Gander Outdoors Truck Series News (6089)

Gander Outdoors Truck Series News

Ross Chastain took his No. 45 Chevrolet to victory lane on Friday at Kansas Speedway. Chastain, who led five of the 167 circuits enroute to his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race, passed leader Stewart Friesen with three laps to go in the Digital Ally 250.

Chastain came into the season with a Chip Ganassi Racing ride all locked up in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. A short while after the deal was announced, D.C. Solar caught legal troubles and the deal fell through -- leaving Chastain without a ride.

Since the start of the year, Chastain has driven for numerous teams in all three series to stay afloat as he waits for the next opportunity to come along.

In seven starts in 2019, Chastain holds three top five and seven top 10 finishes.

Friesen ran out of fuel while leading with three laps to go and had to pit. The driver of the No. 52 Chevrolet, winner of both stages, went on to finish 15th and one lap down. The driver from Canada led 87 of the 167 laps.

Ben Rhodes and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top three of the Digital Ally 250. Rhodes started the event from the 14th starting spot while Gilliland started the 250-mile event in fifth.

Austin Hill and Brandon Jones rounded out the top five finishers.

Pole sitter Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Brett Moffitt, Riley Herbst and Harrison Burton rounded out the top 10.

There were two main crashes that impacted a number of contenders. Natalie Decker went for a spin in turn four that ended her night on lap 52. Decker finished 25th and 116 laps down.

The other incident that involved a pair of heavy hitters happened on lap 138 in turn two. Brett Moffitt and Grant Enfinger tangled while racing upfront -- costing them the shot of a trophy at Kansas. Enfinger finished seventh while Moffitt took home eighth.

The next race for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 17. The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Matt Crafton won the pole at Kansas Speedway on Friday by posting a 30.459, mph. lap in single-truck qualifying. Crafton, a native of California, will make his second top-five start of the season in the Digital Ally 250.

 

The series veteran goes into the seventh race of the season looking to score his fifth top five and sixth top 10 finish. Crafton holds two career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victories at the 1.5-mile oval.

 

Tyler Ankrum will start beside Matt Crafton in the No. 17 Toyota. The rookie driver has three NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts in 2019 and owns two top 10 finishes.

 

Ankrum’s best finish came at Texas Motor Speedway in March where he left with a fifth-place finish.

 

Harrison Burton will round out the top three starters on Friday. Burton, son of former driver Jeff Burton, posted a 30.487, mph. during his qualifying attempt.

 

The young racer goes into the 1.5-mile oval with two top five and three top 10 finishes through six completed events.

 

Brett Moffitt and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top five.

 

Ross Chastain, Austin Hill, Gus Dean, Sheldon Creed and Riley Herbst will round out the top 10 starters.

 

The Digital Ally 250 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 8:30 p.m. ET.

GMS Racing announced today Midnight Moon Moonshine will sponsor the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado of reigning NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) champion Brett Moffitt at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Friday, May 17.

 

Midnight Moon is inspired by Junior Johnson’s family moonshine recipe and true to the roots of moonshine, it is made from 100 percent American corn and handcrafted in small batches. However, they use a state-of-the-art distillation process to make a superior quality spirit that’s very clean and ultra-smooth. Midnight Moon does not have the heavy corn taste people often associate with illegal moonshine. It’s then blended with ultra-clean water that has been through a five-step filtration process, and the result is a very smooth spirit with a subtle sweetness from the corn. Midnight Moon offers an unflavored, straight style, as well as a number of authentic moonshine flavors hand-packed with real fruit. Flavors include Apple Pie, Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, etc.

 

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with the GMS Racing team and honored to have Midnight Moon on the reigning champ’s truck”, said Joe Michalek, President of Piedmont Distillers. “Junior and I can’t wait to see Brett back at Victory Lane.”

 

In two NGOTS starts at Charlotte, Moffitt has earned one top-five finish. He was fourth in last year’s event after leading 28 laps.

