NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Preview-Texas

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs continues this Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway for the second race in the Round of 6. It’s crunch time for the drivers who are in the Playoffs.

With Noah Gragson winning last weekend, a non-playoff driver, no one is locked in yet this weekend, so everyone will be on their game because as we’ve seen in previous years, anything can happen.

Let’s breakdown on who’s hot and who might lock themselves into the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami.

There are 32 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday night’s JAG’s Metal 350.

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In the past five fall races, there have been four different winners and one repeat winner, Johnny Sauter in 2012 and 2016.

Starting position is crucial to stay up front all night. The lowest a winner has ever come from at Texas is 16th done by Sauter in the previous fall race.

    1. Matt Crafton – Crafton is looking for a little redemption after coming up one spot short to race winner Gragson at Martinsville. In five races, he has posted one win, four top fives and five top 10 finishes, with 258 laps led and an average finishing position of 3.6. This could be the race that propels Crafton to the Championship 4. He is the best among active drivers stat wise.
    2. Christopher Bell – Texas is a great track for Bell. He is the previous June winner of the race. However, in the fall race, he finished 11th. Other stats include one top five and two top 10 finishes in four races, leaving him with a 13.0 average finish.
    3. Johnny Sauter – Sauter is another driver to look out for at the 1.5-mile track. In 2012 and 2016, he won the fall races. By winning last year’s race, Sauter was able to go the Championship 4 at Homestead. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he claims the race win Friday night.
    4. Ben Rhodes – Rhodes might be a surprise in the Lone Star State this weekend. In the 2016 fall race, he finished 15th, however, not to be denied is the fact that he has one top five and top 10 finish. Rhodes ended up in victory lane earlier this season at the 1.5 mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Look for him to be a contender Friday night.
    5. Chase Briscoe – Briscoe only has one start here, but in that one start, he finished second on a last-lap pass in June. He finished sixth and second in Stages 1 and 2, respectively. After being knocked out of the Round of 8, Briscoe is looking to end the year strong with wins for Brad Keselowski Racing before they end up closing their doors for good at the completion of the 2017 season.

The trucks will hit the track for final practice on Thursday at 5 p.m. ET with no television coverage. Qualifying is slated for Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET on FS1 with race coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET, both on FS1 and MRN Radio. The green flag is scheduled for 8:18 p.m. ET.

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