Camping World Series News

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Camping World Truck Series News

The first of the triple header weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway to take the track were the Camping World Truck Series for 200 laps. As the race began, there was only one true story line, and that was the playoff scenario. This was the last opportunity for drivers and teams to clinch their spot into the playoffs. Going in, Stewart Friesen and Matt Crafton had complete control over their destinies as the last two in on points. Nobody could make the playoffs and pass these drivers without winning the race first. This proved to be a tall order for the bubble drivers, as Myatt Snider, the first driver out on points, found the wall at the end of stage two. Other bubble drivers Dalton Sargeant, Todd Gilliland, and Cody Coughlin had very underwhelming evenings, never quite making it to the front to put themselves in winning position. Up front, it was all John Hunter Nemechek, who led the majority of the laps all night long with Johnny Sauter and Friesen in toe. With under ten laps to go, a fuel pickup issue plagued the no. 8 Chevrolet of Nemechek, allowing the no. 21 of Sauter to pass to the inside and take the win in the UNOH 200. This is Sauter's sixth win of the season and in addition to this win and its perks, he adds an additional fifteen playoff points to his already large total for winning the regular season championship. He will lead the eight truckers heading to the NCWTS playoffs that start next week in Canada. Joining Sauter in the playoffs are Brett Moffitt, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, Grant Enfinger, and Justin Haley. Be sure to tune into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs starting next weekend as the truckers take on the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to start the seven race run to the championship. 

Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today Christopher Bell will drive the No. 51 Hunt Brothers Pizza Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Thursday, August 16. Harrison Burton was scheduled to compete, but was forced to withdraw due to an illness.
 
Bell won the 2017 NCWTS championship with KBM. In his 53 starts in the Truck Series, he earned seven wins, 26 top-five and 41 top-10 finishes. This season he is competing full time in the XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and has already accrued four wins in 2018 (and one in 2017).
 
"It will be great to get back in a Tundra with KBM at Bristol, but wish it was under better circumstances," Bell said. "I hope Harrison feels better soon and I'm hoping I can get the Hunt Brothers Pizza Tundra into Victory Lane on his behalf Thursday night."
 
"I have been driving since I was four-years-old and have never missed a race," Burton said. "I hate to let down my guys, but my doctors just don't believe I'm ready. Having to miss this race will give me even more motivation to come back even stronger in Canada next week."
 
Burton is still scheduled to drive the No. 51 Tundra in five more races for KBM this season, including next weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
 
KBM PR
Veteran Timothy Peters and Ricky Benton Racing will be making their return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with the BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/Advance Auto Parts/Highland Construction and Restoration Ford F-150 for this week’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
 
Bristol will be Peters’ third attempt in the series for 2018. After a seventh-place finish at Martinsville in March, a washed-out qualifying session left Peters and the team on the outside looking in for the NCEL 200 at Charlotte in May.
 
“Charlotte was unfortunate for us and our partners at Black’s Tire, Advance Auto Parts, Carquest and Highland Construction and all the guys on the team who worked so hard,” said Peters, the 2012 Bristol winner. “But we are coming back with a good truck and Bristol has been a good track for me and RBR historically. I think we have a good chance to get our Ford up front on Thursday.”
 
In addition to the 2012 win, Peters has five additional top-10 finishes at Bristol.
 
RBR will be taking the same truck Peters drove to the seventh-place finish at Martinsville to Bristol.
 
“We learned a lot in that race (Martinsville) about what Timothy likes in the truck and were able to get some of those things built into our set up for Bristol,” said crew chief Mike Hester, “Between Cup and trucks, this is the fifth time we have gone to the race track with Timothy this year and the communication keeps getting better. Hopefully we can unload fast and just spend our time getting the truck fine tuned.”
 
RBR PR
On the strength of three consecutive top-10 finishes in the ARCA Racing Series, veteran racer Codie Rohrbaugh and his Grant County Mulch Racing team invade the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) tour this week hoping to earn a starting berth in Thursday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
 
With veteran leadership from crew chief Mark Huff, Rohrbaugh and his family-owned team head to “Thunder Valley” looking for a clean day of activity and build a notebook in
preparation for an expanded schedule later this season.
 
“We’re very excited about Bristol this week,” said Rohrbaugh. “It’s a huge step for us to take a very low-key ARCA program and try to make one of the biggest Truck Series races of the year. But, I feel we can do it and do it well. Can’t wait to get on track Thursday.”
 
