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Truck Trend

Truck title fight continues at Martinsville

Stay up to date on all of the latest news, headlines and race recaps from the Truck Racing Series at Truck Trend. Read the following full length Truck Series news article from October 2011.

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Truck title fight continues at Martinsville

Martinsville, VA (Sports Network) - Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck. Date: Saturday, October 29. Race: Kroger 200. Site: Martinsville Speedway. Track: 0.526-mile oval. Start time: 2:00 p.m. (et). Laps: 200. Miles: 105.2. 2010 winner: Ron Hornaday Jr. Television: Speed. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) /SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite.

The battle for the Camping World Truck Series championship is turning out to be one of the best in the series'17-year history. With three races to go, 16 points separate leader Austin Dillon from fourth-place Ron Hornaday Jr.

James Buescher's finish of third compared to a seventh-place run for Dillon in last Saturday's race at Talladega allowed Buescher to move within three points of Dillon.

Johnny Sauter fell 14 points out of the lead after finishing 15th at Talladega.

Hornaday has been the hottest driver in the series lately, winning three of the last six races. He finished second at Talladega.

After finishing 24th in the August 24 race at Bristol, it looked as though Hornaday's chances of winning a record-extending fifth series title were over, as he trailed the leader by 68 points. But what a remarkable comeback he's made since then.

"This championship battle is really heating up, and with three races to go, it's important to drive smart and make good decisions," he said. "I've been in this hot seat before, and I really think this team can come together and pull off a victory."

Hornaday could very well continue his surge in the point standings this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, a track where he has finished no worse than fourth in the past three years. He won at this track for the first time one year ago.

Dillon's best finish in three races at Martinsville is seventh, which came in April.

Buescher has finished no better than 11th in four starts at this track. He finished 35th here earlier this season.

When the series competed at Martinsville in the spring, Sauter passed Kyle Busch with less than two laps remaining to win here for the first time. Sauter's victory came days before his wife, Cortney, gave birth to their second child. He also became the first non-Sprint Cup Series regular to win a NASCAR national touring race during the 2011 season.

"We don't have a choice but to win if we're going to pull off this championship," Sauter said. "We're going to do whatever it takes to win, within reason. I don't look out for anybody but us, especially now with just three to go."

Timothy Peters, who grew up 30 miles away from this track in Providence, NC, is currently fifth in points (-42). Peters' first truck win came at Martinsville in October 2009. His series debut came here as well, in April 2005.

Kevin Harvick and Virginia-native Denny Hamlin are those Sprint Cup regulars competing in this race.

Harvick is the only driver entered that has multiple truck victories at Martinsville. He won back-to-back spring races here from 2009-10. Harvick will drive the No.2 Chevrolet, while Hornaday will move back into the No.33 truck. Hornaday drove the No.2 at Kentucky, Las Vegas and Talladega.

Hamlin will be behind the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports' No.18 Toyota.

Forty-one teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Kroger 200.

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