At this point in the season, “six” is the magic number in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

There are six playoff spots remaining and just six regular-season races left to fill them, starting with Friday night‘s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Corey Heim, who has won three of the last six Truck Series races, is locked into the postseason. So is two-time winner Christian Eckes. Rajah Caruth and Nick Sanchez are the only other two series regulars with victories this season.

Accordingly, the playoff grid is still wide open to any driver who can either find Victory Lane or score enough points to qualify on that basis.

There‘s an extra incentive involving Friday night‘s race. It‘s the first event in the Triple Truck Challenge, which pays a $50,000 bonus to the winner of any of three designated races. If one driver wins two of the three, the bonus increases to $150,000.

Should a driver win all three designated races, the bonus grows to $500,000. After Charlotte, the next two races in “The Trip” are scheduled for World Wide Technology Raceway (June 1) and Nashville Superspeedway (June 28).

Defending Charlotte race winner and defending series champion Ben Rhodes is one of the drivers who has yet to clinch a playoff berth. The driver of the No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford is currently ninth in the standings, just four points above the current cutoff for the postseason.

Teammate Matt Crafton, a three-time series champion, is the first driver currently out of a playoff-eligible position, two points below the cut line.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *