NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Preview-Texas 1

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the mid-west this week at Texas Motor Speedway after having two and a half weeks off.

There are currently 39 trucks on the preliminary entry list. It will be the first of a few standalone races for the series.

In the past five summer races, there have been four different winners and one repeat winner, Matt Crafton, who scored back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015.

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Here is a look at who could be challenging for the win in Friday night’s Rattlesnake 400.

  1. Johnny Sauter – While Sauter’s summer races here have been so-so, he has been on a roll this year and will be riding the momentum after being the previous race winner at Charlotte. It’s hard to count someone out who has been the Kevin Harvick of the Truck Series. However, in the past five races at Texas, Sauter has scored eighth, third, fourth, seventh and seventh, respectively. While his summer stats may be okay for the 2016 Champion, he does have four wins here, 9 top 5’s and 15 top 10 finishes. He is also the previous race winner in the fall race.
  2. Matt Crafton – Crafton is another guy who you just can’t count out despite the season he is having. If there’s a place he could turn it around, it could be Texas. Crafton scored back to back wins here in the summer of 2014 and 2015. The No. 88 Menards Ford driver will have to turn the heat up if he wants to be in a spot for the Playoffs and start scoring some wins. His average start is 12.2 with an average finish of 9.2.
  3. Noah Gragson – This will be Gragson’s second summer race at Texas Motor Speedway. He even started on the pole here last year and ended up with a top 10 finish by finishing seventh. However, the No. 18 Las Vegas native has been on a tear recently on 1.5-mile tracks. He finished second at Atlanta, won at Kansas, 12th at Las Vegas and eighth at Charlotte. The young 19-year-old will be up front once more, challenging for the win at Texas.
  4. Todd Gilliland – Gragson’s teammate, Gilliland, will be making his first start at Texas this weekend piloting the No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra. It’ll be a challenge and a real test for the 18-year-old. He does have some testing experience and will be coming off a top-10 finish at Charlotte. Another notable, the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver will be celebrating his graduation at the racetrack during driver intros.
  5. Justin Haley – Haley will be making his third start here at the 1.5-mile track in Fort-Worth and his second summer start. And if stats show anything, he will be up front in the top-10. In the previous summer race, Haley started 10th and finished sixth. Qualifying will be important here especially with the track repave being somewhat relatively new. However, before the repave, from 2013-2016, the winners have started third, second, second and 21st.

There will be two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon to get the trucks dialed in for Friday night’s race. First practice kicks off at 4:05 p.m ET with the final practice at 5:05 p.m. ET with no live TV coverage. Qualifying is slated for Friday afternoon at 5:45 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Race coverage begins on FS1 at 9:00 p.m. ET with the green flag scheduled to drop at 9:19 p.m. ET on FS1 and MRN Radio.

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