After an action-packed weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series teams had a week to rest up and prepare for the Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which will kick off a doubleheader Saturday on March 18 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, followed by the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, the RAPTOR Kings of Tough 250 at 5 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
There have been 21 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway track, producing 15 different race winners and 11 different pole winners. Five races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Christopher Bell in 2017.
Kyle Busch has made the most trips to Victory Lane (six) and has also posted the most top fives (nine) in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series at Atlanta. NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner are tied for most poles at the track (three each); while Matt Crafton holds the record for most top 10s (11), lead lap finishes (16) and laps completed (2,656).
TRICON Garage’s Corey Heim is Atlanta Motor Speedway’s most recent winner in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series after snagging the lead from then Kyle Busch Motorsport’s teammate Chandler Smith on the final lap.
The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will get the weekend jump started with qualifying on Friday, March 17 at 3:05 p.m. ET on FS1.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Next Race: Fr8 208
The Place: Atlanta Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, March 18
The Time: 2 p.m. ET
The Purse: $673,693
TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 207.9 miles (135 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 135)
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s fabulous four
The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers had last weekend off, but fans can be sure to expect some action-packed racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway as four previous winners are entered in the Fr8 208 (March 18 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) – Corey Heim, Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek and Matt Crafton.
Heim is the most recent winner at the track (2022). He posted the win in his first and only start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. If he goes back-to-back, he will be the second driver in CRAFTSMAN Truck Series history to post consecutive wins at Atlanta, after only Kyle Busch (2007, 2008).
Enfinger has seven starts at the track with one win (2020), three top fives and five top 10s. In last season’s Atlanta race, he led 14 laps and ultimately finished in 12th.
Nemechek, who is running fulltime in the Xfinity Series this season, will be piloting the No.17 Toyota for TRICON Garage this weekend. In his five CRAFTSMAN Truck Series starts at Atlanta, he’s posted one win (2016), two top fives and two top 10s.
Crafton has started 21 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, posting one win (2015), six top fives and 11 top 10s. He has led for a total of 188 laps and has an average start of 12.0 and an average finish of 12.2 at the 1.54-mile track.
Fast start for defending series champ Zane Smith
Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith made a name for himself last season with his season-opening win at Daytona and his victory in the championship at Phoenix Raceway.
Smith made sure to ride that momentum into the 2023 season and pulled off yet another season-opening win at Daytona and a runner-up finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Now as the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series gears up for this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Smith can be sure that his name is on everyone’s minds as a possible winner.
Although he’s only made three starts at the 1.54-mile track, he’s posted two top fives and three top 10s. Last season, he even managed to work his way up to a fifth-place finish after starting in the 25th position.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.
Sunoco Rookie class update – The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year class now has two races marked off and they’re all sitting close in the standings.
Nick Sanchez currently leads the rookies with 31 points. He won the pole in the season-opener at Daytona and has posted a best-finish of 26th this season. He will be making his series track debut this weekend at Atlanta.
Jake Garcia takes the second-place spot just four points behind Sanchez (27). He posted his first top-10 finish in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and will look to make his first start at his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.
Just one point behind Garcia is Rajah Caruth (26). He’s posted 29th-place finishes in both races this season. He will be making his first start at Atlanta Motor Speedway in this weekend.
William Byron to run select races for Kyle Busch Motorsports – NASCAR Cup Series regular and KBM alum William Byron will be running a three-race schedule behind the wheel of the No. 51 Chevrolet in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
His three-race stint will start at Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt on April 8, followed by Darlington Raceway on May 12 and North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 20.