When it came time this year during the annual media tour for NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France to address the gathered crowd at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, he made a very unfortunate flub – he called the Camping World Truck Series the “Craftsman World Truck Series”. This slip was, in hindsight, foreshadowing for a season that’s been a little forgettable so far.
It took four weeks for a series regular to win a race – which meant, for three weeks we had a points leader who had no wins. Between the top four drivers in the points, there are only four top-fives to go around. 357 of 647 total laps (about 55%) have been led by guys who can’t win the championship. And half the wins this season have come from Kyle Busch owned trucks (don’t worry, he’s only taken one of the wins).
The trouble this season hasn’t been fields dominated by Cup regulars, but a few good Cup regulars in great equipment. And they’ve all been good for the most part.
To their credit, the Thorsport trucks have been regular contenders (in fact Johnny Sauter became just the second non-Cup winner of the season along with Trevor Bayne – he’s the only one in the Nationwide and Truck Series). And we’ve seen some young talent show up out of nowhere – does the name Cole Whitt ring a bell?
Ron Hornaday Jr. has been back in old form, three top-tens in four races, and immediate past champion Todd Bodine is looking ok. Austin Dillon’s been competitive too.
The Randy Moss Motorsports trucks, or I’m sorry, truck, has been terrible with a new engine builder – a real disappointment with series vet and past champion Travis Kvapil. And the Turner Motorsports teams have been hit or miss. I still can’t believe James Buescher missed a race.
This series is always the most enjoyable to be around and watch. It’s been good to see some lesser funded teams actually competing this year. But lately it’s been lacking that tough trucks, tough racing mentality that always produces solid events.
All the above said, I’m optimistic the season will rebound. Hopefully that starts this weekend at Nashville.