NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams will race 200 miles over 160 laps in the Drivin for Linemen 200 brought to you by Altec at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday, June 25th. FOX Sports 1 is begin their coverage at 8 pm ET with a green flag around 8:30 pm ET. Radio coverage is available at MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Burnin’ Hot: Byron Blazes to Third Victory
William Byron has raced for less than four years, yet is dominating the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Byron, 19, blazed to his series-leading third win of the season at Iowa and has visited Victory Lane in the series’ last two races. The 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East frontrunner made only one start in the Camping World Truck Series before this season.
Now, he looks to tie a record. If Byron or teammates Christopher Bell or Erik Jones can earn a victory, Kyle Busch Motorsports would tie Roush Fenway Racing for the most owner wins in Camping World Truck Series history with 50.
Byron ranks second in the Camping World Truck Series in average running position (7.5), driver rating (109.5), fastest laps run (149) and laps led (240). He leads the circuit in green flag speed (4.6 avg. rank) and is fastest on restarts (4.3 avg. rank).
Byron, a NASCAR Next alumnus, makes his track debut at Gateway Motorsports Park in Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 brought to you by Altec.
NASCAR Next Shines at Iowa
NASCAR Next is performing like ‘NASCAR Now.’
The industry initiative spotlighting young drivers to help them with their careers has had quite the run in recent weeks. Daniel Suárez picked up his first NASCAR XFINITY Series win at Michigan, while Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson knock on the door of their first victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Current member Noah Gragson captured the checkered flag at Stafford Motor Speedway in the K&N Series East race.
The success of NASCAR Next drivers extends to the Camping World Truck Series where all four of the top-four finishers and six of the top-seven were program alumni: William Byron (first), Cole Custer (second), Cameron Hayley (third), Ben Rhodes (fourth), Daniel Suárez (sixth) and Ben Kennedy (eighth). In addition, none of the top-seven finishers were older than 24 – Tyler Reddick, 20, placed fifth.
The NASCAR Next alumni who have visited Victory Lane in the Camping World Truck Series this season are William Byron (three times) and John Hunter Nemechek.
Custer Eyes Gateway Repeat
Cole Custer nearly pulled off the third win of his Camping World Truck Series career, and first of the season, at Iowa Speedway last Saturday.
Ranked 11th on the Camping World Truck Series Chase Grid, Custer sits 14 points below Ben Kennedy on the cutoff line. Nevertheless, a victory can get the Californian into the series’ playoffs. That victory may come Saturday at Gateway Motorsports Park where Custer is the defending race winner.
Gateway has treated Custer well in his career. In addition to his win last season after starting in second, he finished sixth in 2014 after becoming the youngest 21 Means 21 Pole winner in NASCAR national series history.
Eight to Go: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase Outlook
Eight down, eight to go.
The Camping World Truck Series is halfway to its inaugural Chase, beginning Saturday, Sept. 24 at New Hampshire. Matt Crafton, William Byron, Johnny Sauter and John Hunter Nemechek have locked up spots via wins, but four spots remain up for grabs.
If the regular season ended today, the four winless drivers who would make the Camping World Truck Series Chase are Timothy Peters at 33 points above ninth-place Spencer Gallagher, Daniel Hemric (+21), Tyler Reddick (+17) and Ben Kennedy (+3).
A cluster of five drivers stand within 20 points of Kennedy’s pace for the last spot: Spencer Gallagher (-3), Cameron Hayley (-10), Cole Custer (-14), Christopher Bell (-19) and Ben Rhodes (-19).
Remember, a win gets a driver into the Chase and can bump a potential points-qualifying driver. Christopher Bell, Parker Kligerman, John Wes Townley and Travis Kvapil are all competitors on the outside looking in who have won a Camping World Truck Series race before.
The seven-race Camping World Truck Series Chase features two elimination rounds, with four drivers competing in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Reddick Readies to Rev Engine Near Site of his Developmental Years
Dubbed ‘The California Kid’ because he’s from Corning, California, many do not know that Tyler Reddick spent six of his teenage years in Du Quoin, Illinois.
Du Quoin is a mere 85 miles from Madison, Illinois, home of Gateway Motorsports Park. It’s no surprise Reddick will have many friends in attendance from the area where he raced dirt cars before moving to Charlotte to pursue a NASCAR career.
The No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing driver has hit top gear in the last couple months. He scored his third consecutive top-five with a fifth-place showing at Iowa Speedway last Saturday. Over the past five races, he has gained 11 positions in the points standings moving up to fifth, while registering an average finish of 6.8.
In two Gateway starts, Reddick has finished 13th in 2014 and eighth in 2015.
“Gateway means a lot to me and my family,” Reddick said. “I have a lot of friends who are coming to that race, so I definitely want to run well in the Cooper Standard Ford F-150. I spent a lot of time growing up in Du Quoin and I know that area better than I know where I live now in Charlotte.
“There are a lot of good, hardcore race fans in that area that love all forms of racing. We were really close to winning it last year, but came up a little short. I’m going the extra mile to make sure that we have a good race and put ourselves in a position to win like we did last time.”
Nemechek Hopes to Round Back Further into Form at Gateway
John Hunter Nemechek has had one top-ten finish – a seventh-place showing at Texas – since producing a win at Atlanta and runner-up at Martinsville in the second and third races of the season.
Last Saturday at Iowa, the NASCAR Next alumnus finished 12th, but tied his career-high of 53 laps led – set at Gateway in 2014.
Nemechek heads back to Gateway – one of his self-proclaimed favorite tracks – looking to round back into form before the start of the Camping World Truck Series Chase.
Nemechek has made two starts on the 1.25-mile oval, finishing 15th in 2014 and fourth in 2015.