 

“I’m excited to have Midnight Moon on board with us in Charlotte,” Moffitt said. “To have a connection to a legend like Junior Johnson and his history with moonshining in NASCAR’s own backyard is really cool. Hopefully I can sip some in Victory Lane next Friday.”

 

Next Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be broadcast live on FS1 and MRN at 8:30pm ET.

GMS Racing PR

 

Chalking up a solid return to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) last weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) and his AM Racing team carry the momentum of their on-track speed as the series treks to Kansas Speedway for Friday night’s Digital Ally 250.

Taming the Monster Mile, Self was on course for a top-10 finish – but a late race obstacle thwarted the team’s effort. Despite the team’s top-20 finish, the Mooresville, N.C.-based operation was encouraged by their efforts and hope to deliver Self’s second top-10 run of the year under the Kansas City lights.

“I’ve always enjoyed going to Kansas,” said Self. “It’s a traditional 1.5-mile race track with a lot of similarities to Kentucky Speedway – but historically Kansas has been one of my better intermediate tracks.

“I hope that continues Friday night.”

Of course, there’s plenty of motivation for Self to deliver a strong outing in the Land of Oz.

With family always being Self’s number one priority, Friday night’s seventh race of the season holds a little more sentimental value with this Sunday (May 12) being Mother’s Day and with Self’s mother JoAnn being a huge supporter front and center nearly every race weekend.

“I love having my family at the race track every weekend,” offered Self. “My mom and dad are there almost every weekend and offer a lot of encouragement and support through the good and bad. The moms in NASCAR make a lot of sacrifices including my mom – so a good run on Friday night will mean a little more for me and hopefully her too.”

Self, 23, will make his fourth NGOTS at Kansas and looks to better a 13th place finish which he earned last May. In addition to Trucks, Self has two additional starts in the ARCA Menards Series from 2014 – 2015.

“With Kansas being a one-day show, we can’t afford to leave anything on the table,” noted Self. “It’s important to make sure I’m working with Eddie (Troconis, crew chief) to make sure our balance during the day in practice and even qualifying will be transparent at night.

“That was the biggest thing for us last year. We were able to keep the speed up because our truck responded to the changing track conditions. At this point, I feel like we have a lot of speed and just want to keep moving in the right direction not only this weekend at Kansas but for the upcoming races too.”

The Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program and AM Technical Solutions will support Self in his 68th career start.

GO TEXAN, celebrating its 20th Birthday this year, represents Texas agri-business on state, national and international levels by building recognition with the GO TEXAN mark.

Along with its signature mark in the shape of Texas, GO TEXAN celebrates, promotes and supports the business savvy and plainspoken grit Texas agriculture is known for throughout the world.

Don’t mess with Texas, CForce Bottling Company, Flying Circle and Kreuz Market will serve as associate partners in the seventh race of the year.

In 67 NGOTS races, the 2015 ARCA Menards Series Rookie of the Year has one top-five (second at Daytona 2017) and five top-10 finishes. The Texan maintains an average finish of 18.2 during his three years of competition.

The Austin, Texas native is nestled 18th in the championship standings with 17 races remaining.

For more on Austin Wayne Self, please visit awsracing.com, like his Facebook page (Austin Wayne Self) or follow him on Twitter @AustinWSelf.

For more on AM Racing, please visit AMRacingteam.com, like their Facebook page (AM Racing) or follow them on Twitter @AMRacingNASCAR. 

For more information on Don’t mess with Texas and how you can become involved in the program, visit dontmesswithtexas.org. 

For additional information on CForce premium artesian water, please visit cforce.com.

For more on Flying Circle, please visit flyingcirclegear.com, like them on Facebook (FlyingCircleGear) and follow them on Instagram (@flyingcirclegear) and Twitter (@flyingcircle_). Also connect with Flying Circle on Pinterest and YouTube.

For more on Kreuz Market, please visit kreuzmarket.com. like them on Facebook (KreuzMarketLockhart) and follow them on Twitter (@kreuzmarket).

