The Tenting World Truck Sequence Has an Id Difficulty Doubtlessly Dangerous to NASCAR

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Try to find the common denominator among the last six winners of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races:

  • Ross Chastain at Charlotte.
  • Corey Heim at World Wide Technology Raceway.
  • Kyle Busch at Sonoma.
  • Todd Gilliland in Knoxville.
  • Ryan Preece in Nashville.
  • Parker Kligerman in Mid Ohio.

The answer may help explain why NASCAR hasn’t announced a title sponsor for the 2023 truck series.

Camping World Truck Series regulars frozen out of Victory Lane

Jack Wood, driver of the #24 Chevrolet, and Blaine Perkins, driver of the #9 Chevrolet, drive during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 9, 2022. | Ben Jackson/Getty Images

The above list of winners consists solely of drivers who are not full-time participants in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:

  • Ross Chastain, Kyle Busch and Todd Gilliland are full-time drivers in the Cup Series. As such, they do not qualify for the Truck Series playoffs.
  • Ryan Preece is a backup driver for Stewart-Haas Racing, who put together a short schedule of Xfinity and Truck Series races for him in lieu of Cup Series assignments.
  • Corey Heim and Parker Kligerman have each contested eight of the 15 races.

Heim also won a race earlier in the season, as did Cup Series driver William Byron. Overall, part-timers and invaders from other series won more than half of truck races in 2022.

Kligerman has raced once each in the Cup Series and the Xfinity Series. However, like Heim, the truck series is his main focus, even if he doesn’t have a full-time gig. They are 16th and 20th respectively in points ahead of the final race of the regular season on July 23 in Pocono. As it stands now, Kligerman will be No. 6 and Heim will be No. 8 in the 10-rider playoffs beginning July 29 at Lucas Oil Park.

The Camping World Truck Series faces a sponsorship issue

There are many changes happening and I’m sure there will be more to come

— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) May 27, 2022

Sports Business Journal reported a month ago that Camping World’s sponsorship of NASCAR’s truck series will expire at the end of the season. The deal for the naming rights began in 2009 and reportedly brings NASCAR about $5 million a year.

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis’ comment on social media in late May only added to NASCAR’s concerns. After an SBJ reporter tweeted a follow-up about M&M’s maker ending Kyle Busch’s sponsorship, Lemonis replied, “There are a lot of changes happening and I’m sure more are to come.”

In a thriving economy, $5 million a year is a small price to pay for Camping World. After all, RVs and RVs dominate the infield at NASCAR venues. However, with economic indicators strongly pointing to a recession, Camping World can expect sales to fall as discretionary spending falls.

Camping World also sponsors Tony Stewart’s SRX series, which airs Saturday nights on CBS, often against NASCAR events. If the company can only hold one partner, SRX’s six-week plan is arguably cheaper.

NASCAR must sell a series in which big names disappear by playoff time

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<p>With Cup Series drivers already inking deals for 2024 (see: Reddick, Tyler), it stands to reason that NASCAR should be able to announce a title sponsor for 2023 by now.  Whether it’s Camping World in a renewal of the current deal or another recognizable brand, we should have heard something by now.</p>
<p>If NASCAR is struggling to lock anyone up, how this season has gone could be a factor.  The seven-round playoff portion of the schedule should be the most compelling viewing of the season, but will it be?</p>
<p>Race winners William Byron, Ryan Preece, Ross Chastain, Kyle Busch and Todd Gilliland will be nowhere to be found.  They account for 25 playoff points that were not awarded.  Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes and John Hunter Nemechek offer respectable recognition, but the playoffs need multiple storylines to maximize interest.</p>
<p>At the moment, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has an identity issue that could affect its value to future partners.</p>
<p>Like Sportscasting on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19 and subscribe to our YouTube channel.</p>
<p>Do you have a question or observation about racing?  Sportscasting’s John Moriello does a mailbag column every Friday.  Write to him at JohnM@Sportscasting.com.</p>
<p><strong>RELATED: Ben Rhodes’ NASCAR Truck Series Goal: Don’t make the same mistake twice</strong></p>
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