This week the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series gets back to racing after a two week layoff at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Its race No. 2 of 25. The trucks are always exciting on the 1.54 mile quad oval and it makes for some exciting three-wide action.
Here are my top five picks for the race, along with my Raybestos Rookie of the Race pick and sleeper pick.
1) Rowdy Busch
In five races at the track, Busch has compiled four wins, four top-fives, five top-10 finishes, one pole, led 191 laps, has an average start of 3.0, and an average finish of 2.4.
Busch has owned the track winning, three of the last four races, and will be a factor in the race in Kyle Busch Motorsports equipment.
He should have a decent truck, be fast, and qualify well. Busch probably will dominate the race early, if not he will be near the front to challenge for the win.
We very well may see his team use pit strategy, taking four tires on a late caution flag, and try to steal there first win.
Banking on fresh rubber to be the difference for the win.
2) Mike Skinner
In 10 races at the track, Skinner has compiled one win, five top-fives, six top-10 finishes, three poles, led 197 laps, has an average start of 4.0, and an average finish of 13.0.
He should have a decent truck, be fast, and should qualify well. Skinner should run top five most of the race, may use pit strategy to get the lead, and should be there challenging for the win or a top-five finish.
3) Ron Hornaday Jr.
In nine races at the track, Hornaday has compiled one win, four top-fives, five top-10 finishes, two poles, led 264 laps, has an average start of 12.6, and an average finish of 8.8.
He should unload with a stout truck, be fast, and qualify top-three, maybe even win the pole. Horn should be among the leaders all day. Expect him with a decent-handling truck late to challenge for the win or settle for a top-five finish.
4) Todd Bodine
In nine races at the track, Bodine has compiled one win, five top-fives, six top-10 finishes, one pole, led 107 laps, has an average start of 7.8, and an average finish of 9.1.
He will be another one with a decent trucks, qualify top-10, and be fast. Bodine is another one that will be up front most of the race and be challenging for the win or a top-five finish.
5) Matt Crafton
In 10 races at the track, Crafton has compiled three top-fives, five top-10 finishes, has an average start of 17.6, and an average finish of 11.6.
He should have a decent truck, especially since it's from KHI, be fast, and will need to qualify well. Crafton is deceiving since he's on a hot streak right now, but you can't always judge by stats and don't bet against him having a great finish.
Crafton should be there challenging for the win or will battle his way to a top-five finish.
My Raybestos Rookie of the Race Pick: Austin Dillon
This one was tough, since none of the four rookies have run on the track and will be making their debuts.
So I decide to go with the team with the most experience by picking Austin Dillon. I figure he could have a top-15 or better finish. I hope I picked it right since Brett Butler could challenge him for top rookie honors.
My Sleeper Pick: Kevin Harvick
In last years' race, Harvick led 68 laps, and finished second to Busch by 0.122 seconds. He also has an average start of 3.0 and an average finish of 2.0.
He'll have a stout brand new truck, be fast, could challenge Horn in both practices, and challenge for the pole or at least the outside pole position.
Harvick will be amongst the lead pack all race long and very easily could dominate the race. Expect him to be there in the closing laps challenging for the win or pick up another top-five finish.
Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, and Tayler Malsam just missed the cut.
Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, David Starr, Jason White, Rick Crawford, Justin Lofton, and Ricky Carmichael could all factor in as well.
It should be an awesome race. Always felt that with the race length the trucks run at 130 laps it makes this race all that more exciting. It should be another classic finish at one of the fastest tracks they'll run on.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com