Trucks race on Pocono's repaved surface for the first time

The Camping World Truck Series will compete at Pocono Raceway for the third time on Saturday, but it will be the series' first running on the racetrack's newly-paved surface.

Pocono's 2.5-mile surface received a new coat of asphalt since the trucks last raced there one year ago. Teams will get familiar with the surface during Friday's three-hour practice session.

There will be a third different race winner at Pocono. Elliott Sadler won the inaugural truck event at this track in 2010, and Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag there last year. Both drivers won it from the pole position. Sadler and Harvick are not competing in this year's race.

Timothy Peters comes to Pocono with a 23-point lead over rookie Ty Dillon and a 30-point advantage over Justin Lofton. Peters has finished in the top-10 in each of the two previous races there.

"This year, we have been going to the tracks where our results have not been all that good in the past, and we are leaving the track with our best finishes ever," Peters said. "The new pavement will change the ballgame in the garage if anyone had an advantage before. We are all on the same page when we unload. That's what I am looking forward to."

Dillon and Lofton have each won an ARCA Series race at Pocono, prior to it being repaved.

James Buescher moved to within 35 points of Peters after his win two weeks ago at Chicagoland. Buescher remains the only driver with multiple victories in the series this year. He won at Kansas and Kentucky prior to Chicagoland. All three of those tracks are 1.5 miles in length.

"We are bringing our best truck (to Pocono) this weekend and are hoping to continue to build momentum as we continue to battle for the championship," Buescher said.

Denny Hamlin is the only Sprint Cup Series regular competing in this race. Hamlin is scheduled to drive the No. 18 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Jason Leffler is normally behind the wheel of that truck, but Leffler is entered in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Iowa, driving the No. 30 car for Turner Motorsports.

Hamlin is expected to make his first start in trucks this year. He has four wins in 13 Sprint Cup starts at Pocono. Hamlin competed in the truck race there two years ago, finishing fifth. He held the lead late in that event but ended up scraping the wall and fell out of contention to win.

"Pocono is obviously one of my better tracks, so I think that we'll have a good shot at adding another banner to the rafters at Kyle's shop," Hamlin said.

Thirty-three teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Pocono Mountains 125.

Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck. Date: Saturday, August 4. Race: Pocono Mountains 125. Site: Pocono Raceway. Track: 2.5-mile tri-oval. Start time: 1 p.m. (et). Laps: 50. Miles: 125. 2011 Winner: Kevin Harvick. Television: Speed. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite.