The NASCAR Truck Series visited Sparta, Kentucky for the 12th race of the scheduled 22 race season in a triple-header weekend.
The series had a first-time winner while some familiar faces had their issues.
Here are four takeaways from the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225.
- Ben Rhodes Captures Hometown Win – Rhodes was able to capture a win in his hometown Thursday night after winning Stage 1 and leading 38 laps after taking no tires on the final pit stop. They were finally able to have a mistake-free race for once and put all the pieces together. If the No. 41 ThorSport Racing team continues to do that for the rest of the season including the Playoffs, they could very well be the fourth driver for the Championship 4.
- Johnny Sauter Has Forgettable Weekend – It was not the night the 2016 Truck Series champion wanted at Kentucky. He didn’t quite have the truck to contend for the win and didn’t do well in both stages, finishing ninth and 10th, respectively. His night was also hampered by two pit road penalties sending him back to finish 15th. It was a forgettable race, to say the least, but Sauter leaves Kentucky with the points lead by 42 over Noah Gragson.
- Kyle Busch Motorsports Places All Trucks In The Top-10 – Kyle Busch Motorsports had a solid night at Kentucky placing all their trucks in the top-10. For starters, Noah Gragson claimed another pole this season and won the second stage for his seventh stage win of the year. After a bad pit stop under yellow prior to Stage 3, Gragson rallied back to finish eighth. Next up is Brandon Jones who piloted the famed No. 51 Truck finishing in the fourth spot after starting sixth. He finished fourth and second, respectively in both stages. Jones’ next and final race will be at Las Vegas in the Playoffs. Finally, Todd Gilliland made his first Truck Series start at Kentucky starting in the second spot alongside his teammate. He was able to finish one spot better than his teammate Gragson, which was seventh.
- Short Turnaround for the Truckers – By having a Thursday night race at Kentucky, the truckers will have a short turnaround and will have to put their focus on what will be the biggest show of the year for the Truck Series at Eldora. The Eldora Dirt Derby is one the most popular races on the Truck Series circuit and it could be a jump start for a young driver’s career should a rookie win the race. Millions of fans visit the track for the race or watch the race on TV. There’s a lot of pressure on the regular series drivers as there will be a mix of drivers from NASCAR Cup stars to dirt track stars. It’s a list of whos who on the entry list. It will be interesting to see how the young rookies are able to tackle the tough and rough .500 mile racetrack in Rossburg, Ohio.