NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News & Notes – Charlotte Motor Speedway

Charlotte Motor Speedway is cranking up the lights for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The 10th race of the 2022 Camping World Truck Series season kicks off a Memorial Day Weekend celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway that is set to pay tribute to those that serve and honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

With his sixth-straight top-10 finish of the season last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, John Hunter Nemechek has leap-frogged ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes in the championship driver standings to take lead in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points. Nemechek is up by four points over Rhodes heading into Charlotte this weekend and is the fourth different driver to hold the points lead this season.

Charlotte Motor Speedway will be the fourth different 1.5-mile track the series has visited this season; joining Las Vegas, Atlanta and Kansas. Charlotte Motor Speedway has hosted the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 19 times dating back to the inaugural event on May 16, 2003. The first Truck Series event at Charlotte was won by Ted Musgrave driving a Dodge for truck owner Jim Smith.

In total, the 19 previous Camping World Truck Series races at Charlotte have produced 10 different pole winners and 10 different race winners. Kyle Busch Motorsport’s owner/driver Kyle Busch (2008, 2010, 2014) is tied with Mike Skinner (2005, 2006, 2007) for the series-most poles at Charlotte with three each.

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KBM’s Kyle Busch also leads the series in wins at the 1.5-mile facility with eight victories (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019). In fact, Kyle Busch Motorsports has won an impressive seven of the last 12 races (2010-2021) at Charlotte (winning percentage of 58.3%); including John Hunter Nemechek’s win in last season’s race.

This weekend, all the on-track activities will start with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice from 1:30-2 p.m. ET, directly followed by Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying at 2 p.m. ET (both on FS1).

Next Race: North Carolina Education Lottery 200

The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, May 27

The Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $676,097

TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)

Fabulous Five: Friesen becomes fifth championship contender to win this season

Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen snagged the win in overtime last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway to become the fifth different championship contender to lock themselves into the postseason by virtue of their victory this season. Now with the Camping World Truck Series headed to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), who will be the next driver to add their name to the winners list?

A total of 10 different NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers have won at Charlotte Motor Speedway, led by Kyle Busch with eight victories. This weekend, three active Camping World Truck Series Charlotte Motor Speedway winners are entered in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 – Kyle Busch (eight wins, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019), Matt Crafton (two wins, 2008, 2016) and John Hunter Nemechek (one win, 2021).

Of the 10 different winners, three of them have scored their first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway; including Kyle Busch (2005), Matt Crafton (2008) and Justin Lofton (2012).

Four of the five winless drivers this season inside the top-10 in the driver standings after Texas are looking for their first series career win at Charlotte this weekend; Matt Crafton is the only exception. Ty Majeski (+85), Christian Eckes (+73), Carson Hocevar (+59), and Grant Enfinger (+37) have all built sizeable leads over the Playoff cutoff but have yet to win this season or at Charlotte. Of the four, Hocevar (2.0) has the best average finish at the 1.5-mile track, making his series track debut at Charlotte last season finishing runner-up to John Hunter Nemechek; followed by Majeski (7.5), Enfinger (10.5), and Eckes (12.5).

Seven Races-To-Go: Just five spots left as the Playoffs are looming

A sense of urgency has begun to drape itself over the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship competitors that haven’t already locked themselves into the Playoffs as the series prepares for the 10th race of the season, the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, this Friday, May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Stewart Friesen became the fifth different driver vying for the title this season to win his way into the Playoffs, by taking the checkered flag in a dramatic overtime finish at Texas Motor Speedway last Friday; joining Zane Smith (three wins this season), Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek and Ben Rhodes (one win each).

Holding on to the final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs transfer position in 10th is ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton, up a hefty 35 points over 11th place Tanner Gray following Texas. Crafton is currently riding a streak of six straight Playoff appearances in the series (most all-time) and is looking to keep the streak alive in 2022. Though Crafton hasn’t been to Victory Lane in 44 races (last win: Kansas 2020), Charlotte is one of his better tracks, and could be the place he rights the ship. Crafton has made 19 series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway posting two wins (2008, 2016), seven top fives and 13 top 10s.

Camping World Truck Series Drivers along the Playoff Cutline following Texas

Rank Driver Points Starts Top 5 Top 10 DNFs Pts From Cutoff
10 Matt Crafton 260 9 1 6 1 35
11 Tanner Gray 225 9 2 3 1 -35
12 Derek Kraus 203 9 0 2 2 -57
13 Matt DiBenedetto 193 9 0 4 1 -67
14 Tyler Ankrum 192 9 0 3 2 -68
16 Timmy Hill 154 9 0 0 0 -106
18 Austin Wayne Self 144 9 0 2 1 -116
20 Colby Howard 133 9 0 0 2 -127

The drivers outside the Playoff cutline definitely will have their work cut out for them if they plan to point their way into the postseason with just seven races left in the regular season.

