“FIVE THINGS TO WATCH” AT TOYOTA 200 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES RACE

  • Nick Sanchez continues recent hot streak with last week’s win at Charlotte.
  • Toyota 200 will serve as second leg of the Triple Truck Challenge.

MADISON, Ill. (May 28, 2024) – The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Toyota 200 returns for a third consecutive season paired with the NASCAR Cup Series as the trucks make their 24th visit overall to World Wide Technology Raceway.

The CRAFTSMAN Truck Series officially kicks off the on-track action Friday for the NASCAR doubleheader weekend with practice and qualifying for the Toyota 200. The trucks open with a 20-minute practice at 5:05 p.m. CT and the session will be followed by single-truck, one-lap qualifying beginning at 5:35 p.m.

The CRAFTSMAN Truck Series visit culminates with the Toyota 200 at 12:30 p.m. Saturday (TV: FOX, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM) for a 160-lap, 200-mile race.

This season’s Toyota 200 will mark the 11th season in a row that the NCTS has competed at the 1.25-mile oval. The CRAFTSMAN Truck Series initially competed at WWT Raceway from 1998-2010 and returned after a three-year absence in 2014.

The Toyota 200 is the 12th race of the 23-event CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season and several storylines have developed as the series crosses the season midpoint.

Here’s “Five Things To Watch” for the Toyota 200:

  1. Rev Racing’s Nick Sanchez, coming off a victory last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, heads into the Toyota 200 as one of the hottest drivers in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series.

The victory was his sixth consecutive finish among the top seven and that run has vaulted him to third in the points standings, 50 behind leader Christian Eckes of McAnally-Hilgemann Racing. During this torrid stretch, four of those finishes have been among the top four and the 22-year-old Miami, Fla. native also added pole positions at Texas Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

Sanchez, the 2023 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Rookie of the Year, opened his sophomore campaign in grand fashion by earning his first series victory in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. Through the first 11 races, his average starting position is 8.55 and average finishing position is 7.36.

  1. Corey Heim missed last season’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway due to illness, but the 21-year-old TRICON Garage driver enjoyed an impressive performance in his one and only appearance at the 1.25-mile oval.

The start came in 2022 driving part-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in just his second year. Heim won the pole and led 20 laps en route to his second career win.

He arrives this time around a championship contender as a result of a dominant start to the season. In the first 11 races, he owns a series-leading three wins (Circuit of The Americas, Kansas, North Wilkesboro) and ranks first in the series for top-five finishes (7), stage wins (4) and playoff points (19). He ranks second in the NCTS points standings, trailing Eckes by 30 points.

  1. World Wide Technology Raceway is part of the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series’ Triple Truck Challenge for the fifth time in the last six seasons. “The Trip” was created in 2019 to provide an opportunity for series regulars to compete for bonus money, including as much as $500,000.

The Triple Truck Challenge is a three-race format that began last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, continues with Friday’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway and concludes Friday, June 28 at Nashville Superspeedway. Eligible drivers who have elected to earn series championship points will receive a $50,000 bonus for one win. If a driver wins two out of the three races, they will be awarded $150,000. If a driver wins all three Triple Truck Challenge races, a $500,000 prize will be awarded.

Nick Sanchez won the opening race this season at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will be chasing a $150,000 bonus at WWT Raceway. Last season, the Triple Truck Challenge produced three different winners, including Grant Enfinger at WWT Raceway.

  1. Stewart Friesen of Halmar Friesen Racing is winless in six appearances at World Wide Technology Raceway, but keep an eye on him in the Toyota 200.

Of those six starts, five have resulted in top-five finishes, including a best of third on two occasions (2019, ’23). His only performance outside of the top five was a 13th-place finish in his first start at WWTR in 2018.

  1. Winning the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at WWT Raceway over the past decade has served as a driver forecast of being elevated to the NASCAR Cup Series.

Beginning with Bubba Wallace in 2014,  four of the 10 winners have gone on to a current Cup Series ride. Wallace, who drives for 23XI Racing, is joined on the Cup level by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell (2016 winner), Legacy Motor Club’s John Hunter Nemechek (’17) and Rick Ware Racing’s Justin Haley (’18).

Overall, six of the 10 have competed at least a full season on the Cup level. Cole Custer (’15), the defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, competed in Cup for Stewart-Haas Racing from 2020-22. Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain was running a full NCTS season when he won at WWT Raceway in ’19, but already was in his second full Cup season with owner Jay Robinson.

That trend could bode well in the future for the last three winners – Sheldon Creed (2020, ’21), Heim (2022) and Enfinger (2023).

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos

RacingJunk.com and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

Winspirit Australia

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles