NASCAR Truck Series Talladega preview
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be looking at a vastly different racing venue this Saturday: the massive Talladega Super Speedway. This is a far cry from other racing venues such as last weekend's race at the Martinsville Speedway half mile.
The Mountain Dew 250 is guaranteed to feature NASCAR's truck series drivers running door to door at very high speeds where sling shot passing is the norm while running three and four wide. The truck series races has created a recent tradition for close finishes. In the last three series races at Talladega not once has the margin of victory exceeded eight one hundredths of a second. Last year Todd Bodine won the race over Ron Hornaday Jr by a margin of 0.074 seconds.
SOME PRE RACE NOTES OF INTEREST.
Before the green falls on Saturday's race series history will be made. Chrissy and Mike Wallace will be enhancing the Wallace family racing legacy by being the first father-daughter team to participate in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
Chrissy Wallace, who made her series debut last March at Martinsville, will be driving the #08 SS Green Light Chevrolet. Mike Wallace, who's series debut occurred back in 1995, will be behind the wheel of the #48 Rockingham Speedway Polar Bear 150 Chevrolet. Both teams are with in the top 30 in owner's points meaning they are guaranteed starting berths in Saturday's race. That also mean this particular moment of NASCAR history is going to happen.
Commenting on racing against her dad, Chrissy Wallace said "it's something I've always wanted to do. It means a lot to me and I think it's a good thing for me and him both. Hopefully, I'll wind up beating him."
Dad was equally sentimental about racing with his daughter and said "as we have for many years, the Wallace racing tradition has been tied to NASCAR with my brothers Rusty and Kenny. Now Chrissy and Steven, (Rusty's son), are making a living in the sport. We're really excited about the opportunity to show up there and be part of NASCAR history."
NASCAR veteran Steve Park will be returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this weekend. Park will be driving the #02 Corrie Stott Racing.Com Chevrolet. The veteran driver has the distinction of being in an exclusive club of drivers who can claim they have won races in all three of NASCAR's national touring series.
Series newcomer Austin Dillon will be making another Camping World Series start at Talladega. The young driver will be in the #3 Real Tree Outfitters Chevrolet entered by Richard Childress Racing who just happens to be the driver's grandfather. Old school series fans will recall it was the black #3 Childress Chevrolet truck that won the first ever NASCAR truck championship with driver Mike Skinner back in 1995.
Dillon is really excited about returning to the series at Talladega and said "it's really cool because I'll be in the black #3 truck and that means a lot to the great fans that show up at Talladega. I'm also excited to get a chance to run where my grandfather started his entire racing career 40 years ago."
There will be another NASCAR Camping World Truck Series milestone connected to Saturday's race. Billy Ballew Motorsports will be making their official 300th start. The two truck team will be piloted by Kyle Busch in the #51 and Aric Almirola in the #15. The team has 15 series wins with Busch delivering 14 of them.
"It's overwhelming," Ballew said earlier this week adding "I've been fortunate to have success with that many drivers for this many years. This started as a dream, to have my own racing team, and over the years it's become something pretty close to my heart. It's even more special that this 300th start is occurring at Talladega which is close to my home base of Atlanta-Georgia."
THE RACE BREAKDOWN
The Mountain Dew 250 is 94 laps around the Talladega Super Speedway's 2.66 mile quad oval.
The race has 38 entries for the 36 truck field. 13 of those entries are on the go or go home list meaning they will have to earn a starting berth based on their qualifying speeds.
Weather could be a major concern here. The forecast for the Talladega-Alabama area calls for a chance of showers on Saturday afternoon.
The defending race champion is Todd Bodine the driver of the Germain Racing Toyota.
Based on his recent win in Las Vegas, Johnny Sauter now has a commanding 36 point lead over Tayler Malsam in the series' Raybestos Brakes Rookie Of The Year standings.
In the series manufacturer's standings Toyota continues to be in the lead and can clinch the title this Saturday with a single finish over Chevrolet. Toyota has two wins at Talladega with both of them provided by Todd Bodine.
Saturday's Mountain Dew 250 will be broadcast live by the Speed Channel beginning with the pre race set up show at 3:30 pm eastern time. by Dave Grayson