The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series held two practices sessions from the Dover International Speedway on Thursday, as the drivers will qualify on Friday afternoon and race on Friday evening. With that being said, plenty of storylines surround Friday’s JEGS 200 (5 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Here are the top five.
After a four-week long break, the series is back in action on the Monster Mile. It’s been seven years since the series has come back to action after a long early season hiatus, like this one, to Dover. The last time was in 2011 when Kyle Busch raced to the finish for the win. This weekend, Busch won’t be racing, so it will be interesting to see how the race goes early on with most of these drivers not being able to race in nearly a month.
Sauter’s Race To Lose?
Johnny Sauter won his first race at Dover last season in the No. 21 Allegiant Airlines Chevrolet, where he led the last 33 laps of the race. Aside from his one win at the track, he has four top fives and six top 10s. Of the 32 drivers who started the race last spring, only 18 of them finished due to crashes and various mechanical issues.
This is Sauter’s 16th year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and at the finish of last season, he had the most season wins of his career with four. This season, he has already taken home one victory at the series opener at Daytona International Speedway. He started in the second position and led 35 laps.
Sauter’s season has been a very good one so far – starting with his victory at Daytona, he then finished third at Atlanta Motor Speedway and second at Las Vegas. He finished 19th in the race at Martinsville.
If Sauter can take home the victory at Dover for the second year in a row, he’ll have two reasons to rejoice as he celebrated his 40th birthday on Tuesday, May 1.
Sauter is currently the driver standings with 181-points; followed by Grant Enfinger in the No. 98 CURB Records Ford with 152-points, and Brett Moffitt placing third in the standings in No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota with 150-points.
Of the three, Enfinger is the only one without a win this season as Moffitt took home the victory in Atlanta where he started in the 10th position and led only 2 laps.
Gilliland Family Reunion
When you see two trucks on track sporting the name “Gilliland” on the back window, you won’t be imagining things. For the first time, veteran driver David Gilliland and his Sunoco Rookie of the Year-contending son Todd will face off against each other in a NASCAR national series race.
Todd will be entered in just his second race of the 2018 campaign behind the wheel of the No. 4 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Dover this Friday.
He isn’t eligible to compete on intermediate tracks or superspeedways until he reaches his 18th birthday on May 15. So, Todd had to sit on the sidelines and watch a cast of substitute drivers pilot his truck at Daytona, Atlanta and Las Vegas – and will again at Kansas before he’s in the seat for the remainder of the season starting at Charlotte.
His dad drove it in the season-opener at Daytona before his truck owner, Kyle Busch, took over for Atlanta and Spencer Davis drove it in Las Vegas.
It wasn’t easy for Todd to sit back and watch other drivers pilot his truck. “It’s been very hard. I’m a racer and all I want to do is race. Seeing other people jump in the truck you are going to be in the rest of the year is really tough, but you have to take every opportunity you have to learn and catch up to the guys who already have three more races worth of experience than I do.”
In his first race of 2018, Todd drove to a 14th-place finish at Martinsville after starting 23rd.
Todd competed in six Camping World Truck Series races in 2017, posting a pair of top fives and three top 10s. He had a best finish of third at New Hampshire and crossed the line fifth at Martinsville in the fall.
David is racing the No. 54 Toyota for DGR-CROSLEY Racing – a team that was formed when David Gilliland Racing and CROSLEY Sports Group joined forces for the 2018 season. The organization, which fields late model, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, ARCA and Camping World Truck Series entries, is co-owned by David and Bo LeMastus.
David has 11 series starts under his belt and won the pole this season at Daytona while driving his son’s No. 4 KBM entry. He’s taken the green flag 333 times in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, including in the 2018 Daytona 500. He has a trio of poles (all on superspeedways), four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in NASCAR’s premier series.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Dover International Speedway are always ones to remember, especially when there have been so many notable trends throughout the years.
From 2008 to 2014, Toyota was the victorious manufacturer at Dover. That was until 2015, when Tyler Reddick in a Ford took the win.
Toyota came back for one year in 2016 with a Matt Crafton win but Johnny Sauter’s win last year in the No. 21 Chevrolet made that a quick in-and-out for Toyota.
If Sauter can pull off another victory this weekend, the Chevrolet will have won two in a row at Dover, something that has never happened for the manufacturer in this series at Dover.
Here’s a quick look at some numbers associated with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Dover:
3 – Three different drivers have won from the pole at Dover – Kyle Busch (2014), Scott Riggs (2001) and Kurt Busch (2000)
4 – Kyle Busch’s four truck series wins at Dover are the most among all race winners. In fact, Kyle Busch is the only driver to have multiple truck series wins at the Monster Mile.
5 – Five times the race winner has started 10th or worse.
5.7 – Average starting position of the race winner at Dover.
15 – The farthest back in the field a driver has come from to win the race (Ron Hornaday, Jr. – 2007).
17 – Matt Crafton’s 17 starts in the truck series at Dover are most among all drivers (he has participated in all but the inaugural series race at the track).
18 – There have been 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Dover International Speedway.
2000 – The first truck series race at Dover was run in 2000 and was won by Kurt Busch.