Digging Up The Dirt: Camping World Truck Series heads to Knoxville Raceway

Knoxville Raceway

For the second time in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history, the series will venture to Knoxville Raceway for this weekend’s Clean Harbors 150 on Saturday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

This weekend’s event is guaranteed to have a new winner as last year’s victor, Austin Hill, is not entered to defend his win. Last season’s race was a wild one, producing 20 lead changes among seven different drivers. Kyle Busch Motorsport’s driver Chandler Smith led the most laps (71) and McAnally Hilgemann Racing’s Derek Kraus won the first two stages but it was Hattori Racing Enterprises’ Austin Hill who took the checkered flag in the inaugural event on the famous dirt track.

In total, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has run 10 races on dirt at three different tracks – Eldora Speedway (2013-2019, seven races), Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt (2021-2022, two races) and Knoxville Raceway (2021, one race) producing 10 different winners – at Eldora: Austin Dillon (2013), Bubba Wallace (2014), Christopher Bell (2015), Kyle Larson (2016), Matt Crafton (2017), Chase Briscoe (2018) and Stewart Friesen (2019); at Bristol Dirt: Martin Truex Jr. (2021) and Ben Rhodes (2022); and at Knoxville Raceway Austin Hill (2021).

This season, the series returns to the half-mile dirt track, Knoxville Raceway, looking for more great racing action. The Clean Harbors 150 will be 75 miles in length (150 laps) and will be broken up into three stages. The first stage will end on lap 40, the second stage will end on lap 90 and the final stage is scheduled to conclude on lap 150.

Three former winners on dirt in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are entered this weekend at Knoxville Raceway – Matt Crafton (Eldora 2017), Stewart Friesen (Eldora 2019) and Ben Rhodes (Bristol Dirt 2022). 

Standings leader Ben Rhodes is looking to sweep some dirt this season

For just the second time in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history, the season schedule offers two races on dirt (Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt and Knoxville Raceway) and this weekend ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes, the winner of the Bristol Dirt race earlier this season, is looking to sweep this year’s dirt events by taking the win this weekend in the Clean Harbors 150 at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Last season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Martin Truex Jr. won the Bristol Dirt race for Kyle Busch Motorsports and Hattori Racing Enterprises’ Austin Hill grabbed the win at Knoxville.

This season, Rhodes dominated the Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt, leading 95 of the scheduled 150 laps (63.3%) and taking the win. Now the 25-year-old has the opportunity to become the first in series history to pull the ‘dirt sweep’ if he wins this weekend at Knoxville.

Last season at Knoxville, Rhodes started 18th and raced his way up to a seventh-place finish.

Knoxville Raceway: Dirt – Qualifying & Race Formats

This weekend’s racing will have special formats for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Below are details on the 2022 Knoxville Dirt qualifying and race formats:

·       Qualifying Race Starting Lineup – Random draw determines qualifying race designation and starting position for the qualifying race. 

·       Qualifying Races – Four qualifying races held at 15 laps each with only green flag laps counted – no overtime rule. Free pass and wave around procedures will be in effect.

·       Points Earned During Qualifying Races – Drivers will accumulate points in the qualifying races based on finishing position and passing points. The points total of a driver’s passing points and race finishing position points determines the starting position for the feature event.

  • Passing Points = The difference between assigned starting position and finishing position

§  Go forward – accumulate passing points

§  Go backward or finish where you started – zero passing points

  • Race Finishing Position Points = Points received for the driver’s finishing position

§  Tiebreaker – Owner Points   

·       Feature Main – Lineup based on combined points of Qualifying Race finishing position and passing points. Feature race will be 150 laps divided into three stages 40/90/150. Running order will be frozen at the conclusion of each stage. During the stage breaks, teams can change tires, add fuel, and make adjustments to their trucks. These non-competitive pit stops must be completed in a time designated by NASCAR. No fuel or tires except at stage breaks. Flat or damaged tires may be changed with approval by NASCAR. (Note: Teams will not be required to pit during the stage breaks. Teams that elect not to pit will re-start ahead of teams that pitted. Re-start order determined by the freeze at the conclusion of the preceding stage)

·       Additional Event Highlights – Choose rule will not be in effect for the Knoxville race. The overtime rules, free pass and wave around procedures will be in effect.

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