NASCAR’s Trucks Return to Right Turns: Who is the Favorite?
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will make a triumphant return to road course racing this Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. The 10 turn facility is one of the best road courses north of the border and should provide excellent racing unlike anything we have seen in a very long time.
People have been clamoring for more road courses in NASCAR. And while the Truck Series race earlier this year at Eldora Speedway was a fan-favorite in its own right, this event may be the second coolest of the season for a multitude of reasons.
For starters, the trucks have not been on a road course since Watkins Glen in 2000, so much like Eldora, teams will be scrambling to acquire data with every lap. Larger teams should have an advantage, as Goodyear will be bringing the same road course compound seen in NASCAR’s top two series.
Next, it’s important to look at the track. Personally, Mosport (as it was formerly called) is one of my favorite tracks in the world. A sports car course at heart, the track ebbs and flows with elegance and has multiple passing zones despite only being ten turns. The elevation changes and width of the pavement should also allow for excellent racing despite the truck’s weight and long gearing.
Lastly, we must look at the drivers entered at this event. Ron Fellows, a road course ringer in his own right, has a stake in the ownership of the track and won’t be running this weekend. The only “ringer” or NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver in the field will be Max Papis. Papis is a road course veteran who has worked with both Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon this year.
Papis will be joined atop the favorites list by Ron Hornaday Jr., the series’ most successful driver on road courses. Having amassed three wins and eleven top ten finishes in his legendary Truck Series career, it will be hard for anyone to step up and beat Hornaday.
That being said, if one driver can do it, it will be Brazilian Miguel Paludo. Paludo comes from a sports car background, winning the Porsche GT3 Brasil championship twice. Paludo is making strides as a driver, and thanks to the backing of Turner-Scott Motorsports he’s a real threat to capture his first NASCAR victory.
For all of these reasons and more, Sunday will be a great day of racing for the Truck Series. While Eldora got all the attention and hype, this race at Mosport has all the potential to be one of the most interesting races in Truck Series history.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486