This week the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be racing Friday night, at Nashville Superspeedway.
It's race number four of 25. The trucks are always exciting under the lights on the 1.33-mile tri-oval, and I was happy to see a Spring race date added to the schedule.
Here are my top five picks for the race, along with my Raybestos Rookie of the Race pick and sleeper pick.
1. Ron Hornaday Jr.
In five races at the track, Hornaday has compiled one win, three top-five finishes, three top-10s, led 145 laps, and posted an average start of 12.0 with an average finish of 10.6.
Horn is the "Concrete King," the best on the concrete tracks in the truck series. He'll have a stout truck, be fast, should qualify top-five or higher, and run the majority of the race in the top five.
If he doesn't dominate the race, he should be challenging for the win in the closing laps.
2. Todd Bodine
In five races at the track, Bodine has compiled three top-fives, four top-10s, won one pole, led 99 laps, and posted an average start of 9.32 with an average finish of 6.4.
Bodine will have a decent truck; he and Germain seem to rebound after having a bad outing, and Bodine should be a contender for the win.
If he qualifies well, he'll be among the leaders battling for the win or best possible finish.
3. Rick Crawford
In nine races at the track, Crawford has compiled three top-fives, six top-10s, led 50 laps, and posted an average start of 13.3 with an average finish of 11.8.
Crawford will have chassis CB-21 at Nashville; it's the teams workhorse on the intermediate tracks, and its last start was a top-10 finish at Atlanta.
He should have a fast truck. A good qualifying spot and pit strategy will help him get track position.
Crawford and Starland could use a late caution to get up front, then battle hard for the win or best possible finish.
4. Mike Skinner
In six races at the track, Skinner has two top-fives, three top-10s, won two poles, and posted an average start of 7.2 with an average finish of 10.6.
Skinner should have a decent truck and be fast, but he, too, needs to qualify well. He should be among the lead pack, with a good handling truck, and he may challenge for the win or battle his way to the best possible finish.
5. Johnny Sauter
As a rookie last season, Sauter ran a really good race and battled hard for a sixth-place finish.
Sauter should be another with a really good truck and should qualify top-10 or better. He could challenge for the win with his truck handling well in the closing laps.
My Raybestos Rookie of the Race Pick: Justin Lofton
Going with Lofton, since he ran a really good race in ARCA at the track in 2008 and picked up a top-five finish.
Lofton should have a decent truck, needs to qualify top-15, needs to stay out of trouble, and should finish 11th to 15th.
My Sleeper Picks: David Starr and Timothy Peters
This week I have two sleepers—couldn't decide which one to pick— and decided to go with both drivers.
In eight races at the track, Starr has compiled three top-fives, four top-10s, led 40 laps, and posted an average start of 12.4 with an average finish of 10.6.
In four races at the track, Peters has compiled one top-five, one top-10, won one pole, led 33 laps, and posted an average start of 7.2 with an average finish of 17.8.
Crew chief Jeff Hensley will be an asset for Peters. Peters may use pit strategy to steal a win, but he will probably be battling for another top-five finish.
Matt Crafton, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, and Brad Keselowski just missed the cut.
Dennis Setzer, Rick Carmichael, Jason White, Steve Wallace, Jason Buescher and Tayler Malsam could all factor in as well.
Now, I didn't forget Kevin Harvick—it's just that I think the bubble will burst and he'll get knocked out of the way in the closing laps and finish top-15.
It should be an awesome race. Nashville is a fun race with the trucks and a fan favorite.
It's always neat to see the drivers and teams celebrate with the trophy—a one-of-a-kind Sam Bass hand-painted Les Paul Guitar—and unless Rowdy wins, it won't get smashed.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com