The Digital Ally 250 (167 laps| 250.5 miles) is the seventh of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., May 10 from 8:35 a.m. – 9:25 a.m. A final practice session is set for 10:35 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:05 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Central).

AM Racing PR

Making just his second career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start, 17-year-old Canadian driver Raphael Lessard put together another solid outing in Friday's JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway as he narrowly missed posting his first top-10 finish. Lessard restarted from the 10th spot with five laps remaining, but surrendered one position in the closing laps and crossed the stripe with a respectable 11th-place finish.
 
Friday's result was an improvement of three spots from his 14th-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in his Gander Trucks debut. Despite having never turned a lap in any series at the challenging concrete circuit, aptly named the Monster Mile, before Thursday's practice session Lessard turned heads when he was fastest in opening practice and followed it up by finishing sixth in final practice. In Friday afternoon's qualifying session, the talented teenager continued the momentum when he posted the fastest lap of the four Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) entered in the race and earned the seventh starting spot.
 
Lessard will be back in the No. 46 Spectra Premium/FRL Express Tundra Aug. 15 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for his final scheduled Gander Trucks start of 2019.
 
Stage One Recap: 
  • Lessard started the 200-lap event from the seventh position in the outside lane and after the field took the green flag settled into the sixth position for the first 28 laps. KBM teammate Harrison moved around Lessard on lap 29 as the driver of the Spectra Premium/FRL Express Tundra communicated to his crew that his Toyota was "too tight everywhere."
  • As the opening stage came to a close, Lessard surrendered two more positions and ended Stage One in the ninth position. 
Stage Two Recap: 
  • Lessard communicated to crew chief Michael Shelton that his Tundra was "too tight everywhere" before hitting pit road. After Lessard slid to a stop just outside the pit boundary, the over-the-wall crew had to push the truck back before executing a four-tire and fuel stop with a wedge adjustment in an effort to improve the handling.
  • The Spectra Premium/FRL Express Tundra was scored in the 14th position when Stage Two went green on lap 54. Over the course of the second stage, the handling continued to be "too tight" and Lessard crossed the stripe 15th at the completion of the segment on lap 90. 
Final Stage Recap: 
  • Lessard reiterated that his Toyota was still "too tight," before hitting pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and a substantial trackbar adjustment. The No. 46 Toyota was scored in the 14th position when the Final Stage went green on lap 98.
  • Reporting that the handling of his Tundra was a little better to start the stage, the talented teenager was able to quickly gain two spots and settled into the 12th position. He had gained one more position and was running 11th when the field was slowed for the fourth time with 45 laps remaining.
  • Before hitting pit road for the final time, Lessard report that his Spectra Premium/FRL Express Tundra once again had migrated to the tight side.
  • After getting four fresh tires and full tank of fuel, Lessard was scored in the 11th spot when the field went back green with 41 laps remaining.
  • Lessard was running 11th with 25 laps remaining, but advanced one position with 20 laps remaining and he was fighting hard to earn his first top-10 finish. In the closing laps he would fall back to 11th, his best result of his two starts this season. 

KBM PR

Brandon Jones earned a 13th-place finish in his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start in a Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra this season. The young driver made five starts for KBM last season. After one round of single-truck qualifying, Jones earned the 19th starting position. Crew chief Rudy Fugle and the No. 51 team worked on the No. 51 Chigo Tundra throughout the weekend, and Jones was able to make it in to the top-10 several times, but could not maintain the position and fell to 13th in the closing laps.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • Qualifying for the event consisted of one round of single truck qualifying, and Jones earned the 19th starting position.
  • For the majority of the first stage, Jones remained in the top-20, but was unable to gain positions.
  • The 22-year-old reported a tight handling condition and requested more security on entry to the corner.
  • Crew chief Rudy Fugle brought Jones to pit road under caution at the stage end for four tires, fuel and adjustments to the Chigo/Menards Tundra.
 
Stage Two Recap:
  • Jones began stage two in the 10th position, after a quick pit stop.
  • During the second stage, Jones ran in the top-10, despite reporting that his machine was chattering in the turns, finishing the stage in the ninth position.
  • Fugle called him to pit road following the end of the stage for four more Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel.
 
