ToyotaCare 250 (Camping World Truck Series) Predictions & Odds
- ThorSport Racing seeks a second straight Richmond win—with a different manufacturer.
- Kyle Busch is competing at Richmond this weekend. Ergo, he’s the favorite.
- Don’t ignore the third Kyle Busch Motorsports entry in Saturday’s race.
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For the second straight season—and only the second time since 2005—drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will compete at Richmond Raceway. The ToyotaCare 250 at the .75-mile short track is the 12th Truck Series race at the speedway overall.
Saturday’s event is scheduled for 250 laps (187.5 Miles), with stage breaks after 70 and 140 laps. Grant Enfinger is the defending winner of the race. Given the 15-year gap between last year’s event and its predecessor, it’s not surprising that Enfinger is the only former Richmond winner in the 40-driver field.
How to Watch ToyotaCare 250
|ToyotaCare 250 Information|
|What||ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series|
|When||Saturday, April 17, 1:30 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
ThorSport Seeks to Repeat Success at Richmond After Manufacturer Change
Last year, ThorSport Racing swept the podium in the return of the NASCAR Camping World to Richmond Raceway after a 15-year absence. Grant Enfinger won the race—one of his four victories in the pandemic year—with Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes following in second and third place, respectively.
The three ThorSport drivers were sitting in Ford F-150s as they nailed down the top three positions in the 2020 race. Between seasons, ThorSport switched to Toyota Tundras and enjoyed immediate success in 2021. Rhodes won the first two events of the season, guaranteeing himself a spot in the Truck Series Playoff.
Rhodes is second in the standings, six points behind John Hunter Nemechek. Crafton currently is fourth, and Enfinger stands eighth despite running only four of the five races so far. Nevertheless, oddsmakers don’t give any of the ThorSport drivers much of a chance on Saturday. Crafton is tied for the third choice at +1000, Rhodes is available at +1200, and defending race winner Enfinger goes off at +1800. To a man, they’re undervalued at those numbers.
Kyle Busch Is Favored in Any Truck Race He Enters, With Good Reason
Kyle Busch has run two of the five Camping World Truck Series events this season. In the first, he finished second to Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate John Hunter Nemechek at Las Vegas. In the second, he won at Atlanta, extending his own series record for career victories to 60.
Among the 10 drivers in Saturday’s field who have won at least one short-track race in the Truck Series, Busch is foremost among them with seven wins. Early in his career, Busch race Trucks at Richmond, finishing 22nd in 2001 and 30th in 2005, but that’s not indicative of his strength. More to the point are his 12 Richmond victories in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series combined (six in each).
After Ben Rhodes won the first two races of the season, the Kyle Busch Motorsports team won the next three events, with Nemechek, Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. all posting victories. “We’re just working hard collectively to get better as an organization, and I feel like the results have been there so far this season, with three wins with three different drivers across the first five races,” Busch says.
Small wonder he’s the odds-on favorite at -130. Problem is, with 39 other tracks on the track, the risk is too big for a small reward.
What about the other Kyle Busch Motorsports Driver, Chandler Smith?
As noted above, owner/driver Kyle Busch already has a win this season. So does his KBM teammate and protégé John Hunter Nemechek, who’s posted at +750 this week. But what about Chandler Smith, the driver of the No. 18 KBM Toyota.
So far, it’s been a season to forget for the 18-year-old driver from Talking Rock, Georgia. Smith was ninth in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, and that’s his best finish of the season so far. His last two races were disasters—35th at Atlanta and 34th on the Bristol dirt.
But don’t forget that Smith has always shown speed in his fledgling career. In the first 16 of his 21 career Truck Series starts, he earned eight top fives, and odds say his luck will turn for the better after the rocky beginning of the year. Why not this week? His KBM equipment is undeniably good, and at +4000 (and +800 to score a top-three), he’s worthy of strong consideration.
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]