NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is ready for a dirt filled debut at Knoxville Raceway
After taking last weekend off, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be returning to action this weekend in the Corn Belt 150 Presented by Premier Chevy Dealers at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa on Friday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio in the series’ debut at the famously historic dirt track.
Knoxville Raceway is a half-mile dirt oval with eight degrees of banking in the four turns. The width of the track varies from 60 to 80 feet and the surface is comprised of black Iowa soil. Over the years Knoxville Raceway has been aptly nicknamed the ‘Sprint Car Capitol of the World’. The track was constructed in the 1800s on the Marion County Fairgrounds and was originally a horse racing track.
Knoxville Raceway will be the second dirt track the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will compete on this season joining the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt track. Much like that weekend in Bristol, the series will once again compete in a special format that will include Qualifying Races.
The tentative weekend schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Knoxville Raceway is as follows:
Thursday, July 8
Random Qualifying Draw (6 p.m. ET)
Final NCWTS Practice (7:05 p.m. – 8:25 p.m. ET)
Friday, July 9
1st Qualifying Race (7 p.m. ET)
2nd Qualifying Race (7:15 p.m. ET)
3rd Qualifying Race (7:30 p.m. ET)
4th Qualifying Race (7:45 p.m. ET)
NCWTS Race (9 p.m. ET)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Corn Belt 150 Presented by Premier Chevy Dealers
The Place: Knoxville Raceway
The Date: Friday, July 9
The Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 75 miles (150 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 150)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Qualifying/Race Formats for Knoxville
This weekend’s racing will have a special format for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the Corn Belt 150 Presented by Premier Chevy Dealers at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa on Friday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Heat Race Starting Lineup – Random draw determines heat race designation and starting position for the heat race. The draw will be in order of current owner points.
Qualifying Heat Races – Four qualifying races held at 15 laps each with only green flag laps counted – no overtime rule. Free pass and wave around procedures will be in effect.
Passing Points – Drivers will accumulate points in the heat races based on finishing position and passing points. The points total determines the starting position for the feature event.
Passing Points = The difference between assigned starting position and finishing position
Go forward – accumulate passing points
Go backward or finish where you started – zero passing points
Tiebreaker – Owner Points
Feature – Lineup based on combined points of Heat Race finishing position and passing points. Feature race will be (NCWTS: 150 laps) divided into three stages (NCWTS: 40/90/150). Running order will be frozen at the conclusion of each stage. During the stage breaks, teams can change tires, add fuel and make adjustments to their trucks. These non-competitive pit stops must be completed in a time designated by NASCAR (TBD).
No fuel or tires except at stage breaks. (Note: It is mandatory to stop at least one of the stage breaks.)
Additional Event Highlights – Choose rule will not be in effect for the race at Knoxville. The overtime rules, free pass and wave around procedures will be in effect.
Kyle Busch Motorsports, John H. Nemechek are setting up for a strong run in the postseason
One thing has been made very clear this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and that is Kyle Busch Motorsports has brought John Hunter Nemechek back to the series for wins and sadly for the competition, they are doing just that – winning. Plus, this weekend Nemechek could clinch the Regular Season Championship adding to his already impressive 2021 resume.
Two weeks ago at Pocono Raceway, John Hunter Nemechek scored his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season leading fifth victory of 2021 – a new single season career-high for Nemechek. In total, Nemechek has amassed five wins (Las Vegas, Richmond, Charlotte, Texas and Pocono), eight top fives and 11 top 10s in 12 starts.
Nemechek also leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver standings following Pocono Raceway by 86 points over second place Ben Rhodes. With only two races left Nemechek looks poised to lockup the Regular Season Championship as well; which will grant him an additional 15 Playoffs points to add to his already series leading 34 Playoff points bringing his total to 49 to start the postseason if he doesn’t collect anymore at Knoxville and Watkins Glen. Nemechek can clinch the Regular Season Championship with 34 points or by being 60 points above the second-place driver in the standings following Knoxville.
Since the inception of the Playoffs in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016, no Playoff driver has accumulated more than 42 Playoff points heading into the postseason. Nemechek is on path to surpass that record this season.
The 2016 Playoffs began with the No. 1 seed William Byron entering the postseason with 15 Playoff points. The 2017 Playoffs began with the No. 1 seed Christopher Bell entering the postseason with 40 Playoff points.
