Drivers Express Thoughts on Camping World Truck Series Chase System at Kansas

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are three races into the brand-new 2016 season with Kansas Speedway serving as the fourth race of the season this weekend. The truck series, which gets a slow start with two month long breaks, are about to go on a three week stretch with Dover and Charlotte over the next two weeks following Kansas.

Two Camping World Truck Series regulars, being Johnny Sauter and John Hunter Nemechek, already hold wins in the first three races. Kyle Busch, an ineligible driver for the Chase, who scored the win last month at Martinsville Speedway, is the third different winner of 2016. Can another youngster add their name to the win and Chase column? Or will we see our first repeat winner of 2016 at Kansas?

Biggest topic early on? The addition of the Chase in the Camping World Truck and XFINITY Series.

One of those drivers, John Hunter Nemechek, who scored his second career Camping World Truck Series victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway, gave his thoughts on being already locked into the Chase.

“It means a lot to us as a team. It shows what we can do as a smaller team with not as much of a budget as some of these other teams have,” said Nemechek in a press conference at Kansas. “It just shows that we focus on what’s important in our trucks. We build really good trucks as every time we come to the race track we utilize our resources to the absolute max.”

Clint Bowyer, a veteran Sprint Cup Series driver and former Camping World Truck Series winner at Kansas, gave his thoughts on the Chase system in the series.

“I just think it’s good for the sport in general, no matter what division it is.  I think the Chase has brought a lot to the table over the years in the Cup Series.  I’ve been following it in the Xfinity Series and this Truck Series is going to be fun it’s a great platform,” said Bowyer. “You can win and you can also do a good job, take care of points, take care of your equipment and not make mistakes.  At the end of the day take care of business and race your way into that Chase and race for a championship. There is a lot of different ways.  Ultimately, fast Trucks, fast drivers, fast teams will be in that Chase anyway.  It’s really never came down to a bogus deal yet.  A fuel mileage win or a rain out or something like that.  I think it’s great for the Truck Series and looking forward to watching that Chase until the last part of the year.”

Bowyer will run double-duty this weekend at Kansas. He will pilot the No. 24 Chevrolet with Georgia Boot and 5-hour Energy on the side of GMS Racing machine.

Rookie driver Rico Abreu likes the Chase format in the series. Abreu, who continues to look for his first career national series win, enters the Toyota Tundra 250 with momentum after earning his first career top 10 finish last month at Martinsville Speedway.

“Some drivers like it and some don’t. I think it’s great and it gives a chance for a rookie to compete in the championship and compete in the the final four at Homestead,” said Abreu in a press conference at Kansas. “Hopefully we can put ourselves in position and I can win a race. Homestead fits my driving style with how different each of the grooves are and how high you can run up on the track so I’m looking forward to those races.”

The Camping World Truck Series field for the Toyota Tundra 250 is stacked with series regulars. Clint Bowyer, BJ McLeod and Mike Harmon are the only three Chase ineligible drivers entered. Clint Bowyer will be only one of the main drivers who will race double-duty at his home track.

Brett Winningham

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.