Top Five Picks For The North Carolina Education Lottery 200
This week the NASCAR World Truck Series will be racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NC Education Lottery 200.
It's race No. 7 of 25 races. It's a track were Chevrolet has dominated winning every race since the inaugural event in 2003 and features some exciting three-wide racing action.
Here's my top-five picks, along with my Raybestos Rookie of the Race pick and my Sleeper pick.
1) Kyle Busch
In five races at the track, Busch has compiled two wins, three top-fives, four top-10 finishes, won one pole, led 259 laps, has an average start of 6.2 and an average finish of 4.6.
Busch should have a really fast Toyota, be fast and should qualify top-three.
He'll either lead a portion of the race or may dominate the race, but regardless he'll be there in the end vying for the win.
1) Ron Hornaday Jr.
In five races at the track, Horn has compiled two wins, three top-fives, three top-10 finishes, led 128 laps, has an average start of 5.2 and an average finish of 8.2.
Horn will have another stout Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet, be wicked fast and should qualify top-five or better.
He should lead some laps, spend the majority of the race in the top-five and in the closing laps will battle hard for the win.
This week, I couldn't decide which one of the two to pick for the win. They are the only multiple winners at the track in trucks and have won four of the last five races.
It'll come down to who has the best truck after the last pit stop.
3) Matt Crafton
In seven races at the track, Crafton has compiled one win, two top-fives, seven top-10 finishes, led 29 laps, has an average start of 13.6 and an average finish of 6.6.
Crafton will be another in a stout KHI Chevrolet, be fast and will need to qualify well.
He should run the majority of the race in the top-10, with a good truck in the closing laps he'll either battle for the win or a top-five finish.
4) Johnny Sauter
As a rookie he started 18th, ran a decent race and finished 13th. His two wins have come on 1.5 mile tracks and he usually runs well on tracks this size.
Sauter will have a stout KHI Chevrolet, be fast and should qualify top-five.
He should be racing in the lead pack, may even lead some laps and will battle hard for a top-five finish.
5) Mike Skinner
In six races at the track, Skinner has compiled two top-10 finishes, won three poles, led 128 laps, has an average start of 2.0 and an average finish of 19.8.
Skinner will have his oldest truck chassis at Charlotte, will be fast and should qualify on the pole.
He should lead a portion of the race, but expect him to fade in the latter stages of the race and hang on for a top-five finish.
My Raybestos Rookie of the Race Pick: Austin Dillon
I'm going again this week with Dillon, based on how well he ran three weeks ago at Kansas picking up a career best finish of sixth.
Dillon will have another wicked good KHI Chevrolet's, be fast and should qualify top-five or on the pole.
He'll be racing in the top-10 most of the race, with a good truck in the closing laps we should see him battle hard for his first top-five finish.
My Sleeper Pick: Dennis Setzer
In seven races at the track, Setzer has compiled one win, one top-five, five top-10 finishes, led 11 laps, has an average start of 18.4 and an average finish of 11.0.
Setzer has had some really good races at the track, he'll race smart and will need to qualify well.
We could see him use pit strategy with a late caution to get track position and very well may battle his way to a top-five finish or better.
Aric Almirola, Timothy Petters and Elliott Sadler just missed the cut.
Todd Bodine, Tayler Malsam, Ricky Carmichael, James Buescher, Jason White and Brad Keselowski.
It should be another classic Charlotte truck race. It'll be exciting to see the streak continue for a fourth race with the Truck drivers showing up the Cup stars on All-Star weekend.
The big questions will be.
Will Toyota finally get it's first win?
Will Chevrolet's dominance continue with another win?
Is it really Busch versus Hornaday for the win?
Or will another driver step-up for the win?
Photo Credit: zimbio.com
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