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|What||Vet Tix Camping World 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race|
|Where||Atlanta Motor Speedway|
|When||Saturday, June 6, 1 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FS1|
|Best betting bonus||$1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings! (NJ, PA, IN, IA, WV only)|
Originally scheduled for March 14, the Vet TIX Camping World 200 will run as a doubleheader with Saturday’s Echo Park 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. The tandem events constitute the first doubleheader since NASCAR’s re-opening on May 17 at Darlington.
Owner/driver Kyle Busch is the defending winner of the race. The reigning Cup Series champion also is the career leader in Truck Series victories at the 1.54-mile intermediate speedway with five. Saturday’s race will be contested at 200.02 miles (163 laps), with stage breaks at 30 and 60 laps—short of a full fuel run.
Austin Hill is the Gander RV & Outdoors Trucks Series leader with a 17-point edge over second-place Johnny Sauter and Zane Smith, who posted an impressive third-place result May 26 at Charlotte.
The odds for the Vet Tix Camping World 200 are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
|John H. Nemechek||+2200|
|Any Other Driver||+2500|
To race or not to race? That was the question on Friday, March 13, as NASCAR contemplated the upcoming weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sanctioning body first compressed the schedule and opted to move the races up a day. Just before noon, however, in reaction to the growing spread of the coronavirus, NASCAR joined other major sports in bringing the 2020 season to a halt.
Ten weeks later, NASCAR Cup racing resumed at Darlington, but the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series didn’t make its comeback until May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. On Saturday, the previously scheduled doubleheader with the NASCAR Xfinity Series finally will take place at Atlanta, where Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott will compete in the second round of their post-hiatus rivalry.
Now, 85 days after the suspension of the season, NASCAR will race twice in the same day, starting a trend that will become commonplace in succeeding weeks.
When Kyle Busch returned to Charlotte in his own No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, he was riding a seven-race winning streak in the series. Despite early troubles with a broken front-end travel limiter (which affected the height of his chassis) and a pit road speeding penalty later on, he had almost enough truck to catch Chase Elliott at the end.
Almost, but not quite. Elliott won the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 by .627 seconds over Busch and collected a $100,000 bounty in the process–$50,000 put up by driver Kevin Harvick for any full-time Cup driver who could beat Busch in a truck race, with Harvick’s bounty matched by Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of the series sponsor.
But with a record five victories at the intermediate speedway with gnarly, crumbling asphalt, Busch (-155) is the heavy favorite to exact revenge on his newfound rival. This time, however, it’s Elliott (+400) who has a streak going. The driver of the No. 24 GMS Racing Silverado has won his last two starts in the Truck Series, even though those victories have come more than two years apart.
Because there’s no qualifying in NASCAR’s post-hiatus reality, field sizes in the Truck Series have been expanded from 32 to 40 entries. In fact, there were 47 trucks on the preliminary entry list for the Vet Tix Camping World 200, meaning seven were eliminated before they had a chance to race, based on number of starts and the owner points pecking order. Retired Cup driver David Ragan, a Georgia native, was among those who missed the show.
Among the 40 starters, there are only four former Atlanta winners, including Busch. John Hunter Nemechek (+2200) drives full-time in the Cup Series for Front Row Motorsports. He picked up his victory at Atlanta in 2016. Three-time and defending Truck Series champion Matt Crafton (+2200) won there the year before, and Brett Moffitt (+1400) triumphed at Atlanta during his 2018 championship season.
Of those three, Crafton probably is the best bet, given his prowess on intermediate tracks and the added value of his long-term partnership with ThorSport Racing and crew chief Junior Joiner.
Chase Elliott (+400)—Even though Kyle Busch is in the field, we’re going to ride with NASCAR’s most popular driver until he lets us down. For those who like a dark horse, you can’t do better than Zane Smith (+4000), who scored a career-best third at Charlotte in his last outing.
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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]More info on Reid Spencer
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