Tyler Ankrum Released From Full Time Duties at DGR-Crosly Due to Sponsorship
Defending K&N Pro Series East champion and current DGR-Crosley NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series contender Tyler Ankrum has had a change of plans when it comes to racing in 2019.
After announcing in the offseason his plan to run every race once he turned 18, Ankrum will now run a part-time schedule for the team, citing a lack of sponsorship.
“At the beginning of the year when we announced we were going full-time in the truck; that was me, my family and [team owner] David Gilliland’s agreement,” Ankrum tells Frontstretch. “We thought it was important that DGR-Crosley was full-time in the Truck Series and was fighting for a championship.”
After working out the kinks at Martinsville Speedway (19th) in his season debut, Ankrum and the No. 17 team reeled off back-to-back finishes of sixth and ninth at Texas Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway.
However, despite the announcement of a full-time run, Ankrum wasn’t fully funded for the season just yet, hoping to rely on partners picked up after the season began to get him to Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“We started off really strong,” he says. “We knew we had to run really well in order to get a sponsor; it wasn’t like we went into the season knowing this wasn’t a possibility of happening. There was always this chance that ultimately, in the end, somebody wouldn’t step up or we wouldn’t get enough finishes to get recognized.”
Once he stepped in the truck, his average finish in six races has been 12.5, leading nine laps (all coming at Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend). Still, he says he holds himself to a higher standard.
“They’ve been decent,” he says. “At Charlotte, I made a mistake, cleared myself off (turn) 4, almost wrecked (Ross) Chastain and myself. Multiple minor mistakes. These Truck fields are so competitive, it doesn’t take a lot to show how big of a difference (little mistakes) can make, especially if they pile up.”
“Texas was really, really good,” he says. “Just bad luck. We’ve been coming back through the field from pit road penalties, knocking the wall down in the truck. That just shows the speed in the truck. We have speed, we just need some freakin’ luck on our side so we can win some races.”
Ankrum notes that the cost of four to five races in the NGOTS adds up to what his entire K&N Pro Series East season cost last season, one in which he won the championship in his rookie year.
“It’s unfortunate what happened, but it’s kind of the product of our own environment, what we’ve created in the past few years,” he says. “It unfortunately costs a lot more money than it needs to. Not everyone can do it.”
Despite having a few more races in the truck this season, Ankrum and his team have shifted focus to next year moving forward, as a full-time season isn’t in the cards.
“The idea behind it was we’re not going to spend all the money we have in reserves this year and [that] we’ll come back stronger,” he says. “There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what Erik Jones did in a KBM [Kyle Busch Motorsports] truck (in 2014). You don’t have to go full time to be recognized. You have to have a few really good runs.”
The San Bernardino, Calif., native pointed to Ryan Preece making the most of his limited Xfinity opportunities with Joe Gibbs Racing and parlaying that into a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride, as well as Christopher Bell being discovered by Toyota while racing on dirt.
Ankrum and DGR confirmed to Frontstretch that at least six more races are on his schedule for 2019, his next one coming later this month at Chicagoland Speedway.
“We think we can do more,” he says. “We hope we can get at least eight or nine in. There aren’t too many more races left after that. The idea of a championship this year is definitely out of the question. At this point, we’re just focused on winning races and getting the best finishes possible.”
Frontstretch - June 13, 2019
Iowa Speedway Entry List for Double-Header Weekend of Trucks and Xfinity Series
This weekend the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has an off weekend, that doens't mean we wont see some great racing!
The NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series will visit the Iowa Speedway for the first time of two planned visits this summer.
The Truck Series will race Saturday afternoon. 34 trucks are entered in the race so everyone will make the race. No Cup drivers will race this weekend in either series. Many hopped to see Greg Biffle back in the #51 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports, but Chandler Smith will race the truck this weekend. Kyle mentioned this past weekend at Michigan that most races are fulfilled with driver and sponsors, but will talk with Biffle about potential additional rides later in the season.
The Xfinity Series has 39 cars entered, so one car will miss the race. Some notable drivers in this race will be #8 - Zane Smith, #18 - Harrison Burton, and #99 - Ryan Ellis. Ross Chastain will sit out this weekend for his first missed Xfinity Series race of the season.
Several drivers will make their NASCAR debut in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series this weekend.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - June 12, 2019
Several Drivers to Make NASCAR Debute at Iowa
With no Cup drivers in either the Truck Series or the Xfinity Series this weekend, it opens the door for several new drivers to enter into NASCAR this weekend. Several drivers will make their debute in some competitive rides.