 
Acquiring a truck from Hopkins chassis earlier this season, the team has been prepping their No. 9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet in-between their seven races of competition in ARCA. After a slow start to the season, the team has excelled with four top-10 finishes in the last five races, including a seventh-place run in their most recent outing at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway last month.
 
“The thing that I’m most proud of – is that despite being a family-owned team – we’ve been fortunate enough and blessed to have the resources to bring fast and competitive cars to the race track.
 
“We could have made our Truck debut sooner –but we wanted to wait for that right opportunity – that right chance to make an impression. I think Bristol is it. I have experience there before in an K&N car and even though I’ve never raced in a truck, I’m hoping I’ll be able to get comfortable pretty quick and we can focus on qualifying and race runs.
 
“We don’t have any points – so we need to make the race on speed. Once we’re in the race, we’ll regroup and look to gain a bunch of knowledge and finish the race. If we can do that, the race will be successful.”
 
With at least one more ARCA Racing Series start on the agenda in October at Kansas Speedway, Rohrbaugh says his Mooresville, N.C.-based team is aiming to return to trucks for one of the three final races of the year at Texas, Phoenix or Homestead. 
 
 
“We haven’t really decided which race we’re going to tackle, yet,” added Rohrbaugh. “We’ll see how Bristol goes and then make the decision that’s not only in the best interest of our team, but our partners too. For now, Bristol here we come.”
 
In 17 career ARCA starts, Rohrbaugh has a best finish of seventh at Pocono Raceway (July 2018) after starting a career-best seventh in the same event. Overall, he has six top-10 finishes during three part-time seasons of competition.
 
Marketing partnership opportunities are available for the No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet for the 2018 ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons and beyond.
 
Interested inquiries are encouraged to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
The UNOH 200 (200 laps | 106.6 miles) is the 16th of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., Aug. 16 from 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 a.m., while final practice is set for 11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:10 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern). 
 
Codie Rohrbaugh PR
Still reaping the benefits of their strong NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) performance in June at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park, Chad Finley and his Chad Finley Racing (CFR) head to Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) hoping to produce back-to-back top-10 finishes in Thursday night’s UNOH 200.
 
 
Rewinding back to Gateway, Finley in his No. 42 Auto Value Certified Service Centers | Strutmasters.com Chevrolet Silverado overcame a sour 20th place starting position and utilized the 160-lap race to attack the field and leave his mark.
 
Finley, an accomplished competitor in the ARCA Racing Series found himself in just his third Truck Series start knocking on the door of his first top-five finish – but had to settle for sixth after an array of late race cautions.
 
With nearly two months in the books to fine-tune their Chevrolet Silverado, Finley and his crew chief Bruce Cook head to Thunder Valley hoping to impress again.
 
“Gateway was such a boost for us,” said Finley. “We really had a good truck and I can’t thank Bruce (Cook, crew chief) and the guys on the Chad Finley Racing team for putting their heart and soul into our team. It paid off at Gateway – but we want more this week at Bristol.”
 
Joining the No. 42 Michigan-based team for the midweek race as a major associate partner is Strutmasters.com. 
 
Since 1999, Strutmasters.com has served as an industry leader in suspension parts and air to non-air suspension conversion kits.
 
The Roxboro, N.C. company joined Finley in his Truck Series return at Gateway.
 
“I can’t thank Chip (Lofton) and everyone at Strutmasters.com for jumping aboard for another race,” said Finley. “We’re a small team trying to make big things happen and all of the great support from our partners keeps our team glued together.” 
 
 
Looking at Thursday’s race, Finley knows that his Bristol debut won’t be easy.
 
A stacked field means making his fourth career Truck Series start will boil down to thousandths of a second. For the Dewitt, Mich. native, the ability to make the most of the two practice sessions on Thursday morning will provide the beat to the team’s drum for the rest of the day’s activities.
 
“We have to make sure our No. 42 Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet is performing at full song by the end of final practice,” added Finley. “I looked at the entry list on Monday and it’s a stout field. One slip and that could be the difference from cranking the engine or sitting on the sidelines.
 
“I have faith in Bruce and our crew – that we’re going to be just fine. Gateway was a little bit bigger track – where you had some room to get around – but Bristol is a tight race track where it’s practically a constant conveyor belt. We need to qualify good, inside the top-10 actually to put us in a position to likely stay out of trouble and capitalize through the first two stages for the end of the race.
 
“We finished sixth at Gateway, I’d like to duplicate that or better and we’ll call that a good weekend. From there we can move on to our next planned Truck Series race with me at Martinsville in October.”
 
