Thursday, June 4, 2009

Truck Series In Texas With Something To Prove

The Camping World Truck Series is first-up on this tripleheader NASCAR weekend. Friday night at 8:30PM ET, Krista Voda leads her TV team on the air with SPEED's very popular coverage from the Texas Motor Speedway.

The CWTS is splitting the bill this weekend with the IRL Series. High-profile driver Danica Patrick is face-to-face with NASCAR in the same TMS infield. She might not like what she sees.

The CWTS total field is 33 trucks. That includes stellar entries like John Jackson and Mario Gosselin driving the James Carter Attorney At Law Chevrolets. Names like Ryan Hackett, Nick Tucker and Ryan Matthews are filling-out the field at this high-speed track. The real truck count is more like 25.

Luckily, a stand-alone weekend like this will go by quickly if the action at the front of the pack is good enough for the TV cameras. The trucks staggered through an embarrassing race at Dover that featured tire failures throughout the field. While no one was hurt, that event clearly took the wind out of the sails of this series.

This weekend there is no Kyle Busch in the field. No Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick or any other current Sprint Cup Series drivers. Youngsters like Colin Braun and Brian Ickler can set their sights on beating the true truck series veterans like Ron Hornaday Jr. and Johnny Benson. High-profile drivers like motorcycle legend Ricky Carmichael and former Cup driver Aric Almirola can finally try to capture some glory and get some TV time.

Also absent from the telecast will be SPEED's Michael Waltrip. It will fall to Rick Allen and Phil Parsons to inject some life into this series without the Sprint Cup drivers and without a big NASCAR audience at the track. On the Dover telecast, Waltrip talked overtop of Parsons continually and nice guy Allen simply could not reign him in. It did not make for very good TV.

That leaves a lot of opportunity on the table for both the teams and the TV crew. Good racing like fans know the trucks can provide mixed with the kind of exciting "old school" TV coverage that put SPEED on the map could be just the prescription for getting things back in order for the long run to November.

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