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NASCAR National Series News & Notes – Road America & Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Bojangles Southern 500
The Place: Darlington Raceway
The Date: Saturday, Sept. 1
The Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 5 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance:  501.3 miles (367 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 100), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 200), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 367)
2018 Winner: Brad Keselowski

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: CTECH Manufacturing 180
The Place: Road America
The Date: Saturday, August 24
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 3:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 182.16 miles (45 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 10), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 20), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 45)
2018 Winner: Justin Allgaier

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 

Next Race: Chevrolet Silverado 250
The Place: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
The Date: Sunday, August 25
The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 157.37 miles (64 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 64)
2018 Winner: Justin Haley

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Kyle Busch missing Victory Lane

After re-claiming the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points lead a week ago, Kyle Busch stretched out his advantage considerably at Bristol, Tenn. last week and is now 39 points up on Joey Logano as the series heads to the iconic Darlington (S.C.) Raceway next week for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on September 1 (6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Busch’s fourth-place finish at Bristol in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was his fifth top-10 in the last six races. But it’s been 11 races since the four-time 2019 winner has celebrated in Victory Lane – the longest span between wins this season. And also, the longest span between victories since a 36-race span in 2016-2017. A span that started after his Indianapolis win in 2016 and ended when he earned his next win 21 races into the 2017 season at the second Pocono, Pa. stop.

Busch began the year with a record-tying 11 consecutive top-10s in the opening 11 races and his 20 top-10s on the season remains best among all his competitors.

Yet the 2015 Cup champion would prefer to fully get back on track with a victory as the series finishes out the regular season with races at Darlington and then Indianapolis Motor Speedway before starting the 10-race Playoff swing on Sept. 15 at Las Vegas.

Busch has one victory – in his third start in 2008 – at the venerable Darlington venue. He’s scored nine top-10s in 14 career starts, including three top-fives. He’s finished 11th or better in the last nine races. He was runner-up to JGR teammate Denny Hamlin in 2017 and in 2013 led a dominating 265 laps only to finish sixth. His 598 laps out front at the notorious track, nicknamed, “Too Tough to Tame” is most among active drivers.

Brad is back to defend

Brad Keselowski started the 2019 season with a steady, if quiet reminder that he is a former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion and with three wins in the opening 12 races of the year, ready to mount a challenge for his second Cup title.

And while he hasn’t hoisted a trophy since May, he will show up at historical Darlington (S.C.) Raceway next week as the defending winner of the iconic Bojangles’ Southern 500. He’s fresh off top-10 finishes in four of the season’s last five races and led 91 laps en route to a third-place finish at Bristol, Tenn. last Saturday as the series heads into its final off-week of the year.

In all, Keselowski has 13 top-10 and eight top-five finishes and he’s ranked sixth in the points. Only points leader Kyle Busch, 2017 Monster Energy Series champ Martin Truex Jr. and their Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin have more wins (four) than the Team Penske driver Keselowski.

His record at Darlington makes Keselowski an absolute favorite at the track. In addition to his win last year, he started from pole position, finished runner-up and led a race best 196 of the 367 laps in 2015. He finished third in 2011 and has led laps in the last five Darlington races.

Playing with the Playoff bubble

With only two races now left to set the 16-driver Playoff field, the competition has not only been lively but unpredictable among the four drivers vying for the final two Playoff positions.

An eighth-place finish by Daniel Suarez at Bristol, Tenn. last weekend was good enough to move the Stewart-Haas Racing driver into the Playoff Top-16 for the first time in eight races (since Chicagoland Speedway) and jumble the championship outlook for the fourth consecutive week.

Heading into Darlington, veteran Ryan Newman sits 15th in the points standings with a 12-point edge over Suarez in 16th.  Suarez’s SHR teammate Clint Bowyer dropped a position despite a seventh-place showing at Bristol and is now 17th – 14 points back from Newman, but only two points behind Suarez. And seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who suffered a frustrating 19th-place run at Bristol, is now 26 points behind Suarez for that last Playoff-eligible points position.

Of the two tracks left to set the Playoff field – Darlington (S.C.) Raceway next week and then the regular season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Johnson is the only driver among these four with wins at both venues.

Johnson is a three-time Darlington winner – having swept the 2004 season – and scoring his most recent victory in 2012.The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is a four-time winner at Indianapolis – most in the field and second most-all time next to his former Hendrick Motorsports teammate, five-time winner Jeff Gordon.

Veteran Ryan Newman is the only other driver among these four with a win at either Darlington or Indianapolis. He won at Indianapolis from the pole position in 2013 and the driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford has top-10 finishes in his last two starts. Historically speaking, Newman counts Darlington as one of his better tracks as well. Although he doesn’t have a win to his credit, he does have 13 top-10 and seven top-five finishes in 20 starts.

Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Suarez and Bowyer will both be looking to turn their fortunes at Darlington. Suarez, the driver of the No. 41 SHR Ford, has finished 38th and 29th in his only two Darlington starts. Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 SHR Ford, has only one top-10 finish in 13 starts at the track. He finished 36th last year after being involved in a crash and was 40th the year before after an early race engine problem. His only top-10 – a ninth-place result – came in his second Darlington start in 2007.

Indianapolis has been better for both Suarez and Bowyer. Suarez has finishes of seventh and 18th in his two starts on the historic 2.5-miler. Bowyer has four top-10s in 13 starts, however three of them are top-five efforts, including a fifth-place finish last year when he led 37 laps.

Hamlin getting into championship form

Denny Hamlin earned his fourth win of the 2019 season at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Saturday night and while hoisting the race trophy was good for the ego, Hamlin’s current streak of six top-five finishes puts him in good momentum towards hoisting the biggest trophy of all – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship hardware.

