Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Down to Six Drivers
Then there were just six drivers remaining.
Following the Fred’s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway, Chase Briscoe and Kaz Grala were eliminated from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers, leaving just six drivers to fight for the championship over the next four races.
The remaining competitors will look to perform at Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway in hopes of being in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
So how do they stack up against each other? Let’s have a look.
1. Christopher Bell – 2195 points
Season to Date: 5 wins, 13 top-fives, 17 top-10’s.
Of Note: The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver has finished in the top-three in his last four starts.
Martinsville: In three starts, Bell has two top-fives, including a third in April, for an average finish of 8.7
Texas: In four races, he has scored a victory and two top-10’s. The win, by the way, came this past June.
Phoenix: Bell placed seventh in his lone career appearance there last year.
Chance of Being in Final Four: Highly likely based on how he has ran all year, but mostly the past four races.
Homestead-Miami: Bell ran out of his fuel late in his first trip in 2015 to the Florida oval, placing 25th, before scoring an eighth last year.
2. Johnny Sauter – 2143 points (-52)
Season to Date: 2 wins, 9 top-fives, 15 top-10’s.
Of Note: The GMS Racing driver has finished in the top-10 in five of his last six starts.
Martinsville: In 19 starts, Sauter has three wins and 10 top-10’s. His last two appearances have produced a victory and a runner-up.
Texas: In 18 races, he has scored three victories and 14 top-10’s. A victory last year in November propelled him to the final four en route to the championship.
Phoenix: Although he has never won there, he has six top-10’s in eight starts.
Chance of Being in Final Four: Highly likely based on solid consistency this year, and his history at each track in the Round of 6.
Homestead-Miami: In 10 starts, he has a win and seven top-10’s, including the third last year which was enough for the title.
3. Matt Crafton – 2140 points (-55)
Season to Date: 1 wins, 4 top-fives, 13 top-10’s.
Of Note: The ThorSport Racing driver has finished in the top-10 in the last three consecutive races.
Martinsville: In 31 starts, Crafton has two wins and 18 top-10’s. Although he won in October 2015, his best result since is a seventh.
Texas: In 33 races, he has scored two victories and 22 top-10’s. He has finished in the top-10 in his last 12 appearances there, including both of those aforementioned wins.
Phoenix: Although he has never won there, he has 11 top-10’s in 16 starts, including a third last year.
Chance of Being in Final Four: Highly likely based on solid consistency, and his history at each track in the Round of 6 – although Martinsville could pose a concern if he finds himself in a late race incident like he has the past couple of trips.
Homestead-Miami: In 16 starts, he has a win (2015) and eight top-10’s – including his last three appearances.
4. Ben Rhodes – 2124 points (-71)
Season to Date: 1 wins, 6 top-fives, 11 top-10’s.
Of Note: The ThorSport Racing driver has finished in the top-10 in five of the last six races.
Martinsville: In four starts, Rhodes has only posted one top-10.
Texas: In three races, he has scored a single top-10, which came in June with a fifth.
Phoenix: In two appearances, he has finished 14th and fifth.
Chance of Being in Final Four: Likely, despite the past track results being concerning. This year has been about Rhodes exceeding expectations and running better than he has in previous seasons. He does not have much room to play with, being just three points ahead of the cut-off line entering the Round of 6.
Homestead-Miami: Rhodes qualified 11th and finished 20th in his first trip to the Florida oval last year.
5. Austin Cindric – 2121 points (-74)
Season to Date: 1 wins, 6 top-fives, 12 top-10’s.
Of Note: The Brad Keselowski Racing driver has finished in the top-10 in the last three races.
Martinsville: In two starts, Cindric has failed to post a top-20 finish.
Texas: Cindric placed 25th in his lone appearance.
Phoenix: In two races, he has finished 14th and 15th.
Chance of Being in Final Four: Not likely. With points to make up and a lack of strength at the tracks, it looks as though his hopes will be dashed over the next three events. However, Cindric should not be counted out as like Rhodes, he has been exceeding expectations all year.
Homestead-Miami: He has never raced there before.
6. John Hunter Nemechek – 2107 points (-88)
Season to Date: 2 wins, 7 top-fives, 10 top-10’s.
Of Note: The NEMCO Motorsports enters the Round of 6 after back-to-back eighth-place finishes.
Martinsville: In eight starts, he has three top-fives – with those coming in his last four appearances.
Texas: In four races, he has a single top-10, placing seventh in June 2016.
Phoenix: While he placed 21st in his debut, he has finished in the top-10 in the three races since, including a runner-up in November 2015.
Chance of Being in Final Four: Not likely. He has a lot of ground to make up, and has not shown the speed to contend for top-fives over the past month.
Homestead-Miami: In a pair of starts, he has placed second and 11th.
Photos Courtesy of Nigel Kinrade Photography
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