The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series held its last race of the year this past Friday night in Southern Florida. As the sun set and nighttime fell, the action only intensified as the 2017 season neared its end. After the checkered flag flew, here are four takeaways from the championship event.
- Christopher Bell Earns Championship – In his second full year, Christopher Bell finally earned the championship after finishing second. He ended the season with five wins, 15 top fives and 21 top 10 finishes, with five pole awards. That was enough to earn him a championship. It would not be surprising if he challenges for the XFINITY Series championship in 2018, let alone win it all. After all, Bell has one win in eight starts this year in that series, along with three top fives and five top 10 finishes.
- Veterans Still Dominate in Series – In a year of new stars and rookies, veterans and champions, such as Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter were still dominant and age was no factor. Crafton qualified for the playoffs with a win on the dirt at Eldora and Sauter early at Dover. Sauter got in the Championship 4 for the second consecutive year after winning at Texas and Crafton got in on points. The two finished third and sixth, respectively, in the final race of the year. Crafton ended with one win, five top fives and 16 top 10 finishes, while Sauter ended with four wins, 13 top fives and 19 top 10 finishes. It just goes to show that veterans still can dominate the series and age is only a number.
- Grant Enfinger and Justin Haley Earn Top 10 Finishes – When it’s the final race of the year, racecar drivers like to end it on a high note. Enfinger and Haley did just that by finishing eighth and ninth, respectively. Both of them finished in the top 10 in Stage 1, while Haley was the only one to finish in the top 10 in Stage 2. At the end of the day, the scoring loop showed them in the top 10. This was Haley’s 12th top 10 of the year and Enfinger’s 15th top 10 of the year.
- Exciting Playoffs – The 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs might go down as one of the most exciting in its series history. Throughout the eight race round, we saw six different winners including an upset at Talladega by Parker Kligerman, which was very exciting for the fans to watch. Sauter was the only repeat winner after victories at Texas and Phoenix. Bell won at the opening round in Loudon but carried through with points and stage wins. The season, as always, ended in the bright Florida sun and showed a new champion, and a first-time race winner. The 2017 season, no doubt, was most likely one of the most exciting seasons yet for the Camping World Truck Series.