Time to Turn Up the Heat … Ryan Truex heads to Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) to make his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at the one-mile oval and put the heat on the playoff combatants. While some drivers are looking to score enough points to advance themselves to the NCWTS playoff finale, Truex and the No. 16 Kobe Toyopet team are completely focused on breaking into victory lane for their first victory. A checkered flag is well within reach after Truex led 28 laps and finished second at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), the most recent one-mile venue.
Hot Lap Hot Streak … Part of Truex’s strong second half of the 2017 season can be attributed to his qualifying efforts. Truex has been on a hot streak in qualifying since earning his first-career pole position at Chicagoland Speedway in September. In the last six races, Truex has transferred to the final round of qualifying and has started seventh or better in each race, including two pole positions.
Phoenix History … Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 marks Truex’s first start with HRE at PIR, but he has one previous NCWTS start in the desert under his belt. Truex’s lone PIR start in the NCWTS came in 2012 when he drove to a ninth-place finish. Additionally, Truex has three XFINITY Series starts at PIR, including a top 10 in 2011, and one start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Season to Date … As the NCWTS turns to PIR, one of two tracks that have hosted a race every year since the series’ inception in 1995, Truex is coming off another top-10 run at Texas Motor Speedway a week ago. Truex holds the ninth position in the drivers’ championship standings and has collected seven top-five’s and 12 top-10 finishes through 21 races. He recorded his first two NCWTS pole positions at Chicagoland and Las Vegas Motor Speedway and has three stage wins.
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the Kobe Toyopet team prepared chassis No. 001 from the HRE stable for Truex to race on Friday night. Chassis No. 001 most recently impressed with a runner-up finish at NHMS and led 28 laps. This Toyota Tundra also raced at Bristol Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway earlier this season.
Tune In … All on-track activity on Friday from PIR will be covered live by FOX Sports. The lone practice session of the weekend on Friday morning will be carried on FS2 beginning at 11 a.m. ET. FOX Sports 1 will cover qualifying at 5:30 p.m. ET and will be followed by the Lucas Oil 150 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Ryan Truex Quote:
On making his first start at Phoenix with HRE:
“It’s been a long time since I was able to run the truck race at Phoenix. I’m looking forward to it because of how much Zippy (Scott Zipadelli) and all the guys improved this truck when we went to New Hampshire. We nearly got ourselves a win last the last time we raced this truck, so hopefully it’s that much better this time around. Track position is a big deal at Phoenix, and we’ve been qualifying well lately, so hopefully we can get another good starting spot on Friday. Our Kobe Toyopet Tundra looks great, so it would be nice to give them a good run up front and give everyone at HRE a win like they deserve. We’ve been fast virtually everywhere we’ve been this year, even last week when we finished eighth and were held back a little by dirty air and track position. But, we’ve shown we have the speed to compete with these guys heads-up at front and finally break through for a win.”