MARTINSVILLE, Va – As of now, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the Martinsville (VA) Speedway is scheduled to run on Saturday afternoon. That’s as of now. Whenever we run the Alpha Energy Resources 250 (2 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), here are the top five favorites to watch.
The two-time Martinsville race winner was off to a fast start this weekend. In a trio of practice sessions from the .526-mile paperclip on Friday, Crafton was third, first and second respectively in his No. 88 Ford. On top of that, he should have won the last time the Truck Series was there. He started second, led 102 laps and finished there. Furthermore, Crafton has led at least 20 laps in five of his last eight starts in Martinsville. Among those eight finishes, are five top three efforts.
He already said he’s seeking redemption this weekend. I think he gets it.
Might as well keep the veteran theme going. Sauter, has three straight top three finishes on the short track, including a win in 2016. During the season, he hasn’t finished worse than third all year. On top of that, the GMS Racing driver has nine top 10 finishes in his last 10 Martinsville starts. He was fourth in two of the three practice sessions on Friday and seventh in the other.
Watch out for his No. 21 Chevrolet on Saturday.
It’s been a pretty solid start to the 2018 season for Enfinger. He finished sixth at Daytona, ninth in Atlanta and fourth at Las Vegas. Now, he has his sights set on a good result in Martinsville. While he’s yet to finish in the top 10 in three career tries, I think he does on Saturday. Enfinger, was sixth quickest in the opening session on Friday, eighth in the second and fastest in his No. 98 Ford in final practice.
I like his chances.
He wasn’t as fast as I thought he’d be on Friday, chiming in in second, sixth and ninth respectively on single lap runs, but Gragson was second and seventh on the 10-lap average chart. His No. 18 Toyota was strong last year as he earned his first and only Truck Series win so far the last time the series was at the paperclip. He finished fourth and first respectively in 2017 and I sense he has another top five coming on Saturday.
John Hunter Nemechek
His finishes haven’t been there yet in 2018, but maybe that changes on Saturday. Nemechek was 25th at Daytona and 21st in Vegas so far this year. Last year in Martinsville, the second generation driver was 28th and 30th respectively. Stats say not to put him on this list. But, if you look at the bigger picture, you kind of have to.
Prior to last year, Nemechek had three straight top three finishes in Martinsville, two of which runner-ups. In practice on Friday, he was fourth, 14th and seventh respectively on single lap runs. But, on the 10 lap average chart, he was third and first respectively over the final two sessions. With him not running for points, his No. 8 Chevrolet can be aggressive up front.