Auto Value Certified Service Centers, Strutmasters.com and Air Lift Company will serve as the primary marketing partners for Thursday night’s race.
 
Finley has additional support from Northsidetowing.net and XLT Engineering as well.
 
In addition to his three prior Truck starts, Finley, 26, has 20 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts to his credit. 
 
In his years of ARCA competition between 2009 and 2018 Finley has mounted one-win (Nashville 2017), eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, including a pole (track record) at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway in 2009.
 
Finley is the son of former ARCA winner and NASCAR driver Jeff Finley.
 
The UNOH 200 (200 laps | 106.6 miles) is the 16th of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., Aug. 16 from 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 a.m., while final practice is set for 11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:10 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern). 
 
For additional information on Chad Finley and his race team please visit ChadFinleyRacing.com.
 
Follow Chad Finley on Twitter @Chad_Finley.
 
Chad Finley Racing PR

Fresh off his season-high 11th-place finish this past weekend at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) and his Niece Motorsports team ride the momentum of a strong performance and look to seal their first top-10 finish of 2018 in Thursday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Despite starting 20th in the Irish Hills of Michigan, Self didn’t stay mid-pack for long. A balanced No. 22 GO TEXAN | AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet Silverado allowed the Austin, Texas native to climb through the field and fight for some time in the spotlight.

While earning his seventh top-15 finish of the season in the Motor City, Self maneuvered his Niece Motorsports team in the spotlight with a top-five run at the conclusion of Stage 2.

Heading to Bristol for his third Truck Series start at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” Self is ready for more of the same and to earn his fourth career top-10 finish.

“I feel really good heading to Bristol,” said Self. “Over the last couple of weeks, I think everyone at the track has seen dramatic improvements from our Niece Motorsports team. And I don’t expect anything less this week at Bristol.

“Sure, it’s a short track – but that should put us in a better position when push comes to shove on Thursday night. While it’s important for our GO TEXAN team to have speed, it’s not the crucial factor at Bristol. Instead, it’s just keeping yourself out of trouble and getting that ump you need out of the corners.”

In his two prior starts in Thunder Valley, Self has negotiated a track-best of 21st in his Bristol debut in 2016. This week – the 22-year-old driver believes his Arthur Haire-led team has the capabilities of producing more, much more.

“I feel like we’ve circled Bristol as a prime opportunity for us to compete with some of the powerhouse teams in Trucks,” added Self. “You’ve seen it over the years – tracks like Bristol bring the opportunity to bring the fields closer together.

“Our equipment is better than it was in February. It hasn’t come without a lot hard of work from Cody (Efaw, general manager), Artie (Haire, crew chief) and everyone on this No. 22 Niece Motorsports team.

“We need to finish what we started at Michigan. We needed that race to be like five laps shorter and we would of had a top-10 finish.

“We’ll try again.”

The UNOH 200 will also mark the last race of the regular season. And while Self knows without a win – he won’t be participating in the post-season Playoffs, he also knows that it’s Bristol and sometimes you can expect the unexpected.

“You’ve seen a lot of crazy things happen at Bristol. You just never know,” he added. “We’re going to go there and give it our all and just see what happens in 200 laps. Hopefully, it’s good.” 

After 15 races, Self sits 14th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 17.0 entering Bristol.   

Like last year, the Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program and AM Technical Solutions will also support Self in his 56th career start.

GO TEXAN represents Texas agri-business on state, national and international levels by building recognition with the GO TEXAN mark.

Along with its signature mark in the shape of Texas, GO TEXAN celebrates, promotes and supports the business savvy and plainspoken grit Texas agriculture is known throughout the world.

Don’t mess with Texas, CForce Bottling Company, Flying Circle and Kreuz Market will serve as associate partners in the 16th race of the year.

In 56 NCWTS races, the 2015 ARCA Racing Series rookie of the year has one top-five (second at Daytona 2017) and three top-10 finishes. The Texan maintains an average finish of 18.5 during his three years of competition.

For more on Austin Wayne Self, like his Facebook page (Austin Wayne Self) or follow him on Twitter @AustinWSelf.

For additional information on CForce premium artesian water, please visit cforce.com.

For more on Flying Circle, please visit flyingcirclegear.com, like them on Facebook (FlyingCircleGear) and follow them on Instagram (@flyingcirclegear) and Twitter (@flyingcircle_). Also connect with Flying Circle on Pinterest and YouTube.

For more on Niece Motorsports, please visit niecemotorsports.com.

