The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series saddled up from Texas Motor Speedway and headed west to Phoenix International Raceway for the penultimate race of the year, the 22nd Annual Lucas Oil 150, the penultimate race of the 2016 racing season.
33 drivers are vying for 32 spots in the Friday night spectacular. Noah Grayson, who will be moving to full time Truck Series competition in 2017 with Kyle Busch Motorsports, will be making his first start. Dylan Lupton is filling in for the injured John Wes Townley, who is still recovering from an injury to the left ankle.
The Chase in the Camping World Truck Series is heading into its final elimination before the championship race next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Johnny Sauter is the only driver to advance to the final four after his wins at Texas and Martinsville.
"I love Phoenix. I've always ran well there. It's been a really good racetrack and to be able to sweep the round would be pretty cool. I would love to win at Phoenix. I know we'll go there and run well, I have no doubt about it,” said Sauter.
William Byron sits second to Sauter in the points standings and is feeling “great” about his chances to be at Homestead in the championship round. "I feel great! I think our race team is ready to go and I think we're ready for this challenge. It's two races left. One race playoffs. So hopefully we can capitalize on that and just get ourselves to Homestead. That's the goal this weekend -- to work on that goal first and see where we are after this weekend,” said Byron to Speedway Digest’s Brett Winningham.
Timothy Peters and Ben Kennedy are the bottom two drivers hoping to keep their chances for a championship alive.
"Now is the time to step up and get it done. We know we can win, we know we're a strong team, we just need to execute. Phoenix is our last chance and I'm not ready to stop fighting for a championship,” said Kennedy.
“I’m hoping that we can go back to Phoenix (International Raceway) and defend our win from last year and get locked into the Chase headed into Homestead (Miami Speedway). I’d say we have momentum on our side, we’ve been strong through the Chase and at short tracks this season. I think we have a good Toyota Tundra this weekend and this team has the heart to come back and go for the win,” said Peters.
Drivers will have two chances to dial in their vehicles for Friday night’s event. Qualifying for the race will be at 8:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 2. The Lucas Oil 150 will be on Motor Racing Network and Fox Sports 1 beginning at 10:00 p.m. EST.