NASCAR Draft Kit: 2022 Truck Series Rankings

NASCAR Draft Kit: 2022 Truck Series Rankings

This article is part of our NASCAR Draft Kit series.

  1. John Hunter Nemechek – No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota – Nemechek may have not won the championship last season, but he was one of the more dominant drivers in the series last year.  The KBM youngster won five races and collected 16 Top-10 finishes throughout the season.  Nemechek would pull up a bit short in the last couple races of last season and it would cost him the title.  Still, the driver of the No. 4 KBM Toyota was the man to beat most weekends.  Nemechek returns to this team again in 2022 and will once again be paired with crew chief Eric Phillips.  Their mandate will be unfinished business in this season.  This driver and team will be focused on the championship, and they'll be the outfit to beat for that title.
  2. Ben Rhodes – No. 99 ThorSport Racing Toyota – The ThorSport Racing veteran started last season strong with wins in the first two events on the calendar.  However, Rhodes would cool off in the middle portion of the schedule before heating up again to close out last season.  The campaign would have him square in the middle of the battle for the championship up until the final race of last season.  Rhodes' third-place finish at Phoenix would seal the career-best season and give him his first Camping World Truck Series championship.  He will return to the No. 99 Toyota again in 2022 and mount a defense of last season's championship.  Rhodes as the ability to win
  1. John Hunter Nemechek – No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota – Nemechek may have not won the championship last season, but he was one of the more dominant drivers in the series last year.  The KBM youngster won five races and collected 16 Top-10 finishes throughout the season.  Nemechek would pull up a bit short in the last couple races of last season and it would cost him the title.  Still, the driver of the No. 4 KBM Toyota was the man to beat most weekends.  Nemechek returns to this team again in 2022 and will once again be paired with crew chief Eric Phillips.  Their mandate will be unfinished business in this season.  This driver and team will be focused on the championship, and they'll be the outfit to beat for that title.
  2. Ben Rhodes – No. 99 ThorSport Racing Toyota – The ThorSport Racing veteran started last season strong with wins in the first two events on the calendar.  However, Rhodes would cool off in the middle portion of the schedule before heating up again to close out last season.  The campaign would have him square in the middle of the battle for the championship up until the final race of last season.  Rhodes' third-place finish at Phoenix would seal the career-best season and give him his first Camping World Truck Series championship.  He will return to the No. 99 Toyota again in 2022 and mount a defense of last season's championship.  Rhodes as the ability to win races and collect many Top 5's, so he'll be in the mix again at Phoenix this November.
  3. Chandler Smith – No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota – Last season was the young Georgian's first full-time season in the truck series.  Smith left quite an impression after his two-win, nine Top 10 performance.  The No. 18 Toyota was strong, and Smith got better with each start in 2021.  He finished the campaign strong with his two victories coming in the last five events of last season.  Smith will carry that momentum into 2022 and look to propel this team towards a championship run.  The young driver will be paired with crew chief, Danny Stockman, once again and they'll look to continue building on what they established last year.  At just 19-years-old, Smith still has much to learn but it appears he has loads of talent.
  4. Zane Smith – No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford – Smith was one of the bigger free agent moves of the off-season.  He jumps from GMS Racing to Front Row Motorsports in this season.  Smith grabbed one win and 14 Top-10 finishes with his old team and that put him in the championship battle at Phoenix to end last season.  He heated up to end last year and that put him in contention to win the title.  Smith would pull up just a bit short, finishing fifth-place at Phoenix.  However, it would place him second overall in the final driver standings.  Smith will look to carry that success forward to FRM in 2022.  Todd Gilliland drove this truck last season to one victory and 16 Top-10 finishes.  So there's tons of potential here.  Smith could push this team to new heights this season.
