Column By: SHANE CARLSON / RPW – LAS VEGAS, NV – The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to the desert this weekend as they kick off the first race of a NASCAR triple-header this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Las Vegas marks the third race of the season for the trucks. The season’s opening two races have been won by drivers chasing a championship in the series, with Johnny Sauter winning at Daytona, and Brett Moffitt victorious last week at Atlanta. The trend of full-time truckers winning could continue this weekend, but Las Vegas native Kyle Busch stands in their way.
Last week in Atlanta, Busch won the pole and led the most laps, (67) but was relegated to a 21st-place finish after his left-rear tire came off his No. 4 Toyota Tundra due to a miscommunication on pit road. Needless to say, Busch will be hungry to avenge last week’s debacle and try to capture his 50th career Truck Series win.
Historically, this race has been won by Truck Series regulars, and with 30 drivers other than Kyle Busch set to take the green flag on Friday night, there’s plenty of drivers out there that are going to try and make a name for themselves on the 1.5-mile asphalt intermediate track.
My Pick to Win is…
No. 88 Black Label Bacon/Menards Ford F-150
Over his last three starts at Las Vegas, Crafton has scored two eighth-place finishes and a seenth-place finish. He has never won in Vegas, finishing as high as second on three occasions. In 17 starts, he has 10 top-10s and six top-fives. Last week, he rebounded from a dismal Daytona to finish fifth in Atlanta. I think Crafton and his No. 88 team is ready to bring Ford back to Victory Lane in Vegas for just the fifth time in 21 Truck races held at the mile-and-a-half.
Friday, March 2
9:00 PM ET
TV: FOX SPORTS 1
Radio: Motor Racing Network
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Power Rankings
- Johnny Sauter: A win and a third-place run in Atlanta have Sauter atop the Power Rankings for a second-straight week. Last Week: 1
- Ben Rhodes: Rhodes is off to a good start, with two fourth-place finishes to open the season. He has to feel confident rolling into Las Vegas, as he is the defending winner. Last Week: 3
- Brett Moffitt: Moffitt scored his second career win last week, his first for Hattori Racing Enterprises and first in team history. The move to put Moffitt in the seat after releasing Ryan Truex looks good so far. Last Week: Not Ranked
- Grant Enfinger: Two top-10s have Enfinger sitting quietly at number three in the point standings, and in good equipment, as he has, he could get a win before long. Last Week: Not Ranked
- Matt Crafton: The only reason he’s number five is due to his poor finish in Daytona, but he has a chance to climb the ladder this weekend as my pick to win. Last Week: Not Ranked