Bristol Motor Speedway was the home for the 16th race of the season and marked the final event of the regular season before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs begin this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Here are four takeaways from the UNOH 200.
- GMS Racing Continue To Be Dominate 2018 – The GMS Racing team, including one ally, continued to dominate last Thursday at Bristol. GMS placed three of their trucks in the top-10 if you include the GMS Racing ally, Stewart Friesen. Johnny Sauter clinched the regular season championship by starting the race. He didn’t stop there as he led 58 laps and finished second in both stages. GMS Racing ally, Stewart Friesen, finished second and Sauter’s teammate, and Gateway winner, Justin Haley, finished sixth. Regardless, they continue to be the team to dominate the 2018 season and the team to beat for the championship.
- John Hunter Nemechek Gets A For Effort – After starting third, Nemechek looked to be the guy to beat. He won both stages and led twice for 104 laps. Nemechek had a shot to win his first ever race since Martinsville. However, his truck began to experience problems with less than 10 to go and fell back to third, after dominating much of the race.
- Too Much Emphasis On The Big Three – In the Cup Series this year, there have been three drivers that have visited victory lane the most, including Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and Kevin Harvick. However, here lately, the Truck Series has their own big three with those being Johnny Sauter, Brett Moffitt, and Noah Gragson. My opinion is that we should stop with the big three analysis and placing too much emphasis and hype on just three drivers. The Big Three should stay in the Cup Series. There have been multiple different race winners this year in the Truck Series. Those including Moffitt, Sauter, Ben Rhodes, Gragson, Haley, among others, who have visited victory lane. Yes, it seems like there are three drivers who regularly run up front, but that’s not the case for every race. Keep the big three special to one series and let the other series have their own brand identity, and stick out more.
- Playoff Begin At Canada – After all the hype and with the regular season coming to an end, it’s now time for the 2018 NASCAR Truck Series playoffs that begin this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Eight drivers will go after the gold and the championship at the end of the year in Homestead-Miami. It will be interesting to see how these eight drivers will fare throughout the rest of the season. Will Sauter be able to keep his dominance and punch his ticket into the Championship 4 for another year? Or perhaps there could be a surprise driver that winds up in the final four such as Haley. Either way, it’ll be an exciting seven race run to the championship finale that takes place in Southern Florida.