Truck Series qualifying, race procedures explained for Knoxville

2021 June 29 Knoxville Main Image
Paul Arch photo

For the final time this season, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will rip the dirt as it returns to Knoxville Raceway Saturday, June 18 for the second annual Clean Harbors 150 presented by Premier Chevy Dealers.

Similar to Bristol Motor Speedway’s dirt layout, qualifying heats will set the starting lineup for the 150-lap main event. The first of four heats is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the headliner at 9 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

While relentless rain last year didn’t allow for the heats to play out at Bristol to prepare Truck Series drivers for Knoxville, that wasn’t a problem in April. The qualifying format will play out similarly this weekend on the Iowa half-mile:

Starting lineup format

  • Four qualifying heats of 15 laps each will be held, with only green-flag laps counting. The overtime rule will not be in effect, but free-pass and wave-around procedures will remain.
  • Qualifying heat assignments and starting positions will be determined by a random draw, conducted in order of team owners points standings. A total of 38 trucks are on the Knoxville entry list, which would mean two 10-truck & two nine-truck fields for the heats. The main event’s field is capped at 36 trucks, so barring a late entry, two trucks will not qualify.
  • The starting lineup will be determined by a formula that weighs finishing position plus the number of positions gained during each heat. Drivers finishing first in their heats earn 10 points, second place earns nine, third place earns eight and so forth. Additionally, drivers earn one passing point for each position gained in their heat; there are no point deductions or “negative points” for drivers who lose positions in their heats. The point totals determine starting positions. These points are only used to determine the starting lineup and do not count toward the season-long championship standings.
  • Ties in these points totals will be broken by current team owners points.

Pit-stop format

  • Teams will not be allowed to change tires or add fuel except during the breaks between stages.
  • Teams are required to pit during one of the two stage breaks. There will be no race onto or off pit road, using a controlled pit-stop procedure similar to the format in previous dirt-track events. The non-competitive pit stops must be completed within a designated time limit (3 minutes).

Stages and Schedule

  • The series will hold two practice sessions Friday. The first is scheduled for 50 minutes beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET (No TV). Final practice is set for 25 minutes and takes place at 9:02 p.m. ET (No TV).
  • Stages for Saturday’s main event will end on Lap 40 and Lap 90 with 150 laps scheduled to complete the full distance.

Tire Notes

Goodyear will have Truck Series teams running the same tire setup that was used at Bristol. However, the tire codes are different than what was used at Knoxville in 2021 (Left-side – D-3054, Right-side – D-3056). The changes were made to help the tread compound be more heat and wear resistant. The tires will be the 15-inch Dirt Bias Ply instead of the radials, which will help envelope the irregularities of the dirt surface. The tread will have a block pattern instead of the “normal” slicks to help grip and expel dirt. The right-side tire size (88.50 in.) will be similar to what teams are used to running but the left-side tire (85.79 in.) is substantially shorter to create more stagger between the left and right sides.