  5. Grant Enfinger – No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet – Enfinger will looking to bounce back from a poor season in 2021.  The GMS Racing star collected no wins and just 11 Top 10's en route to an 11th-place finish in the driver points.  The campaign was a four-season low in terms of performance for Enfinger.  He's been used to being in the thick of the championship battle, but was not last season.  A team change should be just what the doctor ordered for 2022.  Enfinger moves to GMS Racing and takes over the team's No. 23 Chevrolet.  He'll be paired with crew chief, Jeff Hensley, and the two will look to jump back into the championship battle.  Enfinger has shown the ability in recent seasons to win multiple races and push the high teens in terms of Top 10's.  He should regain that potential this season.
  6. Matt Crafton – No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota – The 21-season veteran returns for another campaign in 2022.  The three-time series champion will set out in pursuit of a fourth title this season.  Crafton had a reasonably good 2021 season with 12 Top-10 finishes, but no victories.  It all added up to a fourth-place finish in the championship points.  Crafton will be paired with a new crew chief as Junior Joiner is moving on from racing to pursue family.  The new chief has not been named as of this writing, but could be a spark for this team and driver.  Gone are the days of multi-win seasons for Crafton, but he still has it in him to grab a win or two and post enough Top-10 finishes to be relevant in the championship chase.
  7. Stewart Friesen – No. 52 Halmar Racing Toyota – The Canadian had a bit of a perplexing campaign in 2021.  Friesen fetched just nine Top-10 finishes (a four-season low mark) but still managed a deep drive into the playoffs and finished sixth in the final standings.  He accomplished all this despite being winless last season.  The No. 52 Halmar Racing Toyota team will be back in 2022 and look to improve on last season's performance.  Friesen has shown the ability to win in the past and needs to rediscover that skill.  Also, the 38-year-old driver needs to improve his consistency over last season.  If Friesen can accomplish these things, he can have a big campaign ahead.
  8. Unknown Driver – No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet – Sheldon Creed drove this team to great performance in 2021.  However, he has left the team to go Xfinity Series racing with Richard Childress this season.  That leaves a mammoth hole in what was GMS Racing's most competitive team last season.  Creed grabbed three victories and 11 Top-10 finishes on his way to ending last season fifth in the championship points.  To say that there's big capability in this team is an understatement.  Still, the driver to be named is going to be the big x-factor in how this No. 2 Chevrolet team performs and ranks.  Watch the news closely in late January – early February.  GMS' announcement at who will pilot this truck will have impact on the championship and the top tier of the drivers in the series.
  9. Tyler Ankrum – No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota – Up-and-coming youngster Ankrum gets a team change this season.  The 20-year-old driver seemed to stall in his development last season in the GMS Racing camp.  Ankrum nabbed just five Top-10 finishes and slid all the way back to 15th-place in the driver points.  He now moves to a bit smaller team, but are proven performers in recent seasons.  Austin Hill piloted this truck to two wins and 15 Top-10 finishes in 2021.  Ankrum will get that experience and know-how for this campaign.  He'll be paired with proven winner, Scott Zipadelli, at crew chief and the two should prove to be a good combination.   Ankrum doesn't likely have multiple win seasons in his immediate future, but he should be very competitive and get his career back on track this season.
  10. Christian Eckes – No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota – Eckes shared this ride last season with Grant Enfinger.  It was pretty much a 50/50 split of the schedule.  The 21-year-old would earn his first-career victory and five Top-10 finishes in just 10 starts.  It was a pretty successful campaign and in some ways, Eckes out-shined Enfinger in the driver split.  He'll get the No. 98 Toyota all to himself this season.  It will just be Eckes' second full season of competition in this division of NASCAR.  This is a very capable team and Eckes is a proven winner (2019 ARCA Menards Series champion) so they should be a very good combination in the 2022 campaign.
  11. Johnny Sauter – No. 13 ThorSport Racing Toyota – The 43-year-old veteran and former series champion will saddle up for another full season of truck series competition in 2022.  Sauter returns to the No. 13 ThorSport Racing team this season.  Father time has finally caught up to the 24-time winner.  Sauter is coming off two-straight winless campaigns.  He's gone from championship contender to tier "B" in terms of performance.  The driver of the No. 13 Toyota scratched for eight Top 10's in each of his last two seasons and has finished 13th- and 12th-place in the championship standings in each of those campaigns.  Sauter will be starting the season with a new crew chief and a lot of unanswered questions as to whether he can reclaim his former glory. He and this team are very talented, but they simply cannot dominate like they used to.
