By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regulars have won 14 of the 19 races so far in the 2018 season. For the 20thrace of the season, the Series heads to the Martinsville Speedway. Teams using the NT1 Spec Engine versus those using OEM engines, stage racing, the threat of inclement weather, and the Playoffs are just some of the storylines heading into the 20thrace of the season at Martinsville.
Coverage for the Texas Roadhouse 200 is scheduled to start Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET. Martinsville Speedway is one of two tracks that have been on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule since its’ inception in 1995. In 39 races at the 0.526-mile paperclip, 27 drivers have claimed victory. The last eight races Martinsville have produced eight different winners.
The last time the Truck Series visited Martinsville Speedway, part-time Series driver John Hunter Nemechek earned the victory in thrilling fashion. He held off a hard-charging Kyle Benjamin to take the checkered with 0.106 seconds to spare. Matt Crafton, Noah Gragson, Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, and Timothy Peters are the only former winners entered in the race.
By the Numbers
What: Texas Roadhouse 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race 20
Where: Martinsville Speedway – Martinsville, Virginia (Opened: 1947)
TV/Radio:Fox Sports 1, 1:00 p.m. ET / MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90
Track Size: 0.526-mile ‘Paperclip’ Oval
Banking: 12 degrees in the turns.
Race Length: 200 Laps, 105 Miles (Three Stages, 50/100/200)
2017 Race Winner: Noah Gragson – No. 18 Switch Toyota Tundra (Started fifth, 10 laps led).
Track Qualifying Record: Joey Logano (19.504 seconds, 97.088 mph – 3/28/2015).
The Playoff Picture:
Following the events of Talladega, Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen have been eliminated from the 2018 Playoffs. Martinsville marks the first race for the Round of Six of the 2018 Playoffs for the Truck Series. After reseeding, Johnny Sauter holds a 15-point lead over Brett Moffitt, and a 24-point lead over the Playoff cutoff, held by Grant Enfinger. Noah Gragson is 17-points behind.
While Enfinger is currently in the cutoff position, he is just four points ahead Justin Haley. Matt Crafton is 15-points behind the cutoff.
Storylines Heading into the Texas Roadhouse 200:
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Sheldon Creed will be in the No. 2 AM Ortega / United Rentals Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing.
- Brad Foy will attempt to make his Truck Series debut in the No. 15 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet Silverado for Premium Motorsports. He failed to qualify for this race in 2016.
- Kyle Benjamin returns in the No. 17 CROSLEY BRANDS Toyota Tundra for DGR – CROSLEY Group.
- Timothy Peters returns to the No. 23 AutosByNelson.com Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing.
- Tyler Dippel will be in the No. 25 America First PAC / Turning Point USA PAC Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing.
- Jeb Burton returns in the No. 30 Strutmasters.com Toyota Tundra for On Point Motorsports.
- Landon Huffman will be in the No. 38 PlanBSales.com Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports.
- Christian Eckes will be in the No. 46 Craftsman Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
- Harrison Burton returns in the No. 51 Morton Buildings Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
- Tyler Ankrum will be in the No. 54 May’s Hawaii Toyota Tundra for DGR – CROSLEY Group.
- Dawson Cram will be in the No. 83 RGS Products / THP Chevrolet Silverado for Copp Motorsports.
- Chase Purdy will attempt to make his Series debut in the No. 99 Bama Buggies Chevrolet Silverado for MDM Motorsports.
Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)
Friday, October 26
- NCWTS Practice 1 (12:05 p.m. – 12:55 p.m.)
- NCWTS Practice 2 (2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.)
Saturday, October 27
- NCWTS Qualifying (10:05 a.m.)
- NCWTS Texas Roadhouse 200 (1:00 p.m. – 200 laps, 105 miles – on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Motor Racing Network)