Gander Outdoors Truck Series News (6004)

Gander Outdoors Truck Series News

Officials from On Point Motorsports announced today that KeepandBear.com will serve as Primary Sponsor on the team’s No. 30 Toyota Tundra for the next two events of the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season. Driver Brennan Poole will kick off the partnership this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway as he pilots the No. 30 KeepandBear.com Toyota in the running of the Ultimate Tailgating 200.
 
“I’m very excited to welcome a new sponsor to NASCAR and to drive the No. 30 KeepandBear.com Toyota Tundra for the next two races at both the Atlanta and Las Vegas tracks”, stated Poole. “We had a strong run going last week in Daytona but fell victim to the ‘big one’, which is the nature of super speedways. Now we head to a race track where things are a little more in your control. We are looking for a solid run in Atlanta and Las Vegas and putting on a strong showing in our No. 30 KeepandBear.com Toyota.”
 
Poole has two career starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with both events resulting in top-15 finishes. The Woodlands, Texas native kicked off the 2019 season last week in Daytona with a strong showing piloting the No. 30 Toyota Tundra from a starting position of 26th up to 5th place before being caught up in a multi-truck wreck resulting in a 24th place finish.
 
“My family and I have been attending NASCAR events with great enthusiasm for many years,” said Brandon Vallorani, CEO of KeepandBear.com. “NASCAR represents everything that’s great about America: Faith, Family, Freedom, and Fast Cars! It’s a dream come true for our patriotic business, KeepAndBear.com, to sponsor the #30 Toyota Tundra and driver Brennan Poole.”
 
The running of the Ultimate Tailgate 200 is scheduled for Saturday February 23rd and can be seen LIVE on FoxSports1 at 4:30 pm ET.
 
On Point Motorsports PR
DGR-Crosley announced today that Bakersfield, Calif. native Ryan Reed will drive the team's No. 17 Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Strat 200 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. Reed, a person living with Type One Diabetes, will have support from Dexcom, Inc., a leader in diabetes care and management. 
 
Reed most recently competed full time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Over the past five seasons, the 25-year-old earned two wins, seven top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. In his accomplished career, Reed has only one Truck Series start which occurred at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2012. Overall, he has seven starts at the one-and-a-half-mile track where he has a best finish of ninth-place. When Reed gets behind the wheel of the No. 17 Dexcom Tundra, he will have veteran crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion calling the shots atop the pit box, and former Cup spotter David Keith guiding him from the spotter stand.
 
"Ryan has a lot of experience behind the wheel," said team co-owner David Gilliland. "We are thrilled to welcome him to our program at DGR-Crosley. Not only will he be an asset to our program and provide key feedback as we continue to grow and improve, but it'll also be an advantage to our younger drivers to have someone with his experience as their teammate. We're looking forward to getting Ryan and Bono paired up in Vegas - I think it's going to be a really strong pairing."
 
For Reed, his journey back to racing begins in Las Vegas with DGR-Crosley. 
 
I'm thankful to everyone who has played a part in getting me back behind the wheel of a racecar," said Reed. "Dexcom plays a huge part in my daily life and being able to manage my diabetes every day, and it's cool to be able to connect them to another part of my life that I'm so passionate about. I was in Daytona over the weekend, and it was really disappointing to be there and not be racing. I'm thankful for Dexcom, David [Gilliland] and DGR-Crosley for giving me the opportunity to race again. This next part of my career is all about being competitive and being in equipment I know I can win in. I believe that DGR-Crosley is going to give me that opportunity at Vegas."
 
The partnership with Dexcom has a significant impact on Reed who was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes at the age of 17. Reed uses a Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system to track his glucose level at all hours of the day, giving him a peace of mind in controlling his diabetes. Reed's Dexcom CGM will be installed in the No. 17 Toyota Tundra to allow him to monitor his glucose levels throughout the competition.
 
The Strat 200 will take place on Friday, March 1 at 9:00 p.m., ET with a live televised broadcast on FS1. Natalie Decker and Anthony Alfredo will join Reed in the trio of DGR-Crosley Toyota Tundras at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 
DGR Crosley PR

Two years ago, veteran NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) driver Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) found himself in a similar position leaving Daytona with a good finish to start the season.

