The 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule features some significant changes, such as a trip to Sonoma Raceway. However, the return of a famed short track headlines the list of can’t-miss races.
NASCAR revealed the 2022 Truck Series schedule on September 29 and confirmed that the Truck Series drivers will take on Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park for the first time since the 2011 season. They will battle on the .686-mile track while kicking off the playoffs.
The last time the Truck Series drivers took on the short track, Timothy Peters raced his way to Victory Lane. He held off James Buescher, who led a race-high 97 laps, and locked up his third career victory. Now a new generation of drivers will take on the track while fighting for a spot in the Round of Eight.
The short tracks around the country have provided major intrigue throughout the past few seasons, including the Martinsville Speedway elimination race on October 30. This particular race featured nonstop action, multiple wrecks, a multitude of angry comments on the radio, and Zane Smith’s overtime battle with Todd Gilliland and Stewart Friesen.
A Prominent Organization Has Secured Naming Rights
NASCAR announced on September 29 that the Truck Series will return to the short track and set the stage for a pivotal playoff race. Nearly three months later, ThorSport Racing made a major announcement of its own. The reigning championship team announced that it had secured naming rights to the Truck Series race.
The organization announced on December 10 that the upcoming race will be known as the TSport 200. A company developed through ThorSport and Southern Off-Road Specialists (SORS), TSport introduces an all-new TSport dealership vehicle package for the four-wheel-drive truck market. Now it will serve as a title sponsor for a high-profile race.
“We couldn’t be more excited to announce our title partnership with TSport on the highly anticipated 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event next July,” said Kasey Coler, Vice President of Track Operations and Management for the NHRA, in a statement. “The response has been overwhelming from the fans on the return of NASCAR racing to Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and we are looking forward to sharing that excitement with TSport and their customers.”
A Former Champion Can Accomplish a Goal at IRP
While the Truck Series hasn’t competed at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park since the 2011 season, there are three current Truck Series competitors that have experience at the short track. Three-time champion Matt Crafton, 2016 champion Johnny Sauter, and driver-owner Jennifer Jo Cobb all have made starts at IRP.
Crafton has achieved some success at the short track, but he has not yet reached Victory Lane. He started 11 races and posted eight top-10 finishes and three top-fives. His best run was a third-place finish in 2010 behind Ron Hornaday Jr. and Kyle Busch.
Crafton will have the opportunity to capture the checkered flag during the 2022 season. ThorSport Racing has already confirmed his return for the upcoming season along with reigning champion Ben Rhodes. He will run another full season in the No. 88 after finishing the 2021 campaign fourth in points.
Sauter, a teammate of Crafton’s, could return for another race in Indiana. However, ThorSport Racing has not revealed whether he will return to the No. 13 for another season or if another driver will take his spot.