Gander Outdoors Truck Series News (6004)
Gander Outdoors Truck Series News
Race Recap: Tyler Ankrum drove to a top-10 finish in his first career mile-and-a-half track start. The newly turned 18-year-old, brought his No. 17 May's Hawaii Toyota Tundra home unscathed for a sixth-place finish in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Vankor 350 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Ankrum showed speed in both practice session on Thursday afternoon in The Lone Star state. He sat atop the speed chart in first practice and was scored 11th quick at the conclusion of final practice. When qualifying rolled around, Ankrum advance to Round Two, laying down a lap time of 28.941 seconds. Topping speeds of 186.587, Ankrum secured a sixth-place starting position in Friday's competition.
When the green flag flew Ankrum fell back on the initial start, but several early race cautions helped the young driver gain back his track position. When the first stage-ending caution came out on lap 35, Ankrum had worked his way up to the seventh position. Ankrum brought his Tundra down pit road for service under caution. After a quick stop, the team was served with an uncontrolled tire penalty and forced them to start at the tail end of the longest line. By the end of Stage 2 on lap 70, Ankrum had worked himself back inside the top-10 following the penalty. Under the stage ending caution, problems on pit road caused the team to lose more positions after being blocked into the stall by another truck. When another caution came out on lap 44, Ankrum brought his Tundra back down pit road with most of the field. Pit strategy came into play when the team opted for a fuel-only stop. With 30 laps remaining in the Vankor 350, Ankrum had settled into seventh-place. He went on to gain one more spot, earning a sixth-place finish in his first visit to Texas Motor Speedway.
Race Recap: Anthony Alfredo made his fourth NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. A hard hit into the outside wall relegated the NASCAR Next member to a 28th-place finish, despite having a really fast Toyota Tundra.
In his first trip to Texas Motor Speedway, Alfredo took to the track on Thursday afternoon for two practice session. He and his No. 54 Ceco Building Systems team used the time to perfect his line as well as tweak on the truck. Alfredo ended final practice 8th-quick, topping speeds of 184.634 miles per hour. When qualifying rolled around on Friday morning, Alfredo laid down a lap time of 29.135 seconds after just barely nicking the apron on his qualifying run. That time resulted in a 14th-place starting position for Alfredo and his team.
When the green flag flew, Alfredo knew that he had some work to do to get to the front of the field. He quickly worked himself up to 11th before the first caution flag of the day flew. A series of early race cautions resulted in the No. 54 team calling Alfredo down pit road before the end of Stage 1 for fuel, tires and an adjustment to help the tightness of the truck coming off the corner. Due to the pit strategy, Alfredo was scored 16th at the end of Stage 1. Alfredo was happy with the handling of his Tundra at the beginning of Stage 2 and had made impressive gains, quickly putting himself inside the top-10. On lap 50, as Alfredo was racing the No. 52 truck, air sucked the No. 54 truck around, resulting in a hard hit into the outside wall. Alfredo was uninjured during the incident, but the severe damage to his Tundra ended his night early. He was relegated to a 28th-place finish after the incident.
Alfredo's next race will come in May when the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series visits Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Alfredo on Texas: "We had a really fast Toyota Tundra tonight. I'm proud of the effort as a team and thankful for all of our partners and supporters, as well as my DGR-Crosley crew for their hard work all weekend. I made a mistake in qualifying which made us start further back that we should have, but we dug ourselves out of that hole with strategy and were racing in the top-five where we belonged. I hate that it ended early but I'm excited to head to Charlotte [Motor Speedway] in May for our next race together."
- During two rounds of single-vehicle qualifying, Gilliland earned the 16th starting spot.
- On lap 4, another vehicle made contact with the No. 4 Tundra, squeezing Gilliland against the outside wall and sending him spinning through the infield grass.
- The JBL/SiriusXM Tundra sustained damage to the right rear and deck lid, but the team was able to make repairs over six quick pit stops and the teenager was able to continue.
- Once pit stops cycled through at the end of the stage, Gilliland was scored in the 22nd position on the lead lap.
- After starting the second stage in 22nd, Gilliland wasted no time and was soon up to the 16th position.
- He reported his Tundra was pretty good in Turns 1 & 2, but that he needed a little more right rear grip, so crew chief Marcus Richmond went to work to improve the handling.
- Gilliland continued to hold his own in the top-20 while the team worked on his No. 4 machine.
- Gilliland began the final stage in the 18th position.
- On the final pit stop with 38 laps to go, Richmond made the call for four tires and a track bar adjustment and Gilliland received the free pass back to the lead lap. The teenager kept his nose clean for the remainder of the race and earned the 14th finishing position in his battered Tundra.