But, one circumstance is majorly different heading to Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, site of Saturday afternoon’s Atlanta 200, Self will be a competitor in the event. In 2017, Self finished a career-best second at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, but did not attempt Atlanta, wiping out the team’s hopes of a competing for a championship.

However, the mindset is completely different 24 months later where the AM Racing team led by crew chief Eddie Troconis treks to Atlanta on the heels of a solid ninth-place finish to open the season.

With some momentum on their side, the team is eager to impress in the opening races of 2019.

“It felt so good for our team to have such a strong run at Daytona,” said Self. “I feel like we impressed a lot of people. I don’t think many expected us to make it to the final round of qualifying. We kept the speed and performance up through the first two stages of the race and then survived the chaos at the end to get us a top-10 finish.

Saturday afternoon’s double-header will be the second race where Self and Troconis have worked together but the Austin, Texas native says that the chemistry with his new crew chief hasn’t even hit its peak.

“Eddie’s energy, focus, and leadership really contributed to our success at Daytona last weekend,” added Self. “He was eager to listen to what I was saying about our No. 22 GO TEXAN | AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet Silverado and made the adjustments I needed to improve our speed on the track.

“I know that there’s a vast difference between Daytona and Atlanta, but that trust between each other is quickly building and I think it will only continue to get stronger the longer the season goes. I honestly feel like we can win a race or two this year, that’s how pumped I am right now.”

Self, 22, will make his third start at Atlanta’s 1.54-mile track and looks to better his top-15 performance last year. In his track debut in 2016, he finished 16th.

“My record isn’t that bad at Atlanta,” noted Self. “It’s a track where patience is your best friend. Tires go away in a hurry and you have to manage that. The stage breaks help, but you have the chance to get yourself a lap down during the third stage if you don’t manage yourself.

“We have high hopes that we can backup what we did in qualifying at Daytona and put ourselves in a good position for the race. If we can’t put ourselves in a good spot to win, collecting as many points as possible is our top priority.”

Troconis says he’s proud of the commitment by Self and sees Daytona as only the preview of what’s to come for AM Racing.

“I’m proud of our team,” he said. “We came out of the box with a new group of guys but a very dedicated bunch. I’m looking forward to the year. Austin gave us everything he could behind the wheel, and we survived the race as best as we could.

“Austin has proven to be a steady and firm driver on the intermediate tracks in the past and I hope with the improvements we’ve made to the truck, it will allow him to pick up a bunch of spots and earn another top-10 finish to carry us into Las Vegas.”

The Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program and JB Henderson Construction will support Self in his 65th 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 throughout the world.

JB Henderson Construction based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico performs general and mechanical contracting for manufacturing, industrial, commercial, and institutional clients in both the public and private sectors.

AM Technical Solutions, Abbie Gregg Inc., Don’t mess with Texas, CForce Bottling Company, Flying Circle and Kreuz Market will serve as associate partners in the second race of the year.

In 64 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 18.1 during his three years of competition.

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

For more on AM Racing, please like their Facebook page (AM Racing) or follow them on Twitter @AMRacingNASCAR. A new website is forthcoming.

Visit JB Henderson Construction at jbhenderson.com.

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.

The Ultimate Tailgating 200 (130 laps| 200.2 miles) is the second of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Feb. 22 from 2:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 23 beginning at 10:40 a.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 4:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). 

AM Racing PR

Cheering on his Chad Finley Racing (CFR) teammate Robby Lyons last weekend at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Chad Finley is ready to take the wheel of his No. 42 Air Lift Company | Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) for Saturday afternoon’s Atlanta 200.

Finley’s first start of 2019 will give the chance for Dewitt, Mich. native to not only make his Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway debut – but an opportunity to earn his second career top-10 in just his sixth series’ start.

“I can’t wait to get to Atlanta in our No. 42 Air Lift Company | Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet Silverado this weekend,” said Finley. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in a truck, but we’ve made a lot of changes since October and I think those changes will peek in our performance on Saturday afternoon.”

Finley pointed to the speed of No. 42 Chevrolet during last Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at the “World Center of Racing.”

Having to qualify their truck on-time, the team not only stepped up to the challenge but did it solidly. And while the race didn’t go as the team hoped – being swallowed in an early race accident, Finley is ready to take the reins and help earn the team a solid finish before handing the steering wheel back to Lyons next weekend at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway.

“Teamwork has never been as important as it is right now,” explained Finley. “Everyone is digging deep, putting in the hours all for the love and the opportunity to win a NASCAR race. Atlanta is a difficult track, but a place that I think we can run very well at. We just have to take what we can get and roll from there.

“I think we proved in Daytona that we have improved our program. We suffered a lot of heartbreak at the end of last season. We impressed in our debut at Gateway – but we had bad luck after that. Since our last race at Martinsville, we went back to the drawing board, made the investments and have found some really good people to work with Bruce. So far, the hard work is paying off.”

Knowing the abrasiveness of Atlanta’s 1.54-mile track, Finley is hoping his prior experience at tracks where tire management was critical will fit into his driving style – all while adapting to Atlanta’s fast speeds and breathtaking action.

“The first place I think of when it comes to Atlanta is Rockingham,” added Finley. “I know the tracks are completely different – but the mindset is still the same. Within a few laps, the lap times slow down significantly and you can find yourself not only having to race the track – but your competitors too.

“My crew chief Bruce (Cook) also has plenty of experience at Atlanta and with his guidance and our commitment, I think we can earn our first top-10 finish of the year on Saturday and take some momentum to Las Vegas.”

Air Lift Company and Auto Value Certified Service Centers will serve as the primary marketing partners for Saturday afternoon’s double-header event with the NASCAR Xfinity Series Rinnai 250.

Finley also has additional support from Northsidetowing.net and XLT Engineering as well for the second race of the season.

In addition to his five prior Truck starts, Finley, 26, has 20 ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit.

In his years of ARCA competition between 2009 and 2018 Finley has mounted one-win (Nashville 2017), eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, including a pole (track record) at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway in 2009.

Finley is the son of former ARCA winner and NASCAR driver Jeff Finley.

The Ultimate Tailgating 200 (130 laps| 200.2 miles) is the second of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Feb. 22 from 2:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 23 beginning at 10:40 a.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 4:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).

For additional information on Chad Finley and his race team please visit ChadFinleyRacing.com.

Chad Finley PR

For Ridgefield, Connecticut native Anthony Alfredo, Feb. 23, 2019, will be forever remembered as the culmination of a dream. That date is when the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series takes to the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Atlanta 200.  Alfredo will make his first start in a NASCAR national series competition, racing a Toyota for top tier team DGR-Crosley.

The 19-year-old UNC-Charlotte student is stepping up the ladder after a year of competition in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and the ARCA Racing Series, where he won one K&N Pro Series East race and showed plenty of speed throughout the season in both series. He has already tested with his new team at Atlanta and says he felt more comfortable in his first outing than he expected, giving him confidence going into his first race. “I think my team was a little bit surprised at my performance in the test,” he said. “And I think I surprised myself a little bit. It went well. Obviously, those were single-car runs, and I know that I am going to have a lot to learn about how the truck handles racing around other trucks, but we definitely felt satisfied with the progress we made at the test.” 

Alfredo plans to compete in 13 of the 23 scheduled NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races this season, with more starts possible if the funding can be put in place. Details of his schedule will be released shortly. “I’d love to be running a full season,” he explained. “But I’m just so thankful that we get to do over half of the schedule. It’s every young racer’s dream to compete in one of NASCAR’s national series, and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped and is helping me to be able to do that this year. We plan to use these 13 races to learn and show what we can do so that hopefully, we can get more sponsorship for this year or at least be able to put the ingredients in place to run a full season in 2020.”

His past racing exploits show that he is a quick learner. He won the Southeast Limited Late Model Series championship in his first full year of late model racing. He won in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in his first year in a full-size stock car. He showed top five-speed in the ARCA Series in his limited number of starts there last year and he’s proven to be adaptable on tracks from tight 1/4-mile ovals to the larger, faster 1.5-mile speedways that ARCA and NASCAR race on. 

Asked to step back a bit and talk about growing up in his hometown of Ridgefield, Connecticut, Alfredo smiled as he began to reflect. “I attended Scotland Elementary school growing up and East Ridge Middle School and studied religious education at St. Mary’s Church in Ridgefield. I only attended Ridgefield High School for a year as my racing career in legend cars to limited late models began and the heavy travel schedule to North Carolina forced me to miss so much school that I had to enroll in online High School with The Keystone School. I played lacrosse, football, and house basketball through elementary school and some in middle school, before making the transition to lacrosse year-round where I played in high school as a long stick midfielder for the freshman team. I had so much fun. I was always athletic. I took a break from racing at one point to focus on other sports. But eventually, it called me back. I am glad I made the decision to try it again because, with the help and support of my family and a lot of other amazing people, I am about to start a career in NASCAR. How unbelievable is that?” 

