By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
The last time the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visited Atlanta Motor Speedway, John Hunter Nemechek took home the victory by just 0.305 seconds over Cameron Hayley. Nemechek inherited the lead after William Byron’s engine failed and leaders Daniel Suarez, Matt Crafton, and Christopher Bell were swept up in various incidents.
Kyle Busch, Crafton, and Nemechek are the only former winners in the Truck Series at Atlanta in the field this weekend.
There are three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars entered in Saturday afternoon’s race. Those drivers include Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, and Busch.
J.J. Yeley and Mike Harmon are the only NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars entered in the race.
Truck Series Championship
Kaz Grala emerged from the carnage on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway to take the victory. This gives Grala five Playoff points. Johnny Sauter won both stages last weekend, giving him two Playoff points.
At Atlanta, the first stage ends on lap 40, the second stage on lap 80, and the final stage on lap 130.
What to Watch For
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- With the new race format, what kinds of strategy will we see? Who will gamble to win each stage?
- Will a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular win, or will a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver take the victory?
- Austin Wayne Self and his No. 22 AM Racing Toyota Tundra team will skip Atlanta after a runner-up finish at Daytona.
- Chase Elliott makes his first appearance in the No. 23 Allegiant Airlines/NAPA Chervolet Silverado for GMS Racing
- Alex Bowman will be in the No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing in place of Justin Haley who will not be of age to compete on tracks larger than 1.1 miles until after Atlanta.
- Kyle Busch will be in the No. 51 Cessna Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
- JJ Yeley will be in the No 83 Chevrolet Silverado for Copp Motorsports.
- Joe Nemechek will be in the No. 87 Fleetwing Chevrolet Silverado in a second NEMCO Motorsports entry.
- Regan Smith will be in the No. 92 BTS Tire and Wheel Ford F-150 for Ricky Benton Racing.
- Austin Dillon will be in the No. 99 Overkill Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado for MDM Motorsports.
Where and When to Watch (All Times Eastern)
Practice 2: Friday, March 3, 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1
Practice 3: Friday, March 3, 4:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1
Qualifying: Saturday, March 4, 10:30 a.m. on Fox Sports 1
Race: Saturday, March 4, 4:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, MRN Radio