  12. Carson Hocevar – No. 42 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet – The 19-year-old prospect had quite a rookie campaign last season.  Hocevar turned heads and nearly won at Charlotte last year.  He would collect three Top-5 and eight Top-10 finishes in his first full season of truck series racing.  Hocevar returns to the No. 42 Chevrolet of Niece Motorsports in 2022.  He'll continue to work with crew chief, Phil Gould, and build on what they started last season.  This driver and team have the potential to win races as Hocevar gets more experience.  They could climb the rankings if improvement comes faster than anticipated.  The No. 42 Chevrolet team is one to keep a close eye on early in the schedule.
  13. Matt DiBenedetto – No. 25 Rackley W.A.R. Chevrolet – This team offers some exciting potential.  DiBenedetto may have lost his Cup Series ride at Wood Brothers Racing, but he's still energized to race and compete at any level of NASCAR.  Rackley W.A.R. will tap into that energy and enthusiasm.  This truck was primarily split between Timothy Peters and Josh Berry last season.  The full campaign amounted to one Top-10 and five Top-15 finishes.  We expect bigger things for the young team this season.  DiBenedetto should be the experience and consistency they need behind the wheel to take a pretty dramatic leap in terms of performance.  Veteran Chad Kendrick returns at crew chief and the outlook for Rackley W.A.R. is pretty bright.
  14. Unknown Driver – No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet – GMS Racing doesn't just have a vacancy to fill in their No. 2 team, but their No. 21 team as well.  Zane Smith left this truck to race for Front Row Motorsports in 2022.  The young driver had reasonably good performance in this truck last season, collecting one victory and 14 Top-10 finishes.  It was a performance good enough to have Smith in championship contention right up until the end of last year.  GMS has yet to name a driver this season and that will be the single largest factor in terms of performance.  There a number of young, free agent drivers on the market who could take the wheel, but until that decision is announced we're slotting this team at #14 prior to the season.  A talented youngster could move this team up the rankings.
  15. Austin Wayne Self – No. 22 AM Racing Chevrolet – The six-season veteran returns to the No. 22 team in 2022 to continue his push for improvement.  Self will once again pilot the No. 22 Chevrolet of AM Racing.  He snagged a career-best four Top-10 finishes with this team last season and wound up a respectable 14th-place in the final point standings.  This team lacks the speed to lead laps and contend for race wins, but Self is experienced enough (129 starts) to stay out of trouble and generally finish within the Top 15 most weeks.  With just 2 DNF's all of last season, he was able to achieve a respectable 17.6 average finish.  Self would like to move up the ladder, so motivation is high.  However, this small team's limitations will always be his biggest x-factor.
  16. Corey Heim/Other Drivers – No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota – For the first time in a long time, there will be no Kyle Busch racing in this division of NASCAR.  That means his driver rotation truck of the No. 51 team will have an all-new outlook this season.  Youngster Heim will take the bulk of the 23-race schedule with 15 starts.  It remains to be seen who will fill in the other eight starts for the team.  This truck achieved great success with Busch last season, but much less performance with the younger drivers.  The 19-year-old Heim has just three starts of experience in this division of NASCAR, but he is talented.  Heim won six races and finished runner-up in the ARCA Menards Series in 2021.  He'll have a lot to learn this season, but with undoubtedly some highlights along the way.
  17. Taylor Gray/Ryan Preece/Other Drivers – No. 17 David Gilliland Racing Ford – This race team ran 14 events last season, but looks poised to run the full schedule in 2022.  It was purely a driver rotation, but with some pretty experienced drivers in the mix.  The conglomerate earned one win (Ryan Preece) and four Top-10 finishes in those 14 races.  This season it appears that Preece will get seven starts in the No. 17 Ford, then a steady diet of youngster Gray from there on with eight or nine starts.  The remaining races will be picked up by assorted veteran drivers.  When you add it all up, it will likely be DGR's most competitive team and one with potential to challenge for some Top-5 and Top-10 finishes.  Preece brings a lot to the table in terms of experience and skill, and Gray is still learning the ropes but obviously talented from his successful ARCA Series career.
