Gander Outdoor Truck Series

NCWTS: Truckers Enter the Paper Clip for the Kroger 200

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EASTON, Pa. — The oldest track on the NASCAR calendar, Martinsville Speedway is on tap for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this weekend for the Kroger 200.

Since 1949, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been entering the Virginia short track for classic southern battles, and in 1995, the NCWTS kicked off their inaugural season with Martinsville on the schedule.

Track History

This half-mile track, which resembles the shape and size of a paper clip, stands as one of the most popular destinations amongst racing fans of all cultures. It’s a must-see event. Since 1995, the track has seen giants of the series like Mike Skinner, Johnny Benson, Jr., Jack Sprague and Dennis Setzer heading home with Grandfather Clocks in the back seat.

Sprint Cup regulars like Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick have seen victory here with Harvick winning a record-tying three races here.

Last Time

The most recent race in the 2014 NCWTS season happened last weekend at the enormous Talladega Superspeedway for race No.18 of the year. We saw Ben Kennedy go airborne past the start/finish line, fantastic two and three-wide racing and a green-white-checkered finish to settle it.

Timothy Peters held off a gallant effort from a hard charging Spencer Gallagher, to get his first win of the season and for the Red Horse Racing team.

From the most recent race of the year to the most recent race at Martinsville, similar things can be said. Matt Crafton had to hold off Darrell Wallace, Jr. in not one, but two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish in a race that had 10 caution flags.

Crafton now enters the weekend with a 16-point lead over Ryan Blaney.

Wendell Scott Tribute Weekend Announcement

NASCAR via Getty Images

Wallace, Jr. Swapping Numbers

Wallace, Jr. will be racing with a special memory on his truck this Saturday afternoon. In the 50th anniversary year of Wendell Scott’s one and only career NSCS win back in 1964, Wallace, Jr. will honor the history-making African-American by changing his number from No.54 to No.34.

“It’s an honor to run the No. 34 Toyota Tundra at Martinsville,” Wallace, Jr. said. “I got my first win at Martinsville and the historical significance of that win and to be so close to Wendell Scott’s hometown was a really cool bonus to getting my first win. The Scott family has followed my career since I ran the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program for Rev Racing and I’ve kept a relationship with the family over the years. Thanks to Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota and NASCAR for allowing me to run the No. 34 at Martinsville. I’m pumped to get back there and hope to get another victory.”

Hailing from Danville, Virginia, – which is a short 40 minute drive down the road from the speedway – Scott spent 13 years in the sport of NASCAR, starting nearly 500 races and scoring 147 top-10’s, including the infamous win at the Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida.

Wallace himself has seen great success at Martinsville in his short career thus far. In his three starts, Wallace has finished top-five in all three, including his maiden win in this race one year ago, and a runner-up in the race back in March.

Breaking Down the Entries

There are 37 trucks on the entry list including the young guns like Cole Custer, Max Gresham and Brandon Jones.

Ben Kennedy will look to continue his Martinsville hot streak after back-to-back top-five runs there.

“We’re bringing back the same truck we raced there earlier in the year, which was really good at the end of that race… I think that this is a track that we’ve got a great chance at getting our first win, so I’m hoping I get to leave on Saturday with the grandfather clock.”

There are also six drivers looking to make their first career NCWTS starts; Matt Tifft, Camden Murphy, Wendell Chavous, Cody Erickson, Charles Buchanan, Jr. and Austin Hill.

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About Zach Catanzareti

Zach Catanzareti serves as a Contributing Writer in the NASCAR department for Rubbings Racing and can be followed on Twitter (@zachracing) for the latest NASCAR updates. A native of Easton, Pennsylvania, he also follows IndyCar and Formula 1.

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