This week, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be racing Friday night under the lights at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
It's race No. 12 of 25. ORP is the other speedway in Indianapolis. It's a .686-mile oval short track that races like a big track and a multipurpose racing facility.
Here are my top-five picks, my Raybestos Rookie of the Race pick, and my sleeper pick.
1) Ron Hornaday Jr.
In 10 races at the track, Horn has compiled three wins, seven top-fives, seven top 10 finishes, led 376 laps, has an average start of 6.1, and an average finish of 9.1.
Horn will have another stout Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet; he should be fast and qualify top-five or better.
He's top dog on the short track in the series, with 20 career wins and counting.
If he already isn't dominating the race, he'll be amongst the lead pack and in position to battle for the win.
2) Mike Skinner
In 10 races at the track, Skinner has compiled two wins, three top fives, four top 10 finishes, won two poles, led 432 laps, has an average start of 7.1, and an average finish of 13.8.
Skinner will be racing his favorite chassis, be fast, and will need to qualify well.
He's one of the best on short tracks. He should be racing amongst the lead pack and could challenge for the win in the closing laps.
3) James Buescher
As a rookie, Buescher started the race 17th, ran one of his best races of the season in CBR, and finished sixth.
Buescherwill be another one with a stout KHI Chevrolet; he should be fast and will qualify in the top 10.
This could be the breakout race for him. He should be amongst the lead pack, and with a good truck, challenge for the win or battle hard for a top five finish.
4) Matt Crafton
In nine races at the track, Crafton has compiled two top fives, six top 10 finishes, led 22 laps, has an average start of 12.7, and an average finish of 10.2.
Crafton will also have one of those stout KHI Chevrolet's, be fast, and need to qualify well.
With a good truck early, he very easily could be amongst the lead pack, and even lead some laps. If his truck is bad early in the race, I expect he'll rally to a top five finish.
5) Aric Almirola
In three races at the track, Almirola has compiled one top five, two top 10 finishes, has an average start of 16.0, and an average finish of 11.3.
Almirola will have a really good Toyota, be fast, and should qualify in the top 10.
He should be amongst the lead pack for the majority of the race, maybe even lead some laps, and depending on how good his truck is, lead in the closing laps.
He'll either battle for the win or a best possible finish in the top five.
My Raybestos Rookie of the Race pick: Austin Dillon
Dillon ran a Nationwide race at ORP, started 26th, ran a good race to finish 18th.
He'll have another really good Chevrolet, will be fast, and qualify in the top five or better.
Dillon should run a really smart race, be there for the end, and pick up a top 10 finish or better. His crew chief Danny Stockman will be a big help for him this week, keeping him focused and calm.
My Sleeper Pick is: Dennis Setzer
In 13 races at the track, Setzer has compiled one win, three top fives, nine top 10 finishes, won one pole, led 294 laps, has an average start of 11.9, and an average finish of 9.2.
Setzer is one of the top short track drivers in the series. He's won in junk before, so quality of the ride doesn't matter and he should quietly work his way into the top 10.
Friday will be no different; qualifying really won't matter to him, and by race end he'll quietly battle his way to a top 10 finish or better.
Kyle Busch, Todd Bodine, and Johnny Sauter just missed the cut.
Timothy Peters, Ricky Carmichael, David Starr, and Jason White could all factor in as well.
ORP is one of my favorite truck tracks. Nothing tops the trucks beatin' and bangin' on each other, leaving donuts on the doors and crinkling the bumpers while battling for the win under the lights.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com
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