  18. Derek Kraus – No. 19 Mcanally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet – The young Wisconsin native had a bit of a slump in his sophomore season last year.  Kraus labored to just four Top-10 finishes after posting a whopping 13 with this same race team in his rookie season.  Kraus saw his average finish inflate from 13.0 to 19.7 as a result.  He'll look to hit the reset button in 2022 as he returns to the No. 19 MHR team.  The team switches from Toyota to Chevrolet this season and will look to recover some of their lost performance.  Kraus has the ability to lead laps and challenge for Top-10 finishes, so he stands a very good chance of climbing the driver rankings.  An alliance with GMS Racing will only help this small race team to improve.
  19. Hailie Deegan – No. 1 David Gilliland Racing Ford – So Deegan's rookie campaign didn't go quite as well as expected, however, there was some improvement over the course of last season.  She would earn her lone Top-10 finish in late August at Gateway, and she would labor to just four Top-15 finishes for the season.  Deegan will get the chance to hit the reset button in 2022 and show what she learned from a tough first season.  Deegan returns to the No. 1 DGR team and veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr.  Sponsorship is solid with Monster Energy returning to help fund the team.  Deegan has a lot to prove in season two, and a lot of pressure on the line.  However, we believe she has the fortitude to respond.
  20. Unknown Driver – No. 26 GMS Racing Chevrolet – GMS Racing had such a strong season in 2021 that three of their drivers bolted for free agency at the conclusion of last year.  This is yet another GMS seat that is vacant heading into this campaign.  Ankrum drove this truck to just five Top-10 finishes last year, and it was the poorest performing of the GMS stable.  Still, there's potential here as Ankrum drove this same truck to 10 Top-10 finishes in 2020.  The team will have to find and name a driver between now and Daytona, and that's the biggest hurdle.  That unknown has us cautiously ranking the No. 26 team and their yet-to-be-named driver in the #20 slot in the pre-season.  Watch the news closely prior to the season.  A big free agent signing could boost this team up the rankings.
  21. Chase Purdy – No. 61 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota – Hattori Racing Enterprises expands to two race teams in the 2022 season.  After successfully anchoring one team in this division of NASCAR, the team has decided to expand.  They have tabbed up-and-coming talent Purdy to pilot the new No. 61 Toyota Tundra.  Matt Lucas has been retained to perform as crew chief for this new truck.  The 22-year-old Purdy showed some flashes of skill last season with GMS Racing.  He nabbed two Top-10 and six Top-15 finishes in the No. 23 Chevrolet last season.  Purdy still has a lot to learn, but he's headed in the right direction.  HRE believes this young driver is the pilot to carry this second team into the future.
  22. Lawless Alan – No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet – The California native raced part-time in 2021, but Alan will move to full-time competition this season.  Niece Motorsports and Reaume Brothers Racing put him on the track for nine starts last season.  It was a good introduction to the Camping World Truck Series.  Alan nabbed two Top-20 finishes in those starts and got his much-needed experience under his belt.  Niece has turned over the No. 45 Chevrolet and veteran crew chief, Wally Rogers, to his disposal in 2022. This team earned one Top-10 and seven Top-20 finishes last season with a driver rotation.  With some consistency behind the wheel, there's some potential here to achieve greater performance.
  23. Timmy Hill – No. 56 Hill Motorsports Toyota – Timmy and Tyler Hill split this truck last season, and to pretty reasonable effect.  The duo combined for one Top-5 and four Top-10 finishes.  With just four DNF's, this race team stayed on the track and raced competitively all last season.  It appears that Timmy is poised to race the full season in this No. 56 truck in 2022.  The team switches from Chevrolet to Toyota this season and plan to look for even better results.  Hill now has 52 starts of experience in this division of NASCAR and now seven Top-10 finishes to his credit.  2021 was his team's most successful season to-date, and bigger things are expected in the near future.
