NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Power Rankings-Kentucky

by Briar Starr On Sun, Jul. 15, 2018

Noah Gragson, driver of the #18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway on July 12, 2018 in Sparta, Kentucky. Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images.

The Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway was the 12th race of the season for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. It was another race that didn’t disappoint this season and a race that saw a hometown hero win.

Here’s a look at this week’s power rankings.

    1. Ben Rhodes – Rhodes finally got the monkey off his back this past weekend at Kentucky by collecting his first ever career win. Rhodes was always in contention for the win earlier this year, but it seemed like something always got in the way such as mechanical issues, engine problems and more. This weekend the No. 41 ThorSport team was finally able to put together a mistake-free race and parked it in victory lane. Although, it didn’t come without a little bit of chaos. On the last round of pit stops, Rhodes’s crew chief called him down to pit road and it surprised Rhodes as he had to slam on his brakes, and get to pit road speed. However, a quick fire erupted from Brett Moffitt’s pit and almost made Rhodes miss his pit stop, but he was able to find it just in time. He held off Stewart Friesen who was on two fresh tires and went on to win in his hometown. He won Stage 1 and finished third in Stage 2. Previous Week Ranking: 4th
    2. Matt Crafton – Crafton was able to secure a third-place finish for his fourth top-five finish of the year. After having a somewhat dismal year so far it continued in qualifying when the two-time champion got loose and had to chase it up the track. This caused Crafton to start 30th. But, it didn’t take him long to make his way through the field. He finished sixth in Stage 1 but slipped back in Stage 2 to finish ninth. He was in position to win should his teammate Rhodes or Friesen make contact with each other, race each other, or if a late race caution were to come out. Ultimately, Crafton had to settle for third but will need to win as he is a bubble driver sitting seventh in the points standings. He could get it done on Wednesday night at Eldora as he is the previous race winner. Previous Week Ranking: Not Ranked
    3. Stewart Friesen – Friesen has been a standout star this year in the Truck Series after only running part-time in 2017. So far in 2018, he has collected four top fives and seven top-10 finishes. Thursday night continued to prove that he is a challenger for the win and possibly the championship. After starting 14th, Friesen seventh in Stage 1 and fourth in Stage 2, respectively. Friesen took the lead a few laps later from Parker Kligerman on the restart and led 37 laps. He made 21 quality passes and ran an average position of fifth. Friesen had the lead on lap 88 and held on for 35 laps until the final pit stop, where he took two fresh tires in hopes of chasing down eventual race winner Rhodes. At the end of the day, Friesen finished second but the dirt track standout star heads to one of his favorite tracks Wednesday night at Eldora. In last year’s race, he qualified on the pole and led the majority of the race, leading 93 laps, but had to settle for second. It will be interesting to see how Friesen and Crafton do battle on the dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio. Previous Week Ranking: Not Ranked
    4. Noah Gragson – Gragson will have to wait another week to win, but he could make his way into the Playoffs. In Thursday’s race, Gragson started on the pole, his fourth of the year. He led the¬†majority of Stage 1 until Gragson was held up by Bo LeMastus which eventually cost him the stage win. He finished second after leading 31 laps. The second stage proved better for Gragson as he retook the lead on Lap 43, led all of Stage 2 and went on to win his seventh stage of the year. During the pit stop before the final stage, however, the No. 18 Safelite team took a little extra time as needed and this sent him back to 13th on the restart. Gragson couldn’t recover from that and finished eighth to earn his ninth top-10 of the year. He sits second in points, 42 points behind Johnny Sauter. Previous Week Ranking: 3rd
    5. Grant Enfinger – Enfinger has improved his finishes at the 1.5-mile racetrack in Sparta. His first ever Truck Series race here was in 2016 when he started 17th and finished 12th. Despite finishing 28th in last year’s race due to an accident, he was able to rebound in this year’s outing. Enfinger started fifth and ran fifth in Stage 1 as well as in Stage 2. After the cycle of pit stops and penalties handed down to several drivers, Enfinger finished sixth for his eighth top-10 of the year. He sits fifth in the standings -123 points behind. Previous Week Ranking: Not Ranked.

Fell Out:

1. Brett Moffitt – Moffitt didn’t have the race outing he had hoped for despite winning at Chicago the previous week. He finished 18th and didn’t finish in the top 10 in any of the stages.
2. Johnny Sauter – Sauter had a dismal and forgettable race at Kentucky. He finished ninth and 10th in both stages, respectively, but two pit road penalties late in the race cost him a shot for a reasonable finish. Ultimately this sets him back to 15th.
3. Justin Haley – The Gateway winner struggled a little bit this past weekend. No stage points, but he quietly earned a top-10 finish. Haley is locked in the Playoffs and sits eighth in the regular season standings.

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