In the Truck Series there will be 6 first time drivers.
Juan Manuel Gonzalez will race the #10 truck for Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing. Juan attempted to race at Martinsville but failed to make the race. Juan is an 11 time racer in the K&N Pro Series East Division.
Daniel Sasnett, the 41 year old driver out of Florida will make his debut racing the #32 - Reaume Brothers Racing Toyota. Daniel attempted two races earlier in the season at Martinsville and Dover but did not make the races. Daniel's only other racing starts is one start in the NASCAR ARCA Series in 2018.
CJ McLaughlin will race the #33 - Reaume Brothers Racing Toyota for the first time this weekend. CJ has a total of 4 starts in the ARCA Series where he has collected one top ten finish just last week at Michigan International Speedway.
Mason Massey will race the #34 - Reaume Brothers Racing Toyota for the first time this weekend. The 22 year old hasn't raced since 2014 where he made two K&N Pro Series East Races that year.
Chandler Smith will jumping into last weeks winning truck, won by Greg Biffle this weekend at Iowa. Chandler will race the #51 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Chandler has 13 starts in the ARCA Series with already 3 wins including last month at Toledo Speedway.
Lou Goss will make his debut for his own team Lou Goss Racing in the #74. The 32 year old does not have any prior big league racing starts such as ARCA Series, Late Model Tour, or the K&N Pro Series.
In the Xfinity Series there will be 2 first time drivers.
Ryan Repko will race the #01 for JD Motorsports. Stephen Leicht has been racing this car throughout the first part of the season, but with Ross Chastain not racing this weekend Stephen was moved to the #4 and Ryan was put in this ride. Ryan has 2 starts in the ARCA Series back in 2017 and 2018.
Joe Graf Jr. will once again attempt to make the field this weekend. His debut driving the #21 - Richard Childress Racing ride was supposed to be last weekend at Michigan International Speedway but Joe missed the field. Joe said in a twitter poster this past weekend that he had a top 15 place car, and was to cautious during time trials and missed the race. So this weekend will now be Joe's official first race, if he makes the race.
The Racing Insiders Staff Report - June 12, 2019
Dylan Lupton Returns to Truck Series
With DGR-Crosly Racing
Dylan Lupton will make his NASCAR return later this month when he races for DGR-Crosly Racing in the Gander Outdoor Truck Series.
Dylan has raced part time in all three series of NASCAR over the past 4 years calculating 41 starts across all three series. 2019 will be Dylan's first race of 2019.
More details about his ride will be forthcoming.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - June 12, 2019
The Biff is Back! Greg Biffle Captures First Win in the Truck Series in 18 Years
It was, as Greg Biffle screamed over his radio at the checkered flag, an “awesome freaking drive.”
Awesome? Improbable was more to the point.
Biffle ended a self-imposed three-year retirement from NASCAR by winning Friday night’s 23rd annual SpeedyCash.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Biffle, who last raced in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on Nov. 19, 2004 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and last won in 2001, scored his second series victory on TMS’ high-banked/1.5-mile quad-oval in a one-off appearance in place of team-owner/driver Kyle Busch.
Biffle, the 2000 series champion, outlasted two-time series champ Matt Crafton by 0.9630-seconds at the wheel of his No. 51 Toyota Tundra fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports. Tyler Ankrum finished third after celebrating his graduation from high school during pre-race ceremonies, followed by Grant Enfinger and Harrison Burton.
“It feels really good to come back and drive a really fast truck. I really learned a lot tonight,” said Biffle, 49, whose last Truck Series win was at ISM Raceway in Phoenix in 2001. “This series, a lot of competitive trucks here and these (KBM) guys make the difference. They made it easy for me. It was a great opportunity. Just excited to be here, just so thankful to drive great trucks. This thing was really fast.
“So many things went through my head of what I was going to expect. First and foremost I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I didn’t want to ‘run-bad,’ in 15th. I felt we could run in the top-five, top-eight. Ultimately the win is always in the back of your mind. These things are humbling. I’ve been doing this a long, long time but I wasn’t pleased where I was in final practice (15th). So I was a bit nervous but talked to Kyle. I was learning clear to the checkered flag.
“This ranks pretty high for me (career-wise), for one of my wins.”
