Top Five Picks for the Kroger 250 Truck Race (UPDATED)
Due to a driver change with the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 18, Busch won't be running the Truck race Saturday and Brian Ickler will be. So I re-edited my picks, eliminating Busch, moved Horn to fifth and changed my sleeper pick.
This week the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be racing Saturday afternoon at the historic Martinsville Speedway.
It's race number three of 25 and the trucks will be beatin' and bangin' and playing a game of survival for the win.
Here are my top five picks for the race, along with a sleeper pick and my Raybestos Rookie of the Race pick.
1) Mike Skinner
In 14 races at the track, Skinner has compiled three wins, six top-fives, nine top-10s, two poles, led 593 laps, has an average start of 8.6, and a average finish of 11.9.
Skinner will have the oldest truck chassis in the fleet of Toyota Tundras and it's the one that he won three races with in 2009.
He'll have a really stout truck, be fast, and should qualify on the pole. I expect he'll lead most of the race, if not he'll be near the front and in the closing laps will challenge for the win.
1) Dennis Setzer
In 20 races at the track, Setzer has compiled three wins, eight top-fives, 13 top-10s, led 458 laps, has an average start of 14.0, and an average finish of 10.2.
Never look over Setzer at Martinsville. He's one of two multiple winners and it doesn't matter the quality of his equipment—he's always tough on the "Paperclip."
He's in a one-race deal this weekend with RBR Motorsports and he should be challenging for the win by race end.
Setzer will use pit strategy, probably make one stop, and will need to qualify top-10 or better. He'll be tough, but should he qualify bad it won't matter since he'll battle his way to the front and challenge for the win.
I have Skinner and Setzer winning the race because I couldn't decide which driver to go with because both are equally good on this track.
3) Timothy Peters
In eight races at the track, Peters has compiled one win, one top-five, four top-10s, led 130 laps, has an average start of 11.9, and an average finish of 15.2.
Peters always seems to run well on his home track. He should have another fast truck, needs to qualify well, and should be among the leaders up front.
I expect he may lead a segment of the race, feel he'll race the majority of the race in the top-five, and challenge for the win or the best possible finish.
4) Kevin Harvick
In nine races at the track, Harvick has compiled one win, four top-fives, five top-10s, led 11 laps, has an average start of 9.3, and an average finish of 11.6.
Harvick will have another brand new chassis. He has won four of five races when breaking in one of his own stout trucks.
He should qualify on the outside pole position, be fast, lead a segment of the race, and should be among the leaders challenging for the win or the best possible finish.
5) Ron Hornaday Jr.
In 15 races at the track, Horn has compiled six top-fives, nine top-10s, one pole, led 231 laps, has an average start of 15.4, and a average finish of 10.6.
Horn will have a stout truck, be fast, and qualify top-five. He should run top-10 most of the race, and in the closing laps the wily veteran will challenge for the win or the best possible finish.
My Raybestos Rookie of the Race Pick: Jennifer Jo Cobb
All four of this year's rookie class are making their debuts at Martinsville so I'm looking at it as a survival of the fittest and which one will be the last rookie standing.
So I'm picking Cobb to be the top-finishing rookie, she should stay out of trouble and finish top-20 or better.
My Sleeper Pick: Johnny Benson Jr.
In 12 races at the track, Benson has compiled one win, four top-fives, six top-10 finishes, led 46 laps, has an average start of 15.2 and and an average finish of 13.7.
JB who's been struggling to get back in the driver seat, will be driving the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports at Martinsville and right now it looks like a one race day.
He should have a decent truck, no doubt he'll be fast and needs to qualify well. Sure we'll see him among the leaders, he should challenge for the win or race for the best possible finish.
It would be pretty cool to see him have a good race, even win if he has the truck to do. Since we very well could see him signed by Ballew to drive the truck for the season or longer.
Rick Crawford, Matt Crafton, and Todd Bodine just miss the cut.
Aric Almirola, Johnny Sauter, Tayler Malsam, Ricky Carmichael, Ken Schrader, and David Starr could all factor in as well.
It should be a really exciting race. Nothing is better than seeing the trucks on the "Paperclip" and it's a battle of survival for the winner.
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