Toyota has been by far the top manufacturer in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series action at the Talladega Superspeedway. They’ve won five of the last six races on the 2.66-mile Alabama superspeedway and nine of the last 11 overall. Can they continue this trend in Saturday’s Fr8Auctions 250 (1 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)?
If so, that’s good news for Toyota drivers Noah Gragson and Brett Moffitt. Both sit in the top six of the Truck Series playoff standings and if they can remain there when the checkered flag drops this weekend, then they’ll make it onto the next round.
But, two other organizations are looking to bump at least one of them out.
Both GMS Racing and ThorSport are hoping to make up five of the six spots into the second round of the playoffs. Currently, one GMS driver (Justin Haley) and one ThorSport driver (Grant Enfinger) have clinched spots into the next round. Haley, won at CTMP while Enfinger won the last race in Las Vegas. That leaves four spots open for six drivers.
One of those spots should go to another GMS driver in Johnny Sauter. He’s 40 points clear of the bubble and won the other restrictor plate race this season at Daytona.
That basically leaves three spots for five drivers.
Gragson is +23 but he only finished 23rd at Daytona earlier this year and 14th last season in Talladega. He also has just one top five finish over his last seven starts on the season. Moffitt is +18 but was just 26th at Daytona in February. He did finish 10th in this very race last year but has just two top 10 finishes over his last five starts on the season.
That’s great news for the two remaining ThorSport drivers.
Matt Crafton is +7 but he’s a crafty veteran and knows what to do to get by. His teammate Ben Rhodes is -7 but he did finish fourth at Daytona earlier this year but was only 23rd last season at Talladega. He can make those seven points up easily on Saturday but can he make up 18?
Stage points are his key in doing so and going out and winning. Crafton, is 11 points behind Moffitt then, he can make up that ground too.
If Gragson or Moffitt get bumped out in favor or Crafton and Rhodes, then GMS and ThorSport will have five of the six drivers continuing on.