After a one week break to regroup, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Martinsville Speedway this Thursday, April 7 for the Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the fifth race of the 2022 season.
Martinsville Speedway has hosted 44 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races dating back to the inaugural event on September 25, 1995. The race was won by Joe Ruttman driving a Ford for car owner Mark Simo. Ruttman led just the final two laps to take the win.
The 44 Truck Series races at Martinsville Speedway have produced 29 different pole winners and 31 different race winners. Five of the 31 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Martinsville Speedway race winners are entered this weekend – Johnny Sauter (four wins), Kyle Busch (two wins), Matt Crafton (two wins), Grant Enfinger (one win), John H. Nemechek (one win).
All the on-track activity for the NACAR Camping World Truck Series starts with practice on Thursday, April 7 at 3 p.m. ET directly followed by Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying at 3:30 p.m. ET and both events will be televised on FS1.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200
The Place: Martinsville Speedway
The Date: Thursday, April 7
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Purse: $693,842
TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 105.2 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
Eight different winners in last eight races at Martinsville
Martinsville Speedway is currently riding a streak of eight different NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winners that dates back to 2017 (4/1/2017 – 10/30/2021). The streak is tied with Phoenix Raceway (11/7/2014-11/5/2021) and Bristol Motor Speedway (8/21/2014 – 9/16/2021) for the longest active streaks in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Now the series returns to paperclip-shaped track to see if the streak will stay alive.
Four of the five former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Martinsville Speedway winners entered this weekend – Johnny Sauter, Kyle Busch, John H. Nemechek, and Grant Enfinger – are also included in the streak and could be the ones that end it.
The different winners streak started in 2017 with Chase Elliott winning the spring race of that season, then Noah Gragson won in the fall, followed by John H. Nemechek (2018 spring), Johnny Sauter (2018 fall), Kyle Busch (2019 spring), Todd Gilliland (2019 fall), Grant Enfinger (2020) and Zane Smith (2021).
2022 Camping World Truck Series season is off to a fast start
The first four races of the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season have passed the eye-test producing side-by-side, action-packed competition, and it’s no surprise because the stats are backing up what the fans are seeing.
The first four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races of the 2022 season have produced an average of 16.75 lead changes per race – the most through the first four races of a Truck season since the inception of the series in 1995. Plus, the final lead change of each of the first four races this season have occurred with two laps or less in each event. With two of the four races this season concluding with a Margin of Victory of less than a second.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has seen 21 different drivers lead laps this season – the most through the first four races since 2005 (24). The first four races of the 2022 season have produced an average of nine different leaders per race – the most through four races since the inception of the series in 1995.
This week the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series readies for Thursday’s (April 7) Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 on the historically famous half-mile Martinsville Speedway at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Last season, the Truck Series only visited Martinsville Speedway once (October 30, 2021) and the race was won by Zane Smith, the series’ most recent winner (COTA).
Front Row Motorsport’s Zane Smith heads into off-week after a rallying win at COTA
Just when they needed a rallying win, Front Row Motorsport’s driver Zane Smith delivered.
After opening the season with a massive win at Daytona International Speedway, Zane Smith and the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford team thought the wind was at their backs for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Smith had locked the team into the Playoffs with the win in Daytona and he was atop the series driver point standings. But then the very next week, after another strong run that saw Smith cross the finish line in second at Las Vegas, the truck failed post-race inspection and the result was disqualified relegating him to a 36th-place finish.
The 36th at Las Vegas dropped Smith from the standings lead to 12th in points. Though it was a skid in the early season momentum, Smith was determined to rebound, and he did just that. At Atlanta the following weekend, he managed a fifth-place finish and then last weekend in the final restart he made a pass for the lead to take the win, becoming the first multiple winner of the 2022 season (Daytona, COTA).
It was Smith’s fifth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory and Front Row Motorsport’s second consecutive team win at Circuit of The Americas (Todd Gilliland, 2021). Smith is now back up to fourth in the driver points standings just 31 points behind Chandler Smith in the standings lead.
Smith not only gets an extra week to soak in the spoils of his win at COTA, but he also is the latest series winner of next week’s track – Martinsville Speedway. Smith won the Playoff race at the historic half-mile last season to earn his spot in the Championship 4 Round of the Playoffs.
Youth Movement: Average age of Truck Series winners this season is 20.5
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is known for being a mix of young, up-and-coming stars and steely veterans battling it out each week, but this season the youngsters of the series have been stealing the spotlight early with the average age of the three different winners in the first four races of the year at 20.5.
Front Row Motorsport’s 22-year-old, Zane Smith, has two Camping World Truck Series wins this season at Daytona and at the Circuit of The Americas. The other two Truck Series races this year have been won by a pair of 19-year-olds – Kyle Busch Motorsport’s teammates Chandler Smith at Las Vegas and Corey Heim at Atlanta.
In fact, this current streak of drivers under the age of 30 winning consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races dates back to Nashville Superspeedway of last season – a total of 14 consecutive races since a driver the age of 30 or older last won in the series – Ryan Preece at 30 years, seven months, 24 days.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
Sunoco Rookie Update: Lawless Alan jumps to rookie standings lead – Niece Motorsport’s driver Lawless Alan’s 11th-place finish at Circuit of The Americas catapulted him to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings lead.
Alan, from Van Nuys, California, is in first full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and his 11th-place finish at COTA was the best of his series career.
Alan is now eight points up on Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Corey Heim in second in the rookie standings; followed by Jack Wood (-15), Dean Thompson (-18) and Blaine Perkins (-42).
Of the rookies entered this Thursday at Martinsville Speedway, Jack Wood is the only one with a previous starts at the half-mile track. Last season, Wood started 34th and finished 27th. Alan, Thompson and Perkins will all be making their series track debuts at Martinsville on Thursday night.
Several Camping World Truck Series debuts at Martinsville – Several new faces will be in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage this weekend at Martinsville Speedway as five different drivers will be making their series debut in the Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 on Thursday, April 9.
Young’s Motorsports has tapped Dillon Steuer to drive the No. 20 Chevrolet this Thursday.
Reaume Brothers Racing will have two drivers this Thursday making their first starts in the series. Chase Janes will pilot the No. 33 Toyota and Blake Lothian will drive the No. 43 Toyota.
McAnally-Hilgemann Racing will also have a new driver this Thursday. Jake Garcia will drive the No. 35 Chevrolet making his first start in the series.
Justin S. Carroll will also be making his series debut with his family-owned team Terry Carroll Motorsports. Carroll will be in the No. 90 Toyota this Thursday.
A total of 134 drivers have made their first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career start at Martinsville Speedway. The best finish by a driver in their Truck Series career debut at Martinsville was runner-up by Kyle Benjamin in 2018.