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NASCAR Truck: playoffs begin at Gateway

WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK – AUGUST 07: The playoffs contenders for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, front row L-R: Chandler Smith, driver of the #18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, Stewart Friesen, driver of the #52 Halmar International Toyota, Ben Rhodes, driver of the #99 Bombardier LearJet 75 Toyota, and back row L-R: Sheldon Creed, driver of the #2 Chevrolet, Carson Hocevar, driver of the #42 Premier Security Chevrolet, John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Toyota, Austin Hill, driver of the #16 United Rentals Toyota, Zane Smith, driver of the #21 Bay Mountain Air Chevrolet, and Todd Gilliland, driver of the #38 Crosley Brands Ford, pose for photos after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series United Rentals 176 at Watkins Glen International on August 07, 2021 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Friday’s Toyota 200 at Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway near St. Louis kicks off the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs.

On the strength of five race wins and nine stage wins in the 15 regular-season races, John Hunter Nemechek claimed the regular-season championship that came with an additional points prize. As a result, he heads into the playoffs with a 28-point cushion on second-place driver, Austin Hill, winner of two races in the regular season.

“Our goal is to take the big trophy at the end of the year,” Nemechek said. “I don’t know if I would categorize it as failure (if we don’t).”

Ten drivers made the playoffs, separated from the rest with a base of 2000 points after a points adjustment that followed the regular-season finale at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

In addition to Nemechek and Hill, Ben Rhodes, Todd Gilliland and Sheldon Creed advanced to the playoffs by race wins. Zane Smith, Matt Crafton, Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen and Chandler Smith fill out the bottom half of the playoff field by virtue of the driver points standings after the Watkins Glen race.

The seven-race Truck Series playoff series is divided into three rounds — two three-race rounds, followed by a one-race championship round at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 5.

After the first round of races at Gateway, Darlington (S.C.) and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, playoff drivers who win at least one of those three races will advance to round two. The two drivers lowest in the standings among the rest of the playoff competitors will be eliminated from championship contention. The same two-driver elimination format will be repeated after the second round that includes races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Four drivers will remain in contention for the 2021 Truck Series title for the Phoenix finale. The highest race finisher among the four will be the champion.

“We want to make it to that (championship four) in Phoenix and give it our best shot. If our best shot isn’t good enough, then we have work to do in the future,” Nemechek said.

The Toyota 200 is scheduled to get underway at approximately 8 pm CT Friday. The race will be shown live on FOX Sports 1.

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Posted by on August 20, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Camping World Truck Series,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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