- After two rounds of single-vehicle qualifying, Busch found himself with the fourth starting position.
- By lap 8, Busch had made his way to the front of the field, earning the lead after several early cautions, including yellow flags for KBM teammates Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton, who both were involved in early incidents.
- Busch reported that his No. 51 Cessna Tundra had a loose handling condition.
- Crew chief Rudy Fugle brought Busch to pit road under caution before the stage end for four tires and fuel and the Las Vegas-native finished the first stage in eighth position.
- Once the remaining drivers had pit during the stage caution, Busch resumed the lead to start the second stage.
- Busch would lead every lap of the second stage, including through a short red flag period for cleanup of an incident, and take the green-checkered flag for the stage win.
- Fugle called him to pit road following the end of the stage for four more Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel.
- The driver of the No. 51 Cessna Tundra started the third stage in the second position.
- After getting shuffled back on the restart, Busch marched back to the front, again fighting a loose handling condition.
- Under caution with 41 laps to go, Fugle brought Busch to pit road for the final time for two right side tires, retaining the race lead.
- Despite a fierce battle with the No. 52 and No. 24, "Rowdy" led the final twenty laps to earn the race win.
- This was Busch's fourth Gander Trucks win at Texas Motor Speedway and his fourth win of the 2019 season in four starts. Busch has one remaining start scheduled in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May. It was his 55th series win and 202nd NASCAR national series win.
Austin Hill was credited with a 27th-place finish after an overheating issue brought a premature end to a promising night at Texas Motor Speedway. Hill remains seventh in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series point standings and the only Gander Trucks driver locked into the playoffs after five races.
Hill and the No. 16 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota team displayed their speed by posting the quickest lap in Thursday’s practice sessions and followed that up by qualifying fifth on Friday afternoon. From the outset, Hill showed his muscle by racing in and around the top five throughout Stage 1, which included four chaotic restarts in the first 35 laps. Hill earned six points by running fifth at the end of the opening stage.
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli brought Hill to the attention of the Safelite AutoGlass team during the lap 36 caution for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure change to aid his snug handling condition. While several strategies mixed up the field, Hill restarted 13th on lap 43 and immediately made a stunning, three wide maneuver on the outside to advance to sixth position in one lap. He then made a bold challenge for the top five before rising temperatures forced him to pit road under a lap 50 caution. Zipadelli and the HRE team made multiple pit stops to pull grille tape and cycle water through the system, but were unable to maintain a sufficient water temperature.
Hill’s night officially wrapped up after 75 laps in 27th position. He and the No. 16 team will look to regain ground in the point standings on May 3rd at Dover International Speedway.
Austin Hill Quote:
“It’s frustrating for all of us to have this issue, especially after we had such a fast Safelite Toyota Tundra tonight. We felt good about it in practice yesterday and qualified towards the front. We started the race pretty close with the balance, but after Scott (Zipadelli) made that air pressure change, I really liked how our truck drove and we definitely would have been in the top three to five competing for a win tonight. I wish we could have gotten everyone from Safelite a better finish, but we’ll go home, figure things out, and be ready for Dover in a few weeks.”
Kyle Busch continued his winning ways out west.
Busch held off Stewart Friesen by 1.269-seconds for his fourth-consecutive NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory of the season and his fourth-career win at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch led a race-high 97 laps in the Vankor 350 en route to his 55th career series win and his 202nd among NASCAR’s top three national series.
"Those guys were able to keep up with us just way too much throughout the night,” Busch said. “You know, it's a better race that way when they're able to keep up. That means we need to go to work and work harder in order to get ourselves faster.”
Johnny Sauter, Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, Tyler Ankrum, Ross Chastain, Tyler Dippel, Brennan Poole and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top 10 finishers. The race was slowed by 10 cautions—tying the series track record.
Enfinger led the field to green. Stage 1 was slowed by four cautions the first involving Todd Gilliland, Chastain and Brennan Poole coming out of Turn 4 on Lap 3. Gilliland slid through the front stretch grass but continued on.
Harrison Burton, who started 10th, spun into the Turn 1 wall on Lap 11.
“I got loose on corner entry and just lost it,” said Burton, who finished 31st. “Happy I’m ok. Happy I’ve got a good team behind me.”
Angela Ruch and Gus Dean triggered the third caution in Turn 2 on Lap 18. Dean’s damage was too much to overcome. He wrecked again on Lap 26 and called it a night.
Enfinger won his first stage of the season. He beat ThorSport Racing teammate Ben Rhodes to the line by .034-seconds. However, a pit road penalty mired Enfinger in the back of the pack and he spent the next two stages working his way forward.
