NCWTS: Toyota Tundra 250 Race Preview
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rolls into Kansas Speedway for Friday’s Toyota Tundra 250. The event at the 1.5-mile oval will shatter a six-week break for the Camping World Truck Series. William Byron, who moved up into the NASCAR XFINITY Series this offseason, is the defending race winner.
All 32 drivers entered will race in the Friday night event. Qualifying will take place at 4:45 p.m. ET. and will be televised on FOX Sports 1. The 167-lap, 250-mile event will take place shortly after at 8:30 p.m. ET. No drivers will DNQ.
Christopher Bell and Kaz Grala will look to become the first repeat winner of 2017 in the series. Bell went to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Grala visited victory lane in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Bell finished fourth the last time out at Kansas Speedway.
"Looking back at last year Kansas was one of my favorite races, so I'm excited to go back there and compete for a win,” said Bell. “After being so fast earlier this year at Atlanta, I can't wait to get to Kansas and race another mile-and-a-half track. Kyle Busch Motorsports has been strong at Kansas - William (Byron) won this race last year and I had a really good run as well. Kansas always provides extremely intense restarts because there is a lot of area that you can use going into Turns 1 and 2. The restarts are tough there, so I'm going to have to be on top of my game for every restart to try and minimize mistakes and maximize opportunities. With the race being the Toyota Tundra 250 there is definitely more incentive for us to get our SiriusXM Tundra to victory lane and make sure a Toyota wins."
Bell enters the weekend sitting second in driver points and holds three top 10 finishes through the first three events of 2017.
Grala sits sixth in points and holds one top 10 finish through three events. The 18-year old will make his first start at Kansas Speedway in the truck series.
Kyle Busch will make his second Camping World Truck Series start of the season on Friday. Busch, a Las Vegas native, enters the weekend with a target on his back as he looks to capture his 47th victory in the series.
"I'm looking forward to a great race week in Kansas. KBM has had really fast Tundras there since they repaved the track in 2013, including wins two of the last three years and in 2015 when we didn't win, Erik Jones dominated a race that ended up being decided by fuel strategy,” said Busch. “So, between the recent success we've had at Kansas and the gains we made at the Charlotte test last week I feel really good about our chances of getting to victory lane on Friday night and being able to celebrate with all of our guests from Textron Aviation that will in attendance."
In three Camping World Truck Series starts at Kansas, Busch has two top 10 finishes, including a win from the pole there in 2014. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran led 104 of the 167 laps.
Johnny Sauter leads the standings by four points over Christopher Bell. Matt Crafton, Timothy Peters and Ben Rhodes round out the top five. Sauter knows how to get around Kansas as he went to victory lane there in 2010.
Crafton, who sits third in Camping World Truck Series standings, has a love-hate relationship with Kansas.
"Kansas and I have a love-hate relationship. In the last four races I've finished first, second, first, and second,” said Crafton. “So, if history repeats itself, we should be good this weekend. It feels like it's been an eternity since we've been at the race track, but I always enjoy getting back to Kansas. The asphalt there is getting better with age - we can move around a little more now. I was one of the drivers that wasn't happy when they repaved it - it had gotten really, really good - but it's getting there again. I'm looking forward to getting back there this week."
Where to Watch:
The Toyota Tundra 250 will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Friday. The Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Channel 90 will carry the live radio broadcast.
Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.