Now, before his 20th birthday, he will have his chance to race against veterans like his team owner David Gilliland, multi-time champion Matt Crafton, former NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and some of the most talented and proven young racers in NASCAR this season, beginning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Atlanta 200 is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, Feb. 23. The race will be televised live on Fox Sports 1. 

New Marketing Partnership Announcement: 

AFA Motorsports and driver Anthony Alfredo have joined forces with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation for the 2019 racing season to raise awareness through our unique racing sponsorship program. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers. Our program starts by adopting a child and making them an honorary pit crew member, but it’s not just for one race, it’s for as long as the child and family are in need of support and beyond. Our marketing partners have made a commitment to help us spread the word of encouragement throughout the racing community by showing support to children and families battling cancer. For more information visit https://anthonyalfredo.com/sponsors. 

Anthony Alfredo PR

After a busy offseason, JJL Motorsports and driver Jesse Little (@JesseLittle97) return to Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway for Saturday afternoon's 200-miler hoping to deliver a strong performance to open up their NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) season.  
 
Little will once again Pilot the Skuttle Tight Ford F150 at Atlanta after finishing the 2018 season at Homestead with Skuttle Tight.  
 
Last mont
h, the Sherrills Ford, N.C.-based team announced an array of changes within their organization including new crew chief JR Norris who hopes to guide Little to a top-five finish in Saturday afternoon's double-header event.
 
As a team, JJL Motorsports returns to Atlanta hoping to repeat their 2018 performance which saw Little contend for his first career Truck Series win - but settle for an eighth-place finish following a late race restart.  
 
For Little, he sees Atlanta as not only an opportunity for redemption, but a chance to impress his sponsors and a new team roster.
 
"I'm ready to go," said Little.
 
"It's been a busy offseason - and we have some great sponsors and new faces on the JJL Motorsports team - but I'm eager to get to Atlanta and see what happens. "It's going to be a competitive race, but Atlanta is a track that suits my driving style and I feel like we can go there and contend for the win.
 
"Our Atlanta performance really put us on the map last year and let everyone know right away that we are contenders. This year though we've set goals to run in the Top 5 and win races and I think we'll be able to achieve them."
 
The second Truck Series race of the season will see Skuttle Tight, a Willmar, Minn.-based manufacturer that offers two insulted attic access systems that are easy to install return to Little's No. 97 Ford F-150 as a primary partner for the 130-lap event.
 
"We are excited to once again partner up with JJL Motorsports and Jesse Little for our NASCAR marketing for the 2019 season, offered Skuttle Tights' Chad Kompelien. "Most of the customers that use our products drive trucks and we know JJL and Jesse will be great ambassadors for us."
 
The team's redesigned truck will also have additional sponsorship from Parker FiberNet, Visit Kingsport TN, Grindstaff Rub and PFC Brakes.
 
Parker FiberNet was formed to build fiber optic network infrastructure for commercial and public applications. The company has installed hundreds of miles of fiber optic cable throughout Georgia and has garnered considerable accolades for its high quality services and professionalism.
 
Promoting the city's "Get Into the Outdoors" campaign, Kingsport TN offers a variety of activities including nestling in the Bays Mountain with hiking, biking and zip-lining, kayaking and tubing on the Holston River - or at sunset enjoying the overall beauty of Kingsport while sipping on the city's original Long Island Iced Tea.
 
Founded in 2016 by U.S. Air Force veteran and restaurant entrepreneur Jim Grindstaff, Grindstaff Rub Co. started as a BBQ rub company initially releasing All Purpose and Three Kings rubs, however, the company's success has evolved into a brand and lifestyle since releasing their own version of a Bloody Mary mix.
 
JJL Motorsports team principal Jason Little says the organization continues to prepare for the upcoming season and is thankful to have the support of their current marketing partners, while continuing their ongoing search for additional support to increase their schedule.
 
