It’s a home game this week for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as the drivers and teams will compete in their own backyards. One team and driver will show who’s best Friday night in the annual running of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
There are 35 trucks on the preliminary entry list with the No. 1 owned by Tracy Lowe, Clay Greenfield of the 68 and Joe Nemechek of the 87 being the only withdrawals from the race.
A few notables – Timothy Peters is back competing in the No. 92 Ricky Benton Racing Ford and Daniel Hemric will be back for the first time in a Truck since 2016 driving the No. 20 of Young Motorsports.
In the past five races, there have been three different winners with Kyle Busch being the only repeat winner of this race.
Here’s a look at who to expect to be in victory lane at the end of the night.
- Kyle Busch – It should be no surprise that Busch is on top of the list for this weekend’s race. He has won this race seven times and is the previous race winner. He earned his first win at Charlotte in the Truck Series in May 2005. The only thing that’s different this time is that he’ll look to tie Ron Hornaday’s winning streak. Busch came close last weekend at Kansas by finishing second, but it wasn’t good enough to score the win. In the last four races, he has earned three wins, four top five’s and four top 10 finishes, along with 327 laps led and an average finish of 1.2, not bad for the Kyle Busch Motorsports owner. He’ll be a challenging factor in Friday night’s race.
- Noah Gragson – Gragson claimed career victory No. 2 last weekend at Kansas Speedway and that momentum could carry over this week at Charlotte. While he only has one start at the 1.5-mile track with a finish of ninth in the previous race, Gragson has been dominant in most 1.5 mile races this year. With a late race restart in Atlanta, he restarted in the ninth position and almost pulled off the win before finishing second. In Las Vegas, Gragson finished 12th after starting fifth. So don’t be surprised if we see the No. 18 Safelite Tundra back in victory lane again this weekend, as momentum could be huge for the 19-year old.
- Matt Crafton – Seven races in and Crafton is still looking for that breakthrough victory of the 2018 season. While it’s hard to believe the No. 88 Menards driver doesn’t have a win yet, you really can’t count him out on any given race weekend. In Dover after Gragson had a late race tangle with eventual race winner Johnny Sauter, Crafton finished second. Last week at Kansas, he led only four laps before battling a tight conditioning truck all night. He could score that first win this weekend as Charlotte is the site of Crafton’s first ever victory back in 2008. He also scored another win two years ago in 2016 after starting 17th.
- John Hunter Nemechek – Nemechek has run okay at Charlotte but has never been considered as a possible upset. However, he could be this weekend. In two starts, he has finishes of 12th and 22nd, respectively. He is coming off a strong run at Kansas this past weekend by finishing fourth. Nemechek could get that first win at Charlotte Friday night and what a win that would be for the family-owned team.
- Timothy Peters – Peters could be a real upset this weekend if he could pull off the win tomorrow night in the No. 92 Ricky Benton Racing Ford. In the past five starts, he has two top fives and four top 10 finishes with a best finish of fifth in last year’s race. However, those starts were in the now-defunct Red Horse Racing stable who were contenders for the win week in and week out. It’s no doubt Peters and the No. 92 team will have a battle on their hands Friday night. However, should they play their cards right and have a little bit of luck, they could just be a surprise winner.
Live coverage begins with the first practice scheduled for 9:05 a.m. ET with no live TV. Final practice will be shown on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 10:35 a.m. ET.
Qualifying is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. ET on FS1 with the green flag at the approximate time of 8:49 p.m. ET, all on FS1 and MRN Radio, weather permitting, as there is a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms in the forecast Friday afternoon and evening.