The win was sweetened by a $50,000 bonus for winning the opening round of NASCAR’s Triple Truck Challenge that continues next at Iowa Speedway.
“It’s great,” Biffle joked, already politicking for another start. “I’ve been off work a long time. But my phone’s back in the motorhome. I’ll get hold of Kyle.”
Biffle – working here with crew chief Rudy Fugle – now has 82 Truck Series races on his resume, with 17 wins, 43 top-five and 55 top-10 results. This was Biffle’s sixth Truck Series start at TMS, where his previous win was scored in 2000. He qualified on-pole and led 120 of 167 laps in that spring event en route to his championship for team-owner Jack Roush.
Biffle also scored Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series spring victories in 2005 and 2012 at TMS during his tenure with Roush Fenway Racing, which ended at the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2016.
Biffle led twice for 18 laps in a race dominated by Enfinger, who led 44 laps in his No. 98 ProtectTheHarvest.com Ford F-150. Biffle took the lead for good from Ankrum on lap 155 and eventually held Crafton at bay.
Enfinger leads the championship by 37 points over Stewart Friesen, who finished 20th after breaking loose and hitting the turn 2 wall with his No. 52 Halmar International Chevrolet Silverado while trying to pass Biffle on the inside on lap 109 of the scheduled 167.
The race produced a record 13 caution periods, three more than the previous total and took 2 hours, 29 minutes and 39 seconds to complete.
Crafton said he needed a few more laps in his No. 88 Ford to perhaps catch Biffle, whose fuel supply was in question.
“We made hay with him and got there and just really got tight,” Crafton said. “It really sucks to finish second.”
Crafton posted his 27th top-10 finish in 38 races at TMS and his eighth top-10 result of 2019.
Ben Rhodes won Stage 2 over Friesen with Burton placing third. Rhodes earned his first stage win of the season in a segment that saw Ankrum’s Toyota slide sideways through the pits on a restart on lap 75.
“I’m thankful for the pit strategy of my team, they got me track position,” Rhodes said after 15.9-second pit stop at the end of the segment. It was a wasted effort, as Rhodes lost power and veered to the outside as the green flag fell on lap 95. Rhodes returned to the pits on lap 96 – during the race’s record 11th caution – with what was reported as a transmission that was stuck in fourth gear.
Johnny Sauter, the defending event winner, won Stage 1 in a dash to the flag with Austin Hill following a short red-flag stoppage to clean up debris after Angela Ruch’s accident in turn 2. Enfinger finished the 40-lap stage in third. It was the third stage win of the season for Sauter, who locked up a spot in the Playoffs by winning on Dover International Speedway’s Monster Mile.
Sauter’s night went awry on lap 56, however, when his Ford broke loose in the turn 4 banking and slapped the wall with the right side. Sauter, the 2016 series champion whose five wins here is the most among active drivers, returned to finish 13th, one lap down.
Pole sitter Todd Gilliland’s promising night took a hit when he spun out of the lead on a restart on lap 69 and whacked the backstretch wall. Gilliland, who qualified on-pole at 184.761 mph earlier Friday, was pushed to the pits after his Toyota sustained heavy right side damage that disabled the battery.
“I got loose on the bottom and not a lot of fun when it happens,” the third generation driver said. “I think we executed good until that. We qualified on-pole, but it still sucks we’re out of this race. I thought we were going to have something for ‘em tonight. I need to be more patient, get smarter. We’ve got an important stretch coming up and need to keep the morale up.”
NASCAR Wire Service - June 8, 2019
Kyle Busch Motorsports Makes Changes Ahead
of Texas Race Weekend
Kyle Busch Motorsports has announced changes to its crew chief lineup for the next three Gander Outdoors Truck Series races beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Marcus Richmond will move from Todd Gilliland‘s No. 4 truck to the No. 46 team for its next two events: at Iowa Speedway with Riley Herbst and at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway with Chandler Smith.
Wes Ward, a shop foreman at KBM, will serve as Gilliland’s interim crew chief this week at Texas.
Richmond has been Gilliland’s crew chief since last year. Through eight races this season the No. 4 team has just one top five (Kansas) and three top 10s, with two finishes in seventh. Gilliland has led only eight laps, including seven in the last race at Charlotte.
Michael Shelton, who served as the crew chief for the No. 46 team in its limited schedule this season, will serve as interim crew chief for Gilliland at Gateway and Iowa.
