For the second-time in two years, Ryan Preece took the checkered flag in the Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Preece, driving part-time for Team DGR, has now won both NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at Nashville since the sport returned to the track in 2021.
This comes right after Todd Gilliland, NASCAR Cup Series regular, drove the same No. 17 Team DGR Ford F-150 to a win at Knoxville Raceway. The No. 17 truck becomes the second entry throughout the season to go to Victory Lane with two different drivers, the other of which being the No. 51 for Kyle Busch Motorsports with Corey Heim and Kyle Busch.
Team DGR will get an extra weekend to enjoy the spoils of their wins as the series is off this weekend but will return to action next weekend in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio Saturday, July 9 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio
The Place: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
The Date: Saturday, July 9
The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 151.28 miles (67 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 15),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 35), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 67)
Regular Season Title Watch: Zane Smith takes points standings lead with two to go
Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith continues to have a standout year as he claims the driver points lead in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with just two races to go in the regular season. The California native is currently 21 points up on John Hunter Nemechek in second in the series driver standings.
Smith’s ascension to the standing lead comes after a strong second-place finish at Nashville, where he narrowly edged out Carson Hocevar in the closing laps. Smith, in his first year driving the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, has accumulated three wins, eight top-fives and 12 top-10s.
Having one week off before competing in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio, Smith can rest easy knowing he is in prime position to earn the extra 15 Playoff points with only two races left in the regular season. Mathematically, Smith could clinch the Regular Season Championship at Mid-Ohio, but he would need help.
In addition, Smith will be looking forward to another road course on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. He currently has the season-best average finish at road courses, with a win at Circuit of The Americas and a runner-up effort at Sonoma Raceway.
Clinch Scenarios: Time is running out for those not locked in
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has turned into a pressure cooker with five spots left up for grabs in the Playoffs and just two races left for drivers to win their way into the postseason. And with five spots left and only two races to go, that means at least three spots this season will be taken by drivers who transfer in on points.
The following five drivers have clinched a spot in the 10-driver postseason field: Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Chandler Smith and Stewart Friesen.
Can Clinch Playoff Spot Via Points
If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fifth winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from either Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar or Grant Enfinger.
- Ty Majeski: Would clinch with 13 points
- Christian Eckes: Would clinch with 43 points
- Carson Hocevar: Could only clinch with help
- Grant Enfinger: Could only clinch with help
If there is a new winner from Matt Crafton or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fourth winless driver in the standings.
- Ty Majeski: Would clinch with 23 points
- Christian Eckes: Would clinch with 53 points
- Carson Hocevar: Could only clinch with help
Can Clinch Playoff Spot Via Win
The following drivers would clinch on their win alone:
- Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, Derek Kraus, Tyler Ankrum, Matt DiBenedetto, Tanner Gray
The following drivers could clinch with a win:
- Timmy Hill: Could only clinch with help
- Colby Howard: Could only clinch with help
- Lawless Alan: Could only clinch with help
Playoff Bubble Trouble Following Nashville
The Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway did not do any favors for several drivers hovering around the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff bubble and their hopes of making the postseason.
Coming into the weekend sitting ninth in driver standings, Grant Enfinger got caught up in a costly incident on Lap 128 that ended his night and pushed him closer to the postseason cutoff line. Enfinger, driver of the No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet, now only sits 10 points above Matt Crafton who is currently in the 10th and final Playoff transfer spot in the driver standings. Crafton and the No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota team had a much-appreciated quiet night, coming home with a solid 10th-place finish but still teeters the Playoff cutline with two to go.
Also caught up in the incident at Lap 128 last weekend at Nashville was a driver who sits right outside the Playoff cutline in Matt DiBenedetto. Prior to the incident, the No. 25 Rackley W.A.R. Chevrolet was having a good night running inside the top-10. The good spirits quickly turned bad as DiBenedetto was knocked out of the race and was subsequentially placed at a greater points disadvantage. The first year NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver has shown solid speed throughout the season but has had some tough luck. DiBenedetto is now closer than ever to must-win territory as he has only two races left to earn a Playoff spot.
Leaving the weekend with a solid points outing was Derek Kraus of McAnally-Hilgemann Racing. The 20-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin brought his No. 19 Chevy Silverado home with an 11th-place finish and a good haul of stage points. With Matt Crafton both finishing one spot ahead of him in the race and sitting one place in front of him in driver standings, Kraus aims to close the gap on the series veteran if he wants any shot of racing for the championship in the final seven races of the season.
Another driver that had a well-timed good run was Tyler Ankrum in the No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra. Ankrum finished the night with a seventh-place finish, tied for his best on the 2022 season. Coming into Nashville, the 21-year-old native of San Bernardino, California was 14th in driver standings before charging himself into 12th by the end of the night. Ankrum will seek to make up a similar amount of ground on those ahead of him at Mid-Ohio, another road course where he has tallied top-10s at each of the others on the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule.
The same cannot be said for Tanner Gray of Team DGR, who fell back to 14th in the driver standings after a 30th place outing at Nashville. While him and his No. 15 team have been fast for most the season, their placement in the standings does not illustrate that all too well. Gray is now 70 points back from the Playoff cutline, which basically lands him in must-win territory with two races to go in the regular season. He joins other drivers such as Timmy Hill, Colby Howard, and rookie Lawless Alan that would need to land themselves in Victory Lane to compete for a championship.
Camping World Truck Series prepares to race Mid-Ohio for first-time
For the first-time in series history, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will get ready for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio (July 9 at 1:30 P.M. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Since 2013, the track has hosted eight NASCAR Xfinity Series events. This season, however, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be racing in their place as the venue will be the site of the pen-ultimate race of the regular season. It will also act as the last road course race on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2022 schedule.
The track was opened in 1962 inside the limits of Lexington, Ohio. Built right outside of Mansfield, Ohio which is set directly between Cleveland and Columbus, the facility hosts a road course with two different configurations: a 2.4-mile, 15 turn circuit or a 2.26-mile, 13 turn layout (the latter being what the Trucks will run on). The track sits on 380 acres of land and is often touted as the “Most Competitive in the U.S.”. It currently plays host to IMSA, the NTT IndyCar Series, and now NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menard’s Series events.
Only four current drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have prior experience at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, all making starts in the Xfinity Series. Last year’s Truck Series Champion Ben Rhodes ran at the track in 2015 for JR Motorsports, finishing 10th in one of 10 races he ran for the No. 88 team. John Hunter Nemechek of Kyle Busch Motorsports ended his run at Mid-Ohio finishing 31st in 2019 for GMS Racing’s Xfinity program. The other two drivers are currently vying for a spot in the Playoffs, Matt DiBenedetto of Rackley W.A.R. finished 13th in 2014 while running most of the season for The Motorsports Group. In addition, Timmy Hill came in 37th during a one-off for SS Green Light Racing in 2014 and 27th in 2019 for MBM Motorsports.