newsthree races playoffs camping world truck series

Three races until the playoffs in Camping World Truck Series

Rod Mullins

UNOH 200 set for Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway

bristol motor speedwayThe NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes a mid-week stop at The World’s Fastest Half Mile, Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday August 16th as the track hosts the UNOH 200 and with three races before the playoffs, the scramble is on in the NCWTS to get inside that all important playoff window before opportunity closes it.

The top five in points, front runner Christopher Bell sits atop the points with JH Nemechek in second, Johnny Sauter in third, Matt Crafton in fourth and Kaz Grala rounding out the top five but several drivers are on the verge of cracking the top five but currently sit on the bubble and know that Bristol is a “make or break” track with three left to go before the playoffs.

Driver Ryan Truex who currently sits in seventh, needs another top finish this week at a track where he has never made a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career start in order to maintain his position. Truex has back-to-back top-five finishes (Michigan and Pocono).

Another driver looking for a big finish on Wednesday night includes Ben Rhodes who finished outside the top-10 for the fourth time in his last five races after an 11th-place finish at Michigan this past week. A contender for the playoffs most of the season, Rhodes needs a good finish a Bristol after two career NCWTS starts at Bristol, he has finished 30th and ninth.

Kyle Busch Motorsports driver and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Noah Gragson wrecked at Pocono but got back on track at Michigan finishing seventh and notching his ninth top-10 finish in 13 starts this season. The young upstart is 37 points out of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs spot and has never made a career start at Bristol but has experience at the World’s Fastest Half Mile after posting the fastest lap in a Super Late Model car during the Short Track U.S. Nationals at BMS in May.

Austin Cindric may be sitting in eleventh but he may be looking at Bristol to make his move for the playoffs. With five-consecutive top-10 or better finishes, he has one career NCWTS start at Bristol and finished 18th last season after starting back in the field 27th.

Some familiar faces will grace the lineup on Wednesday at BMS.  NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman will make his fifth Truck Series start this season in the No. 75 Toyota Tundra for the Abingdon, VA based Charlie Henderson Motorsports team at Bristol. Kligerman has picked up two top-10 finishes this season and has three career starts at Bristol, with finishes of 20th, second and 10th.

Finally, NASCAR Next driver Harrison Burton gets ready to make his fifth NCWTS start this year  season in the No. 51 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Burton, the son of former NASCAR great and NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, has finished in the top 15 or better in all four starts this season, and has a season-best finish of 11th at Iowa Speedway and has experience on the high banks of Bristol as the 16 year old picked up a win in April in a rain shortened NASCAR K&N Series race at BMS.

Ben Kennedy is the defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner at Bristol Motor Speedway from last year and was a first time winner in the event last year.

The green flag drops at 8:00 PM at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday night.

By Rod Mullins/Augusta Free Press

Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins

Rod Mullins covers NASCAR for AFP, and co-hosts the mid-week “Street Knowledge” focusing on NASCAR with AFP editor Chris Graham. A graduate of UVA-Wise, Rod began his career in journalism as a reporter for The Cumberland Times, later became the program director/news director/on-air morning show host for WNVA in Norton, Va., and in the early 1990s served as the sports information director at UVA-Wise and was the radio “Voice of the Highland Cavaliers” for football and basketball for seven seasons. In 1995, Rod transitioned to public education, where he has worked as a high school English, literature, and creative writing teacher and now serves as a school program coordinator in addition to serving as a mentor for the robotics team.