July 18, 2024

What Truck Makes The Turn In 2024 At COTA?

As the roar of engines echoes across the Texan plains, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series gears up for a unique challenge in the heart of the Lone Star state. The Circuit of The Americas (COTA) beckons, a serpentine stretch of tarmac that will test the mettle of the finest truck racers on March 23, 2024. The XPEL 225, a race that stands alone as the sole road course on the series’ calendar, promises to deliver motorsport drama in heaps as drivers navigate its complex turns and elevation changes.

Over the past three years, COTA has become a proving ground for the Truck Series, a place where only the most adaptable drivers thrive. With no victories claimed from pole position, the race is a testament to the unpredictability of road course racing. The No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, however, has defied the odds, forging a legacy on this 3.41-mile circuit with back-to-back wins by Todd Gilliland in 2021 and Zane Smith in the subsequent years.

This year, it’s Layne Riggs‘ turn to uphold the No. 38’s reputation as he rolls into COTA for his road course debut in the Truck Series. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year hopeful has his eyes set on continuing a winning tradition, with the weight of expectation resting on his shoulders.

I’m heading into uncharted waters,” Riggs admits, “but there’s a wealth of experience in this team that’s seen this track conquered before. It’s on me to take the wheel and steer this legacy forward.”

The record books reflect the competitive spirit that COTA ignites. Zane Smith’s race record average speed of 77 mph, set in 2023, and Ross Chastain‘s blistering qualifying lap at 91.877 mph in the same year pay homage to the sheer pace these trucks can unleash. Smith’s two victories at COTA set him apart, while the likes of Ben Rhodes, Tyler Ankrum, and the indomitable Kyle Busch, with his 43 laps led, have all left their mark on this hallowed ground.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s race, the XPEL 225 will unfold over three stages of unrelenting competition. Teams will have to strategize effectively across the 12, 14, and 16-lap segments, totaling 42 laps or 143.22 miles of full-throttle racing. With strategy and skill at a premium, the battle at COTA is not just a race; it’s a high-speed chess match where every move could be the difference between glory and the gravel trap.

So, as the trucks line up on the grid, with the Texan sun beating down and the grandstands abuzz with anticipation, remember that COTA is more than just a race track. It’s a proving ground for the brave, a dance floor for the bold, and come the drop of the green flag, every driver will be vying to write their name into the annals of truck racing lore. The stage is set, the players are ready, and the XPEL 225 is about to add another thrilling chapter to the story of road course racin’ in Texas.

Further reading

Twitter feed is not available at the moment.

Subscribe to Podcast