Stage Three Recap:
  • The Georgia driver began the final stage in the fifth position after a quick four-tire pit stop between stages.
  • Unfortunately, the No. 51 was still chattering in the turns and Jones was not able to maintain his position, falling out of the top-10.
  • Under caution with 45 laps to go, Fugle brought Jones to pit road for the final time for four tires, fuel and adjustments, and on the restart, Jones was able to climb into the top 10.
  • Jones crossed the finish line in the 13th position.

KBM PR

Under sunny skies at Dover International Speedway, Todd Gilliland continued a streak of bad luck and was caught up in two on track incidents, resulting in a 15th-place finish. The young driver began the race in 14th after single-truck qualifying, but the team worked on the handling throughout the day until Gilliland's lap times were equal to the leaders, but as he was on the move toward the front, he was caught up in two separate incidents, effectively ending his chances at a win.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • In one round of single-truck qualifying, Gilliland put his No. 4 Tundra in the 14th starting position.
  • After the JEGS 200 began, the teenager reported that his Tundra was free and skating off the corner.
  • At the end of the stage, crew chief Marcus Richmond hoped to gain valuable track position by taking only two tires, but Gilliland was penalized for speeding on pit road, so the team returned to the pit stall to take the other two tires before restarting at the tail end of the field.
Stage Two Recap:
  • Gilliland restarted the second stage in the 16th position, and was unable to gain track position.
  • The young driver reported that his Tundra was "super loose," and banging off the splitter.
  • Richmond called the No. 4 to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments following the second stage.
Stage Three Recap:
  • Gilliland began the final stage in the 16th position, but reported that his handling had improved and he was running lap times comparable with the race leaders.
  • A victim of circumstance once again, Gilliland was moving toward the front, when he was collected when the No. 22 got loose in front of him, and sustained minor damage to the left front corner of the No. 4, which the team quickly repaired and sent him back out on track.
  • A few laps later, the unlucky driver was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was collected as the No. 2 wrecked and pinched him against the inside wall. The No. 4 team was again able to clearance the tires and repair the damage, and Gilliland restarted 15th with 35 to go.
  • Gilliland brought the mangled Mobil 1 Tundra home in the 15th position on the lead lap.

KBM PR

Austin Hill got back on track with a seventh-place finish on Friday evening at Dover International Speedway in the JEGS 200. The result is Hill’s best-career finish at the Monster Mile in five career starts and his third top-10 finish of the 2019 campaign.
The driver of the No. 16 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota Tundra took the green flag from the 12th position and made a quick move to eighth on the opening circuit. Hill managed to advance to seventh during the balance of Stage 1 despite fighting dirty air and a lack of lateral grip on corner exit. On lap 45, Hill took the green and white checkers at the end of Stage 1 in seventh to earn four points and came to pit road for four tires, fuel, and air pressure changes.
Quick work by the No. 16 team allowed Hill to restart fifth on lap 55, however his balance built extremely loose and halted his forward progress. Stage 2 ran caution free until its conclusion on lap 90 as Hill maintained his position in the top five to collect six points. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli brought Hill to pit road for another set of four tires, fuel and adjustments and netted him two spots and into third.
Hill fired off just as loose when the race restarted on lap 99, but settled into the sixth position. Despite the handling condition, Hill managed to hold his ground inside the top six until a caution at lap 154 allowed him to pit for adjustments and take his final set of tires. However, a speeding penalty kicked Hill to the tail of the lead lap in 16th. The penalty was a blessing in disguise perhaps, as a multi-truck wreck occurred near the front of the field on the lap 160 restart.
Hill restarted 14th on lap 166 and immediately began ripping through the field towards the top 10. Multiple three-wide maneuvers allowed Hill to crack the top-10 on lap 169 and would move as high as seventh by lap 175. Hill maintained his seventh-place position through a restart with five laps to go to collect his third top-10 finish of the season.
Austin Hill Quote:
“We were just too loose all day. I thought as the rubber got put on it would tighten up, so the first pit stop we did not make that many adjustments. As the run went, the track just got looser and looser and we just didn’t keep up with it very well. We took a big swing at it after the second stage was over and it put a dent in it. Whenever we had that caution after the long green flag run, we pitted and made a big swing at it. When we pitted that time, I sped on pit road. I have to go back and think about it. I didn’t think I sped. I was right on my lights. I guess it could have bumped up there a little bit right there. All-in-all it was a good day. Coming from the back, it did not seem like many people could pass and we were able to drive back from 20th and get back up to seventh. I think after those adjustments we had a top five truck. It was just so hard to pass once we got up to seventh. I knew we were better than the 99. He was just holding a tight line on the bottom, and I kept getting tight. The aero game here is so huge. I can’t thank HRE, Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) enough, along with Jack (Irving, TRD) and Tyler (Gibbs, TRD) with everything they have done with the Toyota program. It has been awesome. We will just go back to the drawing board and go from there. Seventh’s not bad but we want to win.”