Hamlin answered his high-achieving Joe Gibbs Racing teammates with that season-best fourth victory. He and fellow JGR drivers Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. lead the championship field with four wins each as the regular season concludes with races at Darlington, S.C. next week and Indianapolis the following week.

Arguably, no one is headed into this week’s Cup off-weekend with more championship optimism than Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota team.

He has a season-best 13 top-five finishes – out of 16 top-10s – through the opening 24 races and his sixth straight top-five at Bristol was good enough to move him up another position – to third place – in the points standings. It’s the highest he’s been ranked since April at Richmond – after the Daytona 500 winner teetered between first and second in the points during the season’s opening nine races.

There’s no reason to believe Hamlin’s current momentum slows or shifts.

He boasts one of the best Darlington records on the grid with victories in 2010 and 2017. He has top-10 finishes in 11 of 13 starts at the track. His average finish is 6.2 and he has never suffered a DNF. In fact, he’s completed every lap run during the races he’s entered (4,782 total).

Three times he’s led at least 100 laps – two of those resulting in wins. In 2007, he led 179 laps and finished runner-up. Last year he won the pole position, led 11 laps and finished 10th.

Joe Gibbs Racing is the cream of the crop

Not only was Denny Hamlin’s win at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last weekend impactful for him – his fourth victory of the season – but it gave his Joe Gibbs Racing team 12 wins on the year – the most EVER in NASCAR’s Modern Era through the opening 24 races of the season.

Since 1972 (the start of NASCAR’s Modern Era of statistics) only eight organizations have won at least 10 races in the opening 24-race stretch. It’s happened 10 times, however JGR (2019 and 2016) and Hendrick Motorsports (2007 and 1998) are the only teams to have done so multiple times.

JGR’s 12 wins through the opening 24 races – four victories each from Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr tops the list. Hendrick Motorsports combined for 11 wins in the same period in 1998 with Jeff Gordon (10) and Terry Labonte (one) as did Richard Childress Racing (Dale Earnhardt’s 11 wins in 1987) and Petty Enterprises (Richard Petty’s 11 wins in 1975).

Cup Series Competition Highlights

Interestingly, while Joe Gibbs Racing is pacing the series in victories (12) – Denny Hamlin’s win from pole position at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last week marked the first pole position for the team of the season.

Through the first 24 races, there have been 14 different pole winners, which is one off the best season mark (15) of the last 10 years. Twice – in 2017 and 2018 there were 15 different pole winners.

Hendrick Motorsports currently leads teams with eight poles on the season – William Byron has four, Chase Elliott has three and Jimmie Johnson has one.

The average Margin of Victory in races is 1.177-seconds over the 24-races to date. But 15 of the 24 (62.5 percent) have had a margin of victory of less than one second.

The average number for race leaders (9.00) through the first 24 races this season is the most in five years (10.50 in 2014). And the average number of lead changes per race (17.9) is also the most since 2014 (22.13).

Year over year, green flag passes are up 39.1 percent. Nine races saw the most green flag passes for the lead in the last 10 years – Las Vegas, Charlotte, Micigan-1, Kansas-1, Bristol 1 and 2, Texas-1 and Kentucky.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Xfinity Series heads to Wisconsin for Road America

Up next on the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, home to this weekend’s CTECH Manufacturing 180 on Saturday, August 24, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Established in 1955, Road America is a multi-elevational, four-mile road course with 14 different turns. This year’s Xfinity event will be 45 laps (180 miles) with the first stage ending on Lap 10 and the second stage ending on Lap 20.

This weekend’s CTECH Manufacturing 180 marks the last road course the NASCAR Xfinity Series will compete on in the regular season and the third of four scheduled on the year (up next is the Charlotte ROVAL in the opening round of the Playoffs).

Road America has hosted nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races producing six different pole winners and nine different race winners.

JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier won this event at Road America in 2018, after starting 11th and leading 14 laps. This season, Allgaier is currently fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings having posted nine top fives and 14 top 10s, but is still looking for his first victory of the season.

In the first two road courses of 2019, Allgaier finished third (Watkins Glen) and sixth (Mid-Ohio).

Can Road America’s Xfinity different winners streak continue?

Count ‘em up. Nine different NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers have visited Road America’s Victory Lane in as many races and in this weekend’s CTECH Manufacturing 180 on Saturday, August 24 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio we could see a 10th.

The top two different winner streaks by track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series belong to Michigan (10) and Road America (nine).

The record for the most consecutive different winners a single track is 23, set at New Hampshire Motor Speedway between the 1990-2009 seasons.

Michigan currently holds the longest active Xfinity Series different winners streak at 10 – dating back to the 2010 season. Road America can tie Michigan with a 10th different winner this weekend.

Three former Xfinity Series Road America winners are entered this weekend – AJ Allmendinger, Jeremy Clements and Justin Allgaier.

Road America’s Xfinity Different Winners
Season Race Winner Organization
2010 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing
2011 Reed Sorenson HScott Motorsports
2012 Nelson Piquet Jr HScott Motorsports
2013 AJ Allmendinger Team Penske
2014 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Racing
2015 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing
2016 Michael McDowell Richard Childress Racing
2017 Jeremy Clements Jeremy Clements Racing
2018 Justin Allgaier JR Motorsports

First-time winners are the norm on road courses in Xfinity Series

Since 1982, there have been 15 total; and in the last 11 seasons, road courses in the NASCAR Xfinity Series have produced 11 first-time series winners; including Austin Cindric’s first career win earlier this season at Watkins Glen International.

Road America stakes claim to the lion’s share of the Xfinity Series new winners on road courses, producing five of the 15 first-time winners – Jeremy Clements (2017), Michael McDowell (2016), Brendan Gaughan (2014), AJ Allmendinger (2013) and Nelson Piquet Jr. (2012).

In this Saturday’s (Aug. 24) CTECH Manufacturing 180 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio we could see a 16th first-time winner, as there are 25 drivers entered in the field that are looking for their first NASCAR Xfinity Series win.

