First Round of the Playoffs is a Great Unknown

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The first round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs features more variables than a complex physics equation.

The first race in the round that will eliminate two drivers will take place Aug. 26 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. It’s the only road course event on the NCWTS schedule.

Justin Haley is perhaps the most adept road racer of the eight championship contenders, but at 19, he’s also the youngest, and he has no previous playoff experience in any of NASCAR’s three national series.

Noah Gragson got a leg up on the competition with an appearance in the May 28 Pinty’s Series race at the Bowmanville, Ontario, track, where he finished third as the only non-Canadian in the field. But Gragson is 20 years old and, like Haley, has no prior playoff experience.

The second Playoff race will be run at Las Vegas, where every one of the contenders feels he has a chance to win.

And then there’s Talladega, a home game for Grant Enfinger, but one where there is no home-court advantage, given the fickle, unpredictable nature of the track.

“I feel like, if we can make it through this first round—get through Canada, get through Talladega—I feel really good about the second round,” said Enfinger, who enters the Playoffs as the sixth seed and without a victory to his credit so far. “I feel really good about the trajectory our 98 (ThorSport Racing) team is on.

“We’re bringing better Ford F-150s to the track each week. We’re just not there yet.”