"We really appreciate the support from Skuttle Tight, Parker FiberNet, Visit Kingsport TN, Grindstaff Rub and PFC Brakes all coming board for Atlanta and the 2019 season as partners," said Jason Little. "Everyone at JJL Motorsports has done an exceptional job preparing for the season and we look forward to Atlanta this weekend.
 
"We continue to emphasize on track performance and excellent sponsorship value to current and future partners."
 
The NGOTS 200 (130 laps| 200.2 miles) is the second of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Feb. 22 from 2:00 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 23 beginning at 10:40 a.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 4:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).
 
For more on Skuttle Tight, please visit skuttle-tight.com or by calling 1-866-SKUTTLE. Also visit them on Facebook (Skuttle Tight Inc.) or on Twitter @SkuttleTight.
 
To learn more about Parker FiberNet, please visit parkersystems.net.
 
For all that Visit Kingsport has to offer, please visit visitkingsport.com.
 
For more on the Grindstaff Rub. Co and their products, please visit grindstaffrubs.com.
 
For more on Jesse Little, please like him on Facebook at Jesse Little Racing. 
 
Little tweets too. Follow him @JesseLittle97.
 
For additional information on JJL Motorsports, please visit  JJLRacing.com.
 
JJL Motorsports tweets too. Follow them @JJL_Motorsports.
 
JJL Motorsports PR

The newly renamed "NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series" kicked off with an explosive debut in Daytona last Friday night.  Returning for another full season, 2018 playoff driver, Stewart Friesen, started 7th with the support of his crew chief Trip Bruce and the HFR (Halmar-Friesen Racing) team. For the 2019 season, HFR is still technically allied with GMS Racing, whose fab shop supplied Friday's no.52 Halmar International Chevy Silverado.

It was an eventful race in terms of wrecks, with the “Big One” coming on Lap 54 when a dozen trucks bashed into the wall and each other in Turn 3. Only nine trucks would go on to finish on the lead lap, with Friesen being the last to fall off after a wreck at 2 laps to go.  The no. 52 Chevy had already suffered moderate damage in the earlier big wreck, but despite that was running for a top 5 spot the majority of the race.

Though 10th place is not the outcome HFR hoped for, Friesen will at least start his 2019 NGOTS season with a top 10, the 22nd of his short NASCAR career.

Post race, Friesen  commented “I thought we had a very strong Halmar International Chevrolet tonight. We got pretty banged up on that first big wreck but we kept it rolling. We had to make an additional pit stop later to address a flat tire. I thought we were golden for a minute there, we had a strong run and got caught up in the wreck with two to go, I tried to keep it going but wasn't able to. We ended up with a top 10, which is awesome. Collectively we tore up a lot of good equipment in the process, which is a bummer. Especially for all the guys that worked so hard in the off season to prepare fast trucks. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season and excited to see what we can do from here."

After a wild Friday night with the NGOTS, Friesen hurried back over to Volusia Speedway Park in DeLeon Springs, Florida for some dirt track racing at the DIRTcar Nationals on Saturday.  After an incredibly successful 2018 season, Friesen was hungry for a win at Volusia and he got it, winning his heat race and then going on to win the feature race.  For Friesen, it was a huge treat to get to hold "the gator" in victory lane!

Next week, Stewart Friesen heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sat, Feb 23, watch live on FS1 starting at 4:30 pm.

HFR P

Austin Hill broke through for his first-career NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series (NGOTS) victory in electrifying fashion at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) on Friday night in his first start with Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE). Hill held off frantic challenges for the lead, narrowly escaped a multi-truck wreck, and survived two overtime restarts to tally the biggest victory of his racing career in his 52nd-career NGOTS start.
 
The No. 16 Chiba Toyopet team led by Scott Zipadelli earned the third-consecutive victory for HRE, dating back to last season at ISM Raceway, and the first for team owner Shige Hattori at “The World Center of Racing”.
 
Hill’s debut with HRE began with a 10th-place qualifying effort, which allowed him to race near the front of the lead draft for the opening stage. The Winston, GA native was patient and precise in the draft, and maintained a top-five position in the lead group during Stage 1. Coming to the stage break on lap 20, Hill made a bold, three-wide move to take second spot and collected nine points. Zipadelli brought Hill to pit road under the caution for two tires and fuel. Despite quick pit work, Hill lost track position due to varying strategies by his competitors and finished 13th at the end of stage two on lap 40.
 
