Column By: SHANE CARLSON / RPW – MARTINSVILLE, VA – The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rolls into Martinsville Speedway after a few weeks off for the fourth race of the season this weekend. So far, we’ve seen three different winners in three races, (Saunter, Moffitt, Busch) and the trend could well continue this weekend. No Cup regulars are entered in the race, so it’s wide open among the Truck teams to get a win a punch their ticket to the playoffs.
Expect high drama, both on and off the track. There’s only so much room on the half-mile paperclip, and more often than not, there’s not enough room. The trucks are packed within inches of each other all day long, and as the race wears on, patience wears thin. Bumpers are on the trucks for a reason, and they’ll get used to root trucks up and out of the way if they need to. The veterans like Matt Crafton, Johnny Saunter and Timothy Peters will run well if they can manage to qualify well and stay out of trouble.
The sparks on the track during the race sometimes have a tendency to boil over to pit road and beyond after the race is over. Feuds and rivalries are what short track racing is built on and what makes racing great, and places like Martinsville are where those rivalries show their true colors. Martinsville can be a war of attrition, and the winner on Saturday afternoon is bound to have a few battle scars.
Alpha Energy Solutions 250
Saturday, March 24
2:00 PM ET
TV: FOX SPORTS 1
Radio: Motor Racing Network
My Pick to Win is…
No. 92 BTS Tire & Wheel/CARQUEST Auto Parts Ford
Ricky Benton Racing
In Peters’ last four starts at Martinsville Speedway dating back to 2015, he has finishes of sixth, two fifth-place finishes, and an eighth-place finish. That’s pretty solid. His lone win at the short track came back in 2012, so he does know how to get it done, but it’s been a while. No longer running full-time, Peters lost his ride when Red Horse Racing ceased operations. A quality driver capable of getting to Victory Lane, Peters is showcasing his talents for a full-time ride and a good showing this weekend may propel him to landing somewhere where he can be racing every weekend.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Power Rankings
- Johnny Saunter: Like most athletes, this guy hates to lose. He struggled throughout the race in Vegas with handling issues, but rallied to finish second to Kyle Busch. He’s been the most consistent driver so far this season, and that has him atop the standings.
- Brett Moffitt: Moffitt has a win and a third-place finish in his last two races, and suddenly the No. 16 Toyota Tundra team has awakened.
- Grant Infringer: The full-time ride with Torpor Racing is paying off for the driver of the No. 98 Ford F-150. Three top-10s in three starts, and he’s looking to best his season-high finish of fourth this weekend.
- Ben Rhodes: Another driver from the Torpor Racing stable, Rhodes also has scored a top-10 in every race this year. The young driver was less-than-stellar in his last Martinsville start, but having a little experience at the half-mile is better than not having any.
- Noah Grigson: Grigson outfoxed Matt Crafton on the high side on a late restart last year to capture his first win. He’s been running up front and looking like a potential playoff contender, and he’s setting his sights on going back-to-back in the Martinsville spring race.