Following a two week hiatus, the Camping World truck series heads to Kentucky for the 8th race of the 2013 season for a Thursday night tango with the1.5 mile tri-oval that is Kentucky Speedway.
Thus far the 2013 CWTS season has been filled with non stop competitive action. New faces like Jeb Burton, Ryan Blaney, and Darrell Wallace Jr. all immediately have had a profound impact on the CWTS landscape in 2013.
Jeb Burton heads into Kentucky as the series most recent winner. Burton scored a huge victory (First of his career) on June 7th in Texas. This race could be a crucial one for the young Halifax VA, native who trails point’s leader Matt Crafton by 23 markers. Burton’s unbelievable consistency through the early portion of the season has him poised to take a run at the championship in only his first full season on the CWTS tour. Burton will make his Kentucky debut on Thursday night, and will attempt to make it two consecutive wins on the season.
Veteran CWTS driver Matt Crafton has also been a benchmark of consistency through the first seven races of the 2013 CWTS season. Crafton leads the point standings through the first seven races, sporting an outstanding record of one victory combined with 5 top 10’s, 7 top 10’s & 1 pole. Crafton will be in search of his first Kentucky victory on Thursday night. Matt finished 4th in last year’s June Kentucky race, and has finished a career best 3rd at Kentucky on two occasions (08,09) respectively. 2013 also has been good to the entire ThorSport Racing organization as a whole. Combined with the success Matt Crafton has experienced, ThorSport Racing’s other driver Johnny Sauter currently sits 4th in the driver standings with 2 victories. ThorSport leads the way of all CWTS teams in wins this season with 3 victories followed by KBM with 2 wins & Turner Motorsports also with 2 w’s.
Thursday night’s race in Kentucky could be a great place for defending series champion, and winner of the last two Kentucky races James Buescher to get back on track. Buescher has struggled through the first seven races of the season. Buescher Currently sits 5th in the driver standings with no wins or top five finishes in that stretch, however he has scored 3 top ten finishes this season. When the green flag drops on Thursday night Buescher will aim to nail down his 3rd consecutive victory at Kentucky Speedway. A James Buescher win Thursday night would tie him with Ron Hornaday,Jr. for the most CWTS at Kentucky with 3 apiece.
Kyle Busch returns to Kentucky in the CWTS for the first time since 2011. Busch was the last driver to win (2011) a CWTS race at Kentucky before James Buescher’s current streak of 2 in a row. Anytime Kyle Busch is in the field in a CWTS race, he’s undoubtedly an odds on favorite to see the checkered flag first.
Another NASCAR Sprint cup series regular that will invade the filed for Thursday night’s race, is none other than defending NSCS champion Brad Keselowski. Brad will pilot his # 19 Reese tow power BKR entry as a teammate to Ryan Blaney for the event. Brad still searching for his first CWTS victory in 55 starts over 9 seasons could be in good shape Thursday night to score that elusive first victory in the series. A Brad Keselowski victory on Thursday night would put him in some elite company as the 24th driver to win a race in all three major NASCAR touring series. Brad finished 2nd in this event last season.
It’s no secret the last couple of seasons have been a complete struggle for CWTS all-time wins leader Ron Hornaday, Jr. Hornaday is in the midst of his worst career stretch in the series. Hornaday also went winless in the CWTS for the first time in his career in 2012. With an infinite flux of fresh young talent bursting onto the CWTS scene it’s presumably justifiable to say Hornaday’s glory days are well behind him. Luckily for all you Ron Hornaday fans the series is heading into Kentucky, a place where their driver has scored 3 wins (06, 09, and 11) Hornaday is looking for his first victory since Las Vegas in October 2011.
Last June K& N Pro Series East standout Kyle Larson made his CWTS debut driving for Turner Motorsports at this event. Larson started 25th and went on to score an impressive 10th place finish that night. Brett Moffitt another K&N Pro Series East standout cut out of the same mold as Larson is hoping to mirror that same success as his former competitor, Thursday night when he sit’s in for former Kentucky winner Todd Bodine in the #13 Toyota. Moffitt will turn his first laps around the Kentucky Speedway in any series. A fixture on the K&N East series tour for the past four seasons has never raced on an oval track the size of Kentucky Speedway so the young man will certainly be put to the test.
Race pick- James Buescher, I would like to see him tie Hornaday for most wins at the Kentucky Speedway in the CWTS, and make it 3 in a row!
The UNOH 225 airs Thursday night at 8pm est on Speed.
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com