The Tyson 250 will involve 250 laps around the .625-mile North Wilkesboro Speedway. (HHP/Jim Fluharty photo)

Expect ‘Beating and Banging’ At North Wilkesboro

Most of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers in Saturday’s field weren’t born the last time a NASCAR-sanctioned race was run at North Wilkesboro Speedway — 22 drivers to be exact.

The 27-year gap between national races at the .625-mile oval is greater than the age of six of the top 10 starters in Saturday’s Tyson 250 — including polesitter Corey Heim (20 years old), Carson Hocevar (20), William Byron (25), Colby Howard (21), Bret Holmes (26) and Hailie Deegan (21).

Nonetheless, a lack of on-track experience at the recently revived facility is shared among all drivers in the 36-truck field, regardless of age.

Other than the six drivers who competed in a late model during the midweek ASA STARS National Tour and CARS Tour races, the majority of Truck series competitors have only had practice and qualifying laps to help steer their ship for the 250-lap race.

And they’re hoping that’ll be enough experience to make the right calls during the race.

“Your right foot will be your best friend today,” Chase Purdy noted after qualifying. “If you can just manage tires, not burn your stuff up and have good, clean, straight exits, you’ll be fine.”

Purdy qualified 24th in his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado after experiencing a sketchy moment during Saturday morning’s qualifying session.

“We went in turn three and it just took off on me. Lost the back end of the truck. I didn’t expect it to do that. I thought I’d have more grip, but evidently not,” Purdy said.

On the other hand, the lack of grip on the 42-year-old surface is a welcome sign for Josh Williams — a driver who typically competes in the Xfinity Series but is running the No. 22 for AM Racing in the Tyson 250.

“I think the track will stay consistent all day, just because of how rough and wore out the surface is,” Williams said. “There’s going to be some beating and banging for sure, cause it’s super hard to pass here. There’s really no second lane, so we’re all going to be hunting the bottom all day.”

He qualified 28th.

For ThorSport Racing’s Connor Jones, who contested the ASA super late model race on Wednesday, he’s still not sure what to expect after his 30th-place run in qualifying.

“I think it’s going to tighten up a bit as it gets colder, just based on what it did in super late model stock stuff,” Jones commented. “But besides that, honestly, I really don’t know.”