  24. Jack Wood – No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet – The 21-year-old prospect has been brought in to take over the GMS Racing No. 24 entry full-time in 2022.  This is the truck that Wood shared with a number of different drivers last season.  The collective earned two Top-5 and four Top-10 finishes last season.  Wood nabbed one of those Top 10's with a strong 10th-place finish at Gateway.  Chad Walter returns at crew chief, and the two will look to continue building chemistry together.  This team has a high ceiling in terms of capabilities, but they need Wood to learn and mature in order to realize their potential.  2022 could be a breakthrough season for Wood or just more learning the ropes if things don't get off to a good start.
  25. Unknown Driver – No. 40 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet – Niece Motorsports is another of the teams with an empty seat to fill.  Ryan Truex started the full schedule last year for this race team before heading off to the Xfinity Series this year and Sam Hunt Racing.  The veteran had limited success in this truck in 2021.  Truex only managed two Top-5 and three Top-10 finishes.  The average checked in at a somewhat disappointing 19.5 average finish.  With Niece's other teams having more success, that sort of puts the No. 40 truck on the hot seat entering 2022.  We're going to slot this team tentatively at #25 heading into the season, with the potential to move up some with a good driver signing.
  26. Jordan Anderson – No. 3 Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet – The 30-year-old veteran raced in just nine of 22 events last season as an owner/driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. He had good impact in those limited starts in a driver rotation.  Anderson grabbed one Top-5 and two Top-10 finishes in those nine starts.  Superspeedway racing was the team's strength, and that's something to remember in weekly lineup and daily fantasy leagues.  Anderson's other drivers weren't as successful as him last season.  No plans for 2022 have been announced at this point, but this team's success seems largely pinned to how much Anderson races vs. other people in the driver's seat.
  27. Tanner Gray – No. 15 David Gilliland Racing Ford – Gray returns to DGR for his third-full season in the Camping World Truck Series.  2021 was a bit of a letdown considering how well Gray performed in 2020.  The young driver scratched for just two Top 10's last season compared to eight in the prior campaign.  Gray will be paired with veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter this season to look for improvement.  This could be a very good combination and could lead to great things.  Gray has shown the ability to win races in the lower divisions of NASCAR, so there's definite talent available.  If Gray and Baxter can develop some chemistry early on in the season, he could climb the driver rankings considerably.
  28. Tate Fogleman – No. 30 On Point Motorsports Toyota – Fogleman was one of the surprise stories of 2021.  The young driver pulled an upset victory, the first of his career, late last season at Talladega.  That effort was for Young's Motorsports and it left a pretty big impression.  On Point Motorsports hopped on the Fogleman bandwagon and signed him to drive the team's No. 30 Toyota for 2022.  His average finish of last season of 24.6 was respectable but needs some improvement.  Fogleman will look for that with his new race team.  The No. 30 team featured mostly Danny Bohn last season and they only grabbed two Top-10 finishes.  However, there's ample potential here for improvement and growth for Fogleman.
  29. Spencer Boyd – No. 12 Young's Motorsports Chevrolet – Boyd stays with Young's Motorsports this season, but moves from the team's No. 20 entry to the No. 12.  A good sponsorship package is lining up behind the veteran driver and that's always a good sign for possible improvement.  Boyd grabbed just one Top-10 and five Top-20 finishes last season.  There's a lot of room for improvement here.  He peddled the team's Chevrolet to a 24.7 average finish over the 22-race schedule.  Boyd will be paired with crew chief Ryan London in the No. 12 Chevrolet team and the two will look to find gains immediately.  Boyd has a lot of eyes on him this season and a lot on the line for his future in NASCAR.
  30. Blaine Perkins – No. 9 CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet – Codie Rohrbaugh, Grant Enfinger and other drivers split this ride last season.  They had some decent impact for this small truck series race team, collecting four Top 10's and 11 Top-20 finishes.  However, it looks like youngster Perkins will be taking the wheel full-time in 2022.  The 21-year-old driver has had some limited success in the lower divisions of NASCAR, but has yet to leave a big impression in the sport's top-3 national touring series.  Perkins made just eight starts in the Xfinity Series last season with limited impact, but gradual improvement.  This very capable race team is putting all their chips on this young, untested driver this season.  We'll see how quickly Perkins can get over the learning curve hump.