The No. 46 truck has made only three starts, with Herbst earning a best finish of ninth at Kansas.
NBC Sports - June 5, 2019
Ross Chastain will earn points in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series beginning with this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
There have been eight Truck Series races this season, and Chastain has top-10 finishes in all of them, scoring his first career win in the series last month in Kansas with Niece Motorsports, the team he’ll continue to run for as the season goes on.
Chastain issued a statement on his Twitter page explaining his intentions:
Because Chastain had declared for Xfinity Series points coming into the year, he has no Truck points going into Texas and will need to win another race and climb into the top 20 in points to qualify for the playoffs. The 20th place driver in points now is Jesse Little, who has not run every race, with 91 points.
“I know it won’t be easy, but I believe this team is capable of making the playoffs and competing for a championship with Ross,” said team owner Al Niece. “Ross, Phil, Cody and every single employee at this team have worked incredibly hard to continue to advance this program.
“We are proud to bring trucks capable of winning to the racetrack. It takes a lot of work to get there; we don’t take it lightly. We’re ready to see what the next eight races bring.”
Chastain has also run every Xfinity Series race this season, splitting his time between the No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevrolet and the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet. In making the switch for Truck Series points, Chastain will no longer earn points in Xfinity where he is 13th in the standings and in contention for the playoffs, which he qualified for last season.
NASCAR allows drivers only to earn points in one series.
RACER - June 4, 2019
Greg Biffle Ready to Return This Weekend For First Truck Start Since 2004
It’s all coming back to Greg Biffle.
After two months of slow “ramping up and ramping up,” Biffle’s return to NASCAR competition has arrived.
The 49-year-old retiree will be employed once again this week as he drives Kyle BuschMotorsports’ No. 51 Toyota Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. It will be Biffle’s first NASCAR race since the 2016 Cup Series finale in Miami.
“Yesterday I got my uniform on, got in the truck, helmet on, radio plugged in,” Biffle said Tuesday of his race week routine. “I had a debrief meeting a week or so ago with (crew chief) Rudy (Fugle) …. discussed what to expect, how we’re going to do practice and what not. It’s been fun to get a chance to get back into the routine so to speak.”
It won’t be the former Roush Fenway Racing’s driver first time on a NASCAR track since 2016. In April, he got to the chance to shake down Busch’s truck during practice at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I just really got an idea of what the track looked like and how his truck drove,” Biffle said. “I think that’s a huge advantage to help me for this weekend and to kind of have an idea what it drives like.”
And how does it compare to the truck Biffle last drove in 2004 in Miami?
Well, it has been 15 years.
“To be perfectly honest with you I don’t even remember what they drove like in 2004,” Biffle said. “It’s been so long ago. But I will say this: it felt more like what I’m used to driving, which was a Cup car. They’re kind of on bump stops (in the suspension), more coil bound springs, which is the way the Cup car was in ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08 when I had a lot of success at the Cup level. They drive similar to that. So it was kind of no surprise to me.”
When it comes to Texas, the 1.5-mile track is one of Biffle’s favorites and he said it was one of the “deciding factors” when he chose to compete in the race. He won there once in a Truck in 2000 and twice in Cup.
But the track has changed since Biffle’s last race there. It was repaved in 2017 and the banking in Turn 1 and 2 was reduced by four degrees and the width of the racing surface was expanded from 60 to 80 feet.
Also, the track applied a traction agent in those turns to help improve competition. The traction agent threw Biffle off in his first time out on the track.
“Whatever they’re doing kind of looks like the (racing) line, the groove if you will,” Biffle told reporters in April. “When I come down the frontstretch and I’m kind of looking up I see that black line and so I’m like, ‘OK, that’s kind of the groove.’ Then all of a sudden you realize the corner’s over there, you’re about passed it. It took me a lap or two to figure it out and get my bearings.”
A trophy in his first race in three years isn’t the only motivation Biffle has for Friday night. The race is the first of three in a row NASCAR is calling the “Triple Truck Challenge.”
Should Biffle pull off the win, he and his team would pocket a $50,000 bonus from Gander Outdoors.
“I’ll tell you I haven’t worked in three years, so that would be great for the bank account,” Biffle said.
And what about after Friday night? In April Biffle said he “could be talked into more races, maybe.”
But Biffle said Tuesday “I don’t know exactly what I want to do.