 

The UNOH 200 (200 laps | 106.6 miles) is the 16th of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., Aug. 16 from 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 a.m., while final practice is set for 11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:10 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).

 

Niece Motorsports PR

Confident in the speed of his Niece Motorsports trucks this summer, Justin Fontaine (@driverFontaine) heads to Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) for Thursday night’s UNOH 200 looking to deliver his third top-10 finish of the season.

Last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Fontaine felt he had one of the strongest No. 45 ProMATIC Automation Chevrolets he’s had this season – but a mishap in the early laps of Stage 2 set them back, but with their ‘never give up’ attitude, the group soldiered on to a 25th place finish.

While never giving up on his team or himself, Fontaine will embrace Thunder Valley, not only looking for a quick rebound, but hoping to earn the attention of his peers in his Bristol debut.

“I’m so proud of my guys on my Niece Motorsports team,” said Fontaine. “Even if we don’t have all the results to show for it, we’ve had a lot of fast trucks this summer. We are getting better and we’re making strides. We just don’t always get the right result.

“We had a great truck at Michigan, something capable of running inside the top-10, but had some trouble and couldn’t recover enough. The good thing is though – our team doesn’t get discouraged and instead we look for ways to pump each other up and focus on what’s next.

“Bristol is next and I’m ready.”

A long-time NASCAR fan before diving into making it a profession, Fontaine has always been a fan of the track’s tough demeanor and while the UNOH 200 serves as the final race of the regular season, Fontaine knows the midweek race has the ability to escalate the aggression as drivers fight for their lives.

“It’s going to be an exciting race,” offered Fontaine. “You’re going to have a lot of drivers on different agendas. From those focused on making it into the Playoffs, to those who are having an opportunity to showcase their ability and for us, it’s a chance for us to get some momentum on our side – while also looking at opportunities to pull off an upset.  

“It’s Bristol. Things like that can happen. If we can’t win though, it’s important for us to get primed for a possibility to contend for our best finish together.”

With eight races left in his rookie season of Truck Series competition, Fontaine has set some reasonable expectations.

“I’d like to get ourselves some more top-10s – or even a top-five by Homestead,” he said. “I think if we keep bringing fast trucks to the race track and even find some luck on our side, the goals can be accomplished.

“When I look at some of the races this summer, I feel like we really turned some heads at Iowa Speedway and Gateway Motorsports Park in particular – even if we didn’t get the finish we were hoping for.

“I know it’s going to take some time for me to get up to speed at Bristol, but I believe I have great leadership in my crew chief Cody (Efaw) and that keeps me upbeat on any given weekend – even at places I’ve never been to. Bristol looks like it can be intimidating – but we just have to attack the track to the best of our ability.”

After 15 races, Fontaine sits 16th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 19.9 entering Bristol. He earned a career-best ninth place result at Las Vegas in March.

In addition to a full-time NASCAR driver, Fontaine just completed his freshman year as a student at the University of North Carolina (Charlotte), where he is pursuing a business degree.

For more on Justin Fontaine, please visit JustinFontaine.com, like his Facebook page (Justin Fontaine) or follow him on Twitter @driverFontaine.

The UNOH 200 (200 laps | 106.6 miles) is the 16th of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., Aug. 16 from 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 a.m., while final practice is set for 11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:10 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).

Justin Fontaine PR

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Makes Primetime Broadcast Television Debut Thursday Night Live from Bristol Motor Speedway on FOX

Cup Points Leader Harvick in Bristol Booth as Analyst; Kurt Busch Serves as Guest Studio Analyst for Bristol Pre-Race Coverage & Martinsville Trucks Booth

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES is going big time this week at Bristol Motor Speedway. Thursday’s race, broadcast live on FOX at 8:30 PM ET, marks the first time in history a Truck Series race airs live in primetime on broadcast television.

Pre-race coverage begins at 8:00 PM ET on FOX with NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS, followed by full-race coverage at 8:30 PM ET. Thursday’s race from “Thunder Valley” marks the final race to qualify for the Playoffs in a series many consider home to some of the best action in the sport.

Former NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick joins the FOX booth as a driver analyst for the race, while fellow Cup champ Kurt Busch serves as a guest driver analyst for FOX’s NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS pre-race coverage alongside John Roberts and two-time Truck Series champion Todd Bodine.

Busch returns for more analyst work during the Truck Series Playoffs, this time in the booth, during FS1’s live race coverage from Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 27 (1:00 PM ET).

