With just three races until the Playoffs begin at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Aug. 26, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series continues their exciting season this weekend at Pocono Raceway.
With five drivers locked in by virtue of wins, three drivers find themselves on the bubble of not making it. From this weekend until Bristol could make the difference and provide the opportunity to lock themselves into the Playoffs.
Currently, there are 32 trucks on the preliminary entry list.
Here’s a look at who to expect that might end up in victory lane Saturday afternoon in The Tricky Triangle.
- Kyle Busch – Busch will be back in the series for the first time since Charlotte in May. He’ll be looking to make history on Saturday afternoon as he’ll be searching to tie Ron Hornaday’s all-time Truck Series wins list at 51. Busch has been close this season to tying or surpassing the record. Aside from the tire issue at Atlanta, Busch won at Las Vegas and finished second twice at Kansas and Charlotte. We could already be talking about a different story if he had won at those racetracks, but Busch will be more hungry than ever to get back to victory lane in the Truck Series. Pocono could be the track he could tie Hornaday’s records due to recent past success. He has only competed in three races at The Tricky Triangle and has had so-so finishes. In his first race in 2011, Busch finished second to race winner Kevin Harvick. He never competed again until 2015 where he won the race after starting second. In the previous race, Busch was involved in an accident on lap 36 thus ending his shot at a win. He’s led 85 laps and has an average finish of 9.3 with an average start of 2.0. He’ll be looking for the weekend sweep at Pocono this weekend.
- Johnny Sauter – After a dismal week at Eldora last week, Sauter is glad to be out of Ohio and back on the normal series circuit. Like Busch, Sauter is looking to get back to victory lane after a couple of bad finishes. Sauter hasn’t won since Texas in June and hasn’t had a top-five finish since Chicago where he finished third. Since then, however, he’s had finishes of 15th at Kentucky and 16th at Eldora. At Pocono, Sauter will try to find victory lane. In eight races, he has three top fives and five top-10 finishes, along with 16 laps led. En route to his 2016 championship, he started 11th and finished eighth. In the previous outing at Pocono, Sauter finished fifth after starting seventh. His best finish at the 1.5-mile raceway was second back in 2014. Whether it will be Saturday afternoon or later on in his career, Sauter will cross Pocono off the tracks where he hasn’t won. It’s only a matter of time for the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevy driver.
- Todd Gilliland – It will be a learning curve for Gilliland this weekend at Pocono, as he will be making his first ever Truck Series start. However, if past history has told us anything, nothing is new for the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver. In his first ever 1.5 mile start at Charlotte, he finished 10th after starting third but had late-race contact that settled him back a little bit in the finishing order. He’ll be competing in the ARCA Racing Series Friday afternoon to gain more practice and knowledge about Pocono. The truck Gilliland will be driving has finished second and ran at Texas and Chicago. This truck has led 62 laps.
- Ben Rhodes – After a tough outing at Eldora last week, Rhodes will be looking to get back in victory lane since Kentucky and this weekend could be his chance to do it. He only has two starts at the 1.5-mile racetrack dating back to 2016, where he finished 11th. His best finish was second in last years race after starting on the pole. He has an average start of 2.0 and an average finish of 6.5. In the two stages last year, Rhodes finished third and fourth respectively en route to his second-place finish.
- Brett Moffitt – Moffitt will be back racing at Pocono this weekend for the first time since 2016. In his only race here, he competed for Red Horse Racing driving the No. 11 where he finished third after starting 15th. Moffitt has had success at 1.5-mile tracks this year, however. His first success was back in February when he won at Atlanta. A third-place finish at Las Vegas, fourth at Charlotte and a win at Chicago were his best finishes at those 1.5-mile tracks this season. It’ll be interesting to see how Moffitt performs for the first time since 2016.
Since the first event in 2010, there have been eight different winners in eight races. The winners include Elliott Sadler, Kevin Harvick, Joey Coulter, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Christopher Bell.
The lowest a race winner has ever come was sixth back in 2013 and was won by Ryan Blaney. The race winner has won from the pole three times with Elliott Sadler, Kevin Harvick, and William Byron.
There are two practice sessions scheduled for Friday afternoon with the first one taking place at noon ET with the final practice at 2 p.m. ET, with no live TV coverage. Qualifying is slated for Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
Race coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET Saturday with an approximate green flag at 1:15 p.m. ET and will be live on Fox Sports 1 and MRN Radio. The first stage ends on Lap 15, with the second stage ending on Lap 30 and the checkered flag flying on Lap 60.