Nine drivers entered this weekend will be making their series track debut at Road America – Chase Briscoe, Brandon Brown, Gray Gaulding, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, John Hunter Nemechek, Preston Pardus, Ryan Vargas and Josh Williams.

NASCAR Xfinity Series
First-Time Winners On Road Courses
First-Time Winners Track Date
Austin Cindric Watkins Glen 8/3/2019
Chase Briscoe Charlotte ROVAL 9/29/2018
Jeremy Clements Road America 8/27/2017
Michael McDowell Road America 8/27/2016
Justin Marks Mid-Ohio 8/13/2016
Chris Buescher Mid-Ohio 8/16/2014
Brendan Gaughan Road America 6/21/2014
AJ Allmendinger Road America 6/22/2013
Nelson Piquet Jr Road America 6/23/2012
Boris Said Montreal 8/29/2010
Marcos Ambrose Watkins Glen 8/9/2008
Juan Pablo Montoya Mexico City 3/4/2007
Denny Hamlin Mexico City 3/5/2006
Ron Fellows Watkins Glen 6/28/1998
Bill Elliott Watkins Glen 6/26/1993

Xfinity’s Big 3 continue to raise the level of competition

Just like they have been doing all season, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Big 3 – Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Cole Custer – racked up another win this past weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, bringing their combined victory total to 14 out of 22 races this season – that’s a winning percentage of 63.6%.

Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick grabbed the checkered flag at Bristol, bringing his season win total to four victories – Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Bristol. In 22 starts this season he has posted three poles, four wins, three stage wins, 17 top fives, 19 top 10s and an average finish of 5.1.

Looking ahead to this weekend at Road America, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer has had the most success among the Big 3 on the four-mile course. In two starts at the historic Road America, Custer has put up one top five and two top 10s; including a best finish of fourth in this race last season. Meanwhile, Reddick and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell haven’t had the same luck. Bell has made two series starts at Road America posting an average finish of 21.0, and Reddick made his series track debut at Road America last season starting 29th and finishing 34th.  Keep in mind though, Reddick and Bell both finished in the top five at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio earlier this season.

Big names joining the Xfinity fold this weekend

Several drivers who have made big names for themselves – AJ Allmendinger, Regan Smith and Matt DiBenedetto – are joining the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend at Road America to compete in the CTECH Manufacturing 180 on Saturday, August 24, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Kaulig Racing has tapped former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver-turned-TV-analyst AJ Allmendinger to pilot their No. 10 Chevrolet this weekend; his fourth outing in 2019 for the team. Allmendinger’s three previous starts this season for Kaulig Racing have resulted in a top-five finish (third at Mid-Ohio) and two disqualifications (Daytona and Watkins Glen) due to failing post-race inspection.

But Road America is one of Allmendinger’s best tracks, as the 37-year old from Los Gatos, California, made his series track debut on the four-mile road course in 2016 from the pole. He dominated the event, leading 29 of the scheduled 55 laps en route to his first career series victory.

Much like Kaulig Racing, JR Motorsport’s has also reached into the TV booth for their driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet this weekend at Road America, with former Monster Energy Series driver Regan Smith jumping behind the wheel.

Smith knocked the dust off by making his season debut a few weeks back at Mid-Ohio for JR Motorsports; he started 12th and finished 21st.

Looking for more this weekend at Road America, Smith has made three previous starts in Elkhart Lake posting one top-10 finish and an average finish of 17.7.

Probably the most notable of the three right now, following his big runner-up finish (career-best) last weekend in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Matt DiBenedetto will be making his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start since 2016, driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota this weekend at Road America.

DiBenedetto has made three series starts at Road America, posting an average finish of 27.0.

Can anyone clinch a Playoff spot at Road America?

With time running short in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season, drivers are scrambling to clinch their spot in the Playoffs as the series heads to Road America this weekend for the  CTECH Manufacturing 180 on Saturday, August 24 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Six drivers have already clinched their 2019 Xfinity Playoff spots – Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Cole Custer, Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe and Michael Annett.

Six drivers in the top 12 of the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings are still trying to lock up their Playoff spot as well. Justin Allgaier is the highest ranked driver without a win, and he has not yet clinched a Playoff spot on points. If he hasn’t clinched a spot on points, none of the other winless drivers below him have either.

Justin Allgaier can clinch on points this weekend at Road America, if there is a REPEAT (or eliminated/ineligible) winner and he finishes 166 points ahead of the FOURTH-highest winless driver. He could also clinch on points if there is a NEW winner and he finishes Road America 166 points ahead of the THIRD-highest winless driver.

The defending 2018 Road America race winner can also clinch a Playoff spot on wins this weekend if he takes the checkered flag. In total Allgaier has made seven series starts at Road America, posting one win (2018), two top fives and four top 10s.

The remaining five drivers in the Top 12 will need to win this weekend to clinch their spot in the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.

Noah Gragson, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, will have his work cut out for him this weekend as the potential Playoff contender will be making his series track debut at Elkhart Lake. In 22 starts this season driving for JR Motorsports, Gragson has posted five top fives and 13 top 10s; including finishing in the top-10 at the first two road courses on the schedule – Watkins Glen (ninth) and Mid-Ohio (fifth).

Justin Haley, like fellow Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Noah Gragson, will be making his series track debut this weekend at Elkhart Lake as well. In 22 starts this season driving for Kaulig Racing, Haley has posted two top fives and 15 top 10s; including a top-10 finish at Mid-Ohio (ninth).

John Hunter Nemechek is currently the third and final Sunoco Rookie on pace to make the Playoffs this season. Nemechek, like Gragson and Haley, will be making his series track debut at Road America this weekend. In 22 starts this season driving for GMS Racing, Nemechek has amassed four top fives and 12 top 10s. In the first two road courses on the 2019 Xfinity schedule he finished 12th (Watkins Glen) and 31st (Mid-Ohio).