“I’m using this opportunity to get back in the seat, work out Kyle’s schedule for him so he has a driver for this event, which he really needed,” Biffle continued. “Certainly all options are open for me. I said earlier I doubt whether I’d do a full-time Xfinity or Truck (season). I think I’m still on that page, although in the right circumstance I would consider a short return, maybe a year or two. I’m not ruling that out I guess.”
Yahoo Sports - June 4, 2019
Michigan and Texas Entry List Released
Ahead of Three Race Weekend
There will be three races this weekend in NASCAR's top series. Michigan International Speedway will host the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series. Texas Motor Speedway will host the Camping World Truck Series for the second time this season.
In the Truck Series we see the return of Greg Biffle who will race the #51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports. This will be Biffle's first truck start since 2004, and his first NASCAR start since 2016. 33 trucks will race this weekend, all trucks will make the race. Other notable drivers who will be making their season debut include #14 - Trey Hutchens, #25 - Ted Minor, and #34 - Scott Stenzle.
In the NASCR Xfinity Series 39 cars are entered at Michigan, so call but one car will make the race. Some notable drivers include #8 - Jeb Burton, #12 - Paul Menard, and #17 - Riley Herbst. Joe Graf Jr. will make his series debut this weekend in the #21 for Richard Childress Racing.
The Cup Series will make their first of two visits to Michigan International Speedway this summer. 36 cars are entered, so everyone will make the race. Some notables #15 - Garrett Smithly, #51 - Cody Ware, #52 - Bayley Currey. This will be the first race of the season that Ross Chastain will not compete in.
The Racing Insiders Staff Report - June 3, 2019
Kyle Busch Dominates Truck Race at Charlotte for 6th Strait Win in the Series
For the fifth time in his allotted five NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts in 2019, Kyle Busch took the checkered flag, this time under the lights in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“I wish I could do more,” Busch said following his 56th Gander Trucks career win.
The rest of the field undoubtedly is quite happy the owner/driver of Kyle Busch Motorsports won’t be back until 2020. After all, Busch posted a perfect driver rating (150.0) and led five times for 102 laps in Friday night’s 134-lap event. He notched his eighth victory in 13 starts at Charlotte, where he has finished either first or second in nine straight events in the series.
The win was Busch’s 56th overall, extending his own series record and bringing his combined NASCAR national series wins total to 205.
“This Tundra was awesome tonight,” Busch said of the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. “It was flying and it was fast. We worked on it a lot in practice. We were a little off when we unloaded, and we tried to make it better and better and better.
“We made improvements. That’s what’s good about me driving and Rudy (Fugle) crew-chiefing,” he added. “These guys do a great job working on it, and we just keep getting better.”
On a three-lap run to the finish after the seventh and final caution, Busch pulled away to beat Brennan Poole to the stripe by 1.115 seconds. Despite dealing with a broken sway bar for most of the race, Poole grabbed second after staying out under caution before the final restart on Lap 132.
“My truck was all over the place, man,” Poole said. “I just gave it everything I had. I found something running the top lane there on the restarts, and it worked out really good.
“We just ran second to Kyle Busch tonight with a broken sway bar. I’m pretty proud of the effort. I know we’ve got a lot more chances like this coming up in our future to get this Toyota Tundra to Victory Lane. But I’m excited tonight, and I think I may even go get myself a beer when I get home.”
Stewart Friesen ran third, followed by Ben Rhodes and pole winner Matt Crafton. Austin Hill, Todd Gilliland, rookie Anthony Alfredo, Grant Enfinger and Ross Chastain completed the top 10. For Chastain, last week’s winner at Kansas, it was the eighth straight top 10 in eight races this season.
But Friday’s story was all about Busch.
It took just a few seconds to observe just how dominant his Toyota Tundra was going to be. Starting the race from the eighth spot, Busch had powered his way into third by the time the field came off Turn 2 on the opening lap.
On Lap 5, he took the lead for the first time, cruising to the inside of KBM teammate Todd Gilliland. By the time NASCAR called the first caution for Natalie Decker’s hard contact with the Turn 2 wall on Lap 23, Busch held a 5.652-second lead over Gilliland.
Busch pitted for tires and fuel under the yellow, handing the Stage 1 victory to Crafton, who passed Gilliland on Lap 30 and took the green/checkered flag moments later. But four laps after the green waved in Stage 2 on Lap 37, Busch was back in the lead, heading for a stage victory with a margin of more than four seconds.
