NASCAR Truck Series: Richmond Preview, Predictions, and How to Watch

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Richmond
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With spots in the Round of 8 up for grabs every weekend, every lap is important in the NASCAR Truck Series Playoffs as the trucks make their way through Richmond.

After Grant Enfinger secured his spot in the Round of 8 two weeks ago in Indianapolis, he noted that he didn’t believe he had the fastest truck on track throughout the night. But however fast or slow Enfinger thought he was, he is one step closer to the coveted NASCAR Truck Series championship title. As for the other nine drivers in playoff contention, two of them will not be so fortunate after the next two race weekends, Richmond and Kansas.

John Hunter Nemechek, the 25-year-old who has quickly become a perennial championship contender, felt the need to issue an apology via social media for his on-track actions at Indianapolis, including when the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver spun Taylor Gray from the lead with two laps to go, preventing Gray from a potential first career victory in the Truck Series.

Former series champions such as Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes are looking to lock in their spot in the Round of 8 as well, with Crafton finding himself at the bottom of the playoff standings after a ninth-place finish at Indianapolis. After the July 23rd race at Pocono where Crafton punched his ticket to the playoffs, Crafton called 2022 “…the crappiest year I’ve had.” In seven starts, Crafton has an average finish of 18th at Richmond, including a second-place finish in 2020.

The Track

Located just north of Downtown Richmond, Virginia, Richmond Raceway measures at 0.75 miles and has hosted the NASCAR Truck Series from the series’ conception in 1995 to 2005 and again from 2020 to the present day. Both Jack Sprague and Tony Stewart hold the most Truck Series victories at Richmond with two each.

Known for its signature “D” shape, Richmond Raceway poses unique challenges for drivers and crews alike as it strays from the traditional oval shape that most short tracks take.

The curved frontstretch is banked at eight degrees before taking the shallow turn into Turns 1 and 2, which are banked at 14 degrees. Richmond Raceway has become known throughout the years for the multiple grooves that form throughout the four turns, making racing more action-packed.

The backstretch forms the straight line of the “D” shape, before taking the turn into another 60-foot wide set of turns, with Turns 3 and 4 also being banked at 14 degrees. In Saturday’s race, drivers will make the trip around Richmond Raceway 250 times, for a total race distance of 187.50 miles.

Playoff Standings

  1. Grant Enfinger, GMS Racing – 1 win (Locked into Round of 8)
  2. Zane Smith, Front Row Motorsports – +50 (from playoff cutline)
  3. Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing – +36
  4. Stewart Friesen, Halmar Friesen Racing – +28
  5. Chandler Smith, Kyle Busch Motorsports – +24
  6. John Hunter Nemechek, Kyle Busch Motorsports – +24
  7. Ty Majeski, ThorSport Racing – +19
  8. Carson Hocevar, Niece Motorsports – +7

ROUND OF 8 CUTOFF LINE

9. Christian Eckes, ThorSport Racing – -7

10. Matt Crafton, ThorSport Racing – -7

Race Predictions

Last time out at Indianapolis, Grant Enfinger won on a short track. He may just do it again on Saturday at Richmond.

  1. Grant Enfinger
  2. John Hunter Nemechek
  3. Zane Smith

How to Watch (All Times in EST)

  • Practice/Qualifying: Saturday, 8/13 – 3:00 p.m. on FS1
  • Worldwide Express 250: Saturday, 8/13 – 8:00 p.m. on FS1 (Green flag at 8:09)

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Featured Image Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images