Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Race: UNOH 225
Track: Kentucky Speedway
Defending Champion: James Buescher
It has been three weeks since we last saw the Camping World Truck Series in action. Jeb Burton held off Ty Dillon to pick up his first career win at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Now we’re off to the Kentucky Speedway where James Buescher is not only the defending Series champion, not only the defending champion of this race, he’s the defending champion of BOTH Kentucky races in 2012.
Good to note that no driver has picked up their first career win at Kentucky, through 15 races.
One name missing from the entry list is 2010 winner Todd Bodine, he’s been replaced with Brett Moffitt this weekend in the #13 Toyota for ThorSport Racing.
This race also marks the return of Cale Gale, whose last race was a victory in Homestead in November of 2012. He’s been a crew chief for Turner Scott Motorsports developmental drivers. It makes sense with his pairing at TSM for that and previous relationship with sponsor Rheem. I’m just thinking maybe he should have quit while on top.
Matt Crafton continues to lead the points over Jeb Burton, Brendan Gaughan, Johnny Sauter, and James Buescher. He’s also the only driver to have started all 14 Truck races at the track.
Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch will attempt the triple, running all three top series at Kentucky. Drivers running the double include Scott Riggs and Matt Crafton (Trucks and Nationwide), Austin Dillon, Mike Bliss, Josh Wise, Brian Vickers, and Joe Nemechek (Nationwide and Cup).
Drivers To Watch:
Kyle Busch - Busch has the top driver rating (122.8), but only has one victory (2011) in his three starts at Kentucky. Overall he has three wins at the track, one in each series. He’s looking to add to each of those totals by running all three races. He’s run four races in 2013 with two wins, a second place, and a 27th place finish. Odds are if his truck is running, Busch will be at the front.
Joey Coulter - In four career Kentucky starts Coulter has finished seventh, 13th, seventh, and fourth. He’ll try to duplicate his past success to help erase memories of the 25th place finish at Texas and 32nd place effort three races ago at Charlotte. Plus his owner, Kyle Busch, is probably going to give him a few tips on how to be fast.
James Buescher – Buescher hasn’t won yet in 2013, but Kentucky seems like it has come at a good time for him. He swept both races last year and has five top-10 finishes in six starts. Even in the Nationwide Series he hasn’t done all that bad here with a 14th, 10th, and 13th place finishes.
Ron Hornaday, Jr. - Hornaday is a bit high on my list, but I am banking on the crafty veteran to FINALLY break through here at Kentucky. He is the all-time leader in wins with three and when he has been on, he’s been on at the track. The problem is this year he’s been off and he has been so/so in the last two races since his fall 2011 win.
Ty Dillon - Dillon had a bit of a rough go in his first start here in 2011 by finishing 18th. Since then he must have gotten tips from his brother Austin, because he posted a pair of third place finishes last year. Dillon was oh so close to a win last time at Texas and having three weeks off can only have made his desire that much more.
Brendan Gaughan - Gaughan has had some great runs in the Nationwide Series, getting a fourth, fourth, and third in his three starts. Too bad we’re talking Trucks. Last time he was here it was a 19th place effort. What I’m looking for this weekend is him to keep up his momentum that he’s carrying this year. He’s finished no worse than fifth the last five races.
Brad Keselowski - Keselowski has yet to get a win for his own team, but that won’t keep him from trying. He has won in the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series, so he’ll look to join Kyle Busch with three wins in all three series at Kentucky. With some luck finally going his side, he can do it Thursday under the lights.