Ryan Truex

Ryan Truex is hoping to race his way into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. He has to make up a seven-point deficit.

Ryan Truex is on a hot streak in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

And as the series enters its final race of the regular season Friday at Chicagoland Speedway, the former Stafford Township resident hopes that hot streak is enough to get him into the series’ playoffs.

The top eight drivers after Friday’s race will qualify and Truex sits in ninth place, just seven points behind Ben Rhodes. Six of the top seven spots have been clinched by wins, while seventh-place Chase Briscoe has enough accumulated points to qualify.

Truex would clinch a spot with a win Friday, or a finish that makes up the seven-point deficit.

“At the beginning of the season, you just want a shot to compete for a championship, and we have that in front of us,” Truex said in a statement. “This team has proved we belong in the playoffs all year long. Every race we’ve shown up trying to win, and this week is no different.

“We’ve had great speed almost every week this year, so we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing all season — get stage points, stage wins, and put ourselves in position to win the race.”

Truex has five Top-5 and 10 Top-10 finishes this season, his first running full time in the Trucks Series in the No. 16 Toyota Tundra. It’s also the first season his team, Hattori Racing Enterprises, has run full time. Truex finished 15th last September in his only previous Truck Series race at Chicagoland.

“Chicagoland is worn out and bumpy, so it’ll be important to get our Tundra handling through the bumps. Every time I’ve been there, you’ve had to move around at some point in the race and try to find grip, and I’m sure it’ll be the same way Friday night,” Truex said. “We’ve had great speed at the last few intermediate races, so I’m looking forward to try and finally get our (truck) in victory lane.

“We’ve been fast virtually everywhere this season, and these guys have put so much effort in all year. We’re bringing back the truck we had at Pocono and Michigan that was really fast, so I have all the confidence in the world we can have a good night on Friday.”

Qualifying for the Chicagoland 225 is at 5:05 p.m. with the race beginning at 8:30 p.m. Both will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

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609-272-7179 MMelhorn@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressSports

Production Director

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.

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