Truck Race Preview: Atlanta

Camping World Truck Series

The Active Pest Control 200 will be 130 laps: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 40), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 180) and the Final Stage (Ends on lap 130). (Photo: Getty Images)

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Schedule of Events | Entry ListDriver Averages | Past Race Winners

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series news, notes and fast facts in advance of Saturday's Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway..

Radio: MRN, 4 p.m. (ET)
TV: FS1, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
Race Distance: 200.2 miles (130 laps)
Stage Lengths: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 40), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 180), Final Stage (Ends on lap 130)

Races: 15
Pole Winners: 10
Youngest Pole Winner: Ty Dillon (8/31/2012 - 20 years, 6 months, 4 days)
Oldest Pole Winner: Ron Hornaday Jr. (3/6/2010 - 51 years, 8 months, 14 days)
Race Winners: 11
Youngest Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek (2/27/2016 - 18 years, 8 month, 16 days)
Oldest Race Winner: Ron Hornaday Jr. (9/2/2011 - 53 years, 2 months, 13 days)
Races Won from Pole: 4
Last Race Won From Pole: Ty Dillon (8/31/2012)
Race Record: Ron Hornaday Jr. - 142.424 mph (3/18/2005)
Qualifying Record: Rick Crawford - 182.735 mph (3/18/2005)

  Last Race Most/Largest Fewest/Smallest
Trucks: 32 36 - 12 Times 31 (2/28/2015)
Lead Changes: 7 21 (10/28/2006) 6 (2/28/2015)
Leaders: 4 9 - 3 Times 2 (3/17/2006)
Cautions: 5 9 (3/16/2007) 3 - 2 Times
Caution Laps: 25 45 (3/16/2007) 3 - 2 Times (2/28/2015)
Lead Lap Finish: 17 23 (3/18/2005) 7 (2/28/2015)
Running at the Finish: 28 32 (3/17/2006) 25 - 2 Times (3/6/2010)
Laps Led (Winner): 8 100 (3/6/2010) 8 (2/27/2016)
Margin of Victory*: 0.305 8.752 (2/28/2015) 0.008 (3/18/2005)

*Since 1993 (advent of digital timing and scoring); does not include races completed under caution

Rookie Kaz Grala Puts His Stamp On Daytona And The Record Books
Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate and GMS Racing driver Kaz Grala, has taken the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2017 season by storm. Not only did he win the pole and then the race at Daytona International Speedway but he also snatched the series standings lead on his way out of town. 
 
Grala clutches the standings lead over second-place and defending series champion Johnny Sauter by 14 points. 
 
Not only did Grala burst on the scene as a winner he also holds a few records now. Grala has become the 33rd quickest driver (fewest races) in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history to get his first career win – having won in just his 10th series start. He also has become the youngest pole winner and race winner in series history at Daytona International Speedway at 18 years, 1 month and 26 days. And if that wasn’t enough, he is just the fourth driver in series history to win at Daytona from the pole; joining Jack Sprague (2007), Mark Martin (2006) and Joe Ruttman (2001). 
 
Grala, a Westborough, Massachusetts native will be making his series track-debut this weekend in Atlanta. 
 
Sauter Again Looks Like A Championship-Contending Force To Reckon With
Considered one of the best restrictor-plate active drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Johnny Sauter showcased his skills this past weekend at Daytona International Speedway by dominating the first two Stages of the race and bringing home a 15th-place finish. The performance secured him second place in the standings, just 14 points back from standings leader Kaz Grala. 
 
Though Sauter’s finish wasn’t a win, he was still able to capitalize on pivotal parts of the race. By winning both Stages, he tallied totaling 42 points (10 per Stage win, 22 via his finish at the checkered flag) and also captured two playoff points, which will be to his advantage come playoff reseeding time.   
 
Sauter led a race-high 52 laps at Daytona and looked to be one of the trucks to beat this season.  
 
GMS Racing’s Sauter will be looking to rebound from his performance last season at Atlanta where he finished 28th (second-worst finish of 2016). Sauter has made six starts at Atlanta, posting two top 10s and an average finish of 16.8. 
 
John Hunter Nemechek Returns To Atlanta To Defend His Victory
Whenever NEMCO Motorsport’s driver John Hunter Nemechek wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series it seems like a victory for the ‘underdogs.’  
 
John Hunter and his father Joe Nemechek have built NEMCO Motorsports from the ground up and they will be quick to explain how they might not have all the funding some of the other teams have nor the numbers in staff, but they make up for it in heart and hard work. 
 
Nemechek returns to Atlanta this season as the defending race winner. John Hunter started 18th last season and raced his way to victory; the first of two wins for the Mooresville, North Carolina native.  He sits eighth in the current series standings, 22 points back from Kaz Grala in the standings lead, following his fourth-place finish at Daytona last weekend.
 
This season NEMCO Motorsports has grown to a two-truck operation that both John Hunter and Joe will now be driving for. 
 
Seven Different Winners In Last Seven Atlanta Races: Will We See Eight? 
Over the last seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway we have seen seven different winners - John Hunter Nemechek (2016), Matt Crafton (2015), Ty Dillon (2012), Ron Hornaday Jr. (2011), Kevin Harvick (2010), Kyle Busch (2009) and Ryan Newman (2008) – begging the question, will we see an eighth? 

An eighth different winner is possible, but it might be tough for them to break through with a win because Nemechek, Crafton and Busch are all entered this weekend to snap the streak. 

Nemechek won in his only start at Atlanta and Busch holds the series record for average finishing positions at Atlanta with a 2.375. Plus, Crafton has led the series in wins on 1.5-mile speedway over the last two season with six victories. 

On the other hand, the last four Atlanta winners have all been NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship contenders.  
 

 

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