6 things you need to know about the Truck Series in 2016
With the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season getting under way with the running of Friday night's NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway, here are six things you need to know about the Truck Series in 2016:
Hello, Caution Clock
The clock will be set to 20 minutes and triggered at the start of each green-flag run during race events. When the clock counts down to zero, a caution flag then will be displayed and no beneficiary will be awarded. A caution occurring before time expires resets the clock when the subsequent green flag is displayed, and the first truck a lap down will be the beneficiary.
The Caution Clock will be turned off with 20 laps to go at all events, with the exception of the races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Pocono Raceway, where the clock will be turned off with 10 laps remaining.
As announced last month, the Truck Series features its own Chase format beginning this season. The Truck Series' Chase, which begins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 24, will feature eight drivers and two eliminations rounds with four drivers competing in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
A win in the first 16 races all but guarantees a driver entry into the the Chase, provided that the driver is in the top 30 in points and has attempted to qualify for each race.
The four drivers who advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead will have their points reset to 4,000. The highest finishing Championship 4 driver will win the championship.
Meet the kids
With reigning Truck Series champion Erik Jones competing full time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2016, Kyle Busch Motorsports has a new look.
Last year's NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion, William Byron, 18, and 2015 Eldora Speedway Mud Summer Classic winner Christopher Bell, 21, launch their first full-time NASCAR national series seasons in Friday's opener.
The two youngsters will seek to deliver KBM's third consecutive owner's title and second consecutive driver's championship.
Bell made seven series starts for KBM last year, registering one win, two top fives, three top 10s and an average finish of 11.9.
Byron wrecked out of his lone truck start on the sixth lap last season, finishing 31st at Phoenix. In 14 truck starts, Byron recorded four wins, five top fives and 11 top 10s.
For the first time ever, ThorSport Racing is fielding four teams in the Truck Series.
Abreu, who has won the prestigious Chilli Bowl Nationals sprint car race the past two years, made his stock-car debut last year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East where he logged one win, four top fives and eight top 10s in 14 starts.
Abreu drove the last two truck races of the season, with a best finish of 13th coming in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Abreu, who stands at just four feet, four inches tall, is the shortest driver in the history of one of NASCAR's major series.
"Yeah, I've gotten used to it, especially just seeing people notice me just because obviously I'm uniquely different and it's great," he said. "It's great for the sport and my whole goal is to be competitive and I think as long as I don't get too caught up in it all, I'll be just fine."
Eyes on the prize
Tyler Reddick, last year's championship runner-up on the strength of a breakout season highlighted by two wins, is back at Brad Keselowski Racing where he hopes climb just one position in 2016.
Joining Reddick at BKR is Daniel Hemric, who finished seventh in last year's standings while competing for now-defunct NTS Motorsports. In 26 career truck starts, Hemric has four top fives and 13 top 10s.
The next generation
John Hunter Nemechek, the 18-year-old son of NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek, raced a truck at Daytona for the first time Friday night, after establishing himself as one of NASCAR's top young prospects last season by earning one win, nine top fives and 10 top 10s in just 18 starts.
Nemechek finished 2015 on a particularly strong note, netting three runner-up finishes in the final four races.