Brandon Jones gained a spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings this past weekend at Bristol, leap frogging Ryan Sieg for 11th in points. In 22 starts this season driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, Jones has put up three top fives and 10 top 10s; including a 10th-place finish at Mid-Ohio a few weeks ago. Jones has made three series starts at Road America, posting one top 10 (ninth last season).

Ryan Sieg anxiously awaits the conclusion of the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season as the RSS Racing driver is currently in the 12th in the series driver standings – the final transfer spot to make the 2019 Playoffs. Though Sieg has a comfortable sized 97-point lead over 13th place Gray Gaulding, if a driver outside the Playoff Top 12 were to win one of the final four regular season races it would bump Sieg out of postseason contention. In 22 starts this season, Sieg has posted two top fives, and eight top 10s. At the first two road courses on 2019 schedule, Sieg finished 30th at Watkins Glen due to an accident and 16th at Mid-Ohio. Sieg has made five series starts at Road America posting an average finish of 20.8.

Xfinity Playoff Bubble: Four races to go

Currently RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg holds the 12th and final NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff transfer spot, but all that might change if one of the drivers outside the Playoff cut line were to win over the next four races. Heading into this weekend’s activities at Road America, below are the drivers still trying to fight their way into the Xfinity postseason.

 

Rank Driver Points Starts Attempts Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts From Cutoff
12 Ryan Sieg 591 22 22 0 1 1 97
13 Gray Gaulding 494 22 22 0 0 0 -97
14 Jeremy Clements 454 22 22 0 0 0 -137
15 Brandon Brown # 418 22 22 0 0 0 -173
16 Ray Black Jr. 352 22 22 0 0 0 -239
17 Josh Williams 336 21 22 0 0 0 -255
18 Garrett Smithley 330 22 22 0 0 0 -261
19 Stephen Leicht 308 22 22 0 0 0 -283
20 BJ McLeod 265 20 20 0 0 0 -326

Still Possible To Clinch:

Gray Gaulding (0 Wins, 494 Points, +236 Points Ahead of 21st) has already clinched a Top 20 spot in the driver standings making him Playoff eligible, but he will need a win to clinch a Playoff spot. In 22 starts this season driving for SS Green Light Racing, Gaulding has gathered one top five and three top 10s. He put up top-15 finishes in the first two road courses the series visited earlier this season – 15th (Watkins Glen) and 14th (Mid-Ohio).

Jeremy Clements (0 Wins, 454 Points, +196 Points Ahead of 21st) needs to conjure up some of the magic he and the RSS Racing team found in 2016; when the South Carolina native won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series career race at Road America. Clements needs a win to clinch both a spot in the Top 20 and a spot in the Playoffs. In 22 starts this season, he has posted one top five and two top 10s. At Road America, Clements has made five series starts posting a win (2016), one top five and two top 10s. Earlier this season, he finished 11th at both Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio.

Brandon Brown (0 Wins, 418 Points, +160 Points Ahead of 21st) – is in quite the precarious position with four races to go in the regular season. Not only are his Playoffs hopes on the line but his bid for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year will also come to an end if he doesn’t’ make the postseason.  Brown can clinch a Top 20 spot with help this weekend at Road America, and with a win, he could clinch a Playoff spot on wins if he gets help with clinching a Top 20 spot. The Woodbridge, Virginia native, Brown, has made 22 starts driving for Brandonbilt Motorsports posting one top 10 and an average finish of 18.1. This weekend Brown will be making his series track debut at Road America. At the first two road courses on the schedule he finished 18th (Watkins Glen) and 24th (Mid-Ohio).

Impossible to Clinch:

Ray Black Jr. can’t clinch a Playoff spot even with a win this weekend at Road America, because he has not clinched a Top 20 spot on points, so he cannot clinch a Playoff berth in the next race. If he can’t clinch a Top 20 with a win, no winless driver below him in the standings could clinch either.

Cindric: The road course ringer of 2019

The NASCAR Xfinity Series was put on notice a few weeks back when Team Penske’s Austin Cindric not only won his first race at Watkins Glen International, but then backed it up with another win the following week at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. With the first two Xfinity 2019 road course trophies on his mantle, Cindric is looking to solidify his road course ringer status this weekend at Road America in the CTECH Manufacturing 180 on Saturday, August 24 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, and become the first driver in series history to win at three different road courses in a single season.

Earlier this season at Watkins Glen, Cindric and the No. 22 Ford Mustang team with crew chief Brian Wilson put on a masterful performance. In the closing laps Cindric passed established road course ace AJ Allmendinger to lead the final two laps and take the checkered flag for the first time in his Xfinity Series career.

Then at Mid-Ohio the following week he continued his road course domination by winning the pole and leading 46 of the scheduled 75 laps for his second trip to Victory Lane of the season and his career.

Now with Road America in his sights, the Mooresville, North Carolina, native will be looking to carry his 2019 momentum to the hills of Elkhart Lake. In the past, the 22-year old hasn’t had the best of luck at Road America. In his series debut at the road course in 2017 he started on the pole, but only led one lap, finishing 16th. Then last season he started eighth but only raced 15 laps before engine issues sidelined him, resulting in a 37th-place finish.

Lots of new faces in the Xfinity garage at Road America

Walking through the NASCAR Xfinity Series garage this weekend at Road America you might see three new faces – all drivers making their series debuts this weekend at Road America:

Preston Pardus, a second generation NASCAR driver from New Smyrna Beach, Florida will be attempting to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this weekend at Road America. Pardus will drive the No. 43 Chevrolet for his family-owned team Pardus Racing Inc. with crew chief Tony Furr.