For pre-race coverage at Bristol, FS1’s NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS features: A look back at Brett Moffitt’s win last weekend at Michigan; a flashback to last year’s Bristol race; a feature on the how the Playoffs-eligible drivers qualified; a two-way interview with FOX NASCAR analyst Phil Parsons and his son, Stefan, who is making his NASCAR debut at Bristol; and live interviews with several drivers vying to make the Playoffs.

Below is programming information for the weekend ahead, as well as quotes from FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer Vince Welch and analysts Michael Waltrip, Phil Parsons and Todd Bodine and reporters Hermie Sadler and Alan Cavanna. In addition, drivers Brett Moffitt, Johnny Sauter and Ben Rhodes weigh in on Bristol being the final race before the Playoffs.

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
Date/Time: Thursday, August 16 (8:30 PM ET)
Network: FOX
Announcers: Vince Welch, Michael Waltrip and driver analyst Kevin Harvick
Pit reporters: Hermie Sadler, Alan Cavanna and Kaitlyn Vincie
Pre-race: NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS (8:00 PM ET on FOX); hosted by John Roberts with guest driver analyst Kurt Busch and Todd Bodine; reporting by Cavanna, Sadler and Vincie
FOX NASCAR production staff: Mark Smith (race producer); Roger Vincent (race director); Pete Richards (coordinating producer)

FOX NASCAR QUOTES

For weeks, talk was about the ‘Big 3’ in the Truck Series (Johnny Sauter, Brett Moffitt and Noah Gragson), although they seemed to fade for a while. Is there still a ‘Big 3’ and are they heating up again at the right time?
“Several weeks ago, we were practically engraving one of their names on the championship trophy, but by the time we got to Michigan, we were asking where they had gone. Lo and behold, they showed up at Michigan, made a statement and all finished in the top four.”
–Phil Parsons

“Although they stumbled earlier, they are all alive and well. As we race closer to the Playoffs, a team is only as good as their last race. Michigan was a huge statement for Sauter and Moffitt to step up like that, and Gragson wasn’t too far off their pace. There’s definitely a ‘Big 2’ and you might argue there’s a third. So far, Gragson has outperformed the rest of the possible ‘thirds.’”
–Michael Waltrip

“The stats tell us there are three major contenders. Two months ago, there were a clear-cut three, and we lost them for a while. But after Michigan, it appears they are all back. Bristol should tell us more, but it looks like the championship will go through one of those three.”
–Hermie Sadler

“After Michigan, I think you’d have to say they’re back on the radar in a big way. There are always ups and downs during a long season, and that trio just happened to hit a lull at the same time. But there’s no question they are still the ‘Big 3.’”
–Vince Welch

Why do you think Sauter, Moffitt and Gragson struggled late in the regular season?
“Part of it is they likely were trying to test a bit during race weekends, but more of it is the result of the evolution of the new left-side tire combination. It’s not meshing with some teams’ setups, particularly those of the three major championship contenders. Time will tell who is on top of it when we get to Homestead.”
–Hermie Sadler

“It was odd to see the ‘Big Three’ take a break from winning for a few weeks. The mix of dirt, Kyle Busch and the rest of the field raising its game stole some of their thunder and took some of the headlines. But as we saw at Michigan, those guys aren’t going anywhere. Each had a great shot at winning last Saturday and going forward in the playoffs.”
–Alan Cavanna

“I know Sauter’s team has been experimenting, as they should be, to find speed. That’s probably why they have struggled the past month. Brett Moffitt hasn’t really struggled but has been up and down – they’d crash one week and run well the next. Plus, Moffitt’s team is trying to go week to week without much funding and ensure they’re prepared when the Playoffs begin. But I don’t see any concern for either going into the Playoffs.”
–Todd Bodine

Is Noah Gragson ready to compete for a championship?
“He has had speed throughout the year, and when you look at recent champions, the answer would be ‘yes.’ You also have William Byron, who didn’t win the title but was dominant in his rookie season, and Christopher Bell and Erik Jones. If you show the speed and talent they showed, it doesn’t matter how old you are. You just see talent. From the beginning of the year, we’ve seen enough talent in Noah to see he is a contender, despite his age.”
–Michael Waltrip

“I wouldn’t consider Gragson, as a driver, the favorite for the championship. His team and crew chief have proven they can win a championship, but I don’t think Noah is ready yet. His driving has been pretty good at times but he hasn’t learned to close the deal or when he gets to the end of the race, he’s not in contention or makes mistakes that take him out of contention. That’s not a driver ready for the Playoffs or capable of pulling through it. He definitely has the equipment to get to Homestead, but it’s up to him to go out and do the job properly.”
–Todd Bodine

