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Who’s Hot, Warm and Cold in the NCWTS

As we approach the halfway mark of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season, many fans are still “buzzing” over the awesomeness that was Eldora Speedway.

While Eldora was awesome, let’s not forget about the rest of the NCWTS season, which always puts on a great show each week. While it appears the series is often overlooked in the mainstream media, I have always paid more attention and perhaps because I like to root for the underdogs.

With no “Chase” format, there is no luxury of a reset of the points. Where you are now is the spot you have to work with. With all that said, let’s take a look at the drivers who are hot, charm, cold and on the radar

Hot:

This just may be the year of Matt Crafton – mark my words! The fourteen year veteran of the Truck Series has yet to win a series title but if the second half goes the same as the first, it will be Crafton leading the charge at Homestead.

Rookie Jeb Burton has championship racing in his blood, mixed with God given talent, I see Ward’s son matching and exceeding the career of his father.

James Buescher decided to forego a seat in the Nationwide Series with the hopes of a back-to-back NCWTS title. Currently he is 51 points back which is about a race and a half behind so the question is simply will Crafton fumble enough to allow Buescher to rise to the top? With Talladega left in the remaining races, anything is possible.

Warm:

While these drivers still have a shot at the Championship, currently there is nothing to write home about.

Ty Dillon has a lot of pressure on him being the grandson of Richard Childress, brother of 2011 champion Austin and the reigning Rookie of the Year. With one win this season, Dillon has been all across the board with finishes ranging from top 5, top 10 and top 20’s. Making it to the lead pack will require consistency with the No. 3 team.

Saying the name Johnny Sauter makes me think of two things: “God Bless America” and the awesome “Hot Honeys” paint scheme and the jokes that evoked on Twitter. Besides that, Sauter has fallen off after winning the first two races of the season. With his crew chief leaving prior to Eldora, I imagine that the team is in a phase of adjustment and that makes me want to watch and see what happens. Perhaps another “God Bless America” moment is coming our way? One can only hope!

Cold: 

Looking at the finishes of Red Horse Racing driver Timothy Peters, it is a roller coaster of ups and downs. Winning at Iowa was a positive step forward for the 17 team but to make any real attempt at the championship, they need to have more consistent top 5 finishes.

It pains me to add Brendan Gaughan to the cold list because honestly he has had some really strong runs this season. The reason he’s cold is simply that he seems to be a magnet for bad luck and it usually is not of his own making. Someone please send him some good luck charms!

Don’t count these drivers out:

While I could honestly play the safe route and take the rest of the field on this topic, I am not. Yes, all drivers that race each week automatically earn my full respect but that doesn’t make all 30+ trucks a legitimate contender to win races.

Miguel Paludo is a fan favorite and perhaps one of the nicest drivers in the garage area. In his second year of racing with Turner Motorsports, Paludo needs a win to cement his future in the sport of NASCAR.

Young gun Ryan Blaney comes into NASCAR following in the treadmarks of his dad, Dave. In his first full-time season, the 19-year-old Blaney is turning heads with the Brad Keselowski Racing team. With a top finish of third, I wouldn’t count out a visit to victory lane in the near future.

Rookie Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. always turns heads because people think he is the long lost brother of Rusty, Mike and Kenny. (Face it, you thought that at some point!) In just a short time, fans are chatting about “Bubba” and his prowess on track but to fairly grade him, I want to see more.

The second half of the season promises just to be an exciting as the first, minus the slinging of dirt at Eldora. Who are you watching as the season progresses? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

By Andy Marquis

Andy Marquis is the Editor and Content Manager for the Late Model Stock Car racing website, STScene.com. Marquis has numerous years of journalistic experience from politics to racing.

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