  31. Cory Roper – No. 04 Roper Racing Chevrolet – It hasn't been confirmed at the time of this writing, but it's believed that owner/driver Roper will return with his race team again in 2022.  For a small operation they had some success last season. Roper earned one Top-5 and two Top-10 finishes in just a 16-start schedule.  Superspeedway racing was where most of that success happened, and that's something to keep in mind this season.  Only limited funding kept this team off the track for the full schedule, and hopefully that situation improves this year.  Roper managed a 25.8 average finish in 2021, and we'll see if he can gradually improve that in the coming season.
  32. Jesse Little – No. 02 Young's Motorsports Chevrolet – After six seasons of part-time racing in the Camping World Truck Series, Little will get a shot at the full slate in 2022.  He spent much of the last two years racing in the Xfinity Series, but has returned to the trucks based on this opportunity from Young's Motorsports.  Little will take over the No. 02 Chevrolet and be paired with crew chief Eddie Troconis.  This team achieved limited success last year with Kris Wright and a handful of other drivers.  The team would earn two Top-10 and six Top-15 finishes.  Little has the ability to challenge for Top-10 finishes, but the team will need to improve a bit.  Little and Troconis will need to hit the ground running in February.
  33. Unknown Driver – No. ?? Spire Motorsports Chevrolet – Spire Motorsports announced in November of last year that they were starting a truck series operation in 2022.  As of late January we still don't have the details on driver, sponsorship etc.  We do know that the team has tabbed veteran and respected crew chief Bono Manion to head up the effort.  That's great news for any fledgling race team.  Still, the unknown in the driver's seat is the biggest x-factor determining the destiny of this race team this season.  Once we have a handle on that, we'll have a better idea of where to slot this team in the rankings.
  34. Josh Reaume/Other Drivers – No. 34 Reaume Brothers Racing Toyota – Reaume's race team featured multiple drivers in 2021 with a heavy dose of Reaume and Lawless Alan.  The team would make all but one of the 22 events, failing to qualify for the season-opener at Daytona.  It would be a long, hard slog for the No. 34 team.  The driving conglomerate earned just two Top-20 finishes the entire season.  Plans have not been announced for 2022, but it's believed that we could see a similar approach behind the wheel.  Reaume could see some time, and a good number of free agent drivers will likely share the seat throughout the season.  There's a lot of work to be done here for this to become a more competitive effort.
  35. Jennifer Jo Cobb – No. 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Chevrolet – The 14-season veteran hasn't announced plans for 2022, but it's believed she'll be returning in her small race team.  Cobb attempted the full schedule last season, but only made 19 of the 22 events.  She would grab just one Top-20 finish, which would come in the season-opener at Daytona.  Other than that highlight, Cobb would suffer through eight DNF's that pulled her average finish down to a lowly 31.7, which was a career-worst mark.  Now 48-years-old, and racing a small, shoestring operation, Cobb is doing her best to make as many starts as possible.  The level of her performance has tailed-off over the last two seasons.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NASCAR Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NASCAR fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Taylor
Taylor is RotoWire's senior NASCAR writer. A nine-time FSWA finalist, Taylor was named the Racing Writer of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2017. He is also a military historian, focused specifically on World War II and the U.S. Navy's efforts in the Pacific.
NASCAR Barometer: Tyler Reddick Dodges Trouble to Win at Talladega
NASCAR Barometer: Tyler Reddick Dodges Trouble to Win at Talladega
F1 and NASCAR DFS: PrizePicks selections for the Chinese Grand Prix and GEICO 500
F1 and NASCAR DFS: PrizePicks selections for the Chinese Grand Prix and GEICO 500
NASCAR DFS: GEICO 500
NASCAR DFS: GEICO 500
GEICO 500 Preview: Superspeedway Battle
GEICO 500 Preview: Superspeedway Battle