Could the fall-off that the three major championship contenders experienced lately give renewed optimism to the other drivers vying to make the Playoffs?
“There’s no doubt if you’re a driver not in the ‘Big 3’ or already qualified for the Playoffs, and you start outrunning them, you gain confidence and feel you’re hitting the reset button going forward. The struggles of the ‘Big 3’ over those races certainly gave hope to those chasing them.”
–Hermie Sadler

Who could be a sleeper to make the Playoffs by winning at Bristol?
“It is certainly possible for an outsider to win, and Todd Gilliland has the best chance. He has regularly run around the top five, led laps and shown the ability to put himself near the front at the end.”
–Vince Welch

“I’m still not counting out Todd Gilliland. He needs to win Bristol first, but if he does, that is another KBM truck in the playoffs. And that’s dangerous.”
–Alan Cavanna

“If someone could win at Bristol to make it in, it would be Todd Gilliland because KBM is strong everywhere but has a tremendous record there. He has some Bristol experience, and I expect them to throw everything they can at this race.”
–Hermie Sadler

How do you feel about Bristol being the last race to make the Playoffs?
“Drama. That’s going to be crazy. It’s short-track racing. If you can get to somebody’s bumper, you’re going to move them if it means making the Playoffs.”
–Brett Moffitt (on FS1’s NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS)

“That’s going to make tempers flare. I couldn’t think of a more exciting place to head into the Playoffs than Bristol.”
–Johnny Sauter (on FS1’s NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS)

“It came down to Chicago last year, the last race getting into the Playoffs, for me, and it was a tiebreaker. So, I’ve already gone through that stress. I don’t want that stress.”
–Ben Rhodes (on FS1’s NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS)

FOX NASCAR AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE
(All times live/Eastern unless otherwise indicated & subject to change)
Thursday, August 16
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES practice (9:00-10:00 AM) (FS1)
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES final practice (11:00 AM-12:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES qualifying (4:00-5:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS (8:00-8:30 PM) (FOX)
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES Racing (8:30-10:30 PM) (FOX)

Fox Sports PR

In the Black Forest of Germany you can find a 21-year old full-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) race car driver who dreams of making it to the big leagues of auto racing.  Most European drivers envision being on the podium at the end of a Formula One race - but Justin Kunz has one goal, one vision, one dream for his racing career - to race at the top levels of NASCAR.  
 
Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing (JJCR) is pleased to announce that Kunz will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on August 26 in the “Chevrolet Silverado 250.”
 
NCWTS driver and team owner Jennifer Jo Cobb met Kunz as her teammate when she debuted in the NWES in Valencia, Spain this past April.  Now Kunz will be her teammate in the NCWTS as he pilots the #0 Chevrolet Silverado.  “I am so happy to have this opportunity as It is a big step in making my dreams come true,” Kunz said.  “NASCAR is the most popular racing series in the world and I want to be the first NASCAR champion from Germany!”
 
While in Spain Cobb saw an opportunity to be a liaison for European drivers who desire to come to the U.S. to race NASCAR.  “It was such a privilege to race in the NWES in Valencia as Justin’s teammate for our Team Racing-Total and it had my brain spinning of ways that I could help bring more European drivers to the U.S.,” she said.  “I talked with some of my fellow competitors here about competing in Europe as well.  Those drivers are pumped about that possibility and I am thrilled that I own a team that can offer an affordable entry into NASCAR in America and have a partnership with a great Euro team to send U.S. drivers to,” she said.
 
Kunz began his racing endeavors in karting and is in his third full-time season in the NWES.  He is currently 11th in the championship points battle and recently earned his first podium finish with a 2nd place at Tours, France.  Hubertus Heyman, co-owner of Team Racing-Total, said of Justin, “We are lucky to have such a talented driver and spokesperson representing our team.  Jennifer told me that I made her dream to race in Europe come true and now we have introduced Justin to his opportunity to race in a US NASCAR series which was his dream.  This makes me feel very happy.”
 
The NWES uses composite bodies which can be replaced quickly and easily between races.  “My biggest challenge may be to explain to Justin that our bodies are very expensive to fix even the slightest damage,” joked Cobb, “but if I did not believe in him I would not have invited him to race with us and against me.  I think he has what it takes on and off the track to be successful.”
 
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