Camping World Truck Series Playoffs begin at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park

After Chandler Smith’s victory at Pocono Raceway this past weekend, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs are set to get underway at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park for the TSport 200 on July 29th at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

  • Next Race: TSport 200
  • The Place: Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park
  • The Date: Friday, July 29
  • The Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • The Purse: $622,754
  • TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
  • Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
  • Distance: 137.2 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60),
  • Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

The 2022 season will mark the seventh running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs (2016-2022). Since the inception of the new format in 2016, six different drivers have hoisted the championship trophy – Johnny Sauter (2016), Christopher Bell (2017), Brett Moffitt (2018), Matt Crafton (2019), Sheldon Creed (2020), and Ben Rhodes (2021).

The structure of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs will remain the same as years past: a seven-race, three round elimination format. The Camping World Truck Series will cap off their season in conjunction with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix Raceway for the Championship 4 Finale.

Characteristics of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff format include:

  • The number of championship drivers in contention for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship will decrease after every three Playoff races, from 10 to start in the Playoffs; eight after race No. 3; and four after race No. 6.
  • The first three races of the Playoffs (17-19) will be known as the Round of 10; races 20-22 will be known as the Round of 8; and race No. 23 will be the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship (Championship 4 Round).
  • A win by a championship-eligible driver in any Playoff race automatically clinches the winning driver a spot in the next round.
  • Four drivers will enter the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship with a chance at the title, with the highest finisher among those four capturing the championship.

 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Structure:

  • Round of 10: The first round (races 17-19), called the Round of 10, consists of the races at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Richmond Raceway, and Kansas Speedway. If a driver in the Playoffs wins a race in this round, the driver automatically advances to the next round (Round of 8). The remaining available positions (1-8) that have not been filled by wins will be filled on points. Each advancing Playoff contender will then have their points reset to 3,000, plus any Playoff points awarded to that point are added.
  • Round of 8: The second round (races 20-22), called the Round of 8, consists of the races at Bristol Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Likewise, if a driver in the top eight in points wins a race in this round, the driver automatically advances to the next round (Championship 4). The remaining available positions (1-4) that have not been filled by wins will be filled on points. Each advancing Playoff contender will then have their points reset to 4,000.
  • Each eliminated driver will return to the Playoff-start base of 2,000 (plus any awarded Playoff points), with their accumulated points starting with race No. 17 added. This will allow all drivers not in contention for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title to continue to race for the best possible season-long standing, with final positions fifth-through-10th still up for grabs.

Championship Race

  • Championship 4 Round: The 23rd and final race of the season will be the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Simply stated, the highest finisher in that race among the remaining four eligible drivers will win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title.
  • Stage Playoff points will not apply in the season finale, so the official finishing position alone will decide the champion.
  • Note: All rules outlined above also apply to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship structure.

Round of 10: Playoff Race #1: Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park

Kicking off the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Playoffs this season will be Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park with the TSport 200 on July 29 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

For the first time since 2011, the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series will be returning to Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. And for the first time ever, the track will play host to a Playoff race. With their date launching the Round 10, Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park becomes the fifth different track since 2016 to open the Playoffs, along with New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2016, 2017), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (2018), Bristol Motor Speedway (2019, 2020), and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (2021).

The Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park houses a 0.68-mile paved oval, and the facility is located in Clermont, Indiana. Since the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ inception in 1995, the track has hosted 17 series races. In that span, the 17 races have produced 12 different pole winners and 12 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in wins at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park with four victories (1997, 2007, 2009, 2010).

The inaugural series race at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1995 was won by Mike Skinner of Richard Childress Racing, who would also go on to win the championship that same year. The most recent Camping World Truck Series race at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park came in 2011, where Timothy Peters took the checkered flag for Red Horse Racing.

Coming back to the track for the first time in 11 years, Matt Crafton (11 starts), Johnny Sauter (four starts) and Parker Kligerman (one start) are the only three drivers with any prior experience in the Truck Series at the facility entered this weekend.

