This Saturday evening the Camping World Truck Series rolls into Las Vegas for the Rhino Linings 350. This will be the final stand-alone truck race of the year and comes on the heels of an exciting UNOH 175 at the New Hampshire. Rookie Cole Custer went to victory lane after a dominating performance leading 148 of 175 laps.
After dominating most of the race, Custer’s team elected to take four tires while everyone else took two on a late race caution. This put him mired back in seventh position with under 30 laps remaining. Custer was able to take advantage of three additional cautions allowing him to make some bold three-wide moves on the restarts. He took the lead from Matt Crafton with four laps remaining and never looked back.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY SportsCuster was able to take advantage of three additional cautions allowing him to make some bold three-wide moves on the restarts. He took the lead from Matt Crafton with four laps remaining and never looked back.
It’s great to see young talent like Cole Custer contending for wins with veterans like Matt Crafton. Custer wasn’t the only young gun to make a mark at New Hampshire. Cameron Haley finished sixth in only his second start and John Hunter Nemechek continues to impress by posting the first top five finish of his career.
However, due to NASCAR’s age requirements Custer, Haley, and John Hunter Nemechek will not be able to race this weekend in Las Vegas. The age requirement to compete in the Camping World Truck Series is 16. However, a driver must be 18 to compete on tracks greater than one mile in length.
Veteran Ron Hornaday Jr. will be back in action this weekend after losing his Turner Scott Motorsports ride at the end of August. Joe Denette will field the #9 Rheem Chevrolet for Hornaday Jr. this weekend. Although Ron is out of the championship battle it will be great to see him back in a truck this weekend.
Points leader Matt Crafton will be looking to extend his points lead after finishing third at New Hampshire. His ThorSport teammate Johnny Sauter finished fourth last weekend and is the defending champion in Las Vegas. He trails Crafton by a mere six points. Rounding out the top five in points – Ryan Blaney is 24 points back, Darrell Wallace Jr trails by 35 points and German Quiroga Jr is now 72 points in arrears.
This weekend I expect a race similar to what we saw in Chicagoland. Tight racing battles on the track all night long fighting for all important track position. Track position was a major topic at Chicagoland. There was a point in the closing stages of the race where Kyle Busch stalked Austin Dillon lap after lap unable to get around him. Finally, the handle went away from Dillon and Busch was able to take the lead. If there is a late race caution expect many different strategies as crews try to get their drivers in front.
Finally, for the second in a row the field will be absent of Sprint Cup Series regulars. It could once again turn into anyone’s race.
Be sure to tune in at 10 PM EST Saturday night to Fox Sports 1 or your local MRN affiliate. You don’t want to miss it!