From one extreme to the other. From the frying pan to the fire.
Pick any old cliche you like but that’s what the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is doing after packing up in Tennessee last night and setting sail for Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the first road course race in 13 years.
The trucks ran at the half-mile concrete bowl called Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday night and will race next at the historic 3.957-kilometre (2.459-mile) circuit north of Bowmanville on the Sunday of Labour Day weekend.
A full field of 36 trucks is expected and it should be great fun.
The 200-lap contest at Bristol was a doozy, eventually won by Kyle Busch who entertained the fans with a “Look ma, no hands” burnout that he described as some “razzle” in advance of the Sprint Cup race on Saturday night that he said would provide the “dazzle.”
I’d like to know who writes the lines for those guys. Really.
Take Matt Crafton, for instance. The points leader, he had a little beef at the end with up-and-comer Joey Coulter and actually approached Coulter’s truck with the driver still in it, only to find the driver’s crew chief and a woman (likely Joey’s wife or girlfriend) standing in his way and ready to do battle.
Asked about it later in a TV interview, Crafton suggested that all he wanted to do was make plans with Coulter to go shopping at a nearby Menard’s, which just happens to be his sponsor.
(I always though pro wrestlers were best at the quick quip but I’m starting to think that NASCAR drivers could give those entertainers a run for their money.)
Anyway, the finish of that race at Bristol was most exciting, with Busch just holding off a hard-charging Timothy Peters. Ryan Blaney was third, with Johnny Sauter, Chase Elliott, Ty Dillon, James Buescher, Ron Hornaday Jr., Brad Keselowski and Crafton rounding out the top ten.
Busch was particuarly pleased with his run – as he should have been. He hit the wall on the opening lap – not hard, but it got his and everybody else’s attention – and then was handed a speeding ticket for travelling too quickly through the pits when he stopped for fuel and tires.
After all that, to fight back and wind up in Victory Lane is indeed an accomplishment.
Now, unfortunately, Kyle Busch and Keselowski are two drivers in that Bristol race who will not be in their trucks when the Camping World Series takes to the track at Old Mosport a week from this weekend for the Chevrolet Silverado 250.
The Cup guys will be busy in Atlanta, and some of the Nationwide drivers who sometimes race the trucks – Austin Dillon, for instance – have a race of their own in Atlanta also.
But there are enough hungry, up-and-coming NASCAR stars around that a 36-truck field is all but guaranteed.
And it will be an historic occasion. This Camping World Series is one of three senior championships sanctioned by NASCAR and it will mark the first time the trucks have raced in Canada.
And with the Nationwide race gone from Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, the Chevrolet Silverado 250 will be the only major NASCAR event held in Canada in 2013.
Look for a major advance story on the event and some of the drivers expected to race at CTMP in this Saturday’s Toronto Star Wheels. Other advance stories will be published leading up to the race on wheels.ca and at the star.blogs.com/autoracing.
Blanket coverage of the event will be provided at those two Internet sites beginning the Friday morning of Labour Day weekend. Stories, photos, blogs — they will all be found online.
And Wheels even plans to “embed” a reporter with young Canadian racer Alex Guenette all weekend to chronicle the Quebec racer’s experience in not only the trucks race but the supporting NASCAR Canadian Tire Series stock car race as well.
Labour Day at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is not to be missed and I hope to see you there.