The battle for the 2020 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship ended on a surprising note, with three-time and reigning series champion Matt Crafton failing to reach the Championship 4 while largely unproven youngster Sheldon Creed took the title on the strength of five victories in just his second full Truck Series season.
Look for this year’s championship fight to likewise be wide open, especially with 2020 NASCAR Cup Series rookie and former Truck Series standout John Hunter Nemechek returning to the truck ranks for a full season with the powerhouse Kyle Busch Motorsports organization.
“John Hunter is a proven winner in the Camping World Truck Series, as well as the Xfinity Series, and someone who we are confident will be able to put the No. 4 Tundra up front,” team owner Kyle Busch said.
While it used to be common for a reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion to spend at least one additional year in the division with the same team in hopes of gaining more experience and collecting another series title before jumping to the NASCAR Cup Series, the more recent trend has been for newly minted Xfinity Series champs to immediately bolt to NASCAR’s top level.
That isn’t happening this year, however, as 2020 Xfinity Series champ Austin Cindric is back in NASCAR’s No. 2 division for another full season before graduating to the Cup Series level in 2022.
While Cindric is admittedly eager to make the jump, he’s also excited for a third year in the Xfinity Series with Team Penske. Cindric is hoping to become the first Xfinity Series driver since Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2011 and 2012 to repeat as series champ with the same team.