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Truck Series at North Wilkesboro: What You Need to Know

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to North Wilkesboro Speedway this weekend for the Wright Brand 250. A brand-new racing surface and a 38-truck entry list call for an exciting and unpredictable race weekend. Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s race at North Wilkesboro

  • North Wilkesboro Speedway was one of NASCAR’s original tracks. The 0.625-mile oval opened in 1946 and hosted NASCAR every year from 1948 until 1996. The track’s defining characteristic is the uphill backstretch and downhill frontstretch.
  • The Craftsman Truck Series returned to North Wilkesboro in 2023 after a 27-year hiatus. It was the first NASCAR National Touring Series points race held at the track since the Cup Series 1996 Tyson Holly Farms 400.
  • Fans are excited about this weekend’s race. The Truck Series typically puts on great shows on short tracks, and North Wilkesboro put on another solid race in 2023.

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The Favorites

Christian Eckes has won both Truck Series short-track races this season. He also dominated both races, leading a combined 277 of 450 laps. With a new racing surface at North Wilkesboro, the notebook is clean, so those who have performed well on short tracks this season have the edge.

Corey Heim is coming off his first DNF of the season, but he’s still second in the points standings. He led 75 laps after winning the pole in 2023 at North Wilkesboro, finishing 6th. While this isn’t the same surface as last year, Heim was at the tire test held at the track earlier this year.

Ty Majeski did well at North Wilkesboro in 2023, finishing second. He’s also been a threat to win on a short track this season, finishing second and leading 66 laps at Martinsville in the spring. His close call at Darlington means he will have extra motivation this weekend.

Who Needs a Boost

Grant Enfinger looked set for a season-best finish at Darlington before a windshield tear-off covered his grill, causing the car to overheat. It was a tough loss, but one that showed that Enfinger has speed. He finished 10th at North Wilkesboro a year ago, so he knows he can get it done on short tracks.

Rajah Caruth was set for a good finish after a great strategy play at Darlington before getting caught up in the 6-truck crash at the beginning of stage 3. While he struggled at North Wilkesboro in 2023, he does have top 10s in both short track races in 2024.

Matt Crafton showed some speed at Darlington before, like Caruth, piling into a 6-truck accident. Crafton’s best race of 2024 came at Bristol, a short track. He also finished 7th in 2023 at North Wilkesboro.

Rookie Watch

Layne Riggs also had the big crash in stage 3 ruin his day. While still comfortable as the top rookie in the series, he is venturing into must-win territory to make the Playoffs. Luckily, Riggs is a short track ace, and he will be a factor this weekend.

Thad Moffitt is coming off of his best finish of the season. He survived the late-race attrition to come home 18th on the lead lap, and he hopes to keep that momentum going at North Wilkesboro.

Conner Jones recorded his first finish outside the top 20 since the season-opener at Daytona. He looks to turn things around at North Wilkesboro.

The Extra Entries

The Truck Series entry list sees 38 trucks entered for only 36 spots. Two drivers will go home, and plenty of interesting individuals are on the entry list for this weekend.

Ross Chastain (Niece Motorspots No. 45) is the lone current Cup Series driver on the entry list, compared to 5 in 2023. However, Xfinity Series Martinsville winner Aric Almirola is also set to race this weekend. He brings Hattori Racing Enterprises back to the Truck Series in the No. 16. Fellow Xfinity Series driver Sammy Smith is entering for Spire Motorsports in the No. 7.

Other drivers are set to make one-off appearances this weekend. This includes late model driver Brenden “Butterbean” Queen (TRICON Garage No. 1), Dawson Sutton in his first career start (Rackley W.A.R. No. 26), and Justin Carroll (Terry Carroll Motorsports No. 90).

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