Preston Pardus grew up around his father Dan Pardus racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and the ARCA Menards Series. Preston started out in quarter midgets at the age of 8 at Little New Smyrna Speedway. He then acquired his SCCA Novice Permit at only 15 years old in 2012. Now 22-years old, Preston has spent the last seven years cutting his teeth driving SPEC Miatas in the SCCA around the country.

Another driver to keep an eye out for is former part-time ARCA Menards Series driver Dick Karth will also be making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this weekend at Road America. Karth, a Grafton, Wisconsin native, made ARCA debut at Road America in 2017 at the age of 64 years old; he started 22nd and finished 21st. Karth will be driving the Motorsports Business Management No. 61 Toyota with crew chief George Church calling the shots from the pit box.

It wouldn’t be a NASCAR Xfinity Series road course event without some international participation and this weekend from Eindhoven, Netherlands, we have Loris Hezemans attempting to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut. Hezemans has spent the last two seasons mastering his skills in a stock car competing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Elite 1 Series, making 21 starts from 2018-2019 and posting three wins and 10 podium finishes. Hezemans will be in the No. 99 BJ McLeod Motorsports Toyota with crew chief Adam Brooks this weekend at Road America.

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver Xfinity media breakouts

This weekend there will be two media breakout sessions with six NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers participating at Road America prior to the CTECH Manufacturing 180 on Saturday, August 24 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The first session is scheduled for Friday, August 23 from 11 – 11:15 a.m. ET in the Media Center Deadline Room and will include Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick, Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley, Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi’s Chase Briscoe and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto.

The second session is scheduled for Friday, August 23 from 11:15 – 11:30 p.m. ET in the Media Center Deadline Room and will include JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier, Team Penske’s Austin Cindric and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones.

Tyler Reddick (No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: January 11, 1996

Driver’s Age: 23

Hometown: Corning, California

Hobbies: Riding ATVs, gaming, working on cars

Team: Richard Childress Racing

Crew Chief: Randall Burnett

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship
  • Also won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors; just third driver in series history to win the title in his rookie season joining Chase Elliott (2014) and William Byron (2017).
  • In 2017, he captured his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Kentucky, while running a partial schedule. Currently has six series career wins.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Current NASCAR Xfinity Series driver championship standings leader, 54 points ahead of second place Christopher Bell.
  • In 22 starts this season, he has posted three poles (Daytona, California and Daytona-2), four wins (Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan, Bristol), 17 top fives and 19 top 10s – leads the series in both top fives and top 10s this season.
  • Has won three stages and accumulated 23 Playoff points.

Road America Performance:

  • Made his series track debut last season at Road America; he started 29th and finished 34th.

 

Justin Haley (No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: April 28, 1999

Driver’s Age: 20

Hometown: Winamac, Indiana

Hobbies: Muscle car restoration, sports car racing, surfing, fishing and hunting, triathlons,

mountain biking, fitness, graphics & design, anything competitive

Team: Kaulig Racing

Crew Chief: Lennie Chandler

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Signed with Kaulig Racing in the off season to run his first full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019 – a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.
  • Posted series career-best finish of runner-up – this season at Daytona in July.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut last season – making three starts for GMS Racing posting a best finish of 12th at Iowa Speedway.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently ninth in the NASCAR Xfinity driver championship standings, 317 points back from the series standings leader Tyler Reddick, and 34 points behind eighth place Michael Annett.
  • In 22 starts this season he has posted two top fives, 15 top 10s and an average finish of 10.9.
  • Currently third in Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, 81 points back from Chase Briscoe in the rookie standings lead.

Road America Performance:

  • This weekend he will be making his series track debut at Road America.

Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi Ford Mustang)

Birthdate: December 15, 1994

Driver’s Age: 24

Hometown: Mitchell, Indiana

Hobbies: Spending time with family, online racing, watching sports

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi

Crew Chief: Richard Boswell

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2018 at Atlanta.
  • Ran 17 Xfinity races last season for Roush Fenway Racing (12) and Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (five) and won the inaugural race at the Charlotte ROVAL.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 236 points back from the series standings lead.
  • In 22 starts this season he has posted one win (Iowa-2), nine top fives and 17 top 10s.

Road America Performance:

  • Will make his series track debut at Road America this weekend.

Matt DiBenedetto (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra)

Birthdate: July 27, 1991

Driver’s Age: 28

Hometown: Grass Valley, California

Hobbies: CrossFit, car enthusiast who enjoys modifying street cars

Crew Chief: Ben Beshore

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Ran a full Xfinity season in 2014 driving for Key Motorsports finishing 21st in the final championship standings.
  • Has made a total of 68 NASCAR Xfinity Series career starts posting two top 10s; including a best finish of ninth at Iowa in 2010.
  • Made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Memphis Motorsports Park for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2009; he started fourth and finished 14th.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Will be making his NASCAR Xfinity Series 2019 season debut this weekend.

Road America Performance:

  • Has made three series starts at Road America posting a best finish of 11th in 2014.

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: June 6, 1986

Driver’s Age: 33

Hometown: Riverton, Illinois

Hobbies: R/C cars, wakeboarding, graphic design, dirt racing

Team: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: Jason Burdett

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season championship and made the Playoffs for the third consecutive season after posting a career-high five wins on the season.
  • In 2016 and 2017, made the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2011, 2016 and 2017, scored career-best third-place finish in NASCAR Xfinity Series standings.
  • Won first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race in 2010, at Bristol in March. Currently has 10 career Xfinity wins.
  • Won 2009 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings (highest ranked driver without a win), 159 points back from the series standings leader Tyler Reddick and 20 points back from third place Cole Custer.
  • In 22 starts this season he has posted nine top fives, 14 top 10s and an average finish of 10.8.

Road America Performance:

  • Has made seven series starts at Road America posting one win (2018), two top fives and four top 10s.
  • Average start, 10.2 and his average finish, 12.0.

