By Walker Polivka
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes its inaugural trip to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio. Read on below for our race preview and to see our prediction for who will win the race, as well as our top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
The Track: The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a 2.258 mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course in Lexington, Ohio. First opened in 1962, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course consists of 4 left turns and 9 right turns. Drivers will test their skills over 67 laps and 151.28 miles of racing here this afternoon.
Playoff Implications: With 2 races to go until the Truck Series Playoffs, the cut line is tight. Grant Enfinger sits in 9th place, just +39 points above the cut lines And 3-time Truck Series Champion Matt Crafton is the last driver in on points, just +29 points to the good. Derek Kraus is -29 below the cut line in 11th place. Tyler Ankrum and Matt DiBenedetto sit 12th and 13th, respectively, in the points standings and will be starting from inside the top 10 today.
Driver to Fade: Spencer Boyd- 2022 has been a huge struggle for Boyd, as he has just 2 top 20 finishes in 14 starts. His road course stats aren’t too promising either, as he finished 23rd at both COTA and Sonoma. Starting in 35th place today, Boyd will struggle to work his way forward and will most certainly finish outside the top 20.
Dark Horse: Parker Kligerman- Racing part-time for Henderson Motorsports, Kligerman has made the most of his starts this year, with 2 top 5’s and 4 top 10’s in 7 starts, including a 7th place showing at Sonoma a few weeks back. Kligerman showed fast pace in both Practice and Qualifying yesterday and will start the race today from 2nd place. A win is not out of the realm, but we predict that Kligerman will bring home a top 10 finish today.
Top 10: Tyler Ankrum- Essentially needing a win to make the Playoffs, Ankrum has shown his strength on the road courses this season, finishing inside the top 10 at both COTA and Sonoma this year. Like Kligerman above, Ankrum rolled in with a fast truck this week, running inside the top 10 in Practice and Qualifying in 7th place for today’s race. He may not necessarily have race winning speed, but a top 10 finish feels like a lock for Ankrum given his recent success.
Winner: Zane Smith- The unofficial road course ace in the Truck Series of late, Smith has done quite well this year at road courses, winning at COTA and was the highest finishing full-time Truck Series driver at Sonoma, finishing 3rd behind Kyle Busch and Ross Chastain. Smith was the fastest in Practice yesterday, but will have some work to do after Qualifying in 13th place. Nevertheless, we predict that Smith will overcome his Qualifying issues and bring home the victory this afternoon at Mid-Ohio!
Where to Watch: Coverage can be seen on FS1 this afternoon, beginning at 1 PM EST, and can be heard on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, also beginning at 1 PM EST.