Trucks set for triumphant return to Milwaukee Mile on Sunday


Ron Hornaday races at the Milwaukee Mile
Jonathan Daniel
Getty Images

The 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Playoffs resume this weekend with the Clean Harbors 175 at the Milwaukee Mile Speedway on Sunday (4 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). This is the second race in the seven-race playoff run to crown the series champion.

Ty Majeski earned his first win of the season in the playoff opener at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park two weeks ago to claim the automatic bid into the second round of postseason action.

This marks the series’ first race at the famed Milwaukee Mile Speedway since 2009 – an event won by NASCAR Hall of Famer and multi-time Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.

MORE: Truck playoff standings | Milwaukee weekend schedule

The event included a 16th-place finish by three-time series champion and current playoff contender Matt Crafton – the only current full-time series driver to have competed there previously. Crafton was runner-up to Johnny Benson Jr. in 2008 – one of five top-10 finishes in nine starts. Crafton, who is ranked ninth among the 10 playoff drivers, is two points behind rookie Nick Sanchez in that all-important eighth-place transfer position to the Round of 8.

Regular-Season Champion Corey Heim holds the playoff standings lead just ahead of Majeski (+3 points), followed by Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, defending series champion Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes and Sanchez.

Crafton and first-time series playoff contender Matt DiBenedetto are ranked ninth and 10th – two points and three points, respectively, behind Sanchez in an already-tight playoff run.

“It’s going to be a challenge, for sure,” said Eckes, the two-race winning driver of the No. 19 McAnally Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet.

“Not many people have raced at Milwaukee recently, so there’s not much of a notebook to look at other than some visual similarities to Gateway or Phoenix. We’d love to get another win with our Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet and we’re certainly capable of that.

“Hopefully, we can take another step forward from how we ran at IRP and Gateway earlier this year and be one of the trucks to beat this weekend. Another great points day like we had at IRP would be great to help us get close to advancing, but getting back to Victory Lane is the priority for our team.”

Qualifying for the Clean Harbors 175 takes place at 11:30 a.m. ET on Sunday (FS2) followed by the race at 4 p.m. ET on FS1.

Five-time Olympic speed skating gold medalist and Wisconsin-native Bonnie Blair will serve as the race Grand Marshal.