Brandon Jones (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra)

Birthdate: February 18, 1997

Driver’s Age: 22

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Hobbies: Woodworking, antique car restoration, metal fabrication, farming

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

Crew Chief: Jeff Meendering

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he tallied a career-best finish of second at Talladega and reached the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs for the second time, finishing a career-best ninth in the standings.
  • In 2017, he captured his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series pole (Daytona-1).
  • In 2016, he made the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs in his rookie season; ultimately finishing a then career-best 10th in the standings.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently 11th in the NASCAR Xfinity driver championship standings, 369 points back from the series standings lead.
  • In 22 starts this season, he has produced three top fives, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 16.5.

Road America Performance:

  • Has made three series starts at Road America, posting one top-10 finish (ninth last season).
  • Average start, 17.6 and his average finish, 16.6.

Austin Cindric (No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang)

Birthdate: September 2, 1998

Driver’s Age: 23

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Hobbies: Mountain biking, water sports, listening to music

Team: Team Penske

Crew Chief: Brian Wilson

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Won his first two career NASCAR Xfinity Series race back-to-back at Watkins Glen International and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier this season
  • Ran a full Xfinity season in 2018, splitting time with Roush Fenway Racing and Team Penske, making the Playoffs and ultimately finishing eighth in the championship standings.
  • In 2017, he made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Road America driving for Team Penske; he started on the pole but finished 16th.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings, 193 points back from the series standings lead.
  • In 22 starts this season he has posted three poles (Kentucky, Mid-Ohio and Bristol), two wins (Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio), nine top fives and 16 top 10s.

Road America Performance:

  • Cindric has made two series starts at Road America posting a best finish of 16th in 2017.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

Brett Moffitt looking eager to repeat

If anyone had questioned in February whether Brett Moffitt could repeat as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series champion after switching teams in the offseason, they got their answer last weekend in Thunder Valley.

It sure looks like he can.

The defending champion won the opening race of the Gander Trucks Playoffs last Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, ensuring that he will advance to the next round in the postseason. And also collected his third trophy of the year.

Last year en route to the title, Moffitt won four regular season races and then closed out the calendar by winning at ISM Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture the crown.

He heads into this weekend’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with no pressure – and that could be bad news to the rest of the field. Moffitt finished third at the nearly 2.5-mile road course last year after finishing 16th in his only other start north of the border, in 2016.

He only has one other NASCAR national series start on a road course – a 32nd-place finish at Watkins Glen in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017.

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park guaranteed to see a new winner

Very little is certain in NASCAR. But one thing is for sure this weekend – we’ll see a new winner at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday afternoon.

This weekend’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 (Sunday, August 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) marks the seventh NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course. And it’s seen six different winners since the series first started racing at the track in 2013 – none of whom are entered this weekend.

Chase Elliott won the inaugural race, while current Playoff contenders Ross Chastain finished seventh and Matt Crafton was 10th. Johnny Sauter was the only other current Playoff driver entered in that first race, and he finished 28th after having mechanical issues halfway through the event.

Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek, Austin Cindric and Justin Haley went on to win the 2014-2018 versions of the race – and they all, along with Elliott, have moved on to either the NASCAR Xfinity Series or Monster Energy Series competition.

Four drivers – Crafton, Sauter, Norm Benning and Jennifer Jo Cobb – have raced in all six previous races at Canadian Tire. And all are entered for Sunday’s showdown.

John Hunter Nemechek and Timothy Peters are second on the list with five starts there, but neither are entered this weekend.

ThorSport Racing drivers hoping “practice” pays off

The ThorSport Racing quartet of Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter certainly took an unusual approach to preparing for the lone NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series road course race of the season.

Earlier this year, they paired up and entered the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in early July, piloting Ford Mustang GT4s for Multimatic Motorsports.

Rhodes and Enfinger partnered up while the veteran duo of Crafton and Sauter were the co-drivers of the second entry. Rhodes and Enfinger got the better of their teammates, finishing 13th in the race…just one spot ahead of Crafton and Sauter.

The team is hoping it pays off in the form of Playoff glory, as three of the team members – Enfinger, Crafton, and Sauter – are in postseason contention.

Crafton and Sauter have the most experience in a Gander Truck at MoSport, with six starts apiece. Crafton, the driver of the No. 88 Ford, has three top-five and five top-10 finishes at the track – including a runner-up result in 2015. Sauter, who sits behind the wheel of the No. 13 Ford for ThorSport, has yet to record a top five, but does have five top-10 results.

Rhodes has a trio of starts on the road course and won the pole for this race last year. His best finish was 10th in 2017. Enfinger has only made two trips to Canada with the Gander Trucks, posting a best finish of 13th in 2017.

Hill, Ankrum currently on outside looking in

Only six of the Gander Trucks’ eight Playoff drivers will move on to the next round of the postseason following Las Vegas – and right now Austin Hill and Tyler Ankrum are in the position of being the drivers who “go home”.

ThorSport Racing teammates Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter sit fourth through sixth on the Playoff outlook, set to advance on points at the moment. Enfinger and Crafton are tied with 2,053 points, while Sauter is 10 points behind them.

Hill is a mere three points behind Johnny Sauter, who holds the final Round of 6 slot on points currently. Ankrum is 13 points back from Sauter.

Of the two, only Hill has experience at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He finished eighth last season on the road course.

Rank Driver Points Starts Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts From Cutoff
1 Brett Moffitt (P) 2081 17 3 3 28 In On Wins
2 Ross Chastain (P) 2065 17 3 4 13 25
3 Stewart Friesen (P) 2057 17 1 2 14 17
4 Grant Enfinger (P) 2053 17 0 4 19 13
5 Matt Crafton (P) 2053 17 0 3 11 13
6 Johnny Sauter (P) 2043 16 1 3 9 3
7 Austin Hill (P) 2040 17 2 0 12 -3
8 Tyler Ankrum # (P) 2030 14 1 0 5 -13

Canadians Alex Tagliani and Gary Klutt to pull double-duty on Sunday

Alex Tagliani and Gary Klutt may be the busiest men at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday.

