The final race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season is up as Thursday night’s UNOH 200 (8:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at the Bristol Motor Speedway will set the eight drivers field for the 2018 playoffs. At the moment, there’s a seven driver race for the final three spots. Really, unless someone outside of the top eight of the playoff standings win Thursday night’s race on the high banked Tennessee oval, then the eight that are currently in will be locked in.
Grant Enfinger (+147), Stewart Friesen (+133) and Matt Crafton (+94) are hoping that Myatt Snider, Cody Coughlin, Dalton Sargeant or Todd Gilliland don’t win because if they don’t, then those three will make the playoffs as wildcards. They have enough points to not have to worry. It’s just that they need for one of those four to not win.
Two of the final three spots (Enfinger and Crafton) belong to ThorSport Racing. They’re trying to join their teammate Ben Rhodes into the postseason and give the team three of the eight drivers vying for the title. Realistically, one of them will definitely make it. But, for the sake of reality, it’s going to likely come down to Enfinger and Crafton vs. the Kyle Busch Motorsports duo of Gilliland and Harrison Burton for these spots.
Burton, isn’t eligible to make this year’s playoffs but he can certainly win this week or help his teammate. He won the K&N East race at Bristol last year and finished second this past spring. In three Truck Series starts this year, he’s improved in each race. He went from eighth to Martinsville to fifth in Dover to third at Iowa. Trends say a win is coming under the lights on Thursday.
But, Gilliland is just as good as Burton at Bristol. He won that K&N East race this past spring and enters this weekend with three top seven finishes in his last four starts on the season. I wouldn’t be shocked if either win on Thursday. If so, then someone already in is out.
Enfinger, finished fourth in this race last year and leads Crafton by 53 points in the standings. He has five straight top 10’s on the season. Crafton, hasn’t won a race on pavement in nearly two years but finished second at Bristol last year and has five top 10 finishes in his last six Bristol starts. He also has four straight top 10 finishes on the season too.
As you can see, this is going to be an intense fight for the final few playoff spots on Thursday.