Zipadelli played the strategy card at the beginning of the final stage by giving Hill left side tires and fuel under the lap 41 caution, which netted him the second position. Hill fought for the race lead while a multi-truck accident ensued in his rear-view mirror on lap 54. Hill pitted for the final time under the caution for fuel only and immediately began to conserve fuel.
 
From the lap 63 restart, Hill managed the lead and worked the side draft to near perfection at the front of the pack to stay in the top three positions while conserving fuel. After narrowly escaping another multi-truck wreck on lap 100, Hill regained the lead and controlled the final two restarts in overtime. Hill turned away two furious bids for the lead on the last restart to capture his first-career win, and the first win of 2019 for the defending series champions.
 
Austin Hill Quote:
 
“I never would have thought in a million years I’d win at Daytona. We’ve had some success at Daytona before, but just didn’t have the finishes we were looking for there at the end. We’d have something happen and to be able to come on board with Hattori Racing and start off the season like this, I think there’s going to be a lot of good things to come for us.”
 
“I didn’t have any confidence (in saving fuel) to be honest with you. We pitted really early and we already knew it was going to be close and then when we went overtime, I was so scared. I just knew I was going to run out coming off of four and not make it to the line. So much stuff was going through my head, but hey, we’re here in victory lane.”

HRE PR

Christian Eckes made his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start at Daytona, earning the pole position in the No. 51 SiriusXM Toyota Tundra and running within the top-10 for much of the event before being collected in a wreck in the final stage. Crew chief Rudy Fugle and the 51 team made a valiant attempt to repair the damage, but after restarting the race, the 51 was unable to continue. This was Eckes' first pole in five starts in the NGOTS with a lap of 49.287 seconds, 182.604 mph.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • For the second year in a row, a KBM Toyota Tundra sat on the pole for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona. Last year veteran driver David Gilliland was behind this wheel, and this year 18-year-old Eckes earned the pole in just his fifth NGOTS start.
  • Eckes led the first lap, but fell back to third, where he remained for the rest of the stage. At the end of stage one, crew chief Rudy Fugle brought him to pit road for two left-side tires and fuel.
Stage Two Recap:
  • Eckes started the next 20-lap stage in 11th and under a caution on lap 28, came to pit road for two right-side tires, and then returned to top-off fuel and double check lug nuts. At the end of the second stage the teenager was scored in the 17th position.
Stage Three Recap:
  • After the second stage, on lap 43, Eckes pitted for fuel only, but was penalized after his fuel handler was unable to remove the gas can before his SiriusXM Tundra exited the pit box. Due to the penalty, he was required to restart the race at the tail end of the field, miring him in traffic. He quickly made his way back into the top 10, but on lap 57, the No. 51 was collected in a multi-truck accident.
  • Fugle and the No. 51 team attempted to repair the damage and Eckes was able to restart the race, but soon the damage proved too much, and he was unable to continue, ending his night on lap 61.

KBM PR

Eighteen-year-old Todd Gilliland made his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start at Daytona International Speedway, starting in third and remaining within the top-10 for most of the night before accidental contact with teammate Harrison Burton ended his evening early, resulting in a 19th-place finish in the No. 4 JBL Audio Toyota Tundra.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • After starting from third, Gilliland, fighting a tight handling condition, dropped back in the pack and finished the first stage in the 10th position. Following the first stage, he visited pit road and crew chief Marcus Richmond for fuel and adjustments.
Stage Two Recap:
  • Gilliland began the second stage in the fifth position. The eighteen-year-old reported that his JBL Audio Toyota Tundra was much better and he was leading coming to the stage end, but was shuffled back on the final lap and was in the eighth position at the end of the second 20-lap stage. He pitted on lap 45 for fuel and two right-side tires.
Stage Three Recap:
  • As the final 60-lap stage began, Gilliland reported that his Tundra was much better and the handling was mainly neutral.
  • He began the final stage in the fourth position, but was shuffled back to midpack.
  • After contact with another truck in the infamous "Big One," on lap 55, Gilliland sustained slight damage to the right side of his vehicle, requiring a pit stop to attempt to clear the tires. After another pit stop on lap 80, Gilliland reported an issue with his machine, which turned out to be a loose left rear wheel.
  • With 10 laps remaining in the scheduled distance, Gilliland made contact with Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Harrison Burton in an effort to provide a push to the front, and both drivers lost control. The No. 4 sustained damage, ending his night. 
KBM PR
Harrison Burton had an eventful start to his first full-time campaign in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. After posting the eighth fastest time early in the opening practice session at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon, Burton and the No. 18 Safelite team experienced a motor failure late in the session and were forced to put in the backup motor. Per the rule book, that meant even though they posted the fourth fastest time in Friday afternoon's qualifying session, they were forced to start at the back of the field for Friday night's season opening NextEra Energy 250.
 