“This was our first normal race of the season,” Enfinger told the No. 98 ThorSport team following his third top-five finish of the season. “Let’s keep doing this and the wins will come.”
Busch inherited the lead to start Stage 2 on Lap 42. Six laps later, Anthony Alfredo, who restarted sixth, lost control of his truck following contact with Stewart Friesen entering Turn 1. The No. 54 truck hit the wall and erupted into flames. NASCAR red-flagged the race for 15:51. Busch remained on the point with Crafton, Chastain, Bubba Wallace and Brett Moffitt in tow for the Lap 57 restart. Busch held on for his sixth stage win in 2019.
With a fuel-only pit stop, Sauter took the lead out of the pits on Lap 75. He quickly faded allowing Busch to regain the lead followed by Moffitt. Moffitt barreled past Busch on the outside exiting Turn 2 on Lap 99 with Rhodes, Friesen and Enfinger in pursuit. Four laps later, Korbin Forrister spun in Turn 2 to ignite the ninth caution.
Busch held the lead through the 10th and final caution on Lap 116. Friesen, who started from the rear after an engine change, battled Busch on the final restart. Although it took Friesen 10 laps to lead one circuit, his time at the point was short-lived. He would settle for second—the fifth runner-up result of his career.
“The last couple of laps were just mad,” Friesen said after his best finish of the year. “We were just tight. I just got loose underneath him. He gave me some room. Originally, I thought he was right there on my quarter. But he was doing what he had to do. After that, I was just tight. Proud of my guys. Proud of Halmar. Man, just a bummer. I thought we could have got him if we had got cleared.”
With 21 laps to go, Moffitt made contact with Rhodes battling for fourth, causing his left rear tire to go flat. Although Moffitt kept the No. 24 Chevrolet off the wall, he was forced to pit for tires and dropped to 19th, two laps off the pace.
"The No. 24 (Moffitt) was who I was really worried about and then something happened to him and then (Friesen) was really fast and on our tailgate the whole finish of that race until about the last five laps," Busch said.
"I don't know if he just got heated up or what back there. He put up a good fight and about got to me a couple times there and fortunately I was able to hold out and keep this truck up front. We just lacked a little bit of overall speed tonight and we didn't have exactly what we wanted.”
Busch returned to the lead with 20 laps to go and held the point to the finish. Friesen leads the Gander Outdoors Truck Series standings by six points over Grant Enfinger.
Kyle Busch scored his fourth NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory of the season on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch, making his fourth series start of the 2019 season through five races, started fourth on the leaderboard and led 97 of the 147 laps.
“It was a pretty good night for us. I wish it was faster,” said Busch after getting the win. “I thought we were pretty good. Not as good as we wanted to be once we stacked up next to the field. The 24 (Brett Moffitt) was really fast and the 52 (Stewart Friesen) was really fast. They made me work for it. They certainly got my money’s worth tonight.”
Stewart Friesen did everything he could to get around eventual race winner Kyle Busch in the waning laps. When the checkered flag waved, Friesen, who finished stage one in third and fifth in stage two, sat second in the running order. The No. 52 Chevrolet led the field for one circuit on Friday.
“The 24 (Brett Moffitt) was, who I was really worried about and then something happened with him and then the 52 (Stewart Friesen) was really fast and right there on our tailgate the whole finish of that race until about the last five laps,” Busch later said after the race in victory lane. “I don’t know if he just got heated up or what back there. He put up a good fight and about got to me a couple of times there and fortunately I was just able to hold out and keep the Cessna Tundra upfront and keep it out front. Those guys were just able to keep up with us way too much throughout the night, I thought.”
The win on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway marks the 55th career victory in the series for Busch. The win total across all three of NASCAR’s National Series now sits at 202 for the Las Vegas native as he looks to sweep the weekend at the 1.5-mile oval.
Through 149 career Gander Outdoors Truck Series races, Busch has 97 top five and 117 top 10 finishes.
As for second-place finisher Stewart Friesen, he goes into a five-week break with three top five and four top 10 finishes.
Johnny Sauter rounded out the top three finishers in Friday’s Vankor 350K. Sauter, driving the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Ford, led seven laps and sat ninth in stage one and 12th in stage two.
Pole-winner Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton rounded out the top five.
Tyler Ankrum, Ross Chastain, Tyler Dippel, Brennan Poole and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top 10.
Turn two was very busy as far as race incidents went on Friday. The first victims over there included Angela Ruch and Gus Dean on lap 18. Dean continued while Ruch was done for the evening.
