Race: Heart Of America 200 (134 laps / 201 miles) | Race 8 of 23
Track: Kansas Speedway
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Date & Time: Saturday, May 4th | 8:00 PM ET
Tune-In: FOX Sports 1 | Motor Racing Network (MRN) | Sirius XM Ch. 90
No. 41 AutoVentive / Precision Vehicle Logistics Chevrolet Silverado RST
Driver: Bayley Currey | Crew Chief: Mike Hillman, Jr.
– BC in KC: Currey has made five NCTS starts at Kansas Speedway since 2018, producing a best finish of 12th driving for Niece Motorsports in 2021. In addition, he has also competed in five Xfinity Series starts here along with one Cup Series race. His most recent start in last fall’s NCTS event at the 1.5-mile intermediate track resulted in a 21st place finish.

– On the Truck: Currey’s No. 41 Chevrolet Silverado RST will race with support from AutoVentive and Precision Vehicle Logistics. Starting this week, there’s a new look to the No. 41 as the partners have elected to revert to the bright colors seen last year.

– Hillman’s First Win: Kansas Speedway is the site of Mike Hillman, Jr.’s first win as a Truck Series crew chief, which came in 2005 while working with Todd Bodine. On that day, Bodine drove his No. 30 entry fielded by Germain Racing to the victory in dominant fashion, leading 81 laps in the process.

– Hillman’s Kansas Stats: Hillman, Jr. has called 21 Truck Series races at Kansas Speedway during his career. Counting his win in ’05, Hillman has navigated his drivers to a total of six top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes, including a fifth-place run last spring with Ross Chastain. Hillman has also made three Xfinity Series starts here with one top-10 (Brandon Jones, eighth in 2016) and one Cup Series start in 2014 with Timmy Hill.

– Points Rundown: Through seven races in the 2024 season, Currey is positioned 14th position in the drivers standings. With a tight battle for the final spot in the Playoffs, Currey enters Kansas 24 points below the cutline.

– Recapping Texas: Currey earned his second top-10 qualifying run with an eighth-place start last time out in Texas. Despite suffering damage from contact with another competitor, the No. 41 Chevrolet would hold tough for the remainder of the night. Currey and team would rally to a 14th-place result marking their third top-15 finish of the year.

– Quoting Currey: With three intermediate tracks in a row, how important is it to string together a solid opening race in Kansas?

“I think obviously it’s super important. We’re probably going to turn this truck around to race somewhere soon, whether that be in Darlington or Charlotte. So, being able to start off with momentum and build some confidence heading into this string of races will be important. I feel like we’ve had speed at the other mile-and-a-half tracks with our No. 41 Chevy, so I don’t see anything different here.”

– Quoting Hillman: You’ve seen plenty of success at Kansas before, so what does it take to be fast on both the short and the long run here?

“I think your truck has to be able to run well on both the top and the bottom lanes here. I think you have to be able to keep the grip in it for a long time so that you can maintain on the short run and be better on the long run, especially in the Truck Series.” – About AutoVentive: AutoVentive is an industry-leading Software as a Service (SaaS) applications developer providing customized solutions to the automotive logistics industry. The company is part of Liberty Hill Equity Partners, LLC, a Cincinnati-based private equity firm.

– About Precision Vehicle Logistics: Precision Vehicle Logistics is a customer-focused group of professionals committed to service excellence in finished vehicle logistics. Precision offers a unique combination of talented experience, industry-leading software and systems, and a network of partners and resources to deliver customized solutions to the world’s leading automakers.
No. 42 J.F. Electric / Utilitra Chevrolet Silverado RST
Driver: Matt Mills | Crew Chief: Jon Leonard
– MM in KC: Matt Mills has made two Truck Series starts at Kansas Speedway, posting a best finish of 17th in 2017. Though he did not compete in a NCTS race here last season, he’s gained experience through five Xfinity Series starts here as well as one Cup Series start in the race where he made his NCS debut in 2021.

– Leonard’s Kansas Stats: Jon Leonard has called three Truck Series races at Kansas before, with highlights of two top-10 starts (best with Stewart Friesen, fifth in 2022) and one top-10 finish (Jake Drew, 10th last year). In 2017, he made his Cup Series debut as a crew chief here with Michael McDowell and went on to make one more start the following season with Regan Smith.

– On the Truck: Mills’ No. 42 Chevrolet Silverado RST will race with support from longtime partners J.F. Electric and Utilitra.

– Recapping Texas: Mills and the No. 42 J.F. Electric / Utilitra team showed speed early in the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway by posting the third-quickest lap in practice. Starting the race from the 20th spot, Mills fought for track position throughout the night but was unable to advance further through the field. At the checkers, he would be scored with a 26th-place result. 

– Points Rundown: Following race seven of the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season, Matt Mills currently sits 28th in the points standings. He is only six points behind his nearest competitor, Jack Wood, who holds down the 27th spot, and is 20 points behind Spencer Boyd in the top-25 for the driver standings.

– Quoting Mills: You’ve had experience in several types of vehicles at this track before, so what are some of the characteristics that make Kansas fun to race on?

“I think it’s fun because of the fact that it’s got a lot of grip. You can move around throughout the whole race depending on what your car or truck is doing. Obviously, ripping around the fence is the biggest thrill for us drivers if everything’s working right. Going there in a truck is a little bit more risky to get close to the wall, so hopefully we’ll have a good enough truck to be able to move around and make time so we can race a little more than some of the other mile-and-a-half tracks.”

– Quoting Leonard: Does having a top-10 run here last year with a different driver give you added confidence with Matt this week?