Divergent strategies scrambled the field during pit stops under rapid-fire cautions on Laps 78 and 85, but Busch regained the top spot on Lap 96, passing Rhodes to the outside off Turn 2.
Busch stretched his advantage to 6.125 seconds before Brett Moffitt cut a tire on Lap 126 and caused the seventh caution when the tire carcass rolled free onto the track in Turn 3. The yellow simply delayed but couldn’t thwart Busch’s seemingly inexorable march to Victory Lane.
NASCAR.com - May 17, 2019
Entry List Released For All Star Race and Truck Series Race at Charlotte
This weekend we have two big races that start off a two week double header for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But first on Friday will be the NC Education Lottery 200 in the Gander Outdoor Truck Series. There are 37 trucks entered, so everyone but one person will make the race. There are several drivers that will be returning to the Truck Series for the first time in 2019 this weekend including Camden Murphy, Trey Hutchens, Stefan Pearsons, and Jessie Little. Kyle Busch will be in the race this Friday night trying to capture his 8th win at Charlotte in the Truck Series.
24 drivers are on the entry list for the All-Star Open. This includes #46 - Joey Gase, #51 - Cody Ware, #52 - Bayley Curry, #53 - BJ McLoud, #66 - Timmy Hill, and #77 - Quinn Houff. All 24 drivers will be competing to win one of the tree stages in the race to advance to the all star race. Also one fan vote will transfer to the big show.
The All-Star Race currently has only 15 drivers in the field, with 4 additional drivers being added once the All-Star open is complete.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - May 14, 2019
Ross Chastain Captures First Truck Series Victory In Dramatic Fashion
Elation and heartbreak were barely more than a lap apart when Ross Chastain took the checkered flag to win Friday night’s Digital Ally 250 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Chastain took the lead on Lap 165 of 167 after Stewart Friesen ran out of fuel — the result of a miscommunication between the driver and crew chief Trip Bruce. Chastain crossed the finish line .483 seconds ahead of runner-up Ben Rhodes to secure his first victory in the series in his 66th start and the first for Niece Motorsports and owner Al Niece.
Friesen, on the other hand, rolled home in 15th, a lap down and a study in frustration as a first victory in the Truck series continued to elude him.
For Chastain, the victory was a welcome vindication after his rags-to-riches-to-rags story of 2018. With superb performances in limited NASCAR Xfinity Series action with Chip Ganassi Racing last year — including a victory at Las Vegas — Chastain earned a full-time ride in Ganassi’s No. 42 Chevrolet for 2019, only to lose it when the team’s sponsorship collapsed.
“Aw, man, this is what sports is all about,” Chastain said, barely able to contain his emotions. “We had the world by the tail last fall, and everything got taken away from us. We didn’t quit, though … I’m going to celebrate this one a lot more than I did the last one.
“I thought, after the last one (in Las Vegas), they were going to come a lot more easy. But it’s not easy … I hate to see Stewie lose one like that. I know he’s been trying to win, but, yes — we got it!”
Friesen came to pit road for his final stop under green on Lap 126 but left his stall after taking right-side tires only on a planned four-tire stop. Though Friesen had a lead of more than five seconds over Grant Enfinger when he got back up to speed, the shortness of the pit stop didn’t allow the crew to fill the fuel cell.
Friesen’s chances looked better when the third-place truck of Brett Moffitt got loose under Enfinger’s Ford and cut Enfinger’s right-rear tire, forcing both trucks to pit road for unscheduled stops. And when the No. 33 Chevrolet of Josh Reaume stopped on the track on Lap 146 to cause the sixth and final caution, Bruce figured Friesen had enough fuel to finish the race.
Within three laps of the checkered flag, however, Friesen ran out.
“It’s been a dream to race at this level and thanks to all the car owners that have given me a chance after all these years,” Friesen said. “I came with nothing but a helmet bag. Just a little miscommunication that we need to work on.
“We just can’t close it. I figured I’d screw up a restart at the end, rather than run out of fuel. They said that we were to the good. I didn’t know we were taking four (tires). I thought for sure we were taking two. Just a lot of silence on the radio. That’s it.”
NASCAR.com - May 10, 2019
Long Time Truck Series Owner, Mike Mittler
Passes Away From Cancer
Former NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series owner Mike Mittler died Friday. He was 67.
Last fall it was revealed through Facebook that Mittler was battling cancer.
