NASCAR Cup Series
By Holly Cain
NASCAR Wire Service
2 Minute Read
NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series makes its Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course debut in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio (1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) — the third and final road-course event of the season.
Current championship leader Zane Smith won the first road-course race of the year at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas (COTA), and NASCAR Cup Series regular Kyle Busch took the trophy more recently at Sonoma Raceway, with Smith finishing runner-up.
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NASCAR held eight Xfinity Series races at Mid-Ohio, as recently as last season. This weekend, one of those winners, Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks, will compete again at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit in Lexington, Ohio.
Saturday’s race marks the final leg of the Triple Truck Challenge incentive program. Corey Heim, who is making selected 2022 starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports, can pocket an extra $150,000 should he match his win at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway back in June with a victory at Mid-Ohio. Any other driver to win would take an extra $50,000 as part of the popular program.
With only two races remaining to set the 10-driver Camping World Truck Series Playoff field, Smith leads all championship-eligible drivers with three race wins and 12 top 10s in 14 races — and holds a 21-point advantage on John Hunter Nemechek in the standings. The Regular Season Championship concludes July 23 at Pocono Raceway with the top-10 drivers earning playoff eligibility.
Only 53 points separate the top six drivers in the standings. Ben Rhodes, the 2021 series champion, is currently in third place, 30 points behind Smith.
Zane Smith, Nemechek and Rhodes all have previous road-course wins. Smith has the win (COTA) and runner-up (Sonoma) this year. Nemechek was runner-up at COTA this year and won at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in 2016. And Rhodes won on the Daytona Road Course last season.
There is an hour-long practice session Friday morning followed by two rounds of Cometic Gasket Pole Qualifying at 3:35 p.m. ET (FS1).