The NASCAR off-season is officially over for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with the first practice kicking off Thursday morning 11:35 a.m. ET on FS1.
Currently, there are 36 Trucks entered on the preliminary entry list.
With a new year, comes new faces in new places. Here are some notables.
Jordan Anderson will be fielding his own team in 2018 by driving the No. 3. An interesting twist for Daytona, David Gilliland will be driving the No. 4 for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Korbin Forrister in his teams owned No. 7, Myatt Snider takes over the No. 13 for Thorsport Racing, Dalton Sargeant in the 25 for GMS Racing. Ben Rhodes is now the 41, not the 27 as in previous years. To round out the unique entry list, Bo Le Mastus will be competing in the new David Gilliland Racing team driving the No. 54. Got that? Good. Now let’s take a look at who will be hot at Daytona International Speedway this Friday night.
In the last three races, there have been three different winners ranging from Tyler Reddick, Johnny Sauter and last year’s winner, Kaz Grala. Reddick and Grala will not be competing in this year’s event as they have moved on to the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
- Johnny Sauter – Sauter is the highest active driver stat wise at Daytona. In the past three races, he owns one win, one top five and two top 10 finishes, with 64 laps led. However, in last year’s race, he was involved in the infamous big one at Daytona on the last lap. Unless you’re a stat nerd, then they really don’t mean anything at Daytona but you have to be there at the end to win the race. Nonetheless, never count Sauter out at plate tracks.
- Matt Crafton – Crafton will be back competing in his 19th year for the Truck Series. It’s hard to believe that in the last 17 races at Daytona, the No. 88 Thorsport driver does not have a win at Daytona. His best finish came eight years ago in 2010, where Crafton finished fifth. In the past three races, he has put up only two top 10 finishes and has led seven laps, with an average finishing position of 10.7. Despite going up and over on the last lap in last year’s race, he wound up 14th. In 2015 and ’16, Crafton finished eighth and 10th, respectively. Crafton and Sauter are realistically the only highly experienced drivers in the field.
- John Hunter Nemechek – Nemechek will be back behind the wheel of his family’s team-owned No. 8 Fleetwing Corporation Chevy. He only has two career starts at Daytona that came in 2017 and ’16. During those two race spans, Nemechek has completed 99.5 percent of the laps, scored one top five and one top 10 finish, and has an average finish of 10.5. Nemechek’s best finish came in last year’s race, where he placed fourth.
- Myatt Snider – New Year, New Look, New Team for the young 23-year old Myatt Snider. After competing for Kyle Busch Motorsports last year, Snider will adorn the No. 13 Liberty Tax Toyota for Thorsport Racing. It will be interesting to see how Snider does with his new team in 2018. Regarding stats, he only has one start that came last year where Snider finished 10th. He finished eighth in Stage 2.
- Parker Kligerman – Kligerman has become quite the restrictor plate racer as of late. In fact, the last time the Truck Series competed on a superspeedway, Kligerman was the winner at Talladega last fall. In four races, he has finishes of 15th, 11th, 29th in 2014 and third in 2016. Kligerman could very well be an upset winner once again Friday night in Daytona.
There are three practice sessions scheduled for Thursday. First practice takes place at 11:35 a.m. ET, with the second practice slated for 2:25 p.m. ET and the final practice at 4:35 p.m. ET. All taking place on Fox Sports 1.Qualifying is Friday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. ET with the green flag scheduled for 7:52 p.m. ET on FS1.