Vankor 350 at Texas (Truck Series) - Predictions, Odds & Picks
- Kyle Busch makes his final Truck Series appearance of the year, hoping for a repeat performance—and perhaps a weekend triple.
- Sheldon Creed’s victory last weekend at Kentucky Speedway may have opened the follodgates for series regulars other than Grant Enfinger.
- Austin Hill kept his top-10 streak alive with a fifth-place run at Kentucky, but the Truck Series leader has yet to win a race.
|What||Vankor 350 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race|
|Where||Texas Motor Speedway|
|When||Saturday, July 18, 8 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
Saturday’s Vankor 350 is the nightcap of a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway. The eighth NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series event follows the My Bariatric Solutions 300 Xfinity Series race. Kyle Busch is competing in both events before running the NASCAR Cup Series event on Sunday.
Surprisingly, Busch, with four victories, isn’t the leading Truck Series winner at Texas among those racing in the Vankor 350. That distinction belongs to Johnny Sauter, who has won five times at the 1.5-mile intermediate track. Other former winners in Saturday’s field are reigning series champion Matt Crafton (two victories) and Justin Haley (one victory).
The race is scheduled for 167 laps (250.5 miles), with stage breaks at 40 and 80 laps. Busch is the definding winner. His eponymous team, Kyle Busch Motorsports, swept both Texas races last year, with former series champion Greg Biffle coming out of retirement to win the second event.
NASCAR Truck Series at Texas July 18 Odds
The odds for Vankor 350 are provided by Draftkings Sportsbook
|Any Other Driver||+4000|
Kyle Busch to Defend His Truck Series Win on Busy Texas Weekend
What hasn’t owner/driver Kyle Busch done in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series? First and foremost, Busch has won a record 58 races in the series, a total he has accumulated in just 154 starts.
His Kyle Busch Motorsports team has collected a series-best 78 victories, a series-record 14 wins in a single season and an unparalleled seven owners’ championships. Small wonder Busch and his impeccable No. 51 Toyota are heavily favored to win on Saturday night in his final appearance in the series this year.
“I’m confident that we’ll be having a fast Cessna Tundra on Saturday,” Busch says. “It’s a place that’s hard to pass at, similar to what they experienced at Kentucky last week, but if you can get out front and stay out front, like we know that we’re capable of doing, you don’t have to worry about passing.”
About the only hope other drivers have is that Busch will be worn out from racing 300 miles in the Xfinity event that precedes the Truck race and won’t be 100 percent. Barring that, or an uncharacteristic mechanical issue, Busch should leave Texas on a high note. Given that he is racing in all three series in Fort Worth, Busch has a chance to repeat the weekend triple he first scored at Bristol in 2010 and repeated at the same track in 2017.
Sheldon Creed’s Breakthrough Win Should Give Truck Regulars Hope
Other than Grant Enfinger, who notched two victories in the first four races, no series regular had found Victory Lane this season until Sheldon Creed was declared the victor last Saturday in a rain-shortened race at Kentucky Speedway. Creed became the 17th first-time Truck Series winner in the last five seasons.
That should provide plenty of motivation to the other series regulars who are fighting for a place in the Playoffs. Ten drivers will qualify, and a win gets you in. Enfinger (+2000) is the lone entry from ThorSport Racing who has locked up a spot in the postseason. Five-time Texas winner Johnny Sauter (+2000) and three-time series champion Matt Crafton (+4000) have been missing in action and are heavily discounted this week.
In the draw for starting positions on Saturday, Creed won the pole, with Enfinger getting the outside of the front row. Defending race winner Kyle Busch starts fourth.
Series Leader Austin Hill Off to a Great Start, But Winless
Through the first seven races of the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season, Austin Hill has seven top-10 finishes to his credit. Driving for Hattori Racing Enterprises, Hill finished second to Grant Enfinger at Atlanta, where a late caution deprived him of a likely victory.
Hill (+750) also was the runner-up at Pocono, as he built a comfortable lead in the series standings. After his fifth-place run at Kentucky last Saturday, Hill leads second-place Sheldon Creed by a comfortable 46 points and is a virtual lock to qualify for the Playoffs.
But there’s no substitute for celebrating in Victory Lane.
“We’ve been right there every week and have put ourselves in a good position in the point standings,” says Hill, who will start third in the Vankor 350. “Everybody on our United Rentals team has put a ton of effort into our trucks. The guys put together a brand-new piece for this week, so I can’t wait to get in and see what we have.”
Kyle Busch (-167)—You won’t make much money betting on Kyle Busch, but you’re likely to lose what you bet if you go against him. Busch’s winning percentage in the Truck Series is a remarkable 37.7.
More NASCAR Predictions & Odds
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.