Camping World Truck Series
|Country||United States · Canada|
|Manufacturers||Chevrolet · Ford · Toyota|
|Drivers' champion||Erik Jones|
|Teams' champion||Kyle Busch Motorsports|
|Official website||Camping World Truck Series|
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (formerly the NASCAR SuperTruck Series presented by Craftsman and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) is a pickup truck racing series owned and operated by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, and is the only series in all of NASCAR to race modified production pickup trucks. The series is one of three national divisions of NASCAR, ranking as the third tier behind the second-tier Xfinity Series and the top level Sprint Cup Series. Camping World has served as the title sponsor since 2009; it replaced Craftsman, who served in that role from 1996 through 2008.
Craftsman Truck Series
The idea for the Truck Series dates back to 1991. A group of SCORE off-road racers (Dick Landfield, Jimmy Smith, Jim Venable, and Frank "Scoop" Vessels) had concerns about desert racing's future, and decided to create a pavement truck racing series. They visited NASCAR Western Operations Vice President Ken Clapp to promote the idea, who consulted Bill France Jr. with it, but the plans fell apart. Afterwards, Clapp told the four to build a truck before NASCAR considered it. Bakersfield fabricator Gary Collins built a prototype truck, which were first shown off during Speedweeks for the 1994 Daytona 500 and tested by truck owner Jim Smith around Daytona International Speedway. The truck proved to be popular among fans, and NASCAR arranged a meeting in a Burbank, California hotel on April 11, 1994; the meeting ultimately led to the creation of the "SuperTruck Series".
Four demonstration races were held during the season at Mesa Marin Raceway had six trucks, Portland Speedway, Saugus Speedway and Tucson Raceway Park. Tucson held four events that winter, which were nationally televised during the Winter Heat Series coverage. Tools line Craftsman served as the sponsor of the series on a three-year deal, and the series was renamed to the "Craftsman Truck Series" in 1996. In addition, the series' $580,000 purse is larger than the Busch Grand National Series' fund. While a new series, it garnered immediate support from many prominent Winston Cup Series team owners and drivers. Prominent Cup owners Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, and Jack Roush owned truck teams, and top drivers such as Dale Earnhardt and Ernie Irvan also fielded SuperTrucks for others. The series also attracted the attention of drivers like sprint car racing star Sammy Swindell, Walker Evans of off-road racing fame, open-wheel veteran Mike Bliss, and Atlanta Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville. The inaugural race, the Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway, was held on February 5; the race, featuring an event-record crowd of 38,000 spectators, concluded with eventual series champion Mike Skinner holding off Cup veteran Terry Labonte to win.
Camping World Truck Series
At the end of the 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, Craftsman stopped sponsoring the series. Subsequently, Camping World signed a seven-year contract with NASCAR, rebranding the series as the "Camping World Truck Series".
With decreasing money and increasing costs, the series has struggled financially with sponsorship and prize money, the latter often being low, while the former would prompt teams to shut down to reduce in size. Teams like Richard Childress Racing, a Cup team with 31 Truck wins, shut down their Truck operations; in RCR's case, after the 2013 season. After the 2014 season, Brad Keselowski stated his Brad Keselowski Racing team had lost $1 million despite recording a win that year, and told the Sporting News: "The truck series, you have to be able to lose money on a constant basis. That's just how the system works." To cut costs, NASCAR required teams to use sealed engines, with teams not being allowed to run at most three races with a previously-used engine. Additionally, NASCAR reduced the maximum number of pit crew members allowed over the wall for a pit stop from seven to five, and required teams to only take either fuel or tires on a single pit stop in 2009. This requirement was abandoned for the 2010 season.
Starting with the 2011 season, NASCAR implemented a new rule that allows drivers to compete for the drivers' championship in only one of the three national touring series (Cup, Xfinity, or Truck) in a given season.
On January 19, 2016, NASCAR announced the introduction of a playoff format similar to the Chase for the Sprint Cup: the format consists of eight drivers across three rounds, with two drivers being eliminated after each round.
