Ryan Truex - No. 16 Chiba Toyopet Toyota Tunda
Back in the Saddle… Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) is a welcome sight to Ryan Truex and the No. 16 Chiba Toyopet team. Truex and the HRE team have been one of the strongest teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) on 1.5-mile and intermediate styled racetracks this season. In the previous visit to TMS in June, Truex posted his second top-five finish of the year, with a fourth-place result. In the last two races at 1.5-mile tracks, Truex has earned the pole position and led a combined 29 laps. To add to the optimism, Truex and the Chiba Toyopet team return to TMS with the same Tundra that has finished in the top four in three of the last four races at intermediate tracks.
Intermediate Prowess… Based on races at the intermediate, downforce style tracks this season, Truex must be considered one of the favorites to pull into victory lane on Friday night. The intermediate venues have been the “bread and butter” for the No. 16 team, as evidenced by the six top-five’s and 10 top-10 finishes Truex has accumulated. After the last two weeks of superspeedway and short-track racing, Truex and Chiba Toyopet team are in position to continue their success on the intermediate, 1.5-mile layout at TMS.
Texas Track Record… TMS underwent a facelift with fresh asphalt and a reconfiguration before the 2017 season. Truex finished fourth in the first race on the new configuration in June, and has two NCWTS starts at TMS, both with HRE. In addition to his NCWTS experience, Truex has two TMS starts in the XFINITY Series, most recently in November of 2015.
Season Rundown… Only a trio of races remain in the NCWTS season, and Truex is on the cusp of breaking through for his first-career victory. Truex tied his career-best finish of second at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September, and collected two Keystone Light Pole Positions at Chicagoland Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). Truex has earned three Stage victories, seven top five’s, and 11 top-10 finishes through 20 of 23 races. Truex enters TMS ninth in the championship standings, but is sixth in aggregate points scored throughout the entire season.
Chassis Selection… Since debuting at Pocono Raceway in July, chassis No. 007 has become a favorite for Truex and crew chief Scott Zipadelli. No. 007 will return to action on Friday night after a 12th-place finish at LVMS. This Tundra has been repaired since that race at LVMS when Truex was forced into the outside wall while running third. It was driven to a third-place run at Pocono, and two fourth-place runs at Michigan International Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway.
Tune In… Race weekend will open for the tailgaters on Thursday afternoon for two practice sessions. FOX Sports 1 will pick up the action on Friday afternoon with two rounds of pole qualifying at 4:00 p.m. ET. FS1 will carry live coverage of the JAG Metals 350 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday evening, followed by the green flag at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Ryan Truex Quote:
On returning to Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season:
“We’ve been really fast at all the 1.5-mile tracks, and intermediates, this year, so I’m definitely looking forward to it. We’ve been a top four or five truck basically all season at these places, especially in the last few races. The guys at HRE did a great job getting this chassis back together after our issue in Las Vegas. I’m really confident our Chiba Toyopet Tundra will have really good speed right off the bat and that we can be in position to finally win one.”
“Texas is unique because it’s one of the places we race at twice, and having run the repave and new configuration earlier this year, we kind of have an idea of what to expect and what transitions the track goes through. We were fast back in June and finished in the top five, so this is another good opportunity for us. All these guys deserve a win this season and we’re going to do everything we can to make it happen this weekend.”