By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
21 races into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season eight series regulars have scored a victory (Christopher Bell five times, Johnny Sauter three times, John Hunter Nemechek twice, Austin Cindric, Ben Rhodes, Noah Gragson, Matt Crafton, and Kaz Grala once). Bell has a three-point lead over Sauter heading into the 22nd race of the season. This weekend marks the third and final race for the Round of Six, and sixth race of the 2017 Playoffs for the Truck Series competitors.
The last time the Truck Series visited Phoenix Raceway, Daniel Suarez edged out Sauter to earn his first career victory in a dramatic photo finish as the race ended under caution. Suarez’s teammate, William Byron lost engine just laps from the finish, and a possible race win. Crafton, Cameron Hayley, and Timothy Peters rounded out the top-five that night.
There are no former winners entered in Saturday night’s race, guaranteeing a new winner, and the fourth different winner in a row.
Truck Series Championship
After the race at Texas Motor Speedway, where Sauter locked himself into the Championship Four at Homestead, Bell has 3,135 points with a four-point lead over Sauter. Bell needs just six points to lock himself into Homestead. Crafton is third with 3,104 points. Cindric is now fourth, 50-points behind Bell and five-points ahead of the cutoff for the Championship Four.
Crafton would clinch on points with 37 points and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 32 points. Crafton can also clinch a Championship 4 spot on wins. If there is a repeat winner, Cindric would clinch on points with 50 points. He could clinch on points with a new winner and help, or with a win at Phoenix.
Rhodes is fifth with 3,080 points. Nemechek is still in sixth in the Playoff standings after an early wreck at Martinsville. He is now 39-points behind Rhodes, and 89 behind Bell. Both Rhodes and Nemechek need help to clinch on points, only a win can guarantee them a spot at Homestead.
At Texas, the first stage ends on lap 40, the second stage on lap 80, and the final stage on lap 150.
What to Watch For in the Lucas Oil 150
There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:
- Austin Hill will be in the No. 02 United Rentals Ford F-150 for Young’s Motorsports.
- Jason Hathaway returns in the No. 15 Kubota / Choco Authentics Chevrolet Silverado for Premium Motorsports.
- Ryan Truex will have Kobe Toyopet as the primary sponsor of his No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra.
- Austin Wayne Self returns in the No. 44 AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet Silverado for Faith Motorsports in partnership with AM Racing.
- J. Bell returns in the No. 45 Niece Equipment Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports.
- Robby Lyons will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in the No. 49 Sunwest Construction Chevrolet Silverado for Premium Motorsports.
- Todd Gilliland will be in the No. 51 Pedigree Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
- J. Yeley returns in the No. 63 Chevrolet Silverado for the Mittler Brothers.
- Jesse Little returns in the No. 97 Toyota Tundra for JJL Motorsports.
- Dalton Sargeant will be in the No. 99 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet Silverado for MDM Motorsports.
Where and When to Watch (All Times Eastern)
Practice 1: Friday, November 10, 11:00 a.m., on Fox Sports 2.
Qualifying: Friday, November 10, 5:30 p.m., on Fox Sports 1.
Race: Friday, November 10, 8:00 p.m., on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Motor Racing Network.