Friday, Feb 03

After five-week layoff the trucks return to action

NASCAR Wire Service Friday, Apr 05 2213


More than a month has flown by since the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series hit the track at Daytona for the season opener. But this Saturday, the trucks awake from their slumber to pound the pavement at Martinsville for the Kroger 250 (1:30 p.m. ET, SPEED).

When the trucks arrive at the short track, Daytona champion Johnny Sauter will bring with him a six-point lead over Ron Hornaday Jr. and Justin Lofton. Sauter hopes his success at one of the circuit's largest tracks will carry over to the series' smallest track, where he has one victory, coming in the 2011 Kroger 250.

Most of the drivers are looking forward to finally returning to the track after the time off.

"I'm glad that we are finally getting back to racing; everyone is itching to get going again," said James Buescher, the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. "All the guys in the shop have been staying busy during the break building new trucks and prepping for test sessions."

In the 28 races the trucks have competed on the paper-clip-shaped track, three drivers share the lead with the most wins (three): Kevin Harvick, Dennis Setzer and Mike Skinner. Of those three, only Harvick will crawl through the window of a truck this weekend for the start of the Martinsville race.

Harvick is the defending winner of the race and has won it three of the past four seasons. He will drive the No. 24 NTS Motorsports Tide Chevrolet as teammate to four-time series champion Hornaday and Brennan Newberry.

In 21 races at Martinsville, Hornaday has 13 top 10s, more than any other driver currently scheduled to compete in Saturday's race, to go along with one win.

Todd Bodine, Joey Coulter, Matt Crafton, Timothy Peters and David Starr have all had mild success at Martinsville and could find themselves in Victory Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Seven drivers will attempt to make their Martinsville truck debut this weekend: Jonathan Davenport, Chase Elliott, Grant Galloway, Kenny Habul, Devin Jones, Erik Jones, German Quiroga Jr. and Darrell Wallace Jr.   



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