After taking a rather long break after an exciting season opener, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is geared up to return this weekend. NASCAR’s third tier series will be making its short track debut this season during the Kroger 250 at the Martinsville Speedway. The track is famous for having tight turns and being shaped like a paper clip.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has been racing at Martinsville since it’s inaugural year in 1995, which was won by Joe Ruttman. Short track racing were the original roots for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and there is no better place for the series to make their season debut than at Martinsville.
Johnny Sauter will be looking to return to victory lane after winning at Daytona in February as he and his Thorsport Racing teammates piled into Martinsville on Thursday with an abundant amount of confidence. However, Kevin Harvick will probably be contending for the win since he dominated the past two races at the track and has won three times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when he’s racing at Martinsville. Harvick will be driving the No. 24 truck for NTS Motorsports in a combined effort with Joe Denette Racing.
There will be numerous rookies in the field on Saturday afternoon. It is the first of several events where NASCAR has sanctioned drivers that are 16 and 17-years old to race at tracks 1.1 miles or shorter in length as well as any road courses within the Camping World Truck Series. Johnathan Davenport, Jeb Burton, Devin Jones, Grant Galloway, Devin Jones, Erik Jones, Darrell Wallace Jr., Kenny Habul and Chase Elliott will each be making their first starts at Martinsville (not all of them are making their NASCAR debuts). It should be interesting to see if these young drivers can stay out of trouble at a track known for aggressive racing at higher speeds than most of these drivers have ever ran before.
Expect to see a few underdogs running upfront this weekend such as Tim George Jr. and Ross Chastain. The veteran drivers will likely have the edge at the end of the day, but either way it should be an action packed race.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR and reached via e-mail at Joseph.Wolkin@gmail.com.