Which Truck title contenders have the best shot to win at Texas?
Noah Gragson played spoiler with last Saturday’s win in the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
Now, with just two races remaining in the Round of 6 to determine which drivers will compete for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the opportunities for a win-and-you’re-in scenario are slipping away.
For the last nine weeks, Christopher Bell has led the truck standings. He comes to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend with a 62-point advantage over sixth-place John Hunter Nemechek.
As the most recent winner at the 1.5-mile track, Bell has plenty of confidence entering JAG Metals 350.
"Winning at Texas earlier in the year was huge for us and it gives us a good baseline setup to unload with this time around,” said Bell, who won in his fourth start at the track. “The fall race is typically a little bit cooler than the summer race, so the track will be a little bit different, and we will probably have to make some minor adjustments to our setup for that.
“With the repave I feel like the field will be extremely tight -- you saw in the June race that people were able to draft and the leader wasn't able to get away. I expect that pack will be a lot bigger this time around.”
Bell led Happy Hour on Thursday afternoon with the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average of 182.232 mph. How do Bell’s fellow Playoff competitors stack up in the Lone Star State?
- Johnny Sauter — The defending Camping World Truck Series champion trails Bell by just three points in the standings. Sauter has three wins, three poles, eight top fives and 14 top 10s in 18 Texas starts.
- Matt Crafton — The two-time truck champion has won twice at Texas. Crafton also leads the truck tour with 33 starts, 13 top fives and 22 top 10s at TMS. Crafton currently holds the truck series record with 12 consecutive top 10 finishes at Texas which ties him with Mike Skinner for the longest stretch of tops 10 at a specific track. Twelve points separate third-place Crafton from Sauter.
- Ben Rhodes — Rhodes scored his first top-five finish in his third start at Texas in June. He posted the sixth-Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average (179.657 mph) in Thursday’s final practice. Rhodes, who is fourth in the standings, picked up his first-career truck win last month at Las Vegas.
- Austin Cindric — Cindric qualified ninth but finished 25th in his Texas debut earlier this year. He’s currently fifth in the truck standings, 45-points behind Bell but only 11 behind Rhodes in fourth.
- John Hunter Nemechek — J.H. suffered a dramatic blow to his title hopes last weekend at Martinsville when his brakes failed. He wrecked just 37 laps into the race and finished 30th. Nemechek finds himself 62-points behind Bell. In four starts at Texas, his best finish is seventh.
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