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The Camping World Truck Series has been around since 1995 and has quite the history, even if it isn’t anywhere near as long as the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. But that doesn’t mean the series hasn’t seen its fair share of great drivers. This week, I bring to you the five best drivers in series history.
Ron Hornaday, Jr.
You can’t talk about the all-time greats in the Truck Series without mentioning Ron Hornaday, Jr. He holds nearly every record in the series and isn’t quite ready to stop yet, having scored top-10 finishes in both races this season. The winningest driver in series history sits atop that leaderboard with 51 victories and also leads in most top 5s (153) and top 10s (224). Hornaday remains as the only four-time champion in the series, followed closely by three-time champ Jack Sprague. The 55-year-old’s legend is one that continues to build and will likely do so as long as teams are willing to put him behind the wheel.
Speaking of the three-time champion, Jack Sprague’s time was more before I started watching the Truck Series, however he remains as one of the best the series has ever seen. He sits third on the series’ all-time wins list, tied with Mike Skinner at 28. Sprague is second to Hornaday in most top 5s (136) and top 10s (192) and finds himself second to Skinner for total career poles (32). His last full-time season came in 2008 when he scored just nine top 10s and finished ninth in the series standings. There were rumors that he would end up with Randy Moss Motorsports in 2012, but that deal never materialized, leaving him on the sidelines where he still sits today.
While we’re on the topic of multiple-time champions, I would be remiss to not mention Todd Bodine. The Onion has visited victory lane 22 times in his career, and that’s translated into two championships. His first came in 2006 with Germain Racing—with three wins, 12 top 5s and 16 top 10s that year, Bodine led the standings for all but the first four weeks of the season and only dropped as low as third. Fast forward four years and Bodine posted a season worth four wins, 17 top 5s, 20 top 10s and a championship that was clinched before the final race on the schedule.
Germain Racing continued fielding the No. 30 truck for Bodine one more season before choosing to focus their efforts solely on the Sprint Cup Series. Since leaving Germain, Bodine spent a season with Red Horse Racing where he scored a whopping eight DNFs in a season where he couldn’t buy good luck. Fast forward to today and Bodine is left sitting on the sidelines while younger talent is put behind the wheel. But with that said, I do believe Bodine has got a future in being a race announcer if he’s interested since he’s done so well when he has joined in.
Though he isn’t racing any longer, Mike Skinner has quite the storied career in the Truck Series. Having won the inaugural championship in 1995, he scored eight wins in the series’ first two seasons and a a combined 38 top 10s in 44 races (86%). And if that’s not enough, over 231 career starts, spanning 14 years, Skinner has 144 top 10s, 90 top 5s and 28 series victories. Though he came close to winning his second championship in 2007, a 35th-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Skinner allowed Ron Hornaday, Jr. to erase a 29-point deficit and score his third title. Skinner raced his last full-time season with Randy Moss Motorsports but managed just 13 top 10s in 25 races. Since then, he’s made just two series starts (one apiece in 2011 and 2012).
Kyle Busch has never raced full time in the series, instead beginning his career in the Nationwide Series, but his impact on the Truck Series is undeniable. One of the biggest things that stands out for me, though, is his generosity. While racing for Billy Ballew Motorsports, Busch gave his winnings back to the organization to allow them to remain on the track. With that said, his numbers in the series are pretty impressive as well. Busch has never failed to qualify for a race he attempted, and in 116 starts, he’s visited victory lane a whopping 36 times (31%). And when he hasn’t won, the 28-year-old has 91 top 10s and 71 top-5 finishes. Love him or hate him, Busch has quite the history in the series, and that’s not likely to change for many years to come.
Did You Know …
- Only 22 drivers have started both races this season? That accounts for only 44 of the potential 72 starting spots, however both Daytona and Martinsville featured full fields. That certainly speaks volumes for the drivers limited to part-time efforts this season.
- Lucas Oil has signed on as the title sponsor for the event at Chicagoland Speedway in September? The Lucas Oil 225 will kick off the first weekend in the Chase for the Sprint Cup on Friday .
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