Gander Outdoors Truck Series News (6089)

Gander Outdoors Truck Series News

Kyle Busch won Friday nights North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Busch would survive a late race restart to win his fifth NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series win of the season.

For Busch, this is his 56th NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series victory. Friday was driver No. 51's final Truck race of the season due to series limitations for Monster Energy Cup Series drivers. Busch had to overcome a late race caution when Brett Moffitt lost his tire with under 10 laps to go. That would lead to a late race restart with three laps to go. Driver No. 51 would hold off the field and pull away to victory.

Rounding out the top five were Breenan Poole in second, Stewart Friesen in third, Ben Rhodes in fourth and Matt Crafton in fifth.

Rounding out the top ten were Austin Hill in sixth, Todd Gilliland in seventh, Anthony Alfredo in eighth, Grant Enfinger in ninth and Ross Chastain in tenth.

The NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series will head into Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, June 7th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1 and MRN.

Stage 1 Winner: Matt Crafton

Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch

Race Winner: Kyle Busch

Sheldon Creed has always been fast—and he has championships in ARCA, Stadium Super Trucks and the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series to prove it.

In his first full-time season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Creed likewise has been quick in the No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet, and he has the qualifying record to prove it.

Creed has started within the top 10 in each of his seven races this season, posting an average starting position of 5.4. He has led 92 laps this season, including 59 at Dover and 12 at Kansas in his last two races.

Only one problem: the finishes haven’t been there. Creed has one top 10 this year—a sixth at Las Vegas—and no top fives. His average finishing position is 17.1, with two DNFs.

But with speed comes the promise of better results, and Creed is confident he can find Victory Lane as his learning process in the series continues.

“This is pretty much like college for me,” said the 21-year-old from Alpine, Calif. “I just need to get it right and get it fast. I’m exciting to see where we’re going. We’re obviously fast. We’ve just got to get it dialed in.”

As Creed sees, part of his education involves keeping open ears and an open mind.

“A lot of us kids already think we know it all,” he said. “And there’s a lot to learn. That’s been the biggest thing. I’ve been trying not to be stubborn and go in with open ears and know that I can learn.”



The competition package mandated for this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star race features two significant components: a single-piece carbon-fiber splitter/pan and a radiator duct in the hood of the car.

From a “feel” standpoint, however, most drivers participating in practice sessions on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway couldn’t tell much difference between the configuration they have been running at intermediate speedways so far this year and the package for Saturday’s million-dollar event (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

But that doesn’t mean the feel was exactly the same.

“This place is just so weird, Charlotte is, as a track,” said Austin Dillon, who was strong in both Friday practice sessions at the 1.5-mile track, topping the speed chart in Final Practice. “It’s a lot different handling-wise.

“I feel like there are different things, obviously, with the splitter and how high the cars are. I think they handled a little differently in practice. Some people looked like they really struggled in traffic, but I felt like my car was decent in traffic. I feel like some of that is just getting the balance right, because we haven’t run this package.”

Though some cars benefited from the draft, particularly in the first session when the Open cars and All-Star cars ran together, Dillon believes there will still be a premium to being out front.

“I felt like clean air was still the fastest way for my car, but you could get a pull, for sure,” Dillon said. “A bigger pull, and I noticed it right off the bat running behind the 19 (Martin Truex Jr.) coming to the green, that I could get a bigger pull than what we have been this year.”



Denny Hamlin

Though Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have combined to win every Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series except Talladega, Denny Hamlin feels other teams have closed the gap to the extent that JGR has been fortunate to pick up its recent victories.

"The Stewart-Haas cars are by far the fastest cars right now—by a whole lot,” Hamlin said. “It seems like, as an organization, we’ve had one car kind of hit it the last few weekends, but as an organization, we’ve struggled. We have not been very good, and really, it starts with practice when we unload. We have not been very good.

“I think that one of our cars has gotten lucky and hit it overnight, but other than that, I don’t feel like we’re the cream of the crop by far.”

Austin Dillon

Already a winner in the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600, Austin Dillon would like nothing better than to win the Monster Energy All-Star Race at his home track.

