NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visits Phoenix Raceway this weekend

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Fr8Auctions 200

The Place: Atlanta Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, March 20

The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 1:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 200.02 miles (130 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 130)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

John Hunter Nemechek’s gamble on himself pays off in Vegas

In the off-season, John Hunter Nemechek surprised many in NASCAR when he announced he was returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series following his first full-time year of NASCAR Cup Series competition. His reason for pairing up with Kyle Busch Motorsports for the 2021 season was clear – he wanted to win.

Mission accomplished.

Nemechek led his truck owner across the line to win his first of the season, and his seventh overall in the series. It was his first Camping World Truck Series victory since the spring Martinsville race in 2018.

The win also marked the first for Nemechek for a team other than NEMCO Motorsports – owned by his dad, Joe. But the Vegas celebration still had a strong family connection as the Nemecheks became the first father-son pairing to win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Joe won the Xfinity Series race in 2003.)

With the series heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 20, for the Fr8Auctions 200 (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Nemechek has to feel confident that he can continue winning. His first two career wins came on 1.5-mile tracks – including a 2016 victory at Atlanta in the second race of the season.

The win at Vegas brought an additional early-season accolade to Nemechek – he took over the series points lead from Ben Rhodes and now holds a 14-point advantage over the driver who won the first two races of the season.

Toyota is tops at Vegas

Toyota Tundra trucks took the top five positions in last weekend’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race as Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and they did it with four different teams.

Kyle Busch Motorsports took the top two positions with John Hunter Nemechek winning while team namesake Kyle Busch finished second. Austin Hill was third in the Hattori Racing Enterprises entry, Stewart Friesen finished fourth in a Halmar Friesen Racing truck, and Matt Crafton’s ThorSport Racing No. 88 finished fifth.

Toyota book-ended the top 10 with Christian Eckes in ninth and Ben Rhodes in 10th – both being ThorSport drivers.

The balance of the top 10 was filled by Chevrolets. Zane Smith and GMS Racing were sixth, Grant Enfinger’s spot start for CR7 Motorsports netted a seventh-place finish, and Parker Kligerman’s first start of the season landed him in eighth with a Henderson Motorsports truck.

Smith, Hocevar continue to lead Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings

Not much changed atop the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings following the third race of the year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend. Chandler Smith continues to lead Carson Hocevar by a significant points total after the trio of opening races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.

Smith was the highest-finishing Sunoco Rookie contender for the second week in a row after finishing 19th in Vegas. Hocevar was 24th in the race.

However, a slight shake-up occurred further down in the standings, as Chase Purdy and Kris Wright moved up past Hailie Deegan into third and fourth, respectively. This comes on the heels of a 23rd-place finish by Purdy, while Wright crossed the line 25th. Deegan recorded a 28th-place result.