The 2018 Playoffs began with the No. 1 seed Johnny Sauter entering the postseason with 42 Playoff points. The 2019 Playoffs began with the No. 1 seed Brett Moffitt entering the postseason with 22 Playoff points.
The 2020 Playoffs began with the No. 1 seed Sheldon Creed entering the postseason with 26 Playoff points.
Also working in Nemechek’s favor, is four of the five No. 1 seeds entering the Playoffs earned a spot in their respective season’s Championship 4 Rounds, with the lone exception being William Byron. But of the five No. 1 seeds, only two took home the series title – Christopher Bell (2017) and last season’s champion Sheldon Creed.
Two vastly different tracks left to close out the Camping World Trucks’ regular season
When it comes to the last two tracks on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season schedule the differences between the two facilities couldn’t be more vast.
This weekend the series heads to Knoxville, Iowa for the Truck Series debut at Knoxville Raceway in the Corn Belt 150 Presented by Premier Chevy Dealers on Friday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Knoxville Raceway is a half-mile dirt track with eight degrees of banking in the turns. The track is largely known for its Sprint Car races and will be unlike any other dirt track the series has competed on.
Then nearly a month later, following the Olympic break, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will head north to Watkins Glen International located just outside Watkins Glen, New York for the race on August 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. To wrap up the regular season the competitors will be tasked with navigating the multi-elevational, seven turn road course. It will be the sixth time the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has competed at the 2.45-mile course and the first time in 20 years (last race was on June 24, 2000).
Playoff Bubble: Two chances remain to win and get into the Playoffs
With just two races left in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season, it’s time to start talking clinch scenarios and identify the drivers locked in and those still fighting to get in to the 2021 Playoffs.
The following five drivers have clinched a spot in the 10-driver postseason NASCAR Camping World Truck Series field: John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Austin Hill, Todd Gilliland, Sheldon Creed. Hill is the first driver to clinch a spot solely on points, the other four have won already this season.
Can clinch via points
If there is a new winner, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fifth winless driver in the standings – Zane Smith: Would clinch with 18 points; Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 53 points; Stewart Friesen: Could only clinch with help.
If there is a repeat winner, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the sixth winless driver in the standings. They would also clinch if there was a new winner among (drivers) and being 56 points above the 5th winless driver in the standings – Zane Smith: Would clinch regardless of finish; Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 33 points; Stewart Friesen: Could only clinch with help; Carson Hocevar: Could only clinch with help
Can clinch via win
The following drivers would clinch on their win alone – Zane Smith, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar, Chandler Smith, Johnny Sauter, Tyler Ankrum, Austin Wayne Self, Derek Kraus, Ryan Truex.
The following drivers could clinch with a win and clinching a Top 20 position – Hailie Deegan: Would clinch with 41 points; Tanner Gray: Would clinch with 59 points; Chase Purdy: Could only clinch with help.
Additionally, John Hunter Nemechek could clinch the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Regular Season Championship with 34 points or by being 60 points above the second-place driver in the standings following Knoxville.
Husband and wife team to tackle Knoxville Raceway
The Friesens tried at Bristol and unfortunately it didn’t work out, but this weekend, they will give it another shot to become the first married couple in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history to compete against one another in a series’ race. Jessica Friesen, a well-known sprint car and modifieds dirt racer, will attempt to make her NASCAR national series debut while driving the No. 62 Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota at Knoxville Raceway.
This weekend will be Halmar Friesen Racing’s second attempt at fielding a second truck for a race, and it will be alongside the familiar No. 52 of Jessica’s husband Stewart Friesen – the most recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular to win a race on dirt (Eldora, 2019 – Martin Truex Jr. won at Bristol earlier this season.
The Friesens have competed against each other in a race before (they actually finished first and second in a race at Utica-Rome Speedway two days after their wedding in 2014). But they will be attempting to become the first husband-wife duo to compete in the same NASCAR national series race since Elton Sawyer and Patty Moise last did it at Atlanta in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 1998.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
Former Truck Dirt Winners Entered This Weekend – Only two former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winners on dirt surfaces (Eldora Speedway or Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt) are entered this weekend – Matt Crafton (2017 Eldora Winner) and Stewart Friesen (2019 Eldora Winner).