“To have both races that you can win here on the oval covered—those are three big wins, the 500, the 600 and the All-Star Race,” Dillon said. “That kind of ties into the Crown Jewels.”

That would leave the Brickyard 400 at Southern 500 on the bucket list.

“Yeah, I’d like to finish those off,” said Dillon, who was fastest in Friday’s final practice for the All-Star race with a lap at 179.450 mph. “Big races.”

When the trucks hit the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, they will all have one thing in common, a tribute decal to MB Motorsports founder Mike Mittler. Mittler's hard fought battle with cancer came to an end with his passing on Friday, May 10th.

Racing was a big part of Mike Mittler’s life for half a century. “I’ve always loved racing and got involved in 1968,” Mittler said in 2011. “Through local races I got to know the Wallace family. I worked on the crew that helped Rusty Wallace become the USAC stock car Rookie of the Year and 1983 ASA Champion. We ran some NASCAR Busch races and did a few Cup events as well. When Rusty moved south, I started helping Kenny Wallace and was with him when he was crowned the 1986 ASA Rookie of the Year.”

During his early years in racing, Mike worked at Fran’s Chassis Engineering in St. Louis. “We built drag race cars from pro stocks to top fuel and funny cars,” he explained. Mike, along with brother, Paul, founded Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool Company in 1980. It was a gamble, but Mike Mittler’s life has always revolved around building things. “I like the challenge and satisfaction of putting things together, and reaching a goal.” Whether it’s building a race car or a business, Mittler enjoys the process of seeing dreams come true.

Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool has grown to employ more than 60 highly-skilled machinists and support personnel in Wright City, Missouri (40 miles west of St. Louis). The plant includes the latest computer controlled design and machining equipment. Products, including auto racing tools and performance components, are sold across America, as well as in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia.

The company took the next step in racing by starting its own team. In July 1995, at the historic Milwaukee Mile, MB Motorsports made its debut. Over the next 23 years, MB Motorsports gained the reputation for bringing young and talented drivers into NASCAR racing. The list of drivers who have piloted trucks for Mike Mittler is impressive: Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Justin Algaier, Regan Smith, Bobby Pierce, Garrett Smithley, Spencer Boyd and many more.

And while Mike built a reputation for grooming young talent on the track, his racing presence in race shops was even stronger, as one would be hard pressed to find a shop that hasn't used Mittler Brothers equipment at some point. In addition, he served as President of the National Tooling and Machining Association and spoke before Congress not once, but twice.

Mike was the racer's racer and will be missed by all who knew him.

MB Motorsports PR

For Jesse Little and his JJL Motorsports team, Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway is their Super Bowl event.  
Running a limited NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) schedule, the team takes great pride on every race they compete - but when it comes to Charlotte, it's a prime opportunity to shine at their hometown track.
"I always look forward to Charlotte," said Little. "It's an important race for a lot of people. For a lot of my guys, this is their hometown race, so everyone's morale is up because we feel like can go and put on a show on Friday night."
Little, a native of Sherrills Ford, N.C. will make his NGOTS start at the 1.5-mile track on Friday night and looks to better his 16th place performance from last May.
"Charlotte's an extremely fast track and the Trucks put on a great show there," added Little. "It's a relatively quick race, so we learned that track position is crucial for this race. We also need to make sure we keep our truck balanced as the track and weather conditions change throughout the day, especially with practice in the morning, qualifying in the afternoon and the race at night.
"We had a good truck last year and were in the hunt for a top-10 finish but had some late race obstacles that prevented us from getting there Despite those obstacles, we fought as a team, learned a lot and wound up with a decent finish.
"Hopefully we can take with what we learned last year and in our races this season and can get our first top-10 on Friday night."
The team also hopes their performance on Friday night will spark the interest of a potential new marketing partner as the team will compete in the eighth race of the year without the benefit of a primary partner.
"We have a great team who can take a company's dollar and stretch it a mile," added Little. "We have a ton of races that we'd like to compete in this summer and surely would welcome the support.
"We know that strong performances will enable us the opportunity to bring new marketing partners to the table and I hope we can go to Charlotte and prove that."
Without a primary partner, the team is still extremely thankful to have a slew of associate partners who will adorn the team's truck for Little's second Charlotte run.
Dkota Investments will be showcased in Little's 27th career start.
Looking forward, JJL Motorsports continues to work hard on securing additional partners and sponsors for the 2019 season including the upcoming race at Texas Motor Speedway and several races this summer.
"It takes a lot of people and even a bigger effort to get our No. 97 Ford to the track each week," explained JJL Motorsports team principal Jason Little. "We continue to fight hard and go to the race track every week and give 100 percent. We'd like to increase our schedule this season but need the sponsorship support to make it happen.
"We're doing a lot of things to try and bring new partners to the table, but we know that performance is everything and if we can go to Charlotte and run competitive, we have another opportunity to tell our story."
The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (134 laps| 201 miles) is the eighth of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., May 17 from 9:05 a.m. - 9:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 10:35 a.m. - 11:25 p.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:35 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 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 (Eastern).

