Camping World Truck Series kicks off doubleheader Saturday at Pocono

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Camping World Truck Series kicks off doubleheader Saturday at Pocono
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The CRC Brakleen 150 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday (Noon ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the final regular-season race and will crown the Regular Season Champion, formally setting the 10-driver 2022 playoff field for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

A victory on Saturday could make the difference in a title run or best-of-the-rest finish to the season.

POCONO: Weekend schedule | Truck Series entry list

Five full-time championship-eligible drivers have victories to date. Zane Smith is a series-best three-race winner and only needs to earn two points in Pocono‘s race to officially claim the 2022 Regular Season Championship. The 23-year-old Californian, who finished runner-up to Ben Rhodes in the 2021 title run, is running strong heading into the seven-race playoffs with three second-place finishes in the last four races.

Joining Smith with victories and safe passage into the 2022 playoffs are John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith, Stewart Friesen and defending series champion Ben Rhodes.

Ty Majeski, Carson Hocevar, Christian Eckes, Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton round out the current top-10 in the series driver standings. However, Enfinger and Crafton must formally earn their playoff position this weekend. Crafton holds only a 19-point advantage over 19-year-old Derek Kraus heading into the weekend. Kraus has made up ground in the standings with an average finish of 8.3 in the last three races. He‘s finished 10th in both previous series career Pocono starts.

“We all know how important this race is for our whole team,” said Kraus, driver of the No. 19 McAnally-Hilgemann Chevrolet. “We can‘t let the pressure get to us. We need to just go and do our thing.”

Crafton, a three-time series champion, has not won at Pocono in 12 previous starts but does have a pair of top-five finishes. He‘s finished top-10 in four of the last five races there but has led only one lap since 2014.

Kyle Busch Motorsports driver John Hunter Nemechek is the defending Pocono race winner, taking the victory over team owner Kyle Busch last summer. Current series drivers Tyler Ankrum and Crafton finished third and fifth in that race. Zane Smith led 18 laps and finished eighth.

Five more drivers competing Saturday have previous wins on Pocono‘s 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” — Enfinger (2016), Smith (2018), Majeski (2019), Eckes (2019) and Corey Heim (2021) all scoring ARCA Menards Series victories there.

The last full-time championship driver to win a race this year is Friesen, who took the trophy at Texas Motor Speedway on May 20.

MORE: Paint schemes for Pocono

Practice at Pocono begins at 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday followed by the Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying at 5 p.m. ET. Both sessions will be aired on FS1.

Following Saturday‘s race, the points will be reset among the top 10 with the Regular Season Champion receiving a 15-point bonus to carry through the playoffs, beginning with the TSport 200 on Friday, July 29 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park (9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).