NASCAR Texas Truck Race Preview
NASCAR's ultimate tail gate party will hit high gear Friday evening when they arrive at the ultra fast 1.5 mile oval at the Texas Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be running the Winstar World Casino 400 backed by live television coverage from the Speed Channel beginning at 8:30 pm Eastern Time. The 167 lap race has 33 entries vying for the Texas World Speedway's special victory lane ritual which includes a fancy cowboy hat plus the right to fire a pair of six shooters into the air.
While this event is only the eighth race of 25 the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be bringing a rather intense points battle to the Dallas-Fort Worth area this Friday. Ron Hornaday Jr continues to maintain his series points lead despite the early in the race problems he experienced in last Saturday's race at Dover.
Hornaday goes into Friday's race with a slim 27 point lead over long time rival, but very good friend, Mike Skinner. Not to be overlooked here is the presence of Matt Crafton who is third in the standings and only 29 markers away from the leader.
The potential battle between Hornaday and Skinner seems to include a lot more categories than just championship points. For example:
At the Texas World Speedway Skinner leads the average running position stats with a 4.3 compared to Hornaday's 6.1
Skinner also tops Hornaday in the driver rating category with a 125.1 compared to 119.9
Skinner has turned the highest number of fastest laps in seven races so far with 169 to Hornaday's 161.
Skinner also tops the most laps led in the Lone Star State with 400 while Hornaday has led 352 circuits.
But the one category Skinner does not lead is the one area that matters the most of all: wins. Hornaday has two wins at Texas after sweeping both the spring and fall race there last year. Skinner has three second place finishes but is still seeking his first win.
However they're not the only former series champions entered in this race who could become major factors by the time it's over. Reigning champion Johnny Benson goes into Friday night with a driver rating of 102.4 combined with a healthy 9.7 average running position.
Also expected to be strong Friday night will be Todd Bodine, another former series champion, who has four career wins at Texas. "The Onion" currently has a driver rating of 100.5 along with a 12.6 average running position.
All of the above were probably relieved to hear that they will not have to deal with Kyle Busch Friday night. The "Rowdy" one decided not to take on the logistics of the Texas race, the Nationwide Series event in Nashville on Saturday combined with the Sprint Cup event in Pennsylvania on Sunday all on the same weekend.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series also has a very tight battle for the rookie title. New comer Taylor Malsam and racing veteran Johnny Sauter are tied with 71 points each. James Buescher is also very much involved in this mix and is only six points behind the leaders.
Toyota lead the series' manufacturers championship standings but they only have a nine point lead over Chevrolet going into Friday's race. Toyota Tundra has five wins at the Texas World Speedway. by Dave Grayson