The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series begin their Playoffs this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. This track has been a unique addition to the Truck Series since its first race in 2013. Every year, there has been a last-lap pass for the win.
What will be unique this time around is that CTMP will be the first road course in the Playoffs where it had previously been held before the Playoffs start.
Currently, there are 31 trucks on the preliminary entry list.
Here’s a look at who might wind up in victory lane this weekend in the annual running of the Chevrolet Silverado 250.
- John Hunter Nemechek – While he may not be competing in the Playoffs, Nemechek has competed here since 2014 earning him four starts at the 2.459-mile road course. His first start was not the greatest as he finished 25th after starting 16th. Since then, however, Nemechek earned a win in 2016 after a controversial finish with Cole Custer that saw them go off the race course coming to the finish line. After the race, the two tangled with each other but Nemechek still got the win. At Canada, he has earned one win, one top five and two top-10 finishes, along with an average start of 12.0 and an average finish of 13.8, and 20 laps led. When stages were implemented in 2017, he finished fourth in the first stage but ultimately finished 20th, one lap down. He looks to turn things around this weekend and secure his second victory at CTMP.
- Johnny Sauter- Sauter is coming off his win at Bristol where he was crowned regular season champion. He has made five starts at CTMP since 2013. In those five starts, Sauter has collected four top-10 finishes, with an average start of 11.4 and an average finish of 11.0, with four laps led. His first outing, Sauter had a gas line issue which saw him finish 28th for a DNF. Since 2014, he has collected finishes of eighth, sixth, seventh, and sixth, respectively. In 2017, he did not finish in either stage.
- Noah Gragson – Gragson made his track debut last season. In his track debut, the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports driver started sixth and wound up finishing second. He finished sixth in Stage 1 but did not finish in the top-10 at all in the second stage. Prior to the 2018 race, Gragson competed in the NASCAR Pinty Series event at CTMP, where he started 13th and finished third. KBM has visited victory lane before at Canada, where the team won with Erik Jones in 2015.
- Ben Rhodes – Rhodes has started in the last two races at CTMP. In 2016, he finished 30th due to a crash on Lap 6 but had a much better outing in 2017 where he finished 10th after starting ninth. He has an average start of 9.0, but with the crash, he has an average finish of 20.0. With the stages last year, Rhodes finished 10th and third, respectively, in both stages. He’ll look to up his average finish this year.
- Matt Crafton – This weekend could be the weekend Crafton winds up in victory lane. He has five starts dating back to the first race in 2013. His finishes at CTMP has been up and down. In 2013, he finished 10th but in the previous race, Crafton had engine issues that relegated him to a 25th place finish. Crafton had a best-finish of second in 2015 after starting third that year. With that said, he has two top fives and four top-10 finishes, with an average start of 9.8 and an average finish of 9.4.
The CTMP has held five races since its inception in 2013 and has had five different winners. The list of winners includes Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek, and Austin Cindric. Each race has seen a last-lap pass for the win.
There will be some drivers making their track debut at CTMP this year. Those include Justin Kunz, Austin Hill, Myatt Snider, Wendell Chavous, Max Tullman, Jason White, Jesse Iwuji, Justin Fontaine, Ray Ciccarelli, Harrison Burton, Stewart Friesen, Bo LeMastus and Roger Reuse.
Iwuji will be making his NASCAR Truck Series debut, along with Kunz for Jennifer Jo Cobb. Alex Tagliani’s best finish was fifth in 2015 and he does have two poles at the road course. Spencer Gallagher will return in the Truck Series competing in GMS Racing’s No. 25 machine.
The lowest a race winner has come from to win is 14th set by Ryan Blaney in 2014. The highest a finisher has ever started from was first and that came last year by Austin Cindric.
The first practice is slated for Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET and the final practice is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. ET with no live TV coverage. Qualifying is set for 6 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2.
The Chevrolet Silverado 250 is slated to take place Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio, with the approximate green flag at 2:46 p.m. ET. Stage 1 will end on Lap 20, Stage 2 on Lap 40 and the checkered flag is scheduled to fall on Lap 64, barring any overtime finishes.
This will be the first race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs with the Round of 8.