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NCWTS: North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Preview

Thursday, May 18 2108

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the fifth points event of the 2017 season in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. The race will be broken into two stages of 40 laps and a final stage of 54 laps.

34 drivers arrived at Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete for 32 spots on Friday night. The only Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver competing in the race will be Kyle Busch, last week’s winner from Kansas Speedway.

This will be the 15th event for the Truck series at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Eight different drivers have won the pole position for the race. Only seven different drivers have won the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 with only three races being won from the pole position. Kasey Kane was the last driver to win from the pole back in 2015. In 2016, Matt Crafton set the race record at 141.855 mph. The qualifying record was set by Busch at 183.773 mph back in 2014.

Charlotte Motor Speedway is 1.5-miles in length. The corners are banked at 24 degrees, while the straightaways are banked at five degrees.

Coming off of potential victory at Kansas Speedway last weekend, Ben Rhodes is ready for this weekend in Charlotte and has moved on from last weekend.

"Yes, we've moved on from Kansas. You have to move forward if you expect to win a race. We are actually having fun with it now. My crew chief has taken the 'debris' that went through the radiator and made a necklace out of it,” said Rhodes, “He says it will be our good luck charm at Charlotte. Last week we proved that what we learned at the Charlotte test, all the hard work we put in, is enough to win a race with our Safelite Tundra. We plan to do just that at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday night."

After running a test at Charlotte a couple weeks ago, Noah Gragson is ready for this weekend.

"Charlotte is a tough place to get around so the biggest thing we worked on was getting him comfortable,” said Gragson. “It took a bit to get him comfortable at the start of test, but by the time we left at night he had a really good feel for it. He knew exactly what line to run, so the biggest thing we'll need to work on this weekend is getting him in traffic."

Grant Enfinger is more than excited to be racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.

"I'm definitely pumped about racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway this week. We had a great test session a couple weeks ago. I've lived in the Charlotte area now for 10 years, but this will be my first time racing at Charlotte since I used to race legend cars back in the day there,” said Enfinger. “This is Champion Power Equipment's first race of the year, so they'll be camping out and having a great time cheering us on. I'm looking forward to an exciting race weekend."

In the two practice session of the weekend, Christopher Bell and Gragson topped the charts. Bell posted a speed of 182.039 mph in the first session, while Gragson posted a speed at 181.194 mph in the second session.

Teams will qualify on Friday at 4:45 p.m. EST, and race shortly after 8:30 p.m. EST. The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.

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Caleb Whisler

I am 19 years old from Atlanta, GA. I have been following motorsports since I was born. Motorsports has been "passed down" in my family. I am named after NASCAR Hall of Famer, William Caleb Yarborough, also known as Cale. Growing up in the southeast, racing was something that was a Sunday tradition after church. What an honor it is to share that passion with others.

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