Following an action-packed race on the multi-elevational Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last weekend, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will have this weekend off to prepare for the regular season finale next weekend at Pocono Raceway – the CRC Brakleen 150 on Saturday, July 23 at noon ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- Next Race: CRC Brakleen 150
- The Place: Pocono Raceway
- The Date: Saturday, July 23
- The Time: Noon ET
- The Purse: $702,702
- TV: FOX, 11:30 a.m. ET
- Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
- Distance: 150 miles (60 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 15),
- Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 30), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 60)
The following eight drivers have clinched a spot in the 10-driver postseason field: Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith, Stewart Friesen, Ben Rhodes, Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes and Carson Hocevar.
Can Clinch 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 ahead of the sixth winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, Grant Enfinger or Matt Crafton.
- Grant Enfinger: Would clinch with 8 points
- Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 37 points
- Derek Kraus: Could only clinch with help
- Tyler Ankrum: Could only clinch with help
If there is a new winner from Derek Kraus or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fifth winless driver in the standings.
- Grant Enfinger: Would clinch with 27 points
- Matt Crafton: Could only clinch with help
- Derek Kraus: Could only clinch with help
Can Clinch Via Win
The following drivers would clinch on their win alone at Pocono Raceway: Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, Derek Kraus, Tyler Ankrum, Matt DiBenedetto, Tanner Gray, Chase Purdy, Colby Howard, Timmy Hill
The following drivers could clinch with a win:
- Lawless Alan: Would clinch with 60 points
- Hailie Deegan: Could only clinch with help
- Dean Thompson: Could only clinch with help
- Austin Wayne Self: Could only clinch with help
- Jack Wood: Could only clinch with help
- Spencer Boyd: Could only clinch with help
- Kris Wright: Could only clinch with help
Can Clinch Regular Season Championship
Additionally, the Regular Season Championship could be clinched by the following drivers:
- Zane Smith: Would clinch with 2 points
- John Hunter Nemechek: Could only clinch with help
- Chandler Smith: Could only clinch with help
Parker Kligerman, Henderson Motorsports take the checkered at Mid-Ohio
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course saw part-timer Parker Kligerman dominate his way into Victory Lane with Henderson Motorsports. This is his third win of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career and first on a road course. This also marks the team’s third win in its Truck Series program’s history (all with Kligerman) and their first since 2017.
Kligerman was very honest about what has gone into getting a win with this team and why it means so much.
“We’re part-time for a reason. We do this on a fraction of a budget against the teams were up against,” said Kligerman. “We don’t have the funding of a full team. We got to maximize our resources, do the best we can and make sure the places we go, we have our ducks in a row. It’s rewards like this that make it huge for us.”
He also attributes the engine model ran in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to not only their success but being able to run races at all.
“This series in the last five years has become incredibly cost efficient, and it starts with the engine deal that happened a couple of years ago which basically saved this race team,” stated Kligerman. “I don’t think we’d be here without that deal. It changed the whole makeup financially in such a large way.”
He went on to state how in a lot of ways, the trucks series offers more to learn about the Cup series as opposed to the Xfinity series.
“There’s no equipment discrepancy here (in the NCWTS). It is so tight just like in Cup where all the cars are almost exactly the same now. This is very similar whereas you have more equipment discrepancy in Xfinity at times.”
Although Kligerman’s part-time status will not allow him to be eligible for the Playoffs after this win, it will certainly pay dividends in potentially putting a full schedule together for 2023. Henderson Motorsports has continuously put more and more races together as their program has aged.
Zane Smith continues to rule the road, can taste regular season title
Staying consistent to this season’s trends, Zane Smith ended his Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course race last weekend with a front-row finish – runner-up. This gives him an average finish of 1.667 at road courses this season, the best in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. It is also the best average finish for a Truck Series driver since the series increased the number of road courses from one to three in 2021. While certainly a small sample size of seasons to compare to, Zane Smith has still put on one of the most remarkable road course stretches in recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history.
While undoubtedly the king of road courses in 2022, Zane Smith was also only three points away from clinching the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Regular Season Championship. Finishing second to Parker Kligerman, the driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford would have sealed the regular season title had he placed one spot higher and won the race this past weekend. In his first year with Front Row and third year running full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Smith has earned three wins, nine top fives, and 13 top 10s in just 15 races.
Smith can clinch the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Regular Season Championship with just two points next weekend at Pocono Raceway and claim the 15 bonus Playoff points that come with it. Smith currently leads the series in Playoff points with 22. If Smith wins the series Regular Season Championship, he would become the sixth different driver to secure the title joining Christopher Bell (2017), Johnny Sauter (2018), Grant Enfinger (2019), Austin Hill (2020) and John H. Nemechek (2021).
Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle trudges on after Mid-Ohio
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year race continues to be competitive after a rough day for first year drivers at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ part-time driver, Corey Heim, retook the top of the rookie standings after starting from the pole and ending in 26th place on Saturday. The No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team was able to rake in seven stage points during the race before a transmission issue ended their run six laps before the finish. Heim, having only ran eight of the fifteen total races this season, has still managed to garner two wins on the season. He is also still the only rookie to reach Victory Lane this year and the only other multi-time winner besides Zane Smith. While he is ineligible to compete for a championship, Heim will be in the No. 51 for the rest of the season with hopes of bringing home the rookie of the year honors at the end of the season.
The best finishing rookie on Saturday at Mid-Ohio was Lawless Alan of Niece Motorsports. The 22-year-old from Van Nuys, California finished one lap down in 24th place. Although not an optimal result, the No. 45 team sits just five points back from Corey Heim in the rookie standings points lead. Heading into Pocono, Alan looks to improve on one of his better finishes from his part-time schedule in 2021, finishing 20th at the track driving for Reaume Brothers Racing. With Heim set to run the rest of the races in 2022, however, Alan will have to outperform his rookie contemporary for the last eight races in the season.
Dean Thompson finished one spot behind Heim on Saturday, bringing home a 27th-place outing at Mid-Ohio. The other Niece Motorsports prospect sits third on the rookie leaderboard with the season almost two-thirds of the way through. Pocono will offer a big opportunity for the No. 40 Chevrolet Silverado team to get back near the top of the rookie standings. Thompson will need to string together a good stretch of races to bring the fight to Heim and Alan in the last leg of the season.
Jack Wood of GMS Racing and Blaine Perkins of CR7 Motorsports both got caught up in an accident at Mid-Ohio that ended their races early on Lap 54. Both drivers also make up the last two spots on the rookie leaderboards, respectively. With Wood 25 points back of Heim and Perkins trailing by 89 points, both drivers must lock in with eight races left in 2022 if they want any shot of taking the rookie title for themselves.