Through his team, MB Motorsports, Mittler fielded trucks in over 300 races from 1995 — the inaugural season for the series — through 2018. His team never won a race and scored three top-10 and one top-five finish; however, many of NASCAR’s most recognizable names once drove for Mittler.
Mittler’s influence was obvious through the outpouring of posts on social media. Brad Keselowski was one of the first to comment about Mittler’s passing, calling him a friend and mentor.
I was planning to go see him tomorrow morning in his house in St. Louis. So sad to not get to say goodbye. We knew the day was coming we would lose Mike Mittler but it doesn't make it any easier. Our family has been tight with Mike for 20+ years &sold most of our trucks to him when we shut down. I helped Mike at Martinsville a couple years ago and we finished really well. God speed buddy
Among those who once drove for Mittler were Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Justin Allgaier, and Regan Smith.
World Wide Technology Raceway owner and CEO Curtis Francois as well as Chris Blair, the executive vice president and general manager of World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis, posted statements about Mittler’s passing on their website. Mittler operated his shop from Missouri.
Another Truck Series team owner, DJ Copp, posted in February that his team would be honoring Mittler throughout the season.
Said Copp at the time: “Mike and I have worked together extensively over the years and I couldn’t be prouder to pay tribute to him this season. Mike has been in the truck series since its inception. He has given some pretty big names their start in NASCAR, including Carl Edwards and Justin Allgaier. If it wasn’t for people like Mike who have paved the way, we wouldn’t have the opportunities that we have now to participate in NASCAR.”
RACER - May 10, 2019
Only 27 Trucks On Entry List at Kansas,
Lowest Entry Since 2014
For this weekends Digital Ally 200 at Kansas Speedway for the Gander Outdoor Truck Series there are only 27 cars on the entry list. This will be the lowest amount of trucks racing in a race for this series since June 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway where 27 cars were entered. We have not seen fewer than 27 trucks entered in a Truck Series race since the inaugural season in 1995.
(Prior to the race, 3 more cars entered the race bringing the field to 30)
The Racing Insiders Team Report - May 7, 2019
Cup & Truck Entry List Released for
Kansas Race Weekend
NASCAR will head to the mid-west for the first time this season when we will see a double-header for the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series on Friday night, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday night. This will be the last night race at Kansas Speedway for the Cup Series for the foreseeable future, as the track will move to a day race in 2020.
For the Cup Series we have 40 cars entered, so we will have a full field for the first time since the Daytona 500 in February of this year. The four non-chartered teams will be Reed Sorenson in the #27 for Premium Motorsports, Tyler Reddick in the #31 for Richard Childress Racing, Joey Gase in the new #46, for MBM Motorsports, and #66, for Timmy Hill for MBM Motorsports. Other notables, Cody Ware and Bayley Curry will race the #51 and #52 for Rick Ware Racing, Quinn Houff will race the #77 for Premium Motorsports.
In the Truck Series only 27 track entered in the race, that is the lowest amount of entries for any Truck Series race since Texas Motor Speedway in 2014. Some notables, Timmy Hill will return to the series this weekend this time for NEMCO Motorsports and owner Joe Nemacheck. We will also see the return of Natalie Decker and Angela Ruch this weekend.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - May 7, 2019
Sauter Gets Third Consecutive Win at Dover
ThorSport Racing’s Johnny Sauter was able to recover from a costly pit stop and his truck stalling under caution to pass Ben Rhodes for the lead with 30 laps to go. From there, Sauter was able to hold off a charging Brett Moffitt to claim his 24th career Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory and his third straight at Dover. Not too shabby for a driver that got dropped from his previous ride despite six wins in 2018.
“When you get kicked to the curb, you feel like you have a lot to prove.” Sauter said to FOX Sports 1’s Alan Cavanna in victory lane. “A couple of months ago, I didn’t know if I’d be racing here. I shut the motor off earlier and I was thinking, ‘well, [there goes my chance.] Experience paid off being able to go to the top [line].”
Moffitt started from the pole and led the entire first stage of the race. Despite that, Sauter was never far behind. Lapped traffic was never far away and the speed disparity was enough to cause some issues. Every time that Moffitt opened a decent gap, another lapped truck allowed Sauter to catch back up.
The second stage saw Sheldon Creed dispatch of Sauter and move up into contention. With the help of lapped traffic, Creed was able to run down his GMS Racing teammate. However, once Creed ran down Moffitt, they approached Spencer Boyd and Ray Ciccarelli running side-by-side. The slower trucks held up both Moffitt and Creed, allowing Sauter to come from third to take the lead. From there, Sauter held on to win the stage.
