After another week off, the Craftsman Truck Series rolls into Atlanta Motor Speedway for the FR8 208, the second running of the Truck Series on the newly reconfigured track.
Corey Heim scored his first career win at the speedway last year, leading 22 laps. Heim, in a part-time season, scored two wins, six top-fives, and 10 top-tens. Stewart Friesen lead the most laps, 49, and Chandler Smith led the third most laps, at 21. The race saw seven cautions, and seven drivers did not finish, a product of the wide-open throttle racing and race craft of the truck series.
This weekend we will see some familiar faces in the field. Layne Riggs will pilot the #1 Tundra and John Hunter Nemechek returns with TRICON Garage in the number #17 Tundra. Ryan Vargas makes his first start with On Point Motorsports in their #30 Tundra. Bailey Currey is driving the #41 for Niece Motorsports. Akinori Ogata, a stock car driver from Japan, will drive for G2G Racing in their #46 Tundra.
Atlanta started life as a true oval. Originally named Atlanta International Raceway, it was built and hosted its first stock car races in 1960. It was reconfigured into the common quad-oval in 1997. It had 24 degrees of banking and was 55 feet wide. In 2021, the speedway was reconfigured again, increasing the banking to 28 degrees and narrowed to 40 feet wide, giving the speedway ‘superspeedway’ qualities.
The Truck Series ran its first race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 13th, 2004. Like many of the early truck series races, the field reads like a hall of fame ballot. Matt Crafton was in the field, along with Carl Edwards, Ken Schrader, and Randy LaJoie; father of Cup Series driver Corey LaJoie, Bill Lester, and current spotter Andy Houston.
Christian Eckes has been running well in the last two races, and Derek Kraus finished ninth in the MHR #19 Silverado. Also, I would also keep my eye on the TRICON Garage trucks and last year’s winner Corey Heim. Under David Gilliland Racing, they placed two trucks into the top ten. I would never count out Zane Smith, who finished fifth in this race last year. He won at Daytona and finished second at Vegas, a great deal of momentum for the #38 team.
How To Watch:
- Practice: No Practice
- Qualifying: Friday, March 17th, 3:00 ET, FS1
- Race: Saturday, March 18th, 2:00 ET, FS1