Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Previewing the NASCAR CWTS Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville

By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer 

19 races into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season seven series regulars have scored a victory (Christopher Bell five times, John Hunter Nemechek and Johnny Sauter twice, Austin Cindric, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, and Kaz Grala once). Bell has a 20-point lead over Sauter heading into the 20th race of the season. This weekend marks the first race for the Round of Six, and fourth race of the 2017 Playoffs for the Truck Series competitors.

Bell is coming off his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series win last weekend (at Kansas Speedway). It was also announced two weeks ago at Talladega that he would be ascending to the Xfinity Series next season.

The last time the Truck Series visited Martinsville Speedway, Chase Elliott took the victory. Elliott beat his GMS Racing teammate, Johnny Sauter to the line by 1.865 seconds. Bell, Noah Gragson, and Ty Dillon rounded out the top five that day. Elliott is the only driver from earlier this year not entered in Saturday’s Truck race.

Crafton and Sauter are the only former winners at Martinsville in this weekend’s race. Sauter is also the most recent Truck Series regular to win at Martinsville, one year ago this weekend.

Truck Series Championship

After the race at Talladega Superspeedway, Bell, has 3,047 points with a 20-point lead over Sauter. Crafton and Nemechek are tied for third, 33-points behind. Rhodes is now 34-points behind Bell and one point behind the cutoff for the Championship Four. Austin Cindric is in sixth with 3,007 points, 40 behind Bell and seven behind the cutoff.

At Martinsville, the first stage ends on lap 50, the second stage on lap 100, and the final stage on lap 200.

What to Watch For in the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions.

There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:

  • A new team, Cram Racing Enterprises, the No. 11 Bojangles’ / Fluidyne High Performance Chevrolet Silverado driven by Dawson Cram will attempt their debut.
  • Jeb Burton returns to the series for the first time since 2015 in the No. 20 State Water Heaters / Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation Chevrolet Silverado for Young’s Motorsports.
  • Jeffrey Abbey returns in the No. 45 Niece Equipment Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports.
  • Todd Gilliland returns in the No. 46 Pedigree Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • Harrison Burton will be in the No. 51 DEX Imaging Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • Chris Windom returns in the No. 63 Baldwin Brothers Chevrolet Silverado for the Mittler Brothers.
  • Landon Huffman will be in the No. 83 Plan B Sales Chevrolet Silverado for Copp Motorsports in partnership with the Mittler Brothers.
  • Mason Diaz will be in the No. 86 Prince William Marina / The Sign Shop Chevrolet Silverado.
  • Ty Dillon will be in the No. 87 The Gracie Foundation, Inc. Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports.
  • Cale Gale returns to the series for the first time since 2013 in the No. 99 Rheem Chevrolet Silverado for MDM Motorsports.

Where and When to Watch (All Times Eastern)

Practice 1: Friday, October 27, 1:00 p.m., on Fox Sports 1.

Practice 2: Friday, October 27, 3:00 p.m., on Fox Sports 1.

Qualifying: Saturday, October 28, 10:00 a.m., on Fox Sports 1.

Race: Saturday, October 28, 1:00 p.m., on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Motor Racing Network.

Tags : , , , , , , , , ,

Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.