JJL Motorsports PR

After nearly a seven-week sabbatical, Chad Finley Racing (CFR) returns to NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) competition this week with driver Chad Finley for Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. 
Dewitt, Mich. native Chad Finley will grab the reins of the team’s No. 42 Chevrolet Silverado for his second race of the season with a host of marketing partners making his Charlotte Truck Series debut possible.
“It feels like forever since I’ve been back in the Truck Series, so I’m eager to get to the track this week and get down to business,” said Chad Finley.
“I’m super happy to have the support of, Air Lift Company and Auto Value Certified Service Centers a part of my Charlotte debut.”
For Finley, a second-generation driver, Charlotte is the prime opportunity to thrust his Chad Finley Racing team into the limelight with the track nestled 45-minutes from the team’s shop in Mooresville, N.C.
With the guidance of crew chief Bruce Cook, the team has worked thoroughly on the team’s truck to prepare for Finley’s seventh career NGOTS start.
“Everyone wants to run well at Charlotte, including us,” added Finley. “It’s important race because it’s in the backyard of where a lot of the teams are based, and the race certainly draws a lot of attention for those reasons. But for us, we want to draw attention for ourselves this weekend with our on-track performance and not necessarily where we come from.” 
“Bruce and the guys have worked methodically on our No. 42 | Air Lift Company | Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet Silverado to make sure we can go out there and be competitive. A top-10 run would certainly feel like a victory for us and give us some much-needed momentum into the summer.”
While circumstances beyond the team’s control have forced them to adjust their intentions of running the full Truck Series schedule this season, team principal Jeff Finley explained that the team’s ability to regroup and run a partial schedule will ultimately prove to be the right decision.
“We’ve could have gone out and run every race this season, but it would not have been up to the standard we set forth every time we leave the shop and head to the race track,” sounded Jeff Finley.
“Chad Finley Racing prides itself on putting competitive equipment with an opportunity to run up front. Now, that we’re able to pick and choose our races and we’re confident in our capabilities and look forward to the chance to showcase that not only at Charlotte but in future races no matter who is behind the wheel.”, Air Lift Company and Auto Value Certified Service Centers will serve as the primary marketing partners for Friday night’s anticipated thriller.
Since 1999, has served as an industry leader in suspension parts and air to non-air suspension conversion kits.
Finley also has additional support from and XLT Engineering as well for the eighth race of the season.
In addition to his six prior Truck starts, Finley, 27, 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 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (134 laps| 201 miles) is the eighth of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., May 17 from 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 10:35 a.m. – 11:25 p.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:35 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 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 (Eastern).
For additional information on Chad Finley and his race team please visit
Follow Chad Finley on Twitter @Chad_Finley.
Officials from On Point Motorsports announced today that Madvapes will serve as Primary Sponsor on the team’s No. 30 Toyota Tundra for this weekend’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Brennan Poole, a Madvapes customer, will be behind the wheel of the No. 30 Madvapes Toyota Tundra as well as making multiple local appearances throughout the next week.
 “I’m so pumped to bring Madvapes on track in NASCAR and to drive the No. 30 Madvapes Toyota Tundra,” said Poole. “This is a really fun one for me because I really do use their products and you may have even seen me sitting at the juice bar in the Cornelius location. Many people close to me, including myself, looked to Madvapes for a better alternative to traditional tobacco. I went in knowing basically nothing about vaping and the staff there is extremely knowledgeable and welcoming to those looking to make a switch.”
Madvapes started in their founder’s garage in Mooresville, Race City USA in 2009, and today has its industry leading factory in a former NASCAR engine shop. As part of the Madvapes partnership, Brennan will be appearing at local stores throughout the week along with Speed Street in Uptown Charlotte at the blu/Madvapes booth.
Poole currently sits 16th in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver standings after competing in six of the first seven events of the 2019 season. The Texas native has five previous starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the 1.5-mile Concord, NC track highlighted by a fifth-place finish in his last visit there in 2017.
“We want the fans of NASCAR to know we are here to help on their journey to move from traditional tobacco,” stated AMV Holdings and Madvapes Chairman Mark Kehaya.  “Madvapes was at the forefront of the e-cig and vapor industries at the ground level and we look forward to continuing to serve the millions of American smokers who want an alternative. Our goal is to provide smokers solutions and walk with them through their individualized experience to vapor. Brennan has been an advocate for our work and we are excited to see him on the NASCAR track with one of our partners and Charlotte staple, blu, this Friday.” 
Madvapes is also excited to bring our longtime Charlotte Spokesperson and iHeart Radio Personality, DZL, to host their Instagram takeover at-track on race night. 
The running of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 is scheduled for Friday, May 17th and can be seen LIVE on FoxSports1 at 8:30 pm ET and heard nationwide on the Motor Racing Network (MRN).
On Point Motorsports PR