Most of the first drivers in the series were veteran short track drivers who had not made it or struggled to thrive in the other NASCAR national series; for example, 1991 Featherlite Southwest Tour champion Rick Carelli had failed to qualify twelve times for Cup races across 1991–1994, with only nine career Cup starts, but he finished sixth in the inaugural Truck Series championship. It is worth noting that most of the early champions have become Sprint Cup Series regulars later in their careers, such as 1995 champion Skinner, who joined Richard Childress Racing's Cup team in 1997, competing on a full-time basis until 2003. As the years went on, a number of younger drivers debuted in the series, using the series as a springboard for their racing careers. Current NASCAR stars Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, and Kyle Busch each started in the series. Kyle Busch was 16 when he was ejected from a 2001 Craftsman Truck Series race in Fontana, CA by CART (which sanctioned the Marlboro 500 that weekend) because of violations in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, the tobacco agreement prohibited competitors under 18 in any race during the meet. The issue resulted in a 2002 rule change that mandated that any driver competing in a NASCAR national touring series (Truck, Busch, Cup) or any regional series race on the weekend of a national series race must be at least 18 in order to comply with the Master Settlement Agreement. After NASCAR phased out tobacco sponsorships, the minimum age for regional touring series was changed to 16, and the Truck Series' rule regulated a minimum age of 16 for any circuit one mile or shorter (Rockingham Speedway included, despite it being 1.017 miles), and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
In later years, though, the Truck Series has also become a place for Cup veterans without a ride to make their living which included Ricky Craven, Jimmy Spencer, Dennis Setzer, Brendan Gaughan (who started his career in a family-owned team, and after his Nextel Cup attempt, returned to the family operation), Rich Bickle, Andy Houston, Todd Bodine, Bobby Hamilton Jr. and previous champions Johnny Benson, Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday, Ted Musgrave, and Jack Sprague. The series was dominated by older drivers, most with Xfinity and Cup Series experience: in 2007, all ten top-10 drivers were over 30 years of age, and 7 of the 10 had Cup experience, as did every race winner with the exception of Erik Darnell. Even though novice drivers play a minimal role in this "minor league" series, there is no controversy like the disputes over "Buschwhackers" in the Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series). No current Cup regulars drive a full Truck Series schedule, although Cup driver Kevin Harvick owned his own team in the series until 2011, and Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski field their own teams, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Brad Keselowski Racing, respectively, driving part-time for them. A current Truck Series field could be split into three groups: Cup drivers that compete as owner-drivers like Busch and Keselowski or to receive additional money like David Gilliland; Truck regulars that compete full-time in the series; and young drivers who use the Truck Series to enter NASCAR.
Racing and strategy
A Truck Series field currently consists of 32 trucks. Previously, 36 trucks comprised a field, but the number of entrants had been decreasing; in 2014, an average of 33 trucks were entered per race, the smallest field being 27 at Texas and the maximum being reached only eight times.
NASCAR uses a knockout qualifying system across the three series. At tracks longer than 1.25 miles, the sessions are three rounds long, while there are only two rounds at shorter tracks. In round one, all drivers have 25 minutes to set a time, while the 24 fastest advance to the second round. In the second round, the drivers have 10 minutes to run, and the top 12 advance to the final round; the final round, a five-minute session, determines the starting lineup of the top 12. The pole position winner receives the Keystone Light Pole Award, though if the pole-sitter is younger than 21 years, the award is renamed the 21 Means 21 Pole Award. At the restrictor plate tracks, the trucks are placed into four groups, with each group qualifying together.
Initially, the series used a number of rules that differed from both Winston Cup and Busch Grand National Series racing. Most of the first races were no longer than 125 miles in length, with many being 150-lap races on short tracks. To save teams money by not requiring teams to hire pit specialists and buy extra tires, and because some tracks – Saugus Speedway, Flemington Raceway, Tucson Raceway Park, Evergreen Speedway and Colorado National Speedway most notably—did not have a pit road safe enough for pit stops, or had pits outside the track, starting with the second race of the series in Tucson, NASCAR adopted a five-minute "halftime" break, in place of pit stops, where teams could make any changes they would want to the truck. The only time tire changes were possible were for the interest of safety, such as a tire failure, or a danger to the tire. The rule was popular with television and fans, and was spread for the entire schedule afterwards as pit reporters could interview drivers and crew chiefs for the break in a time without stress. However, starting in 1998, NASCAR introduced competition cautions, with each team being awarded four sets of tires; with this rule change, the halftime break was abolished starting with the race at Pikes Peak International Raceway. In 1999, full pit stops were added, with drivers being allowed to pit during races, but were not allowed to change more than two tires during a stop.
In 1996, some races went to two intermissions for full tire and fuel stops, while longer races were stopped at three times—a limited break near the one-quarter and three-quarter marks for fuel stops, and at the halfway point for fuel and tire stops. If tire wear was a concern, NASCAR also permitted two-tire changes if necessary in the first and third period breaks. These rules were influential in driver development. Drivers had to learn to conserve tire wear for up to a half race, which allowed them to learn conserving the truck. Some drivers used the rules to learn tire conservation for other series. In 1997, NASCAR started phasing pit stops. During the 1997 season, trucks could only legally take fuel and make adjustments during pit stops during the race. Tire changes were still illegal except for emergency causes and at break times.
For a short time in 1995, NASCAR adopted traditional short-track rules by inverting a number of cars at the front of the grid after complaints about some races where drivers led the entire event. That was dropped quickly after some races ended as walkovers for drivers, leading entire races.[clarification needed]
A more popular rule that was effective until the middle of the 2004 season was the "overtime" rule. Unless interrupted by weather, Craftsman Truck Series races had to end under green flag conditions, and the rule mandated that all races must end with a minimum of two consecutive laps in green flag condition, often referred to as a "green-white-checkered" finish. Since racing to the yellow flag was prohibited until 1998 (and again in 2003 under the current free pass rule), scoring reverted to the last completed lap, and until racing back to the line was legalized in 1998, if the yellow waved during the first lap of a green-white-checkered finish, the entire situation would be reset. This rule meant some races would be greatly extended. In 1998, a CBS-televised race in Pikes Peak scheduled for 186 laps ran 198 laps (12 extra laps) because of multiple attempts, and the last such race, in Gateway International Raceway in 2004, lasted 14 additional laps (16.25 miles). A July 24, 2004 rule change for NASCAR's three national series meant only one "green-white-checkered" finish can be attempted, and the race can end under yellow in one of four situations—inclement weather, darkness, the yellow flag waving because of an incident during the final lap of a race, or the yellow flag waving after the one attempt at green-white-checkered begins. This was later extended by NASCAR to three attempts. (It should be noted that, while reducing the Truck Series attempts at a green-white-checkered finish to one, the rule change was part of NASCAR's implementation of the rule to the Cup and Busch Series due to complaints regarding NASCAR's policy at the time regarding late race cautions; the policy stated that a red flag would be thrown during a late race caution to attempt to ensure the race would finish under green but if a caution occurred after the window for the red flag, the race would end under caution regardless of where the incident occurred or how severe it was). Ironically, the first Truck Series race under the new rules ended with a yellow flag on the final lap.
In the 2016 season, a "caution clock" rule was added, under which a caution will be thrown if a race is under a green flag for 20 minutes. No free pass will be awarded for these cautions, and the 20-minute clock will be reset upon all restarts. The caution clock is not used during the final 20 laps (10 laps at Pocono or Canadian Tire Motorsports Park) of the race, nor will it be used during the event at Eldora Speedway.
Initially, the Truck Series competed primarily on short tracks and tracks based on the West Coast of the United States; the series' inaugural schedule included races at tracks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, with only five being based in the Southeastern U.S., such as Louisville Motor Speedway, which was not run by the Cup Series. Additionally, the longest tracks run by the series, Phoenix International Raceway and Milwaukee Mile, were one mile long. By 1998, most of the short tracks were phased out in favor of speedways of 1 to 2 miles in length, and more of the races were held at tracks that hosted Cup and Busch events concurrently, but some races were held with Champ Car and Indy Racing League events. Road courses were phased out by 2001, the last race being in 2001 at Watkins Glen International, but returned in 2013 with the Truck race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Also in 2013, the Truck Series began racing at Eldora Speedway, the first time NASCAR has raced at a dirt track since the 1970 NASCAR Grand National Series season. As of the 2015 season, the series races on 20 tracks: one dirt track (Eldora), one road course (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park), two short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville), two superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega) and 14 intermediate ovals. The most recent addition to the series schedule is Atlanta Motor Speedway, which returned to hosting Truck races in 2015 after a two-year absence.
