Column: NASCAR Truck Race At Bristol Motor Speedway To Feature Ample Share Of Interlopers

Column By: REID SPENCER / NASCAR – BRISTOL, TN – Regulars in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will face stiff competition this weekend if they hope to maintain bragging rights in Saturday’s Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

NASCAR Cup Series drivers Joey Logano, William Byron and Chase Briscoe all are moonlighting in the Truck Series event to gain familiarity with track conditions for Sunday’s Cup race. Logano won the inaugural Food City Dirt Race in 2021.

In addition, the 41-driver entry list for the race includes dirt specialists Jonathan Davenport in the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet; Tyler Carpenter in the No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet; and Jessica Friesen in the No. 62 Halmar Friesen Toyota.

Husband Stewart Friesen, a Truck Series regular as well as a dirt modified ace, has a guaranteed starting spot and is fresh from a season-best third-place finish at Texas. Jessica Friesen is attempting to qualify for her third start in the series.

Ben Rhodes is the defending winner of the race, but he’ll have to overcome formidable competition to repeat. Rhodes beat Carson Hocevar to the checkered flag last year after Hocevar led Laps 92-146 of 150.

“I wouldn’t say that we lost the race last year—we ran really well,” said Hocevar, who picked up his first victory in the series last Saturday at Texas. “We were just eventually beat by the better truck. Ben had the fastest truck all day, and he nearly let one get away from him.

“We were in position to take advantage, but he was able to get back out in front and get by us at the end. It was disappointing, but I feel like we are ready to give it another shot this year. It was a lot of fun.”

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