Monday, February 8, 2016

Spade Racing’s 2016 Camping World Truck Series Preview: We have everything you’ll ever need at Camping World…and The Chase, for some reason.

The Truck Series motors into its 22nd season with the usual mix of seasoned veterans, young prospects, and Jennifer Jo Cobb.  Here’s a look at where you can expect these drivers to finish in 2016, along with some suggested nicknames to help them get more publicity:

Format: #—Driver (Primary Sponsor); Only full-time drivers/teams listed, * means status unconfirmed

17—Timothy Peters (???): They usually run this car with Red Horse’s logo on the hood, making it look like a 1/64th diecast for a tobacco/beer-sponsored car in the 90’s.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: PetersBuilt

88—Matt Crafton (Menards): The perennial favorite for the championship returns with pretty much the exact same team as in 2015.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Old Reliable

00—Cole Custer (Haas Automation): Having built-in sponsorship and the mite of JRM helps, but it can’t be easy following in the 00 footsteps of Jason White and Buckshot Jones.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Cole Cracker

29—Tyler Reddick (Cooper Standard): Reddick gets a full-season with BKR, but will he make the most of it?  (Answer: Probably).  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: TR

*11—Ben Kennedy (Local Motors): Things aren’t confirmed, but I’m guessing Red Horse finds a steady ride for Ben, lest they want the mother of all inspections at Daytona.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: The Company Man

4—William Byron (???): This ride could be flip-flopped with the 51 of Christopher Bell, but either way you gotta figure its about three DNF’s until Kyle Busch decided to run some Truck races to “see where the team can improve”.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Lord Byron

19—Daniel Hemric (California Clean Power, Cequent): Good on BKR for signing a relatively young driver who did well in subpar equipment.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: A Relatively Young Driver Who Did Well in Subpar Equipment

05—John Wes Townley (Zaxby’s): One win doesn’t erase a half-decade of wrecks, but it sure helps!  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: One Tough Chicken

8—John Hunter Nemechek (SWM, ???): If John Hunter leaves to advance his career, here’s hoping that means “running a few Xfinity standalone races for a top-level team” instead of “running full-time in Cup with Randy Humphrey”.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Chek Mate

21—Johnny Sauter (???): Leaving a powerhouse like ThorSport for a mid-level team with unknown sponsorship?  Johnny must REALLY hate Menard’s.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: The Boy Scauter

98—Rico Abreu (???, Curb Records): Talk about an anomaly—a guy gets a top-level ride without family money OR sponsorship!  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: The Say Hey Kid

*13—Cameron Hayley (Cabinets by Hayley, Carolina Nut Co.): Canada’s great white hope better bring his Eh game this year.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Hayley’s Comet

23—Spencer Gallagher (Allegiant): The family team’s family driver gets a teammate in Johnny Sauter, and a LOT more pressure to perform.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: The Flyboy

33—Grant Enfinger (???): The third Gallagher-affiliated team picks up the ARCA star.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: GE (We bring good trucks to life)

51—Christopher Bell (JBL, ???): The dirt star returns to KBM with sponsorship, experience, and preparation to say “No, I’m not related to TJ Bell” about a hundred times.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: JBelL (or, if he moves to the 4 car, CB4)

41—Ben Rhodes (Alpha Energy): Essentially a new team for ThorSport, Ben has what it takes to get a full-time ride—namely, family-backed sponsorship.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Rhodes Scholar

08—Korbin Forrister (???): When you’re a low-level driver barely scraping by and you “donate” space on your hood to support a multi-millionaire’s run for political office, you are officially a chump.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Dr. F

...and the rest:

02—Tyler Young (Randco, Young’s Building Systems, etc.): They’re delightfully irrelevant.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Young Buck

*5—Dalton Sergeant (Galt): Galt is actually a brokerage firm for recycled asphalt materials.  The fact that I actually know that is depressing.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: The Ass(phalt) Man

6—Norm Benning (Red Paint International): When your claim to fame is giving the finger, you might want to consider a late-in-life career change (exception: Stone Cold Steve Austin).  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Number One

10—Jennifer Jo Cobb (Driven2Honor, ???): Nascar’s little team that couldn’t continues to fill out the back of the pack.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Jenny Jo Jo Junior…Cobbadoo?

22—Austin Wayne Self (???): A family owned-team tries to take on the big boys, and before you declare it futile, remember that in THIS series, the “big boys” include guys from Sandusky, Ohio.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Me MySelf & I.

44—Tommy Joe Martins (???, Diamond Gusset Jeans): Pretty cool to have four different three-named drivers in the Truck Series.  Wait, no it’s not.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Tommy “Lee” Joe’s

58—Kyle Weatherman (LifeXist, Jersey Mike’s, etc.): Well, we have a new winner of the Fakest Sounding Name award.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Storm

59—David Levine (Furman, Momo): Other than looking like a guy I went to high school with, I know nothing about him.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: The Machine Levine

66—Jordan Anderson (Columbia SC): No, that’s not just his hometown—that’s his sponsor.  SUGGESTED NICKNAME: Deep-Double-Six