The 1995 season's races were nationally televised on ESPN, TNN, ABC and CBS. Of the 20-race schedule, TNN aired ten races, while ESPN aired seven races and CBS two, while ABC aired the race at Mesa Marin Speedway as part of its Wide World of Sports program.
In 2001, NASCAR moved the series exclusively to cable, first with ESPN, and in 2003, switched to Speed, a network which provided supplemental coverage for Fox's coverage of NASCAR events. Network television returned to the series from 2007 to 2010 when two races per season (the Kroger 250 at Martinsville and the City of Mansfield 250 at Mansfield, with a race at Fontana replacing Mansfield) airing on Fox as NASCAR on Fox events. These broadcasts were discontinued in 2009. On August 13, 2013, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 picked up all Truck Series coverage. Eventually, it was announced that the Fred's 250 at Talladega would be moved from Fox Sports 1 to Fox.
- Chassis: Steel tube frame with safety roll cage, must be NASCAR standards
- Engine Displacement: 6.0 L (6,000 cc; 366 cu in) Pushrod V8
- Transmission: 4-speed manual
- Weight: 3,400 lb (1,542 kg) minimum without driver, with fuel
- Power Output: 650–700 hp (485–522kw) unrestricted, ≈450 hp (335 kW) restricted
- Torque: 700 N·m (520 ft·lb)
- Fuel: 98 octane E15 unleaded gasoline standardized by Sunoco
- Fuel Capacity: 18 US gal (68 L)
- Fuel Delivery: Carburetion
- Compression Ratio: 12:1
- Aspiration: Naturally aspirated
- Carburetor size: 390 cubic feet per minute (184 liters per second) 4 barrel
- Wheelbase: 112 in (2,845 mm)
- Steering: Power, recirculating ball
- Tires: Goodyear slick tires
- Length: 206.5 in (5,245 mm)
- Height: 60 in (1,524 mm)
- Width: 80 in (2,032 mm)
- Safety equipment: HANS device, Seat belt 6-point supplied by Willans
The series was notable in seeing the return of Chrysler Corporation factory-supported race vehicles to the tracks. Chrysler withdrew its factory support of its Dodge and Plymouth brands after the 1972 season to cut costs, though teams continued to campaign cars with Plymouth and Dodge sheetmetal and power plants until 1985. Chrysler funded a small R&D effort, with factory funding and support for Dodge to return to NASCAR for the Craftsman Truck Series with the Dodge Ram pickup truck in 1997. By 2001 Dodge made a full-time return to NASCAR with a full factory backed effort. While Dodge continued to race in the other series until 2012, the Ram Trucks division (spun off from Dodge after the Fiat Group took control of Chrysler) raced in the Camping World Truck Series in Dodge's place. In 2014, Ram pulled out, leaving the Nationwide Series as the last series with teams fielding Dodge. As of the 2015 season, JJC Racing is the only team in the Truck Series to field Ram trucks.
