2021 Camping World Truck season kicks off under the lights at Daytona
It seemed almost like yesterday, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series was in Phoenix deciding the 2020 championship in a wild finish that saw GM Racing’s Sheldon Creed pass a gaggle of trucks to win the race and the title. Now just a few short months later the series heads to Daytona International Speedway for annual season-opener the NextEra Energy Resources 250 this Friday under the lights (Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
This weekend’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona is the 22nd running of the event. A total of 290 different drivers have competed in the Camping World Truck Series at Daytona. ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton leads the series in starts at Daytona with 20.
In total 18 different drivers have won a Truck Series race at Daytona, led by Johnny Sauter with three victories (2013, 2016, 2018). Just four former series Daytona winners entered this weekend – Sauter (three wins), Timothy Peters, Austin Hill and Grant Enfinger each have one. The youngest Camping World Truck Series race winner at Daytona is Kaz Grala (02/24/2017 – 18 years, 1 months, 26 days) and the oldest is Joe Ruttman (02/16/2001 – 56 years, 3 months, 19 days).
Six different NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers scored their first career win at Daytona; the most recent was Austin Hill in 2019.
New Stops On the 2021 Camping World Truck Schedule
Lots to look forward to this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, most notably, the new stops on the 2021 schedule including trips to traditional and new tracks alike, including a new battle in the dirt at an iconic NASCAR track, and a second dirt contest at another storied – yet brand-new – venue.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ first dirt affair will take place at Bristol Motor Speedway (March 27), joining the NASCAR Cup Series for an action-packed weekend on the short track’s return to dirt.
Then, on July 9, trucks will roll into Knoxville Raceway for what will be a highly anticipated contest on one of the most storied tracks in the country. Located in Knoxville, Iowa, Knoxville Raceway hosted its first race in 1901, but is best known for a long, rich history of Sprint Car racing. When the Camping World Truck Series hits the dirt surface in the Hawkeye State, it will mark the first time a NASCAR national series has competed at Knoxville.
“The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series provides some of the most intense and entertaining competition in all of racing,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR vice president of racing development.
“The 2021 iteration of the schedule will build upon that intensity through a wide variety of long-tenured race tracks and new venues like Knoxville Raceway. The variety of disciplines will increase the demand on drivers and culminate with a truly battle-tested champion at Phoenix.”
The Camping World Truck Series will kick off 16 national series tripleheader weekends in 2021, including at Circuit of the Americas (May 22) and Nashville Superspeedway (June 18). In addition, the Camping World Truck Series will return to fan-favorite Watkins Glen International for the first time since 2000 on Aug. 7.
The series will also share the stage with the NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday, June 26 in Pocono as all three national series take part in the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader weekend at the Tricky Triangle.
As was originally scheduled in 2020 prior to the pandemic, World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway will return to host the start of the Playoffs (August 20). Two historic short tracks will determine which drivers continue their Playoffs run, as Bristol Motor Speedway (Sept. 16) trims the field to eight and Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 30) decides which four drivers will race for a championship at Phoenix Raceway (Nov. 5).
Triple Truck Challenge Returns in 2021
The Triple Truck Challenge was introduced in 2019, as a three-race program that provides drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series an opportunity to win up to $500,000 in bonus money.
The Triple Truck Challenge will award a $50,000 bonus to the race winner of any one of the three events; win two of the three races and pocket an additional $150,000; win all three and collect a cool half a million dollars.
This season the Triple Truck Challenge will be held at the following tracks:
- Darlington Raceway (May 7)
- Circuit of The Americas (May 22)
- Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 28)
Can He Take It Higher? Creed Aims At Championship Repeat
Sheldon Creed returns to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet to defend his 2020 championship.
The 23-year-old won the first five races of his career last season, including two in the final three races to capture the series title. His five victories topped the series.
Creed improved throughout his second full-time season in 2020, racking up four of his five wins in the second half of the season and leading no less than 10 laps in each of his final six races.
In two Daytona starts, Creed claims finishes of 17th (2019) and ninth (2020).
Monster Mash: Hailie Deegan Makes Ballyhooed Full-Season Trucks Debut
Hailie Deegan is set to make her much anticipated NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in Friday’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1).
Fresh off a third-place championship finish in the ARCA Menards Series, the 19-year-old Californian takes aim at the Truck Series. She finished 16th in her lone Truck Series start at Kansas Speedway last year – setting the record for females in the series in their debut.
Deegan boasts three career victories in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West which is now part of the ARCA Menards Series. She is the first female driver to win a race in the West Series.
The No. 1 Monster Ford driver has experience at Daytona, finishing second in the ARCA Menards Series Race at The World Center of Racing last year.
John Hunter Nemechek returns to chase championship in Truck Series
After dabbling full-time in the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series, John Hunter Nemechek returns to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in search of a championship in the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra.
Nemechek is a six-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports.
Across 102 career starts in the Camping World Truck Series, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 609 laps led, 28 top-five and 50 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.2. The North Carolina native qualified for the Camping World Truck Series Playoffs in each of his two full-time seasons, finishing eighth in the championship standings in both 2016 and 2017. He was voted the series most popular driver in 2015.
Nemechek’s career-best Daytona finish is a fourth-place showing (2017).
“There are definitely some internal goals, I don’t want to publicize those goals,” Nemechek said. “The goal is to obviously win races and be a contender for the championship come Phoenix for our finale. Hopefully, we can accomplish all that, get as many wins as possible, and be a contender each week.”
ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger goes for Daytona repeat
Grant Enfinger will attempt to grab a second straight victory at Daytona International Speedway in Friday’s NextEra Energy Sources 250 (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1). The No. 98 ThorSport Ford driver led a race-high 41 laps last year on his way to the checkered flag. In six career starts at Daytona, Enfinger claims one win, two top fives and three top 10s. He has an average Daytona finish of 9.5.
Enfinger will attempt to build off a career-best 2020 season in which he scored four victories and placed fourth in the championship standings. The Fairhope, Alabama, native, embarks on his fifth full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season in 2021.