Across the 17 races at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series, only twice has the winner came from a starting position outside of the top five (Timothy Peters who started 16th in 2011 and Johnny Benson Jr. who started eighth in 2008). In addition, the pole winner has gone on to win five of the 17 Truck Series races, and eight times has the winner started on the front row. Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying will surely be key for drivers looking to get a win on Friday, particularly the 10 who begin their Playoff run for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series championship.

The on-track activity for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will begin with practice on Friday, July 29 at 10:35 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying later in the afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET (on FS1).

Scouting the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs roster

The field for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Playoffs is packed with talent hoping to carry them to the title after the next seven races. Throughout the 10 drivers that qualified for the postseason, six different teams are represented along with all three of NASCAR’s OEMs (Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota). Below is a quick look at the contenders in this year’s Playoff grid heading into the first race of the postseason at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

The 2022 NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Regular Season Champion Zane Smith enters the Playoffs as the No. 1 seed with 2,037 points to his name, up 17 points on Chandler Smith in second place. This season marks the first time the Front Row Motorsports driver has won the Regular Season Championship and the third time he has competed in the series Playoffs. His two prior postseason appearances ended with him making the Championship 4 Round and finishing runner-up in the standings (2020 and 2021). Smith undoubtedly feels confident moving into the Round of 10.

“I think this first round is a really good one for us,” said Smith in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Media Playoffs Day on Tuesday. “With IRP. … Richmond at night should be a really good one, and Kansas in the beginning of the year was really strong for us. So hopefully, we can have a good round there, collect a lot of points and then it resets again going into the following round.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Zane Smith
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 3 9 13 0 347 8.9 8.7 37 2,037 1

Coming into the Playoffs as the No. 2 seed is Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Chandler Smith. He carries 2,022 points into the Round of 10, only 17 points behind Zane Smith in first. This will be just the second time he has competed in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Playoffs in his career after being eliminated in the Round of 8 in 2021 finishing eighth in the final standings. No other driver in the Playoffs may be looking forward to this weekend’s race more than Chandler Smith.

“I’ve been there three times in the ARCA Menard’s Series, won twice…really looking forward to it,” said Chandler Smith.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Chandler Smith
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 2 7 11 0 145 8.9 8.8 22 2,022 2

Ben Rhodes of ThorSport Racing enters the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs as the No. 3 seed. The 2021 Camping World Trucks Series Champion starts his postseason off with 2,017 points, just five back from Chandler Smith in second. Along with his title winning season last year, Rhodes has competed in the Playoffs three other times before then in 2017, 2018, and 2020, finishing fifth, eighth, and seventh, respectively. Coming off winning the title last year. Rhodes is much more aware of what it takes to win the championship.

“I just feel like I got a better clarity of what’s going on around me,” says the reigning champion Rhodes. “The confidence from last year has allowed me, and my whole team really, to stay calm, cool, and collected knowing, while the races haven’t been going the way we want, we’re still right where we need to be.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Ben Rhodes
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 1 5 9 0 224 11.9 12.9 17 2,017 3

Last year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Regular Season Champion John Hunter Nemechek comes into the 2022 series Playoffs as the No. 4 seed. The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver has a point total of 2,016, only one point behind Ben Rhodes in third. This season will mark the fourth time Nemechek has competed in the Truck Series Playoffs, finishing eighth in back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017 along with a third-place final standing in 2021. Nemechek is taking a much different approach this year compared to 2021.

“It’s definitely different than last year, “he stated during Camping World Truck Series Playoff Media Day. “I feel like we had more of a dominant season last year. This year we’re kind of heading under the radar a little bit. So, different mindset, different perspective, but excited to get the Playoffs started and go and capitalize.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – John H. Nemechek
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 1 7 11 4 188 7.1 11.4 16 2,016 4

Stewart Friesen of Halmar Friesen Racing enters the 2022 postseason as the No. 5 seed. Friesen holds 2,013 points to his name, just four points shy of John Hunter Nemechek in fourth. The Canadian driver, Friesen, has made three prior appearances in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs (2018-2019, 2021), including a trip to the Championship 4 Round in 2019, where he earned his best career finish in the final standings (fourth). This time around, Friesen feels a lot more comfortable heading into the Playoffs this year as opposed to 2021.