Both drivers will be pulling double-duty in running with the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Tagliani, the 45-year-old native of Lachenaie, Quebec, runs full-time in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and is currently fourth in the standings with a win under his belt at Toronto earlier this season and was fourth at Canadian Tire in the season opener.

He’s doing a spot start in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota this weekend as the two series join forces for a day of speed.

This will be his fifth Gander Trucks start in Bowmanville – which comprises all of his series starts. He’s won the pole twice (2014, 2015), but has yet to finish higher than fifth (2015).

Klutt, a NASCAR Next alumnus and native of Halton Hills, Ontario, has made a pair of Pinty’s Series starts this season. He started on the pole and recorded a third-place finish in the season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and hopes to improve upon that finish on Sunday.

He’ll be racing the No. 44 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet alongside Playoff contender Ross Chastain in the Gander Trucks.

He’s made two Gander Trucks starts in Bowmanville, finishing 11th in his debut in 2016 and then 24th in 2017 after suffering suspension issues.

Here’s a quick look at the schedule for the duo (all times Eastern):

9 a.m.: Pinty’s Series driver/crew chief meeting

9:35 a.m.: Gander Trucks qualifying

10:40 a.m.: Gander Trucks driver/crew chief meeting

10:50 a.m.: Pinty’s Series driver introductions

11:05 a.m.: Pinty’s Series race

2 p.m.: Gander Trucks driver introductions

2:30 p.m.: Gander Trucks race

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series etc.

Raphael Lessard returning to DGR-Crosley: Canadian Raphael Lessard will be entered in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 as he makes his fifth start of the season. He has split his time in Kyle Busch Motorsports and DGR-Crosley Toyotas. This weekend he’ll be in the No. 54 for DRG-Crosley, the team with which he has his best finish of the year – ninth at Iowa Speedway.

Manufacturer standings: After taking the win in the first race in the Playoffs with Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet gained four points on Toyota and now trails by 14 points in the manufacturer standings (635 – 621). Ford is third with 565 points. Toyota leads in wins this season, totaling nine victories. Chevrolet has visited Victory Lane seven times while Ford has one win.

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s Gander Trucks driver media breakouts

This weekend there will be three media breakout sessions with eight NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series drivers participating at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park prior to the Chevrolet Silverado 250 on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The first session is scheduled for Saturday, August 24 from 1-1:15 p.m. ET in the Media Center Deadline Room and will include Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen, ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger and Hattori Racing Enterprises’ Austin Hill – all three are current Gander Truck Playoff drivers.

The second session is scheduled for Saturday, August 24 from 1:15-1:30 p.m. ET in the Media Center Deadline Room and will include Jordan Anderson Racing’s Jordan Anderson, GMS Racing’s Sheldon Creed, ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton and Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Raphael Lessard.

The third session is scheduled for Saturday, August 24 from 2:30-2:45 p.m. ET in the Media Center Deadline Room and will include Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Alex Tagliani.

Stewart Friesen (No. 52 Halmar Friesen Racing Chevrolet Silverado)

Birthdate: July 25, 1983

Driver’s Age: 35

Hometown: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

Hobbies: Dirt racing

Crew Chief: Trip Bruce III

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • Won his first career Gander Trucks race at Eldora Speedway in 2019.
  • In 2018, he competed in all 23 races, qualifying for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs for the first time; ultimately finished the season seventh in points.
  • In 2017, he competed in 19 races, posting two top fives, five top 10s and a pole.
  • In 2016, he made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut at Eldora Speedway and made a total of six starts that season.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park third in the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs (2,057 points); 24 points behind the series standings leader Brett Moffitt and four points ahead of fourth place Grant Enfinger.
  • This is his second career Gander Trucks Playoff appearance.
  • Through 17 races this season, Friesen has posted one win (Eldora), 10 top fives, 12 top 10s and a pole (Martinsville).
  • Has won two stages and accumulated 14 Playoff points.
  • Has led 203 of 2,501 laps completed (8.1%)
  • 2019 average starting position, 8.4 and average finishing position, 8.6.

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Performance:

  • Made his Gander Trucks debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last season; he started 16th and finished inside the top-10 (seventh).

Grant Enfinger (No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150)

Birthdate: January 22, 1985

Driver’s Age: 34

Hometown: Kannapolis, NC

Hobbies: Fishing, Outdoor activities, Working on cars

Crew Chief: Jeff Hensley

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he captured his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff berth and finished fifth in the final points standings, the best of his career thus far in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
  • In 2017, he finished 11th in the final standings in his rookie season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
  • In 2016, he claimed his first career NASCAR national series win at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • In 2016, posted his first NASCAR national series career pole for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season opener at Daytona.
  • In 2010, he made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park fourth in the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs (2,053 points); 28 points behind the series standings leader Brett Moffitt and tied in points with fifth place Matt Crafton, his ThorSport Racing teammate.
  • Won the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series regular season championship.
  • This is his second career Gander Trucks Playoff appearance.
  • Through 17 races this season, Enfinger has posted eight top fives, 14 top 10s and two poles (Texas, Kentucky).
  • Has won four stages and accumulated 19 Playoff points.
  • Has led 293 of 2,526 laps completed (11.6%)
  • 2019 average starting position, 7.2 and average finishing position, 7.4.

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Performance:

  • He has made two series starts at CTMP posting an average start of 13.5 and average finish of 15.0.

