Five things to watch in the NASCAR Truck race at Iowa

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Five things to watch in the NASCAR Truck race at Iowa
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The NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series returns to action on Friday night at Iowa Speedway for the M&Ms 200, the series’ ninth race of the 2017 season.

John Hunter Nemechek, SWM-NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet and Joe Nemechek
Race winner John Hunter Nemechek, SWM-NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet
Race winner John Hunter Nemechek, SWM-NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet
Chase Briscoe, Brad Keselowski Racing Ford
Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota
Brandon Jones, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and Ross Chastain, JD Motorsports Chevrolet

Here are five things to watch for in Friday’s race:

  • John Hunter Nemechek captured his first win of the season last weekend at Gateway International Raceway, qualifying him for the playoffs. His family-owned team was on the verge of having to cut back its schedule because it began the year with sponsorship for only about half the races. Another strong run, or even a victory, could help Nemco Motorsports stay in contention.
  • Could Iowa produce three rookie winners in a row? Then-rookie Erik Jones on the Iowa race in 2015 and rookie William Byron captured the victory last season. Both drivers went on to win the series’ rookie-of-the-year honors. This year’s crop of rookie candidates certainly includes several who could add to the streak. Among them: Chase Briscoe, Grant Enfinger, Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric and Justin Haley.
  • Speaking of Briscoe, he has already come as close as you can to earning a victory without actually taking the trophy. He is coming off a pair of runner-up finishes, and in last week’s race, he won the pole and led a career-high 88 laps. His first series victory appears right around the corner.
  • NASCAR Next driver Harrison Burton will make his third start of the season this weekend for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He finished 13th in both previous starts, at Martinsville, Va., and Dover, Del.
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Ross Chastain and Brandon Jones will pull double-duty at Iowa. Chastain will drive the No. 66 Bolen Motorsports Chevrolet while Jones will compete in the No. 99 Chevrolet with Matthew Miller Motorsports.
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Nemechek takes Iowa victory with three-wide pass for the win

Nemechek takes Iowa victory with three-wide pass for the win
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