Column By: SHANE CARLSON / RPW – NEWTON, IA – The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is set to put on a Saturday night short track shootout at Iowa Speedway. The Series’ ninth race of the season, Johnny Sauter rolls into Iowa coming off his fourth win of 2018 and looks to continue the trend as he finished second in this race last year.
Iowa Speedway is a unique 7/8-mile short track that doesn’t know it’s a short track. It races like a superspeedway with multiple grooves and provides plenty of opportunities for passing. A set of bumps going into Turn 1 force drivers to navigate the entrance to the first turn carefully or risk upsetting the balance of the truck.
Last year, John Hunter Nemechek used pit strategy to win this race, his second win in a row as he won at Gateway the week prior. Johnny Sauter led 72 laps but had to settle for a second-place finish.
One of the best things about night races is the transition the track undergoes throughout the race. The green flag will drop with the sun still shining with a hot race surface. As the sun goes down, the track will cool down, grip levels will go up and the action should get hot.
Track: Iowa Speedway
Race: M&M’s 200 presented by Casey’s General Store
Date: Saturday, June 16
Time: 7 PM ET
Length: 200 laps, 175 miles
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: Motor Racing Network
My Pick to win is…
No. 52 We Build America Chevrolet Silverado
Halmar Friesen Racing
He’s going to win one at some point and Friesen has as good a shot to win at Iowa Speedway as anywhere the Truck Series races. Friesen is riding a wave of momentum with three consecutive finishes within the top-six and career-best runner-up finish to Johnny Sauter last week at Texas Motor Speedway. Iowa Speedway has a knack for producing first-time winners and Stewart Friesen looks to add his name to the list.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Power Rankings
- Johnny Sauter: Four wins in eight races to start the season. Sauter finished second in this race last year.
- Noah Gragson: Another top-10 for the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver last week in Texas and as he was 10th. Gragson is second in the standings behind Sauter and could be a threat to win Saturday night as the KBM trucks run well at Iowa.
- Stewart Friesen: Nearly got his first win last week in Texas but fell short to Johnny Sauter. Friesen continues to show he’s not just an East Coast dirt racer.
- Grant Enfinger: Quietly having a strong season, Enfinger is coming off a fourth-place finish in Texas and looks to get his first win of 2018 at Iowa on Saturday night.
- Matt Crafton: The veteran hasn’t lit it up yet in 2018 as he has in the past, but ThorSport continues to get their arms around the new Fords they’re running this year and a top-five in Texas last week could the launching point the No. 88 team needs.