A new month means a brand-new time to crank it into gear, and crank into gear the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series most certainly will do, as their first of four races this month will take place at Kansas Speedway Saturday evening.
Although John Hunter Nemechek won the sole truck race last month (Apr. 17 at Richmond Raceway) for his second win of the season, the potential playoff crop is still ripe with opportunity as only two drivers have locked in their postseason bid (Nemechek and Ben Rhodes).
Nemechek will start on the pole. In three career truck races at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, the 23-year-old for Kyle Busch Motorsports has finished inside the top five in two of them (third on May 12, 2017 and fourth on May 11, 2018). Nemechek currently leads the field in season points (270), laps led (257) and stage wins (six).
The owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports in Kyle Busch will run on the front row with Nemechek. The race will be his fourth of five truck races this season (he will race at Pocono Raceway on June 26). Dating back to 2018, Busch has finished inside the top five in 16 of his 18 truck races and has won 11 of those 16. In five career truck races at Kansas, Busch has finished inside the top 10 in four of them and has finished inside the top two in his last three races there. Of those three top-two finishes, two have been victories (May 9, 2014 and May 12, 2017).
Rhodes will start off the second row in third. In seven career truck races at Kansas, Rhodes has maintained an average finish of 13.3. Of those seven starts, three have been finishes inside the top 10. Rhodes is tied with Nemechek in wins (two) and top-10 finishes (five) so far this season.
Among all starting Chevrolets, Sheldon Creed will start the highest (eighth). Creed is currently third in season points (216) and laps led (63). In four career truck starts at Kansas, Creed picked up his best finish during the 2020 Round of 8, when he finished runner-up to Brett Moffitt on Oct. 17.
Matt Crafton, who won the second of three truck races at Kansas last season (July 25, 2020), will start 12th. Crafton has finished inside the top 10 in three of his six truck races this season. In 22 career truck races at Phoenix, Crafton has three wins and maintains an average finish of 11.0.
Stage lengths for the race will be 30-60-134. Coverage will begin on FS1 at 7:30 EST.
Pit stall assignments:
Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2021/04/27/goodyear-fast-facts-kansas-5/