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Cup stars and a newcomer add luster to NASCAR Truck Series field at Charlotte

Add team owner and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch to any NASCAR Camping World Truck Series field, and you have an instant prohibitive favorite.

In 163 starts in the series, Busch has recorded 61 victories — a remarkable winning percentage of 37.4. So, it’s only natural Busch will be the driver to beat in Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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Not that Busch is the only double-duty competitor in the field. Ross Chastain, a three-time career winner in the Truck Series, is making his fourth start of the season in the No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet.

Chastain is enjoying a breakout season in the Cup Series, having posted two victories and seven top-five results in 13 races.

“The intermediate package we have at Niece Motorsports has shown a lot of speed, and it’s only a matter of improving the end result,” Chastain said. “I know the hard-working people at Niece Motorsports will have a fast Chevrolet Silverado prepared for us.”

Mexico’s Max Gutierrez will attempt to make his series debut in the No. 37 AM Racing Chevrolet. If he’s successful, Gutierrez will become the 66th driver from a country outside the United States to compete in the series.

He would also be the ninth different driver from Mexico to race a NASCAR truck, joining Daniel Suárez (Monterrey), Carlos Contreras (Mexico City), Germán Quiroga (Mexico City), Michel Jourdain (Mexico City), Enrique Contreras III (Mexico City), José Luis Ramirez (Mexico City), Rubén Pardo (Mexico City) and Juan Manuel González (Mexico City).