NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
Canadian Cruiser: Tagliani To Run Second Career Truck Race At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Alex Tagliani – a native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada – hopes to keep the trophy in his home country after he competes in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).
Tagliani will pilot the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford F-150. Last season’s race at CTMP marked the first and only other time Tagliani drove in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He won the Keystone Light Pole Award and finished 16th.
A regular competitor in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Tagliani has one win, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes in seven starts on the northern circuit. The 41-year-old driver took the wheel of Team Penske’s No. 22 in this year’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Mid-Ohio and looked to win the event from the pole until Regan Smith bumped him out of the way on the final lap. Tagliani placed second.
Hayley Heads Home
NASCAR draws new international competitors every year. Drivers from outside the United States who have competed in the sanctioning body’s three national touring series this year include Anthony Kumpen (Belgium), Daniel Suarez (Mexico) and Alex Tagliani (Canada). One driver from outside the U.S. racing exclusively in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Cameron Hayley from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Hayley, who runs for ThorSport Racing out of Sandusky, Ohio, ranks sixth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings. He will make his second career NCWTS start in Canada when he takes the wheel of his ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He placed 11th at CTMP last year.
On the season, Hayley owns three top-five and five top-10 showings in 14 starts with a best finish of fourth (Pocono).
Championship Points Race ‘Jam-Packed’ Entering Great White North
As if it couldn’t get any tighter, the top of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship points standings became jam-packed after last Wednesday’s race at Bristol. Tyler Reddick continues to lead Matt Crafton and Erik Jones, but only by six and seven points, respectively. Jones finished sixth and Crafton placed seventh to slightly close the gap on Reddick who came in eighth at The Last Great Colosseum.
Reddick has never raced at a road course. Jones started and finished third in his lone start at CTMP, last season. Crafton has finishes of sixth (2014) and 10th (2013) in his two starts at CTMP.
If Reddick or Jones, both 19, were to win the championship, the individual would become the youngest NCWTS title winner in its history, supplanting Austin Dillon, who accomplished the feat in 2011 at the age of 21 years, 6 months and 22 days.
Crafton is chasing his third consecutive NCWTS championship. Last year, he became the first driver to successfully defend a NCWTS title.
Gaulding Gets In Saddle For Kyle Busch Motorsports
NASCAR Next alum Gray Gaulding will pilot the No. 54 Krispy Kreme Toyota in his debut for KBM in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Gaulding, 17, posted his career-best start and finish at CTMP last season when he placed fourth from the second position. He has made 10 previous NCWTS starts (one in 2015, nine in 2014). The Colonial Heights, Virginia native is a regular in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East where he has four top-five and five top-10 finishes in 8 starts this season.
"I'm very excited to be a part of KBM," Gaulding said. "It's a dream as a driver because I remember growing up watching Kyle and how much I wanted to drive for him when he started his own team. I know his mentality is to go out every weekend and win races. It's a championship organization with great people and I know I'll be able to go to the race track and have an opportunity to win at each race."
Wong To Make Camping World Truck Series Debut
Brian Wong will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, competing for Venturini Motorsports. The 26-year-old Californian is the first-ever Chinese American to score a podium finish in both the TUDOR United Sports Car Series as well as the ARCA Series. Wong has competed in the past in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. In 22 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West/East starts, Wong claims two top-five and six top-10 finishes.
Will Another NASCAR Next Member/Alum Win At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park?
NASCAR Next drivers have taken a liking to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Both NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races have been won by NASCAR Next members / alumni (Chase Elliott, 2013; Ryan Blaney, 2014).
Since drivers under 18 years old can compete on road courses and tracks of 1.25 miles or less, NASCAR Next member Cole Custer and NASCAR Next alum Gray Gaulding (both 17) join current NASCAR Next member John Hunter Nemechek and NASCAR Next alumni Erik Jones, Cameron Hayley and Ben Kennedy as Chevrolet Silverado 250 entrants.
All six drivers raced at CTMP for the first time last season: Jones (third-place finish), Gaulding (fourth), Custer (ninth), Hayley (11th), Kennedy (15th), Nemechek (25th).
Nemechek is coming off a career-best third-place finish at Bristol.
Daniel Hemric – Truck Series’ Model Of Consistency
A light bulb must’ve clicked on for Daniel Hemric at Dover. Beginning at the Monster Mile, Hemric has logged top-10 finishes in eight of the last nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. Bookending the span are two fourth-place showings – Hemric’s two career-best finishes. Prior to his current run, Hemric had just one top-10 finish (10 at Kansas) in the first eight races. The 24-year-old Kannapolis, North Carolina native has ascended from 10th in the NCWTS standings prior to the Dover race all the way up to fifth. Hemric will go for his fifth consecutive top 10 in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He has never competed on a road course in a NASCAR national series, but showed adaptability by finishing fifth at Eldora in his first time racing on dirt.
Dramatic Finishes Highlight First Two Truck Races In Canada
It’s not “Guiding Light” or “As the World Turns” but fans are more than likely to witness high-octane drama in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Both of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at CTMP (2013-14) have featured dramatic finishes. In 2013, Chase Elliott became the youngest winner in NASCAR national series history (a record that has since been broken twice) when he dumped Ty Dillon on the final lap to visit Victory Lane. Last year, Ryan Blaney and German Quiroga each passed each other on the final lap as Blaney edged out Quiroga by a mere 0.49 seconds.