Anthony Alfredo later found himself in an incident over in turn two. Alfredo, piloting the No. 54 Toyota, was done on lap 48 as his truck went around and caught on fire. The field went under the red flag for 15-minutes and 51 seconds while crews cleaned up fluid and attended the damaged No. 54 Toyota.
Korbin Forrister later went around in turn two on lap 102 while the ninth yellow flag came out on lap 116 for Codie Rohrbaugh. Rohrbaugh finished 23rd while Forrister finished 24th as a result.
The first yellow flag came out for a three-truck incident on the frontstretch. The lap three melee involved Todd Gilliland, Ross Chastain and Brennan Poole. All three drivers continued their way despite the on-track incident.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will take a five-week hiatus. The JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway will take place at 5:00 p.m. ET. on May 3rd. The 200-lap event will air live on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio.
Fresh off a top-10 finish this past weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) driver Darrell Wallace Jr. returns to AM Racing for Friday night’s Vankor 350k at Texas Motor Speedway.
For the fifth NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) race of the year, AM Racing will carry the brand of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, while also commemorating GO TEXAN and their 20th-year celebration for Wallace’s fifth start at the 1.5-mile speedway.
Sorghum is the world’s fifth-most important grain crop and is grown on approximately 100 million acres worldwide, including approximately six million acres in the U.S. Currently, Texas and Kansas account for 80 percent of U.S. sorghum production.
The Sorghum Checkoff focuses on developing direct awareness of the benefits of using sorghum as a fuel and feedstock in the ethanol industry and urges consumers to choose E15 at the pumps. Ethanol serves as the foundation of demand for the sorghum industry, as ethanol producers typically use about one-third of the sorghum crop to produce clean-burning, high octane fuel.
The Sorghum Checkoff program was introduced to AM Racing through GO TEXAN who is celebrating its third year of partnership with the team and serving as the primary partner on AM Racing’s truck for a majority of the 2019 season.
In Wallace’s previous four starts in the Lone Star state, he has delivered three top-10 finishes, including a personal-track best of sixth in his track debut in 2013 driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
After finishing 10th at Martinsville and adding to the team’s top-10 run in the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the team seeks their third top-10 to kickoff the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season.
“I’m looking forward to having “Bubba” back in the truck this weekend at Texas,” offered crew chief Eddie Troconis. “We made great strides at Martinsville this past weekend and rebuilt our communication and I feel like we can go to Texas and equal or better our showing from Martinsville.
“Historically, Texas has been a solid track for Bubba and if we can earn another top-10 finish – it will be a performance that will give our team some much-welcomed momentum heading into our spring break.”
AM Racing general manager Kevin Cywinski noted that Texas is one of the team’s marquee events this season and has put a lot of emphasis on their No. 22 Chevrolet Silverado for the first of two races at the Fort Worth facility this weekend.
“We feel very confident about the truck we are bringing to the track this weekend,” offered Cywinski.
“Eddie and the team have been working very hard since Martinsville to make sure the truck is to their liking. We want to be better on the mile-and-a-half tracks this year and we believe the feedback from Bubba will allow us to enhance our on-track product for the rest of the Truck Series season.”
In addition to the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, AM Racing partners GO TEXAN will serve as a major associate partner on March 29.
GO TEXAN was established in 1999 to promote Texas agriculture products under one easily recognized trademark- an iconic brand in the shape of Texas.
Fast forward 20 years and TDA’s award-winning campaign continues to thrive as a powerful marketing catalyst; envied by competitors yet admired and respected on a worldwide stage.
This year, AM Racing has started a rocker panel program where GO TEXAN members can ride alongside the famous mark with their own branded logo being featured on the truck.
AM Racing associate partners Flying Circle and CForce are also proud GO TEXAN products.
Show your GO TEXAN pride: find Texas products, restaurants or enroll your business in GO TEXAN.
To learn about the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and sorghum’s benefits, please visit sorghumcheckoff.com.
For additional information on CForce premium artesian water, please visit cforce.com.
For more on Flying Circle, please visit flyingcirclegear.com, like them on Facebook (FlyingCircleGear) and follow them on Instagram (@flyingcirclegear) and Twitter (@flyingcircle_). Also connect with Flying Circle on Pinterest and YouTube.
For more on AM Racing, please like their Facebook page (AM Racing) or follow them on Twitter @AMRacingNASCAR and stay tuned for a brand new website.
The Vankor 350k (147 laps| 220.5 miles) is the fifth of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., March 28 from 3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 5:05 p.m. – 5:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., Mar. 29 beginning at 4:10 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Central).
AM Racing PR