- Chrysler LLC
- Ford F-150: 1995–present
- Toyota Tundra: 2004–present
All-time win table
- 2016 season. Indicates driver is competing full-time in the
- 2016 season. Indicates driver is competing part-time in the
- NASCAR Hall of Fame. Indicates driver has been inducted into the
|Hornaday Jr., RonRon Hornaday Jr.||51|
|Busch, KyleKyle Busch||46|
|Skinner, MikeMike Skinner||28|
|Sprague, JackJack Sprague||28|
|Bodine, ToddTodd Bodine||22|
|Setzer, DennisDennis Setzer||18|
|Musgrave, TedTed Musgrave||17|
|Biffle, GregGreg Biffle||16|
|Benson Jr., JohnnyJohnny Benson Jr.||14|
|Harvick, KevinKevin Harvick||14|
|Bliss, MikeMike Bliss||13|
|Crafton, MattMatt Crafton||13|
|Ruttman, JoeJoe Ruttman||13|
|Sauter, JohnnyJohnny Sauter||11|
|Hamilton, BobbyBobby Hamilton||10|
|Peters, TimothyTimothy Peters||10|
|Kvapil, TravisTravis Kvapil||9|
|Gaughan, BrendanBrendan Gaughan||8|
|Dillon, AustinAustin Dillon||7|
|Jones, ErikErik Jones||7|
|Martin, MarkMark Martin||7|
|Buescher, JamesJames Buescher||6|
|Byron, WilliamWilliam Byron||6|
|Cook, TerryTerry Cook||6|
|Edwards, CarlCarl Edwards||6|
|Crawford, RickRick Crawford||5|
|Riggs, ScottScott Riggs||5|
|Wallace, MikeMike Wallace||5|
|Wallace Jr., DarrellDarrell Wallace Jr.||5|
|Kahne, KaseyKasey Kahne||5|
|Blaney, RyanRyan Blaney||4|
|Busch, KurtKurt Busch||4|
|Carelli, RickRick Carelli||4|
|Raines, TonyTony Raines||4|
|Sauter, JayJay Sauter||4|
|Starr, DavidDavid Starr||4|
|Bickle, RichRich Bickle||3|
|Bowyer, ClintClint Bowyer||3|
|Dillon, TyTy Dillon||3|
|Houston, AndyAndy Houston||3|
|Nemechek, John HunterJohn Hunter Nemechek||3|
|Rezendes, DaveDave Rezendes||3|
|Almirola, AricAric Almirola||2|
|Bell, ChristopherChristopher Bell||2|
|Chaffin, ChadChad Chaffin||2|
|Compton, StacyStacy Compton||2|
|Custer, ColeCole Custer||2|
|Darnell, ErikErik Darnell||2|
|Fellows, RonRon Fellows||2|
|Hamlin, DennyDenny Hamlin||2|
|Hensley, JimmyJimmy Hensley||2|
|Irwin Jr., KennyKenny Irwin Jr.||2|
|Larson, KyleKyle Larson||2|
|Piquet Jr., NelsonNelson Piquet Jr.||2|
|Pressley, RobertRobert Pressley||2|
|Reddick, TylerTyler Reddick||2|
|Scott, BrianBrian Scott||2|
|Stewart, TonyTony Stewart||2|
|Tolsma, RandyRandy Tolsma||2|
|Wood, JonJon Wood||2|
|Braun, ColinColin Braun||1|
|Burton, JebJeb Burton||1|
|Coulter, JoeyJoey Coulter||1|
|Craven, RickyRicky Craven||1|
|Elliott, ChaseChase Elliott||1|
|Gale, CaleCale Gale||1|
|Hendrick, RickyRicky Hendrick||1|
|Hmiel, ShaneShane Hmiel||1|
|Kennedy, BenBen Kennedy||1|
|Keselowski, BobBob Keselowski||1|
|Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski||1|
|King, JohnJohn King||1|
|Kligerman, ParkerParker Kligerman||1|
|Labonte, BobbyBobby Labonte||1|
|Labonte, TerryTerry Labonte||1|
|Leffler, JasonJason Leffler||1|
|Lia, DonnyDonny Lia||1|
|Lofton, JustinJustin Lofton||1|
|Logano, JoeyJoey Logano||1|
|McMurray, JamieJamie McMurray||1|
|Miller, ButchButch Miller||1|
|Moffitt, BrettBrett Moffitt||1|
|Newman, RyanRyan Newman||1|
|Park, SteveSteve Park||1|
|Reffner, BryanBryan Reffner||1|
|Reutimann, DavidDavid Reutimann||1|
|Sadler, ElliottElliott Sadler||1|
|Said, BorisBoris Said||1|
|Schrader, KenKen Schrader||1|
|Speed, ScottScott Speed||1|
|Spencer, JimmyJimmy Spencer||1|
|Waltrip, MichaelMichael Waltrip||1|
|Townley, John WesJohn Wes Townley||1|
|Whitt, BrandonBrandon Whitt||1|
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- "Tracks". NASCAR. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
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- "2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Team Chart". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
- "NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - All Time Wins". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
- "Race results for NCWTS Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway". FOX Sports. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
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