Burton's misfortunes continued during the race when he experienced a flat tire early in the race and went a lap down. After receiving the Lucky Dog and getting back on the lead lap, he experienced a pit-road penalty and lost another lap, but received another Lucky Dog and returned back to the lead lap once again. It appeared as though the resiliency of the Safelite team was going to pay off as the talented youngster was running inside the top five with just over 10 laps to go as he waited to make his move to bring home the victory.
 
With his KBM teammate Todd Gilliland behind him, Burton had a strong run and maneuvered to the high side of the track attempting to make his way into the top three, but Gilliland's push from behind came at the wrong angle and resulted in the two trucks caroming into the outside wall. The Safelite Tundra would be able to drive around the track and down pit road, but the damage was to severe to continue and the team was left with a disappointing 18th-place finish.
 
Stage One Recap: 
  • Burton was officially credited with starting the race from the fourth position, but went to the back of the 32-truck field for the start of the race due to the engine change. He had advanced to the 23rd position when the first caution of the race occurred on lap four.
  • Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. played the strategy card for the first time of the race when he summoned his young driver to pit road for a fuel-only stop. As Burton was exiting his pit stall, the team noticed a flat left-front tire and unfortunately the Safelite Tundra would have to return to pit road just as the field was getting ready to take the green flag to restart the race.
  • After getting fresh left-side tires, the North Carolina native returned to the track but was all by himself and shortly after would go a lap down after getting passed by all of the trucks in the draft as they approached him.
  • Fortunately, he was the only driver one lap down and would receive the lucky dog at the completion of the first stage. Burton was scored in the 28th position to end the stage. 
Stage Two Recap: 
  • When pit road opened, Hillman Jr. summoned the Safelite Tundra to pit road for four fresh tires, a full tank of fuel, a chassis adjustment and with no spots to lose the team examined the left side of the truck to check for a steering issue that their young driver was reporting.
  • Burton was scored in the 28th position when Stage Two went green on lap 26. He would slowly maneuver his way toward the front of the field during the stage, making it to the 13th position on lap 35 and had advanced to the ninth position when the stage ended on lap 40. 
Final Stage Recap: 
  • Hillman Jr. played the strategy card again, calling for a fuel-only stop between stages. Burton would return to the track scored in the third position when the Final Stage went green on lap 46.
  • The 18-year-old was scored in the second spot behind veteran driver David Gilliland when the fifth caution of the race occurred on lap 56. Burton tucked in close behind Gilliland as they hit pit road for another fuel-only stop. Misfortune struck again when both drivers were ruled by NASCAR to have advanced past the pace vehicle and were issued a one-lap penalty.
  • After serving the penalty, the No. 18 Toyota returned to the track and fortunately received another Lucky Dog when a caution occurred on lap 65.
  • When pit road opened, Burton brought the Safelite Tundra to the attention of his over-the-wall crew who administered a four-tire and fuel stop and returned their young driver to the track scored in the 15th position for the lap-67 restart.
  • When the seventh caution of the night occurred on lap 78, the second-generation driver was scored in the eighth position. After going back green, Burton found himself with Gilliland running behind him.
  • For the next 10 laps, the duo raced in the outside line of the field near the fifth-place position. With 11 laps remaining, Burton got a strong run and went to maneuver around a damaged truck in front of him that was holding up the line. As he moved to make it three-wide, Gilliland also had a strong run and attempted to give a bump to help his teammate work his way to the front of the field. Unfortunately, the bump resulted in the Safelite Tundra getting loose and shooting up the track into the outside wall. Gilliland also got collected and they would finish the race prematurely in the 18th and 19th positions, respectively. 

KBM PR

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