The Camping World Truck Series drivers are racing at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend so here are some fast facts and notes to preview the event.
Next Race: WinStar World Casino 400
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: Friday, June 7
The Time: 9 p.m. (ET)
TV: SPEED, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 250.5 miles (167 laps)
Texas Winners Likely To Revisit Victory Lane
At Texas Motor Speedway, the wins come in bunches. Three drivers – Todd Bodine, Brendan Gaughan and Ron Hornaday Jr. – have won 13 of the track’s 30 races.
All three will compete in Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400 along with Johnny Sauter, who swept both of last year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
Sauter, who opened this season with victories at Daytona and Martinsville, isn’t the first competitor to post a Texas two-step. Hornaday was the most recent driver to accomplish the feat, in 2008. Bodine won back-to-back as well – in the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006 – and six times overall.
Gaughan, however, remains the standard by which the Texas track’s statistics are measured. The Las Vegas veteran became the track’s first two-time winner with a season sweep in 2002, the year he also claimed rookie of the year honors. Gaughan returned the following season to record yet another sweep and in the process erased Jack Sprague’s then record of three consecutive wins, set at Phoenix International Raceway in 1996-97.
And by any measure, 2013 has become a vintage year for Gaughan, despite a 29th-place finish in Daytona’s season-opening race. A fifth-place finish at Dover extended Gaughan’s top-five finishing streak to four races. He’s gone from 28th in the standings to third, 35 points behind leader Matt Crafton but five markers out of second.
Teen Rookie Battle Heads To Lone Star State
Youth continues to be served in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. And how. Dover’s front row of Darrell Wallace Jr. and Chase Elliott set a new NASCAR national series standard by average age at 18.5 years. Wallace became the series’ youngest ’21 Means 21′ Pole winner at age 19 years, seven months, 23 days. The average age of the top five qualifiers was an amazing 20.6 – skewed upwards by Kyle Busch, 28.
The battle for the checkered flag – unsurprisingly – wound up in the hands of veterans. Busch and Crafton finished one-two. But Ryan Blaney, the series’ youngest winner last summer at Iowa Speedway, drove his No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford to a third-place finish. Jeb Burton holds the No. 2 spot in points. The two 19-year-olds are deadlocked in Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.
Burton has not competed at Texas Motor Speedway but the crew chief of his No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet, Mike Hillman Jr.,posted six victories there with Todd Bodine.
Minting Points-Eligible Winner A KBM Goal
Without a doubt, Kyle Busch remains the face of Kyle Busch Motorsports. Busch has posted 16 of the team’s 20 victories, the most recent last week at Dover. The organization ranks second among active owners behind Richard Childress Racing’s 28 wins. KBM, however, has yet to win with a NASCAR Camping World Truck points-eligible driver. That void could be filled soon, perhaps this week at Texas Motor Speedway.
Sunoco Rookie Darrell Wallace Jr. has been solid in his freshman season with a ’21 Means 21′ Pole, a fifth-place finish and three of six races led. He is eighth in series standings.
Joey Coulter, last year’s Pocono winner, got off to a rough start but righted the ship with a second-place finish in Kansas and another top-10 performance in Dover. Coulter, who’ll turn 23 on Saturday, has been the series’ most successful competitor at Texas Motor Speedway over the past two seasons with a best average finish of 5.2 and is the only driver to have posted four top-10 finishes.
KBM will field a third truck this week for Chad Hackenbracht, a 21-year-old ARCA race winner who is set to make four series starts in the No. 51 Toyota usually occupied by Busch.
Also worthy of notice…
Houston native David Starr will compete in his record-extending 30th consecutive NCWTS race at Texas Motor Speedway. He missed only the track’s inaugural event in 1997. Starr’s best finishes are a trio of third-place finishes in 2001-02.
Reigning series champion James Buescher, along with his wife Kris, went to Moore, OK, on Wednesday to assist with cleanup and rebuilding efforts throughout the community that was hit by devastating tornadoes last week. Buescher’s brother Michael lives in nearby Oklahoma City. Buescher swept Keystone Light Poles at Texas in 2011. A victory Friday would give him wins on the facility’s short tracks, dirt track and road course.