Looking to recover from an engine failure last weekend at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) veteran Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) heads to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway hoping to bounce back and earn his second top-10 finish of the season in Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200.

Despite the misfortune in Kansas, Self heads to Charlotte embracing the speed his No. 22 GO TEXAN | AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet Silverado has showcased this season. The Austin, Texas native credits the hard work of crew chief Eddie Troconis and his AM Racing team for the uptick in performance as the season has marched on.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to put ourselves near the front of the field on Friday night,” said Self. “We’ve had a lot of speed in our trucks this season, in particular, the last two races but unfortunately we don’t have much too show for it.

“I’m really proud though of the work Eddie (Troconis, crew chief) and the guys have put forth in the shop.

Whether it’s a good week or a bad week, there’s nothing but determination to make sure we’re putting the best truck on the track as possible.

“Hopefully, things go our way in Charlotte, and we can get our solid finishes back on track.”

Self invades Charlotte Motor Speedway looking to make his fourth start in the Queen City and better a track-best 12th place finish in 2017.

“Charlotte is a pretty cool place to race,” added Self. “It’s not the traditional mile and a half track, but its unique layout is something that I feel like suits my driving style. There’s a bunch of different lanes to run even though it’s narrow, but you can run from the bottom to the top.

“Another part to Charlotte success is tire conservation. The racing surface is pretty abrasive on tires, which is a big part of running up front at the end of the race.”

The Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program and AM Technical Solutions will support Self in his 69th 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 eighth race of the year.

In 68 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 18.3 during his three years of competition.

The Austin, Texas native is nestled 18th in the championship standings with 16 races remaining.

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

For more on AM Racing, please visit, 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 

For additional information on CForce premium artesian water, please visit

For more on Flying Circle, please visit, 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 like them on Facebook (KreuzMarketLockhart) and follow them on Twitter (@kreuzmarket).

The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (134 laps| 201 miles) is the eighth of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., May 17 from 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 10:35 a.m. – 11:25 p.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:35 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 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 (Eastern).