Team DGR’s Tanner Gray is the closest to the Playoff cutline currently in 11th in the standings, 35 points behind Crafton in 10th. Gray is having one of the best seasons of his career already securing two top fives and three top 10s in nine starts. Gray has made two series starts at Charlotte putting up an average finish of 21.0.

McAnally-Hilgemann Racing’s Derek Kraus is currently 12th in the driver standings, 57 points back from Crafton in the final Playoff transfer position (10th). Kraus has had an up-and-down season so far in 2022. In nine starts, he has put up two top 10s. Looking to this weekend, Kraus has run well at Charlotte. In two starts he managed an average finish of 12.0; including an eighth-place finish in this race last season.

Following back-to-back top-10 finishes in the last two weeks Rackley W.A.R.’s Matt DiBenedetto is finally starting to gel with this new team and all the arduous work is starting to show up in the boxscore. In nine starts this season, DiBenedetto sits 13th in points, 67 markers back from Crafton in 10th, after putting up four top 10s on the season. DiBenedetto is seeking his first career Playoff berth in the series. This weekend will be his series track debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Hattori Racing Enterprises’ Tyler Ankrum in 14th in the driver standings following Texas, is one point back from DiBenedetto in 13th and 68 points back from Crafton in 10th. This season, Ankrum has put up three top-10 finishes in nine starts and is looking to make the Playoffs for the third time in his career (2019, 2020). Ankrum has three starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway posting an average finish of 18.7.

The remaining three drivers still eligible to earn a spot in the Playoffs – Timmy Hill (-106), Austin Wayne Self (-116) and Colby Howard (-127) – are all more than 100 points outside the postseason cutline and though mathematically possible to point their way in, a win would be the much easier route to the Playoffs. At Charlotte this weekend, Colby Howard will attempt to make his series track debut, and Self (19.5) has a slightly better average finish than Hill (23.0) at the 1.5-mile track.

Heim tightens up the Sunoco Rookie standings considerably

Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Corey Heim might be on a part-time schedule this season (not participating this weekend), but with the time he has spent behind the wheel, he has definitely made the most of it – closing the points lead down to two points in the rookie standings between himself and standings leader Lawless Alan.

In last weekend’s race at Texas, Heim finished seventh – his second top 10 of the season. Heim is now second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, moving up two spots from fourth in the previous week.

Lawless Alan still holds the rookie standings lead and will look to build on it this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Of the five rookies, Heim is not entered this weekend and Jack Wood is the only one that has made a previous start at Charlotte. The other three (Alan, Dean Thompson and Blaine Perkins) will all be making their series track debuts this weekend. Wood made his track debut at Charlotte last season; he started 20th and finished 15th.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

Four different winners in last four races at Charlotte – The door to Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has been a rotating one with four different winners in the last four races – Johnny Sauter (2018), Kyle Busch (2019), Chase Elliott (2020) and John Hunter Nemechek (2021). Both Busch and Nemechek are entered this weekend and will attempt to snap the different winner’s streak.

Nemechek is the defending winner of this race (2021) and Busch leads the series in wins with eight; his last victory was in 2019.

Mexico’s Max Gutierrez will attempt to make Truck Series career debut at Charlotte – This weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Max Gutierrez from Mexico City, Mexico, will attempt to qualify for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career debut.

If Gutierrez makes the event, he will become the 66th different driver all-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with their home country recorded as outside of the United States of America. He would also become the ninth different driver from Mexico to compete in the series; joining Daniel Suárez (Monterrey), Carlos Contreras (Mexico City), Germain Quiroga (Mexico City), Michel Jourdain (Mexico City), Enrique Contreras III (Mexico City), Jose Luis Ramirez (Mexico City), Ruben Pardo (Mexico City) and Juan Ma Gonzalez (Mexico City).

Gutierrez will be piloting the No. 37 AM Racing Chevrolet with crew chief Jamie Jones. Gutierrez has made seven career starts in the ARCA Menards Series from 2020-2022 posting one top-10 finish. He has also made 11 appearances in the ARCA Menards Series East posing one win (New Smyrna, 2021), three top fives and six top 10s.

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