Truck Race Preview: Martinsville

Martinsville

After the off-week, the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs heads to Martinsville Speedway to begin the Round of 6. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Schedule of Events | Driver Averages | Past Race Winners

Camping World Truck Series news, notes and fast facts in advance of Saturday's Texas Roadhouse 200.

Radio: MRN, 12:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Race Distance: 105.2 miles (200 laps)
Stage Lengths: Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

Races: 37
Pole Winners: 25
Youngest Pole Winner: Cole Custer (10/31/2015 - 17 years, 9 months, 8 days)
Oldest Pole Winner: Joe Ruttman (4/7/2001 - 56 years, 5 months, 10 days)
Race Winners: 26
Youngest Race Winner: Darrell Wallace Jr. (10/26/2013 - 20 years, 0 months, 18 days)
Oldest Race Winner: Jimmy Hensley (4/17/1999) - 53 years, 6 months, 6 days)
Races Won from Pole: 9
Race Record: Jimmy Hensley - 74.282 mph (4/17/1999)
Qualifying Record: Joey Logano - 97.088 mph (3/28/2015)

Last Race Most/Largest Fewest/Smallest
Trucks: 32 36 - 31 Times (10/25/2014) 32 - 5 Times (10/27/2018)
Lead Changes: 4 17 (3/30/2014) 1 (10/18/2008)
Leaders: 3 8 - 3 Times (10/29/2011) 2 - 4 Times (3/31/2012)
Cautions: 10 16 - 2 Times (3/29/2008) 5 (10/29/2016)
Caution Laps: 63 87 (4/1/2006) 32 (10/18/2003)
Lead Lap Finish: 19 27 (10/22/2005) 10 - 2 Times (4/7/2001)
Running at the Finish: 28 34 - 3 Times (10/29/2011) 20 (4/7/2001)
Laps Led (Winner): 92 248 (3/31/2012) 2 (9/25/1995)
Margin of Victory: 1.865 4.987 (4/17/1999) .257 (4/9/2005)

After the off-week, the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs heads to Martinsville Speedway to begin the Round of 6 with the Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented By Alpha Energy Solutions on Saturday, October 28.


Reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter is the defending race winner and proved to be a title-contender in last year’s race.


John Hunter Nemechek (third-place finish) and Christopher Bell (fourth-place finish) both finished inside the top five at Martinsville last year.


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champions – Where Bell Stacks Up

There is no arguing Christopher Bell is having a stellar season that could result in a 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. Through 19 races this season in the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, Bell has five wins, 13 top-five finishes and 17 top-10 finishes. He’s led 739 laps.


Here is how Christopher Bell’s 2017 season compares to the last five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champions:


Season

Driver

Race Wins

Top-Fives

Top-10s

Laps Led

Average Finish

2017

Christopher Bell

5

13

17

739

5.8

2016

Johnny Sauter

3

12

19

130

8.0

2015

Erik Jones

3

11

20

925

6.3

2014

Matt Crafton

2

13

17

298

7.0

2013

Matt Crafton

1

7

19

87

7.9

2012

James Buescher

4

10

14

505

8.


With four races remaining in Bell’s 2017 championship campaign, he already has more wins, is tied for top fives, is second in laps led and has the best average finish of the last five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champions through their complete seasons.


Bell will look to advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and has three chances to do it, beginning with this week at Martinsville.


Last season, Bell finished fourth at Martinsville, 11th at Texas and seventh at Phoenix to advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead.


Racing At Martinsville Speedway – Advantage, Veterans?

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series former champions Matt Crafton (2013 and 2014) and Johnny Sauter (2016) appear to have the veteran advantage at Martinsville Speedway.


Crafton owns multiple track records at the 0.526-mile track. He has the most NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts (31), top 10s (18), lead lap finishes (27) and laps completed (6,915). He has two wins there (fall 2015 and spring 2014) and eight top fives.


Sauter is equally as impressive. In 19 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Martinsville, Sauter has three wins (most among active series drivers), seven top fives and 10 top 10s. He’s led 398 laps, which is the most among active NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers.


Between Crafton and Sauter, the two combined for at least one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win at Martinsville over the last four seasons.


