This week the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be racing Friday night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
It's race No. eight of 25. The trucks are always exciting on the very fast multi-grooved oval and its three wide racing action.
Here are my top five picks for the race, along with my Raybestos Rookie of the Race pick, and my sleeper pick.
1) Todd Bodine
In 11 races at the track, Bodine has compiled five wins, eight top-fives, eight top-10 finishes, won one pole, led 199 laps, has an average start of 8.6, and an average finish of 10.7.
Bodine will have his favorite chassis this week. It'll be wicked fast and should qualify well inside the top-10.
He should be fast, and can even dominate the race, but if not, he'll work his way to the lead and battle for the win in closing laps.
2) Ron Hornaday Jr.
In 14 races at the track, Hornaday has compiled two wins, five top-fives, nine top-10 finishes, led 631 laps, has an average start of 8.6, and an average finish of 10.7.
Horn will have another stout Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet, be very fast, and will collect his first pole at Texas.
He should lead some laps and could challenge for the win, but it's a track where he could pick up some point positions.
We could see him opted for the best possible finish, if his truck isn't good in the closing laps and thinking of the big picture regarding the title.
3) Mike Skinner
In 12 races at the track, Skinner has compiled six top-fives, 10 top-10 finishes, won five poles, led 458 laps, has an average start of 5.1, and an average finish of 6.1.
Skinner will have his oldest chassis, be wicked fast and will need to qualify well.
He's racing at one of his better tracks and still looking for his first win, but should be tough and with a good truck late in the race.
Skinner could challenge for the win or battle for a top-five finish.
4) Johnny Sauter
In three races at the track, Sauter has compiled two top-10 finishes, led 42 laps, has an average start of 14.4, and an average finish of 7.7.
Sauter will have another stout KHI Chevrolet, be very fast, and should qualify for the top-10.
He's usually very good on 1.5 mile tracks, could very well lead some laps early, be racing amongst the lead pack most of the race and could challenge for the win or battle hard for a top-five finish.
5) Johnny Benson Jr.
In 10 races at the track, Benson has compiled six top-fives, six top-10 finishes, led 16 laps, has an average start of 9.0 and an average finish of 11.9.
Benson will have a really good Busch hand me down Tundra, be fast and needs to qualify well.
He should run the majority of the race in the top-10 and it'll depend on how well he can race using Busch's set-up, whether he'll challenge for the win or points race for a top-five finish.
My Raybestos Rookie of the Race pick is : Austin Dillon
While Lofton has definitely been running better, this week it came down to Dillon having two top-10 finishes on 1.5 mile tracks versus none for Lofton.
Dillon will have another fast KHI hand-me down, will probably qualify top-five, and I figure he'll pick up another top-10 or get his first career top-five finish.
My Sleeper Pick is: Ken Schrader
He's ran one race at Texas, started 12th, and picked up an eighth place finish.
It's cool that Schrader's back running in the truck series with KHI. He'll have a wicked fast truck, should qualify top-12 and pick up a top-10 finish.
Aric Almirola, Matt Crafton, and Timothy Peters just missed the cut.
David Starr, James Buescher, Ricky Carmichael, and Jason White could all factor in as well.
I've always loved the trucks at TMS, it's the fastest 1.5 mile track the series visits and multi-grooved, it leads to some very exciting racing.
Photo Credit: motorracingnetwork.com
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