Five things to watch in NASCAR Truck race at Texas
Two chances remain for drivers in the inaugural Chase in the Camping World Truck Series to win their way into the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Johnny Sauter’s win last weekend at Martinsville, Va., locked him in as one of the four drivers who will compete for the series title.
Entering Friday night’s Longhorn 350 at Texas Motor Speedway, those lined up behind Sauter in points are Christopher Bell, Timothy Peters, William Byron, Matt Crafton and Ben Kennedy. The two Chase drivers lowest in points without a victory after next weekend’s race at Phoenix will be eliminated from title contention.
Five things to watch in Friday night’s race:
1. There aren’t many of the Chase drivers who have experience success at Texas. Byron won at Texas this spring and will attempt the season sweep. Crafton has won twice previously at the track (spring 2014 and spring 2015). The only other Chase driver who has won at Texas is Sauter (2012 sweep), who is already locked in the Championship 4.
2. Consistency has always been a key to championships and right now, Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Christopher Bell is showing a lot of it. Bell has 10 top-10 finishes in his last 12 races and he currently owns the best average finish in the Chase (4.5).
3. Byron is trying to join Erik Jones as the second consecutive KBM driver to win rookie of the year honors and the series championship in the same season. Byron leads the series in wins (six), top- fives (10), average running position (8.1) and laps led (572).
4. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Daniel Suarez, who is currently competing for the Xfinity Series championship, is running the final three Truck races of the season for KBM.
5. Sprint Cup Series driver Austin Dillon is pulling triple duty this weekend, driving the No. 71 Chevrolet for Contreras Motorsports in Friday night’s Truck race, as well as competing in Saturday’s Xfinity race for Richard Childress Racing.
Johnny Sauter wins at Martinsville, advances to Championship 4
Sauter goes back-to-back with Texas victory