Fall, 2016 – Sauter

Fall, 2015 – Crafton

Spring, 2014 – Crafton

Spring, 2013 – Sauter


Sauter’s other Martinsville Speedway win came in 2011 when he won the Keystone Light Pole and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Both Crafton and Sauter will be looking to win at Martinsville and punch their ticket to the Championship 4.


2017 NASCAR Playoffs Outlook Update: Post-Talladega

Following the elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway, below is an updated NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs grid heading into the Round of 6:


Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Playoff Points

Pts from Cutoff

1

Christopher Bell

3047

-

47

-

2

Johnny Sauter

3027

-

27

-

3

Matt Crafton

3014

-

14

-

4

JH Nemechek

3014

-

14

-

5

Ben Rhodes

3013

-

13

1

6

Austin Cindric

3007

-

7

7


2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 6 Drivers:

As the Round of 8 wrapped up at Talladega Superspeedway, below are some quick hits and 2017 statistics on the Round of 6 drivers:

1.    Christopher Bell: The top seed heading into the Round of 6, Christopher Bell has been the top of his class this season. His five wins this season are the most in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He has led a season-high 739 laps and has 13 top fives and 17 top 10s in 19 starts.

2.    Johnny Sauter: Last season’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter is gearing up for another strong championship run this season. He has two wins on the season and has yet to finish outside the top 23 all year. The next two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs races in the Round of 6 are at Martinsville and Texas. Last year’s winner at both? Johnny Sauter. 

3.    Matt Crafton: Two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton has quietly been flying under the radar this season. His lone win of the year came unexpectedly at Eldora as Crafton is known for being a 1.5-mile paved track master. Since the Playoffs began at New Hampshire, Crafton has three-consecutive top-10 finishes. Martinsville and Texas are both places where Crafton has visited Victory Lane. 

4.    John Hunter Nemechek: John Hunter Nemechek survived Talladega to advance to the Round of 6 and now will look for a way to continue advancing. Nemechek has two wins this season and just finds ways to get it done when he needs to. He’s led 100 laps this season and has seven top fives and 10 top 10s.

5.    Ben Rhodes: Ben Rhodes impressively captured his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Round of 8. Now, Rhodes will look for an opportunity to get to Homestead. Ranked fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs standings, Rhodes finished top-20 or better at Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix last season. Will that be enough to get him to Homestead? Rhodes has six top fives this season, with 11 top 10s and has led 160 laps on the year.

6.    Austin Cindric: Austin Cindric is the only remaining NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie left in the 2017 Playoffs field. Since the Playoffs started, Cindric has proved he belongs with the rest. He has finished in the top eight or better in all three races so far and will look to continue that in the Round of 6. He has six top fives this season and 12 top 10s. He has not finished outside the top 15 since Texas in early June.


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Etc.

No Rookie Stripes For These Sunoco Rookies: All nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders have made previous series starts at Martinsville Speedway. Chase Briscoe (11th), Wendell Chavous (23rd), Austin Cindric (21st), Cody Coughlin (19th), Grant Enfinger(17th), Stewart Friesen (25th), Noah Gragson (fourth), Kaz Grala (15th) and Justin Haley (26th) raced in the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway earlier this season. 

NASCAR Next Drivers Looking To Play Spoiler At Martinsville:
NASCAR Next and NASCAR K&N Pro Series drivers Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton will both be racing for Kyle Busch Motorsports this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Gilliland will be in the No. 46 Toyota Tundra, while Burton will be in the No. 51 Toyota Tundra. Gilliland scored a career-best finish (third) at New Hampshire earlier this season, while Burton has a string of top-20 finishes in his five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts this season. 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner Standings Update: Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Toyota Tundra leads GMS Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet Silverado by a narrow 20 points in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner standings after 19 races this season. Kyle Busch’s second entry, the No. 51 Toyota Tundra (-25), ThorSport Racing’s No. 88 Toyota Tundra (-33) and NEMCO Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado (-35) round of the top five. 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Manufacturer Standings Update: Through 19 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season, Toyota leads Chevrolet by 42 points in the manufacturer standings, 713-671. In third place, Ford sits at 602 points.

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