Recall the Camping World Truck Series? You remember, you just have to think back. The series is NASCAR’s version of pickup trucks that race like stock cars. Ah, now you’re summoning up memories deep inside your gray matter, like remembering your high school prom. Well, okay, we won’t go there.
Anyway, the NASCAR Trucks are back in action. That’s right — they never left, just went on a hiatus. Last time they raced was back in February when Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were a hot item. Yeah, it’s been awhile.
When last we left, the series was in Daytona and veteran wheelman Johnny Sauter was celebrating in Victory Lane after collecting a win in his Toyota Tundra under caution. Kyle Busch was second, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr. – the two winningest drivers in Truck history. Youngster Brennan Newberry was the surprise pole-sitter. Sauter won under a yellow flag because of a wreck that involved last year’s series champion James Buescher along with last year’s unknown race winner John King.
The victory obviously has Sauter in first, points-wise with Justin Lofton and Ron Hornaday Jr. tied for second. Youngsters Ty Dillon and Jeb Burton round out the top five in the standings.
The Trucks head into Martinsville, Virginia, this weekend to essentially restart the season. There are 40 listed entries vying for 36 spots on the tight half-mile short track. Last year’s race was won by Cup regular Kevin Harvick, driving for Richard Childress Racing, while overwhelmingly dominating the event. Harvick has won three of the last four spring races at Martinsville with Sauter winning in 2011.
Virginian Denny Hamlin had won two of the last three Truck events at the paper clip of a facility, but won’t be driving anything for the next several weeks while he recovers from a broken back sustained at a Cup race at Fontana March 24th.
Some of the drivers to watch include Nelson Piquet Jr. who is now a Nationwide regular but is entered in this race. Piquet has never won the event but finished second at last year’s fall race and was sixth in the spring. Reigning series champ Buescher has also done well at Martinsville with three straight Top 10s and only one finish outside the top 12 over his seven starts there. However, veteran driver Harvick should be the one to watch considering not only his wins but the fact that he’s had seven top five finishes at Martinsville.
The broadcast will be televised live by Speed on Saturday (April 6) with the race start time set for 2:00 p.m. ET at Martinsville Speedway. It’s nice they’re back.
Additional sources: Racing Reference, NASCAR