will have more than eight winners.
The other drivers currently in the Chase on points are Timothy Peters, Daniel Hemric, and Cameron Hayley. Hayley is currently tied in points with Ben Kennedy. Hayley has more top fives than Kennedy, making Kennedy the first driver on the outside looking in.
What to Watch For
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Many Truck Series regulars are looking at scoring their first win of the season and to lock themselves into the Truck Series Chase, while those with a win are looking for more security with their Chase position.
- Austin Hill will be in the No. 02 for Young’s Motorsports.
- Austin Cindric will be the No. 2 Ford F-150, a third Brad Keselowski Racing truck.
- Stewart Friesen returns in the No. 16 Chervolet Silverado.
- Kaz Grala will be in the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado once again for GMS Racing.
- Daniel Suarez returns for another start in the No. 51 Arris Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
- Brandon Jones returns to the No. 71 Chevrolet Silverado for Contreras Motorsports.
- Jesse Little returns in the No. 81 Toyota Tundra.
- Parker Kligerman returns in the No. 92 Ford F-150 for Ricky Benton.
- Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender William Byron looks to increase his 51 point lead on teammate Christopher Bell. Meanwhile, Cole Custer, Ben Rhodes, and Rico Abreu continue to try to gain ground on the rookie point leaders.
- Points leader William Byron is looking to extend his 25 point lead over Matt Crafton.
Where and When to Watch
Practice 1: Wednesday, August 17th, 9:30am Eastern, Fox Sports 1
Practice 2: Wednesday, August 17th, 11:30am Eastern, Fox Sports 1
Qualifying: Wednesday, August 17th, 4:45pm Eastern, Fox Sports 1
Race: Wednesday, August 17th, 8:30pm Eastern, Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, MRN Radio