With five races to go in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, one mistake can doom a driver's championship hopes.
Erik Jones and Matt Crafton are well aware of this. Jones leads Crafton by four points in the series standings. Not far behind is third-place Tyler Reddick, who can take advantage of a Jones or Crafton slip-up to close his 16-point deficit in the standings.
The drivers continue their championship quests in Saturday's fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway (1 p.m. ET on FOX), where accidents are the norm and not an exception. A driver's day can just as easily be ruined by the mistake of another driver as his own error at the 2.66-mile behemoth.
"You're stuck, three-wide, even four-wide, and you can't do anything about it," said Crafton, a two-time defending series champion Crafton describing the perils of Talladega. "Your fate is in everyone else's hands and that's a helpless feeling for a driver. It puts on a good show, though."
Jones explained his strategy is simply to avoid wrecks on Saturday -- an undertaking easier said than done.
"The biggest thing we've done there in the past that has worked out well has just been staying on the bottom and staying out of trouble and trying to stay up front and stay out of trouble," Jones said. "We did a good job last year of staying out of trouble and getting a top-10 finish out of it. Hopefully, this year we can do the same."
A winner of two NCWTS races this season, Jones just wants to survive Saturday and gain ground in the remaining four races if he has to.
"I feel like we can make up some more points at some other tracks rather than there, as long as we can just get through Talladega," Jones said