AM Racing PR

Austin Hill tallied his best finish at Kansas Speedway on Friday night and delivered an impactful fourth-place finish for his No. 16 TRD 40th Anniversary team. The result marked Hill’s first pair of back-to-back top-10 finishes of 2019 and moved him up to seventh in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship standings.
Hill’s track-best finish at Kansas started with a track-best qualifying effort of seventh and was a consistent resident inside the top 10 for the majority of the 167-lap event. In the first stage, Hill took advantage of a lap-26 caution to pit from eighth position for four tires and a chassis adjustment to aid his loose handling condition. The pit call by crew chief Scott Zipadelli paid off as Hill blitzed his way from 13th on lap 30 to finish Stage 1 in fifth at lap 40.
A fuel-only stop under the Stage break netted Hill the second position on the lap 49 restart, but some tense three and four-wide moments relegated him as low as ninth. Hill stuck with it and kept his Tundra inside the top 10 and earned three points by running eighth at the end of Stage 2 on lap 80. The No. 16 team came through with another solid pit stop under the yellow flag to gain Hill two spots to sixth for the ensuing restart on lap 88. Chassis and air pressure changes courtesy of Zipadelli allowed Hill to rejoin the top-five contenders on lap 89 and executed a solid four tire green-flag pit stop on lap 126.
The final caution of the night came on lap 140 when the second and third-place trucks tangled and allowed Hill to move into fourth. The battle that followed on the lap 144 restarted involved as many as five trucks for the lead in a mad scramble for the race win. Hill was initially shuffled to seventh, but resiliently worked the bottom of the speedway to claw his way back into the top-five with 14 laps to go and challenged for a podium finish in the final ten laps. Hill maintained his position in fourth to the checkered flag to collect his first top-five finish since winning at Daytona International Speedway in the season opener in February. After seven races, Hill holds the seventh spot in the Gander Trucks standings, 54 markers out of the lead.
Austin Hill Quote:
"A few guys had some issues. I feel like we had a sixth, seventh-place truck really. But, the guys fought hard all day. You know, we fought really loose all race long. The second set of tires got us tight and I just think maybe we had a bad set of tires. Once we put the other set on, it was just way too loose after loosening it up. So, that really hurt us. I can't thank TRD enough for coming on board again this weekend and celebrating TRD's 40th Anniversary. It's really special for them and for me to be able to drive that truck. I wanted to put it in victory lane so bad, but it just wasn't in the cards tonight."


Brandon Jones and the No. 51 Chigo/Menards team rebounded from an early spin to earn a top-five finish in the Digital Ally 250 at Kansas Speedway. It was Jones' second start with the 51 team this season, following a 13th-place finish last weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The 22-year-old driver posted the 15th and 12th-fastest speeds respectively in two early practice sessions on Friday morning, then qualified the Chigo Tundra 21st in one round of single vehicle qualifying. On lap 26, Jones lost control of his Tundra and spun with a flat left rear tire, but was able to keep the damage minimal. Crew chief Rudy Fugle and the No. 51 crew quickly made repairs and changed tires, then worked on adjustments to improve the handling for the rest of the night. Jones went one lap down, but was able to get back on the lead lap at the end of the first stage. Then he slowly moved toward the front of the field, working into the top 10, and over the course of several late race cautions as the leaders encountered trouble, he made his way into the top five.
Stage One Recap:
  • Qualifying for the event consisted of one round of single truck qualifying, and Jones earned the 21st starting position.
  • Just after halfway in the first stage, Jones spun on the track and had a flat left rear tire. Fugle called him to pit road for tires and repairs, and while the young driver did go one lap down, he was able to regain the lead lap at the stage end.
  • Jones reported his Tundra was too free in the turns, but he was able to finish the stage in the 17th position, the first truck one lap down.
  • At the stage conclusion, Fugle opted to stay out and put the No. 51 back on the lead lap. 
Stage Two Recap:
  • Jones began the second stage in 17th, and several laps later, the caution flag flew again and Fugle called him to pit road for more repairs and adjustments.
  • During the second stage, Jones was able to maintain a position in the top 15
  • 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 seventh position after a quick four-tire pit stop between stages.
  • Jones maintained a top-10 position despite fighting a free handling condition in the center and exit of the corners.
  • During green flag pit stops with 40 laps to go, Fugle brought Jones to pit road for the final time for four tires, fuel and adjustments, and as stops cycled through, he returned to the top 10.
  • As several of the leaders encountered problems in the final laps, Jones was able to take advantage and take the checkered flag in the fifth position.


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