Trucks begin NASCAR's race week at Bristol

Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck. Date: mile oval. Start time: 8:00 p.m. (et). Laps: 200. Miles: 106.6. 2010 winner: Kyle Busch. Television: SPEED. Radio: Motor Racing Network(MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.

The Camping World Truck Series will run on Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, and what a treat this race should be. Kevin Harvick will attempt to win his third consecutive truck race, while his fellow Sprint Cup Series competitor, Kyle Busch, will try to win at Bristol for the fourth year in a row.

Harvick won at Pocono earlier this month and then followed up with another victory in the series last Saturday at Michigan. He has not competed in a truck race at Bristol since 2004.

His previous wins at Bristol include five in Nationwide and one in Sprint Cup.

"I really enjoy short track racing, and I've been fortunate to run well there in the past," Harvick said. "The main thing to remember about Bristol is that you have to be prepared for anything to happen. Like any other short track, the racing is tight, and you can get caught up in a wreck in a hurry. You need to go into this race ready to enjoy it while knowing that you might not have the outcome you were hoping for."

If Busch wins his fourth straight truck race at Bristol, he will tie Brendan Gaughan for most victories in a row at a particular track. Gaughan won both races at Texas during the 2002 and '03 seasons.

Busch and Harvick are the only Sprint Cup regulars competing in this race.

While Kyle Busch Motorsports and Kevin Harvick Inc. are battling for the owners' championship, the fight for the drivers' title is turning out to be a good one. Just 12 points separate leader Johnny Sauter from fourth-place Timothy Peters.

After finishing fourth at Michigan, James Buescher moved to within five points of Sauter for the lead. Buescher has scored 11 straight top-10 finishes. In February, he failed to qualify for the Phoenix race. No driver has ever won a Truck Series championship after missing a race during the season.

Austin Dillon held the points lead prior to Michigan, but after finishing 22nd there, Dillon fell eight points behind Sauter.

Peters has also been on a roll lately. He has claimed four straight top-10 finishes, including a win last month in Indianapolis. Peters finished second at Michigan.

"I still feel it is too early to be thinking about the championship, but it is always something that is on our minds," he said. "We have to race each race and let the points take care of themselves. Our goal is to take home the hardware in Homestead, but we are just taking it one race at a time."

Thirty-nine teams are on the preliminary entry list for the O'Reilly 200.