NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News & Notes – Texas Motor Speedway All-Star Weekend

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is halfway through the 16-race regular season and is headed to Texas Motor Speedway for the SpeedyCash.com 220 for some high-speed action under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Texas Motor Speedway has hosted 47 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races dating back to the inaugural event on June 6, 1997. The first Camping World Truck Series race at Texas was won by Kenny Irwin Jr. driving the No. 98 Ford for owner Jim Herrick.

The 47 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have produced 29 different pole winners and 25 different race winners.

Mike Skinner leads the series in poles at Texas with five (2004, 2005 sweep, 2006, 2007). ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton leads all active drivers this weekend in poles with three (2009, 2010, 2015).

Halmar Friesen Racing’s driver Todd Bodine leads the series in wins at Texas with six victories (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010). Bodine is joined by Matt Crafton (two wins: 2014, 2015) and John Hunter Nemechek (2021) as the only three active winners entered this weekend.

This weekend’s on-track activity for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will begin with practice from 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET, directly followed by Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying at 4:30 p.m. ET.


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: SpeedyCash.com 220

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, May 20

The Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 220.5 miles (147 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 35),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 70), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 147)


Front Row Motorsport’s Zane Smith sets himself apart from the competition

After his dominating performance at Kansas Speedway last weekend, Front Row Motorsport’s Zane Smith has set the ‘champion favorite’ spotlight square on his shoulders.

The Huntington Beach, California native has posted a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series leading three wins this season on three completely different types of tracks – the Daytona superspeedway, the Circuit of The Americas road course and then last weekend’s 1.5-mile intermediate speedway at Kansas. He has also cashed-in on four stage wins in addition to his race wins bringing his Playoff points total to a series leading 19 points – nine more than Ben Rhodes’ 10 Playoff points (second-most).

Not only has Zane Smith been collecting the most checkered flags this season, but he has also been out front the most, leading laps in six of the eight races totaling 201 of the 1,054 scheduled laps this year (19.07%).

But it was last weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway that Smith put on his best performance of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 54-start career. The 22-year-old put on a clinic, starting fourth and racing his way to the front leading 108 (race-most) of the scheduled 134 laps (80.6%) and in the process posted his first career Perfect Driver Rating (150.0). Smith became the 13th different driver in the series to score a Perfect Driver Rating and the first this season.

Smith hopes to keep his early season success flowing this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway where he has made three series starts posting one top- five and two top-10 finishes. He finished sixth in this event last season.

John Hunter Nemechek returns to Texas to defend last season’s win

Last season, Kyle Busch Motorsport’s driver John Hunter Nemechek left Texas Motor Speedway with the fourth of his 2021 series leading five victories on the year. Fast forward to this week, and though Nemechek might not have the same number of wins under his belt, he is right back into the championship mix currently second in the standings, 20 points back from the lead, as he heads to Texas Motor Speedway to defend his 2021 victory. Nemechek is also looking to become the fifth different driver to win consecutive races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway; joining Brendan Gaughan (four straight: 2002 sweep-2003 sweep), Todd Bodine (2005, 2006), Ron Hornaday Jr. (2008 sweep), Johnny Sauter (2012 sweep, 2017-2018).

This season, Nemechek has made eight starts putting up three poles, one win (Darlington), four top fives and five top 10s. His average finish this season is 11.1.

Looking to this weekend at Texas, Nemechek has made six starts at the Fort Worth track posting one win (2021), one top five and two top 10s.

2021 champ Ben Rhodes still holds the series standings lead after eight races

Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes is eight races through the 2022 regular season on a quest to become just the second driver in series history to win back-to-back titles (Matt Crafton, 2013-‘14) and has firm grasp on the driver standings lead heading into Texas this weekend for the SpeedyCash.com 220.

Rhodes catapulted to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver standings lead following Martinsville and has since built on his points cushion ahead of second place over the last three races. In eight starts this season, he has collected one win (Bristol), five top fives (series-most) and six top 10s.

Currently, Rhodes is 20 points up on Kyle Busch Motorsport’s driver John Hunter Nemechek in second, and 21 points up on the season wins leader and Front Row Motorsport’s driver Zane Smith in third place.

Only eight races remain to decide who will win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Regular Season Championship this season and bank not only the prestigious trophy, but the additional 15 Playoff points that come with it.

The inception of the Playoffs in the series was in 2016, but the Regular Season Championship wasn’t introduced until the 2017 season, and since then, no driver has won the Regular Season title more than once – John Hunter Nemechek (2021), Austin Hill (2020), Grant Enfinger (2019), Johnny Sauter (2018), and Christopher Bell (2017).

Of the five different drivers to win the NASCAR Camping World truck Series Regular Season Championship, Christopher Bell is the only one to go on and win the overall season title (2017).

Rhodes will look to keep building on his points lead this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Kentucky native, has made 11 starts at Texas posting two top fives and four top 10s.

Playoff Bubble: Six spots still available at halfway

We’re halfway through the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season and just four Playoff eligible drivers have won this season, leaving six postseason spots still up for grabs with eight races to decide the field.

Following Kansas Speedway last weekend, four drivers have locked themselves into the Playoffs by virtue of their wins this season – Zane Smith (three wins: Daytona, COTA, Kansas), Chandler Smith (Las Vegas), Ben Rhodes (Bristol), John Hunter Nemechek (Darlington).

At the other end of the Playoff outlook is ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton in the 10th and final transfer position following Kansas. Crafton holds a 20-point advantage over Tanner Gray in 11th – the first position outside the Playoffs. Crafton holds the record for the most Playoff appearances in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and has made each of the postseasons since the inception of the Playoffs in the series in 2016; a streak of the last six seasons (2016-2021).

Looking to this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, the pendulum of experience at the 1.5-mile track couldn’t have swung further apart when it comes to Crafton and Gray. Gray has made three series starts at Texas posting two top-10 finishes while Crafton has made 41 appearances in this event putting up three poles, two wins (2014, 2015), 17 top fives and 29 top 10s. To put the vast difference in experience at Texas between these two drivers teetering the Playoff cutline into perspective, Crafton made his first Truck Series start at Texas in 2001, two years after Gray was born in 1999.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings update following Kansas – With eight races in the books for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, the halfway point of the regular season, Niece Motorsport’s teammates Lawless Alan and Dean Thompson hold the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings top two spots, respectively. Alan is 20 points ahead of Thompson in second following Kansas.

Alan grabbed his fourth Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award last weekend at Kansas Speedway thanks to his 19th-place finish. This season, Alan has been a quick study in the Truck Series putting up five top-20 finishes in eight starts. His average finish this season is 22.1

Alan’s Niece Motorsports teammate, Dean Thompson is currently second in the standings after posting two top-15 and three top-20 finishes. Thompson has also secured the second-most Sunoco Rookie of the Race Awards this season with three.

GMS Racing’s Jack Wood is third in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, 27 points back from Alan in the rookie standings lead and nine points behind Thompson in second. Alan, Thompson, and Wood are the only three rookies to run fulltime this season. Wood has mustered one top-15 and two top-20 finishes this season. His average finish through eight races is 26.4.

All five rookies will be attempting to make their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series track debut this weekend.

2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings following Kansas

Rookies Points   Awards
Lawless Alan 119 4
Dean Thompson 101 3
Jack Wood 92 1
Corey Heim 89 0
Blaine Perkins 41 0

Armani Williams to attempt season debut this weekend in Texas – This weekend Armani Williams attempt to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season debut at Texas Motor Speedway and join Thad Moffitt, Brad Perez, Blake Lothian, Keith McGee, Akinori Ogata and Jesse Iwuji as the seventh different driver to pilot the No 43 Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet this season.

Williams has made one previous career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in his career at World Wide Technology Raceway in 2021; he started 36th and finished 21st posting a positive place differential of 15 positions.

Preece, Chastain and Bodine back in the Truck Series this weekend – Three big names you will recognize are returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this weekend for the SpeedyCash.com 220 at Texas Motor Speedway – Ryan Preece, Ross Chastain and two-time series champion Todd Bodine.

Preece will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 Team DGR Ford with crew chief Chad Johnston. This will be his fourth start of the season for Team DGR in the series. His previous three starts have produced one top five and three top 10s.

Chastain will pilot the No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend. He has made two previous Truck Series starts this season posting an average finish of 24.5.

Bodine returns to the No. 62 Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota this weekend at Texas. He has made two previous starts this season posting one top-10 finish (Darlington).

Of the three drivers, Bodine (10.167) has the best average finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway, followed by Chastain (18.333). Preece will be making his series track debut this weekend. Also worth noting, Bodine leads the series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with six victories but hasn’t been to Victory Lane at the 1.5-mile track since 2010.

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