HRE PR

Harrison Burton tied his career-best NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series finish with a third-place result in Friday's JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway. After qualifying ninth, Burton positioned the Safelite Tundra inside the top three for the majority of the final two stages, taking the lead momentarily with a three-wide pass with just over 80 laps remaining.
 
The 18-year-old driver was on the bumper of Sheldon Creed for the lead with just under 50 laps remaining when a two-truck accident slowed the field for the fourth time. Teams hit pit road for their final scheduled-pit stop and Burton exited pit road the fourth driver with four fresh tires, which lined him up sixth for the restart with 41 laps remaining.
 
The Safelite Tundra was scored in the third spot when the final caution of the race occurred with 10 laps remaining. Burton would maintain the third position on a restart with five laps remaining and crossed the stripe there as well, earning his third-career third-place finish.
 
Stage One Recap: 
  • Burton started the 200-lap event from the ninth position and methodically began to maneuver his way forward. He settled into the seventh spot for the first 23 laps before making his way around his Kyle Busch Motorsports' (KBM) teammate Raphael Lessard for sixth on lap 29.
  • On the final lap of the opening stage, the second-generation driver was able to pick up one more position to come home fifth. 
Stage Two Recap: 
  • Burton communicated to crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. that his Safelite Tundra was "tight landing" before hitting pit road for four fresh tires and fuel with an air pressure adjustment.
  • The Safelite Tundra lined up sixth when Stage Two went green on lap 54. He would remain in the sixth spot for the duration of the segment. 
Final Stage Recap: 
  • Burton communicated that his Toyota was still "tight landing," before hitting pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment.
  • The No. 18 team restarted sixth when the Final Stage went green on lap 98. He quickly picked up two positions and was scored fourth when the third caution of the race occurred on lap 111. After Johnny Sauter failed to maintain his position under caution trying to save fuel, Burton moved up to the third position.
  • The field went back green on lap 117 and Burton flexed his muscle, diving to the inside of the top-two trucks as the field entered Turn 1. The top three raced three-wide for an entire lap with the Safelite Tundra leading lap 118 before settling into the runner-up spot the next lap.
  • Burton got back to the bumper of the leader with 50 laps remaining and made a move for the lead, but unable to complete the pass.
  • After the field was slowed for the fourth time, the leaders hit pit road for their final scheduled stops. Once again, Burton reported that his Toyota was "still on the tight side," before getting his final four Goodyear tires and enough fuel to make it to the end of the race.
  • Burton advanced from sixth to fourth on the ensuing restart before another caution quickly occurred.
  • The Safelite Tundra lined up fourth for the restart with 36 laps remaining and once again gained two more positions before the field came back to the stripe. He fell back to the third spot with 30 laps remaining, where he remained until the sixth caution of the day came out with nine laps remaining and set up a five-lap shootout to the finish.
  • Burton restarted third and would remain third over the final five laps. The third-place finish was the third of his career, tying his career-best result that he achieved twice last season.

KBM PR

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