Creed won the race off pit road and managed to lead 59 of the next 61 laps. A caution for Austin Wayne Self (back from a Substance Abuse Policy suspension after completing NASCAR’s Road to Recovery) crashing on the frontstretch brought everyone in for their final stops. Creed took four tires and fell back while Ben Rhodes took two tires to grab the lead.
Creed’s excellent day came to an end just after the restart when he spun exiting Turn 2 and hit Todd Gilliland, heavily damaging the front end of his No. 2 Chevrolet. The GMS Racing team attempted to repair Creed’s truck, but the damage was too great. Creed was classified in 27th at the finish.
Two tires got Rhodes the lead, but he simply could not hang with Sauter. Sauter snagged the lead a few laps after the restart and never looked back.
Moffitt was close behind in second. Harrison Burton tied his career-best finish in third, while ThorSport teammates Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton were fourth and fifth.
In Crafton’s case, it was nothing short of an adventure just to get to fifth. After encountering issues under the hood, the No. 88 team changed the engine prior to qualifying, resulting in Crafton having to start in the rear. Crafton charged from the back to get into the top 10, then dropped back with a loss of power. A pit stop revealed that a plug wire had come loose. Once that was put back in it’s proper place, Crafton was able to charge back up the order.
Ben Rhodes used a two-tire stop to lead laps, but dropped back to finish sixth. Daytona winner Austin Hill was seventh, followed by Derek Kraus and Tyler Ankrum. Ross Chastain finished 10th after this spectacular save in Turn 1 with 21 laps to go.
The Gander Outdoors Truck Series teams don’t get much time to rest. They’ll be back in action next Friday night at Kansas Speedway in the Digital Ally 250. Coverage is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
Frontstretch - May 3, 2019
Austin Wayne Self Reinstate By NASCAR Ahead of Dover Race Weekend
Austin Self has successfully completed NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program. His NASCAR suspension has been lifted. Self was indefinitely suspended on April 1.
Self mentioned on Twitter that he has been reinstated. He thanked family and friends for support and said he will race this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
Self did not miss any Truck Series starts from his suspension due to a four week off period for Trucks over the month of April.
Jayski - May 30, 2019
Dover Triple Header Weekend Entry Lists Released
Three races will take place this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
Sunday will be the Gander RV 400. There are 38 cars competing for 40 spots, so everyone will make the race. The two no-charter teams in the field will be #27 driven by Reed Sorenson, and #53 with a TBD driver, a part of the Rick Ware Racing stable moving the team to three cars for the first time in a NASCAR race. Quinn Houff will be in the #77 this weekend for Spire Motorsports. Cody Ware and BJ McLoud will race the #51 and #52 for Rick Ware Racing.
Saturday will be the Allied Steel Buildings 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. 38 cars on the entry list for 38 spots. Some notables Zane Smith will be in the #8 Chevrolet for Jr. Motorsports, Riley Herbst will be in the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, Morgan Shepherd will be in the #89. No Cup Series drivers will be in the race this weekend.
Friday will be the return of the Gander Outdoor Truck Series. We have not seen them in competition since Texas Motor Speedway back in March. 35 trucks are entered into 36 spots, so everyone will make the race. Some notables. Travis Kvapil will make his return to the series driving the #1 for Beaver Motorsports, Derek Kraus will be in the #19 for Bill McAnally Racing, Natalie Decker in the #54 for DGM Crosly Racing.
The Racing Insiders Staff Report - April 30, 2019
NASCAR Moves To Single Car Qualifying At All Oval Tracks In All Three Series
NASCAR has dropped its fight to add excitement value to qualifying and will return to single-car laps after the current format became a laughingstock.
All three NASCAR national series will return to single-car qualifying at all oval tracks starting this weekend at Dover. NASCAR for more than five years has used a group qualifying format, but a new rules package this season created an unintended consequence: drivers could game the system.
Most waited until the very last moment to pull off pit lane for their qualifying run; all 12 drivers in the final round at California in March missed the cutoff point to even register a lap. NASCAR was adamant it was trying to keep qualifying entertaining for fans because single-car runs are tedious, but teams continued to find loopholes that made the format a farce.
In Wednesday's rule change, elimination-style rounds were also cut.
Fox News - April 30, 2019
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