“I think so. Jake [Drew] was new to the Truck Series similar to Matt, and Niece Motorsports has run well at Kansas before, so I’ll try to use that as a baseline to work on Matt’s technique and his skillset. I feel like between my history and the team’s history, we have a pretty good idea where to start, and where the track goes, and where to run.” – About J.F. Electric: J.F. Electric is an electrical contractor that provides engineering expertise, backed by construction and installation know-how in a diverse range of service offerings, from utilities and commercial projects, to industrial and telecommunications customers. When having a long family history in an industry, a company not only builds on its knowledge and experience, it takes pride in cultivating a solid understanding of client needs, all the while nurturing strong relationships with its employees. Evolving through five generations of the Fowler family, J.F. Electric has matured into a well-managed and thoughtfully diversified electrical contractor which is poised to continue its growth and expansion into the future.

– About Utilitra: Utilitra is a woman-owned firm specializing in utility and technology solutions with a diverse team of specialized professionals. Utilitra is committed to solving their client’s unique challenges, whether one expert or a team of experts is needed. By adapting to the needs of their respective industries, Utilitra has built a range of services for their utility and technology partners.
No. 45 Niece Products of Kansas Chevrolet Silverado RST
Driver: Kaden Honeycutt | Crew Chief: Phil Gould
– KH in KC: Kaden Honeycutt returns to the No. 45 Chevrolet this week for his fourth start of the season. Honeycutt has made two prior NCTS starts at Kansas Speedway, posting a best result of 21st in 2022. Last season while driving for Young’s Motorsports, he brought home a 27th place finish. In his lone mile-and-a-half start this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Honeycutt scored his best-career finish with a sixth-place effort.

– On the Truck: Honeycutt’s No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado RST will race with support from Niece Equipment and Niece Products of Kansas.

– Niece Motorsports’ First Win: In 2019, Phil Gould guided Ross Chastain to a thrilling victory in the Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. After taking the lead with three laps to go, Chastain held on to deliver Niece Motorsports’ first win as an organization, which kickstarted a three-win season for the No. 45 team en-route to a second-place finish in the championship standings.

– Gould’s Kansas Stats: Gould has made nine Truck Series starts atop the pit box at Kansas Speedway, all of which have came while working with Niece Motorsports drivers. Including his ’19 win, Gould has a total of two top-fives and four top-10 finishes, most recently finishing sixth with Carson Hocevar last fall. He has also made six Xfinity Series starts here, earning three top-10 finishes (best with Ryan Reed, seventh in 2018).

– Live, Laugh, Late Model: Honeycutt rocketed to the points lead by securing his second-career win in the CARS Tour Pro Late Model Series on Saturday, April 20th at Orange County Speedway. Later that night, he also competed in the CARS Tour Late Model Stock division and followed the performance up with a runner-up finish. Honeycutt plans to compete in the Tour’s next event at Ace Speedway this Friday night before making the trek to Kansas Speedway.

– Stepping up on Saturdays: Last weekend, Honeycutt was called upon with the opportunity to make his second-career NASCAR Xfinity Series start for DGM Racing at Dover Motor Speedway. Honeycutt started the weekend off by qualifying 18th, and began to make his way up the running order until a mid-race issue with the battery placed him a couple of laps down, relegating him to a 23rd-place result.

– In the Sim: Last week, Honeycutt put together another impressive outing in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series at the virtual Dover Motor Speedway. Following his best qualifying effort of the season with a fifth-place starting spot, Honeycutt would lead 35 laps as a threat to win the 120-mile race. A chaotic overtime restart set up a shuffling of the top spots, but Honeycutt would cross the line in seventh and secure his fourth top-10 finish of the season. The JR Motorsports driver currently is tied for the final spot in the eNCCiS Playoffs ahead of round seven at the virtual Talladega Superspeedway next Tuesday.

– Recapping Texas: Johnny Sauter took the wheel of the No. 45 Karl Chevrolet Silverado RST for his second start of the 2024 season in the most recent NCTS race at Texas Motor Speedway. Sauter qualified 18th, but it didn’t take long before he was contending for a spot in the top-10 running order. As the race went on, Sauter would bring his truck home with a 17th-place finish at the completion of the SpeedyCash.com 250.

– Owner Points Outlook: Through seven races, drivers Johnny Sauter, Connor Mosack, Ross Chastain, and Kaden Honeycutt have placed the No. 45 team 11th in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series owner points. Entering Kansas, the No. 45 team is only a mere 12 points behind the Playoffs cutoff line. Highlights so far this season include one top-five (Chastain, fifth at COTA) and three top-10 finishes, along with a pair of top-five qualifying efforts (Sauter, second at Daytona & Chastain, fifth at COTA).

– Quoting Honeycutt: What are some of the most important driving techniques that you’ve been able to pick up while racing on a mile-and-a-half track compared to the short tracks that you’re accustomed to? 

“I feel like one of the biggest things I’ve learned is getting used to the dirty air. You have to run opposite lanes and make stuff work, while sure you’re not directly behind someone entering the corner. I feel like Kansas is really good for two-lane racing, especially the bottom was good last last year. It changes so much, but that was one of the biggest things was making sure I’m out of line from the truck in front. On the restarts, you need to be in the lane to move to the front on either the top or the bottom lane, whichever is moving forward. You’re just having to constantly search for the air that’s making ground up.”

– Quoting Gould: Five years removed from the team’s first win in Kansas, how much growth have you seen come from the organization?

“There’s been a lot of growth, honestly. At that time, we were just getting going. Now, to see what it’s grown to, there’s a huge difference. We’re building our own chassis and hanging our own bodies, so definitely a lot of good changes that have happened since. It’s been great to see all of the improvements that have been made.”

Niece Motorsports PR