“We’re seeded a little bit better than we were last year,” Friesen mentioned. “I feel like we’re a little bit more racing on offense than we were on defense as in years past. … We have some really good trucks that we’ve lined up with for the Playoffs and I’m looking forward to running them.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Stewart Friesen
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 1 6 9 0 124 8.3 9.8 13 2,013 5

ThorSport Racing’s Christian Eckes starts the 2022 postseason as the No. 6 seed. Eckes has garnered 2,007 points, six back of Friesen and 30 behind Zane Smith in the Playoff standings lead. Eckes only has one other appearance in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Playoffs, coming in 2020 during his only other full-time season in the series. He ended that year (2020) eighth in standings.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Christian Eckes
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 0 7 10 0 77 12.2 10.4 7 2,007 6

Also coming from the ThorSport Racing camp is Ty Majeski, who comes into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs ranked as the No. 7 seed. Majeski enters the postseason with a total of 2,006 points, only one less than Eckes in sixth. The 2022 season marks the first-time he will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Playoffs along with it being the first time he has ran a full season.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Ty Majeski
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 0 7 10 2 35 8.3 10.5 6 2,006 7

Niece Motorsport’s Carson Hocevar enters the Playoffs as the No. 8 seed. The second-year driver carries 2,005 points into the postseason, only a point shy of Majeski in seventh. Hocevar’s last Playoff run came last year during his rookie season. At only 18 years old, he finished last year 10th in the standings. When asked if there was a particular race he feels he could snag a win for Niece Motorsports in the Playoffs, Hocevar stated, “I feel like Lucas Oil is a good one to start. I’ve been there before a handful of times (in ARCA). I feel like we’re fast wherever we go, and we have a really good shot this weekend.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Carson Hocevar
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 0 6 9 1 208 8.1 11.8 5 2,005 8

Returning GMS Racing driver Grant Enfinger comes into this year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series postseason ranked ninth in the seeding. With 2,002 points, he trails Carson Hocevar by three points in eighth and 35 points from Zane Smith in first. Enfinger has won the Regular Season Championship in 2020 and has competed in the Playoffs three other times in his career (2018-2020). His best outing came in his most recent appearance in 2020, where he ended the year fourth in standings.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Grant Enfinger
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 0 3 7 0 30 10.8 13.5 2 2,002 9

The final driver to qualify for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs is esteemed ThorSport Racing veteran Matt Crafton, who is 10th in the seeding. Crafton holds 2,001 points to his name, one point behind Grant Enfinger and 36 behind Zane Smith in the Playoff standings lead. This will mark the seventh consecutive season that Crafton has competed in the Playoffs (series-most). He is also the only active driver to have competed in every single year since the new format’s inception in 2016. A three-time NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Champion (2013, 2014, 2019), Crafton’s 2021 Playoff appearance ended with him placed fourth in the standings.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – 2022 Season Statistics – Matt Crafton
Starts Wins Top Fives Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Playoff Pts Points Rank
16 0 1 8 0 6 14.5 14.1 1 2,001 10

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

Chad Chastain to attempt season debut at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park – The younger brother of NASCAR Cup Series superstar Ross Chastain, Chad Chastain, will be making his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season debut this weekend at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park for Niece Motorsports.

Chad Chastain will jump behind the wheel of the No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet under the guidance of crew chief Wally Rogers.

Chad Chastain made his Truck Series career debut last season at Watkins Glen International; he started 31st and finished 34th.

Layne Riggs to attempt Truck Series career debut this weekend – Halmar Friesen Racing will run two trucks this weekend at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park with Playoff contender Stewart Friesen in the No. 52 and CARS Late Model star Layne Riggs driving the No. 62 Halmar Friesen Toyota. It will be Riggs series career debut.

Riggs has primarily competed in the CARS Late Model Series since 2016, but this weekend will try his luck at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Riggs will be working alongside crew chief Trip Bruce.

This weekend’s race will be the eighth time this season the Halmar Friesen Racing has run two trucks. Riggs will join Stewart Friesen’s wife, Jessica Friesen (one race), and two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine (six races) as the third different driver to pilot the No. 62 this season.

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