Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 8/31/14

 

Points Logjam Spotlights Four Championship Contenders

And then there were four?

Eight races down – more than a quarter of the season complete – nine points cover the first four names in the championship standings. Fifth-place Parker Kligerman, 32 points behind, isn’t out of the running by any measure but the smart money right now is on one of the top four to win his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title.

Timothy Peters is back on top for the second time in 2011 following last week’s fifth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway. Previous leader Justin Lofton was swept up in a mid-race accident but recovered to finish 14th.

Peters’ lead is miniscule: four points over Charlotte winner Lofton and Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader Ty Dillon, who finished third.

Momentum, however, has swung to Kentucky winner James Buescher. Buescher, the first to capture two wins in 2012, occupies the No. 4 position in the standings. The 22-year-old Texan, who’s also running a majority of the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule including Friday night’s Subway Jalapeno 250, leads or shares eight Loop Data categories. He’s the series leader with a Driver Rating of 117.0.

Peters’ Title Bid No Mirage In 2012

Timothy Peters could describe the 2011 season as a mirage. He contended for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship appearing as high as second in points before settling for a final ranking of fifth behind champion Austin Dillon.

The mirage part? Peters and his No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota were fast but inconsistent.

Peters won in Indianapolis among seven top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. But the season’s highs were more than offset by lows which came in bunches. One stretch in late spring saw the Providence, N.C. driver follow three finishes of sixth or better by five out of six performances of 16th or worse.

Dillon motored off into the record book in the late going while Peters struggled with a single top five over the final nine races.

The organization appears to have learned its lesson. Through eight races, Peters has finished no worse than 11th and has completed every lap. He has yet to win but finished second at Daytona and Kansas.

“I think it’s a team effort. We have taken what we have and really made the best of it; Going out to get the best finish with what our Toyota Tundra gives us.,” said Peters. “All the guys work hard and I try to not mess up where they are making gains. Our pit crew has also done a great job on pit road. I’ve always been the type of racer, not to jeopardize the equipment. We really want to get that win and I think we will soon.”

Truckers Holding Their Own Inside, Outside Comfort Zones

In recent years, NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide series drivers have invaded the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series carrying away a significant share of the hardware.

Not this year. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points-eligible drivers have won six of eight events.

And they’ve also turned the tables so to speak on their fellow NASCAR national series competitors winning outside of what might be considered their comfort zone.

James Buescher started the trend, winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener in Daytona. More recently, Nelson Piquet Jr. claimed victory in the same series’ event at Road America in Wisconsin.

Three NASCAR Camping World Truck campaigners have entered Friday night’s Subway Jalapeno 250 in Daytona: Buescher, attempting to become only the second to score a Daytona NASCAR Nationwide season sweep; Bryan Silas and John Wes Townley.

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