Austin Hill (No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra)

Birthdate: April 21, 1994

Driver’s Age: 25

Hometown: Winston, GA

Hobbies: Hunting, spending time with family and boating

Crew Chief: Scott Zipadelli

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • Scored first two career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series wins in 2019 at Daytona and Michigan.
  • Finished 11th in 2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Championship points, his first full season.
  • In 2017, he joined Young’s Motorsports and made 12 starts finishing a then career-best 23rd in the final standings.
  • In 2016, he posted his first top-10 finish in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (Martinsville).
  • In 2014, he made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park seventh in the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs (2,040 points); 41 points behind the series standings leader Brett Moffitt and 10 points ahead of eighth place Tyler Ankrum.
  • This is his first career Gander Trucks Playoff appearance.
  • Through 17 races this season, Hill has put up two wins (Daytona, Michigan), four top fives, nine top 10s and two poles (Chicago, Pocono).
  • Has yet to win a stage this season but has accumulated 12 Playoff points.
  • Has led 121 of 2,259 laps completed (5.3%)
  • 2019 average starting position, 8.8 and average finishing position, 14.0.

Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Performance:

  • Made his series track debut at CTMP last season; he started ninth and finished inside the top-10 (eighth).

Jordan Anderson (No. 3 Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet Silverado)

Birthdate: April 15, 1991

Driver’s Age: 27

Hometown: Forest Acres, South Carolina

Hobbies: Building our team, graphic design, music

Team: Jordan Anderson Racing

Crew Chief: Wally Rogers

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, posted his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series career-best finish (seventh) at Talladega Superspeedway and finished the season a career-best 15th in the championship points.
  • Anderson made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut at ISM Raceway in 2014; he started 30th and finished 24th.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • In 16 starts this season, he has posted nine top-20 finishes and an average finish of 19.8.
  • He is currently 15th in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings.

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Performance:

  • He has made four series starts at Canadian Tire, posting three top-20 finishes and an average finish of 17.0.

Sheldon Creed (No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado)

Birthdate: September 30, 1997

Driver’s Age: 21

Hometown: Alpine, California

Hobbies: iRacing and country music

Crew Chief: Darren Fraley

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, Creed collected four poles, four wins and 18 top-10 finishes in 20 ARCA races en route to winning the ARCA championship.
  • Made four NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series GMS Racing starts in 2018 with a best finish of fifth in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
  • Began transitioning to stock car racing in 2016, after competing in a diverse schedule of pro late model, ARCA, Trans-Am, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, and NASCAR Xfinity Series events.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Creed is currently 12th in the NASCAR Gander Truck Series driver points standings.
  • In 17 starts this season he has posted two top fives and seven top 10s.
  • Has led 144 of his 2,515 laps completed (5.7%)
  • Average starting position, 8.5 and his average finishing position, 12.8.

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Performance:

  • Creed will be making his series track debut at CTMP this weekend.

Matt Crafton (No. 88 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150)

Birthdate: July 11, 1976

Driver’s Age: 42

Hometown: Tulare, California

Hobbies: Riding Glamis dunes in sand rails, karting

Crew Chief: Carl Joiner Jr.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he finished sixth in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings, his 12th consecutive season inside the top 10 in points. He also clinched his third-straight Playoff berth based on points performance but was eliminated in the Round of 6.
  • In 2017, he finished fourth in the Gander Trucks championship point standings making the Championship 4 for the second straight season.
  • In 2016, he scored a berth in the inaugural NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs and made it into the Championship 4 but ultimately finished runner-up in the final standings.
  • In 2015, he led series with career-best six wins, finishing third in the championship point standings.
  • In 2013 and 2014, he became the first driver in NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series history to win back-to-back championships.
  • In 2008, he earned his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win at Charlotte.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park fifth in the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs (2,053 points); 28 points behind the series standings leader Brett Moffitt and tied in points with fourth place Grant Enfinger, his ThorSport Racing teammate.
  • This is Crafton’s fourth consecutive career Gander Trucks Playoff appearance.
  • Through 17 races this season, Crafton has posted six top fives, 15 top 10s and two poles (Kansas, Charlotte).
  • Has won three stages and accumulated 11 Playoff points.
  • Has led 34 of 2,613 laps completed (1.3%)
  • 2019 average starting position, 7.6 and average finishing position, 7.2.

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Performance:

  • Crafton has made six series starts at CTMP posting three top fives and five top 10s.
  • Average starting position of 8.8 and average finish of 8.7.

Raphael Lessard (No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra)

Birthdate: July 5, 2001

Driver’s Age: 18

Hometown: Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec,  Canada

Crew Chief: Frank Kerr

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • Made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut this season at Martinsville Speedway; he started seventh and finished 14th.
  • In total has made four career Gander Trucks starts all this season – three with Kyle Busch Motorsports and one with DGR-Crosley – posting one top-10 finish (ninth at Iowa).

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently 29th in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings.
  • In four starts this season he has posted one top-10 finish (Iowa).
  • 2019 average starting position, 10.8 and average finishing position, 11.5. 

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Performance:

  • Lessard will make his Gander Trucks debut at CTMP this weekend.

Alex Tagliani (No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra)

Birthdate: October 18, 1973

Driver’s Age: 45

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Crew Chief: Ryan Fugle

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • Has made four NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series career starts – two for Brad Keselowski Racing (2014-2015) and two with Young’s Motorsports (2017-2018) – all at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park posting two poles (2014, 2015), one top five and two top 10s.
  • Made his Gander Trucks debut with Brad Keselowski Racing in 2014 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park; he started on the pole and finished 16th.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • This weekend Tagliani will be making his 2019 Gander Trucks season debut driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.  

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Performance:

  • Has made four series start at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park posting one top five and two top 10s; including his best finish of fifth in 2015.
  • Has an average starting position of 6.0 and an average finish of 12.5.
  • Has led 15 laps.

— NASCAR —