Raphael Lessard, Ben Rhodes lead Truck Bristol dirt practices

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series hit the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt for the first time with a pair of practice sessions on Friday. Raphael Lessard led the entirety of the first practice while Ben Rhodes did so later in the afternoon. For Saturday’s four heat races to set the grid ahead of the evening’s Pinty’s Dirt Truck Race, Lessard will start third in Heat #3. Rhodes has more of an uphill battle in tenth in Heat #4.

First practice

Sheldon Creed, the reigning series champion and an off-road expert, was the first on track.

Various drivers brought out cautions for spins starting with Brett Moffitt. Hailie Deegan–also a former off-road racer who has won on dirt in NASCAR’s regional series–and Jake Griffin also did so, with Griffin hitting the “dirtle”, a white rumble strip along the apron that discourages drivers from racing that low on the track (similar to turtles at the Daytona and Charlotte infield road course chicanes). Griffin, entering his first Truck race since 2019, would spin again. With approximately eight minutes left, Andrew Gordon‘s left-rear tyre came off, resulting in him spinning and a red flag to come out.

Gordon, one of two CMI Motorsports drivers, is hoping to make his NASCAR debut. By the end of the session, Lessard topped the charts with a fastest lap time of 19.384 seconds at 92.860 mph ahead of Carson Hocevar (19.396 seconds, 92.803). Cup Series rookie and former Eldora winner Chase Briscoe was the fastest non-Truck regular in fourth. Cody Erickson turned the most laps at fifty-eight and was thirty-fifth. “This has been a weekend that I had big X’s through, and honestly, that’s as much fun as I’ve had in a race car in a long time,” Kevin Harvick told FS1 after recording fifty-one laps and setting the sixteenth-fastest time. “Just getting over my anxiety and being able to do something way outside my comfort zone was rewarding.”

Along with Stewart-Haas Racing team-mate Briscoe, Harvick is one of nine drivers running Saturday’s Truck race and Sunday’s Cup Series event. Kyle Larson (twelfth), Bubba Wallace (twenty-second), Martin Truex Jr. (twenty-ninth), Ryan Newman (thirty-eighth), and Daniel Suarez (forty-second) are all Cup full-timers entering the Truck race, while Stewart Friesen (fifth) and Mike Marlar (twenty-ninth) will run their maiden Cup races on Sunday. John Hunter Nemechek, who finished eleventh, is having Cup driver Christopher Bell on standby in the event that his wife goes into labour. Jennifer Jo Cobb is the only driver to not record a practice lap.

Position Number Driver Team Manufacturer Best Time Best Speed (mph) Laps
1 24 Raphael Lessard GMS Racing Chevrolet 19.384 92.860 31
2 42 Carson Hocevar Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 19.396 92.803 32
3 1 Hailie Deegan David Gilliland Racing Ford 19.418 92.698 23
4 04 Chase Briscoe* Roper Racing Ford 19.432 92.631 23
5 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota 19.465 92.474 33
6 15 Tanner Gray David Gilliland Racing Ford 19.483 92.388 44
7 38 Todd Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 19.502 92.298 67
8 2 Sheldon Creed GMS Racing Chevrolet 19.525 92.190 51
9 26 Tyler Ankrum GMS Racing Chevrolet 19.579 91.935 37
10 45 Brett Moffitt Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 19.588 91.893 50
11 4 John Hunter Nemechek Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 19.592 91.874 38
12 44 Kyle Larson* Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 19.603 91.823 31
13 23 Chase Purdy GMS Racing Chevrolet 19.620 91.743 74
14 88 Matt Crafton ThorSport Racing Toyota 19.688 91.426 45
15 21 Zane Smith GMS Racing Chevrolet 19.695 91.394 49
16 17 Kevin Harvick* David Gilliland Racing Ford 19.706 91.343 51
17 22 Austin Wayne Self AM Racing Chevrolet 19.725 91.255 40
18 99 Ben Rhodes ThorSport Racing Toyota 19.729 91.236 40
19 62 Jessica Friesen Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota 19.760 91.093 51
20 33 Myatt Snider* Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet 19.811 90.859 33
21 98 Grant Enfinger ThorSport Racing Toyota 19.821 90.813 53
22 11 Bubba Wallace* Spencer Davis Motorsports Toyota 19.849 90.685 48
23 34 Jake Griffin Reaume Brothers Racing Toyota 19.879 90.548 31
24 75 Parker Kligerman Henderson Motorsports Chevrolet 19.881 90.539 44
25 56 Mike Marlar* Hill Motorsports Chevrolet 19.883 90.530 35
26 13 Johnny Sauter ThorSport Racing Toyota 19.899 90.457 32
27 18 Chandler Smith Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 19.901 90.448 41
28 49 Andrew Gordon CMI Motorsports Chevrolet 19.935 90.294 26
29 51 Martin Truex Jr.* Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 19.970 90.135 44
30 30 Danny Bohn On Point Motorsports Toyota 19.993 90.032 40
31 9 Codie Rohrbaugh CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet 20.036 89.838 33
32 3 J.R. Heffner Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 20.069 89.691 45
33 16 Austin Hill Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota 20.069 89.691 32
34 40 Ryan Truex Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 20.104 89.534 31
35 41 Cody Erickson Cram Racing Enterprises Chevrolet 20.113 89.494 58
36 25 Timothy Peters Rackley WAR Chevrolet 20.145 89.352 8
37 19 Derek Kraus McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Toyota 20.205 89.087 46
38 39 Ryan Newman* DCC Racing Ford 20.233 88.964 41
39 6 Norm Benning Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet 20.635 87.230 13
40 12 Tate Fogleman Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 20.734 86.814 36
41 83 Trevor Collins CMI Motorsports Chevrolet 20.841 86.368 16
42 02 Daniel Suarez* Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 20.894 86.149 28
43 20 Spencer Boyd Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 21.169 85.030 32
44 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Chevrolet No Time No Time N/A

Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Truck pointsCredit: Jared C.

Tilton/Getty Images

Final practice

Six minutes into the session, J.R. Heffner, running his first Truck race in two years, lost his steering and hit the backstretch inside pit wall, forcing his truck to be towed away. Unlike the incident-plaged first practice, the final session featured just two cautions for Heffner and debris.

Rhodes dominated the second and final practice session from start to finish, ending it with a lap time of 20.703 seconds and speed of 86.943 mph. Newman, who was unable to set a strong time due to cautions, was the second fastest at 20.716 seconds and 86.889 mph. Among the other eight Double Duty drivers, fellow Ford drivers Briscoe and Harvick finished with top-ten times in sixth and tenth, respectively.

After not practicing earlier in the day, Cobb set a time in the practice, meaning all forty-four drivers were on track.

Zane Smith, the twenty-first-fastest driver, turned the most laps of the session with seventy-one.

Position Number Driver Team Manufacturer Best Time Best Speed (mph) Laps
1 99 Ben Rhodes ThorSport Racing Toyota 20.703 86.944 39
2 39 Ryan Newman* DCC Racing Ford 20.716 86.889 11
3 15 Tanner Gray David Gilliland Racing Ford 20.721 86.868 43
4 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota 20.784 86.605 56
5 88 Matt Crafton ThorSport Racing Toyota 20.797 86.551 57
6 04 Chase Briscoe* Roper Racing Ford 20.798 86.547 40
7 75 Parker Kligerman Henderson Motorsports Chevrolet 20.840 86.372 63
8 26 Tyler Ankrum GMS Racing Chevrolet 20.904 86.108 46
9 13 Johnny Sauter ThorSport Racing Toyota 20.906 86.100 45
10 17 Kevin Harvick* David Gilliland Racing Ford 20.910 86.083 26
11 2 Sheldon Creed GMS Racing Chevrolet 20.915 86.063 71
12 38 Todd Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 20.929 86.005 50
13 42 Carson Hocevar Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 20.937 85.972 48
14 18 Chandler Smith Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 20.942 85.952 52
15 44 Kyle Larson* Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 20.944 85.944 43
16 24 Raphael Lessard GMS Racing Chevrolet 20.957 85.890 57
17 02 Daniel Suarez Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 20.960 85.878 53
18 51 Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 20.968 85.845 31
19 16 Austin Hill Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota 20.982 85.788 41
20 3 J.R.

Heffner

Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 20.993 85.743 8
21 21 Zane Smith GMS Racing Chevrolet 21.010 85.674 71
22 4 John Hunter Nemechek Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 21.011 85.669 50
23 23 Chase Purdy GMS Racing Chevrolet 21.012 85.665 32
24 98 Grant Enfinger ThorSport Racing Toyota 21.013 85.661 48
25 45 Brett Moffitt Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 21.052 85.503 46
26 83 Trevor Collins CMI Motorsports Chevrolet 21.054 85.494 24
27 62 Jessica Friesen Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota 21.055 85.490 56
28 56 Mike Marlar* Hill Motorsports Chevrolet 21.074 85.413 44
29 40 Ryan Truex Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 21.080 85.389 36
30 33 Myatt Snider* Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet 21.087 85.361 55
31 11 Bubba Wallace* Spencer Davis Motorsports Toyota 21.096 85.324 46
32 19 Derek Kraus McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Toyota 21.102 85.300 33
33 1 Hailie Deegan David Gilliland Racing Ford 21.147 85.119 52
34 12 Tate Fogleman Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 21.160 85.066 40
35 34 Jake Griffin Reaume Brothers Racing Toyota 21.209 84.870 16
36 22 Austin Wayne Self AM Racing Chevrolet 21.216 84.842 49
37 41 Cody Erickson Cram Racing Enterprises Chevrolet 21.283 84.575 37
38 6 Norm Benning Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet 21.294 84.531 29
39 9 Codie Rohrbaugh CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet 21.323 84.416 32
40 30 Danny Bohn On Point Motorsports Toyota 21.332 84.380 49
41 20 Spencer Boyd Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 21.426 84.010 47
42 49 Andrew Gordon CMI Motorsports Chevrolet 21.445 83.936 52
43 25 Timothy Peters Rackley WAR Chevrolet 21.631 83.214 10
44 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Chevrolet 22.701 79.292 11