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
Johnny Sauter fell 14 points out of the lead after finishing 15th at
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
Dillon's best finish in three races at Martinsville is seventh, which came in
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
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.