NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series News & Notes – Texas Motor Speedway

Zane Smith goes back-to-back at COTA

Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith continues to dominate the pack as he found Victory Lane again at the Circuit of The Americas last weekend, securing his second victory and third top-10 finish in 2023. Smith became the first repeat NASCAR winner at the famed road course and made the Front Row Motorsports team a perfect three-for-three in CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at COTA, after taking the reins from Todd Gilliland (2021).

As the competitors head to Fort Worth, Texas this weekend for the 250 at Texas Motor Speedway (Saturday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the No. 38 Ford will look to take the checkered flag for the third time this season. The defending series champion is no stranger to 1.5-mile tracks, posting top-five finishes in five of seven races during the 2022 season.

Looking to this weekend at Texas, Smith has made four series starts at 1.5-mile speedway posting one top five and two top 10s. Smith’s best-finish at Texas was his rookie year (2020) where he posted a third-place finish.


Next Race: 250

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, April 1

The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $710,218

TV: FS1, 3:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250.2 miles (167 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 77),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 122), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 167)

Staying in the Lone Star State: Texas Motor Speedway up next

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series won’t have to travel too far this week as they are now heading to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas after some road course action at Circuit of The Americas in the Texas capitol last weekend. Drivers will take the grid on Saturday, April 1 for the 250 on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio, the fifth race of the 2023 season.

The 1.5-mile Texas track has hosted 48 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races, producing 26 different race winners and 30 different pole winners. Seven races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by John Hunter Nemechek in 2021.

Veteran Matt Crafton holds several Truck Series records at Texas Motor Speedway in just about every category – most poles (five), top fives (17), top 10s (30), lead lap finishes (32) and laps completed (6,453). Todd Bodine holds the record for most wins with six (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010) and Ron Hornaday Jr. has led the most laps (685).

There are two previous winners entered this weekend – Stewart Friesen (2022) and Matt Crafton (2015).

Friesen is the track’s most recent Truck Series winner. The Canadian driver has made 10 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, posting one win (2022), four top fives, five top 10s and has led 90 laps, 60 of which were in last year’s race.

Crafton has made 42 starts and has posted two wins (2014, 2015), 17 top fives, 30 top 10s and has led for 444 laps.

The Truck Series will fire up their trucks for practice on Saturday, April 1 at 10:35 a.m. ET followed by qualifying at 11:05 a.m. ET.

Who’s wranglin’ in the checkered flag?

Matt Crafton and Stewart Friesen have an advantage coming into the weekend with their respective wins, but some drivers might be fighting to add a Texas Motor Speedway trophy to their trophy case.

GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger is no newbie to the 1.5-mile Texas track. In his 10 starts, he’s posted five top fives, seven top 10s, one pole (2019) and has led 60 laps. In last year’s race, he finished just outside the top 10 (11th).

McAnally-Hilgemann Racing’s Christian Eckes doesn’t quite have the track time on Texas Motor Speedway that Enfinger has but he has put up some impressive numbers. In his three starts, he has put up two runner-up finishes (2020, 2022) and has led for a total of 92 laps.

2023 Sunoco Rookie of the Year race continues

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series rookie class have now traversed their way through four races. Let’s take a deeper look at where they’re sitting as they head into race number five of the 2023 season at Texas Motor Speedway:

Leading the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with 98 points is Nick Sanchez, piloting the No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet. He posted a seventh-place finish last weekend at COTA, earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award for the second time this season. Sanchez continues to be the highest finishing rookie so far with his best finish being second-place in Atlanta.

Following suit and tied for the second-place spot in the rookie standings with 65 points is Bill McAnally Racing’s Jake Garcia in the No. 35 Chevrolet and GMS Racing’s Daniel Dye in the No. 43 Chevrolet. The pair finished 18th (Dye) and 19th (Garcia) at COTA.

Just three points behind Garcia and Dye is GMS Racing’s Rajah Caruth driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet. Caruth comes back from COTA after posting a season best finish of 13th.

Rounding out the rookie class with 47 points is Bret Holmes Racing’s very own, Bret Holmes in the No. 32 Chevrolet. The Alabama native brought home a 23rd-place finish from COTA last weekend. Holmes will make his second appearance, but first as a full-time driver, at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.

The only rookie to have previously raced at the Texas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile track, is Bret Holmes, who posted a 15th-place finish at Texas last year.


Ryan Vargas to make second Truck Series start at Texas – Ryan Vargas will be joining On Point Motorsports this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for his second NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series career start. He will be behind the wheel of the No. 30 Toyota.

Vargas made his first Truck Series career start earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway where he raced his way up to a 14th-place finish after starting in the 35th position.

“Texas is a special place for me, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to head there in my Toyota Tundra TRD,” said Vargas.

Joey Logano to run the Bristol Dirt Truck race – Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano is set to pull double duty and join ThorSport Racing at Bristol Dirt in a couple of weeks.

This will be Logano’s first Truck Series race of the 2023 season. Last season, his one and only Truck Series race was on the dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway where he finished sixth.

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