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NASCAR National Series News & Notes – Michigan & Road America


NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: FireKeepers Casino 400
The Place: Michigan International Speedway
The Date: Saturday, August 8
The Time: 4 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 3:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 312 miles (156 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 85), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 156)
2019 Race Winner: Joey Logano

NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Consumers Energy 400
The Place: Michigan International Speedway
The Date: Sunday, August 9
The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 4 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 312 miles (156 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 85), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 156)
2019 Race Winner: Kevin Harvick

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Henry 180
The Place: Road America
The Date: Saturday, August 8
The Time: 12 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 11:30 a.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 182.16 miles (45 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 14),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 29), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 45)
2019 Race Winner: Christopher Bell

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
Next Race: Henry Ford Health System 200
The Place: Michigan International Speedway
The Date: Friday, August 7
The Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 5:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (100 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 100)
2019 Race Winner: Austin Hill

NASCAR Cup Series

On Deck: A doubleheader Cup extravaganza at Michigan International Speedway

This weekend Michigan International Speedway will become just the second track in NASCAR Cup Series history to run a doubleheader at the same facility in consecutive days, joining Pocono Raceway (June 27-28, 2020). First up, is Saturday’s Firekeepers Casino 400 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, followed by Sunday’s Consumer Energy 400 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The two Cup events this weekend at Michigan International Speedway will be mirror images of each other. Both races are 156 laps each (312 miles / 400 kilometers) and each race is broken up into three stages. The first stage for both races is 40 laps, the second stage is 45 laps and the final stage is 71 laps.

Michigan International Speedway has hosted 101 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to inaugural event held on June 15, 1969. The first Cup event at Michigan was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough driving the famous Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 (Mercury).

In total the 101 NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway have produced 50 different poles winners and 38 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson holds the record for the most poles at Michigan International Speedway with 10 poles (1969, 1974 sweep, 1975, 1976, 1977 sweep, 1978 sweep and 1979). Joey Logano, the defending pole winner of the June Michigan race last season, leads all active drivers in poles at Michigan with four (2013, 2016 sweep and 2019); followed by Kurt Busch (2010, 2011 and 2018) with three.

NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in wins at Michigan as well with nine victories (1969, 1972 sweep, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 sweep, 1978). Kurt Busch (2003, 2007, 2015), Matt Kenseth (2002, 2006, 2015), Joey Logano (2013, 2016, 2019) and Kevin Harvick (2010, 2018, 2019) lead all active series drivers in wins at Michigan with three victories each. Only two drivers in series history have recorded their first NASCAR Cup Series career win at Michigan International Speedway – NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett (August 18, 1991) and Kyle Larson (August 28, 2016).

A total of 21 different organizations have won in the NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan; eight of the 21 are active this weekend.

Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Michigan with 13 victories: Mark Martin (four), Greg Biffle (four), Carl Edwards (two), Matt Kenseth (two) and Kurt Busch (one). The Wood Brothers Racing organization has the second-most series wins at Michigan with 11 victories, including the inaugural race in 1969 – David Pearson (eight wins), Cale Yarborough (two) and Dale Jarrett (one).

The first starting position in the NASCAR Cup Serie races at Michigan is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (22) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway – 21 from the pole and one from the first starting position due to qualifying being cancelled – 1985 (Bill Elliott). The most recent win from the pole at Michigan was June 2019 (Joey Logano). The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Michigan is 32nd, by NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin in the spring of 2009. The deepest in the field that an active race winner has started at Michigan is 24th, by Kurt Busch in the June of 2015.

Manufacturers will compete for Michigan Heritage Trophy

The competition has always been fierce in the NASCAR Cup Series and when that stage shifts to the OEMs (Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota) backyard, the stakes become even greater. This weekend at Michigan International Speedway the top-finishing OEM from the weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series events will be presented with the Michigan Heritage Trophy, which has been awarded to the winning manufacturer by the speedway since 2013.

In an effort to bring even greater awareness to the significance of the Heritage Trophy, this year the NASCAR Cup teams will be saluting their respective manufacturers during the course of both races, with each car featuring the decal of their manufacturer in the "contingency space," which is located on left front-quarter panel of the car. In addition, the hashtag #HeritageTrophy will be included on each car as well.

OEM Cup Winners at Michigan Since 2013
Winning Manufacturer Date of Michigan Win
Ford Sunday, June 16, 2013
Ford Sunday, August 18, 2013
Chevrolet Sunday, June 15, 2014
Chevrolet Sunday, August 17, 2014
Chevrolet Sunday, June 14, 2015
Toyota Sunday, August 16, 2015
Chevrolet Sunday, August 28, 2016
Ford Sunday, June 12, 2016
Chevrolet Sunday, June 18, 2017
Chevrolet Sunday, August 13, 2017
Ford Sunday, June 10, 2018
Ford Sunday, August 12, 2018
Ford Monday, June 10, 2019
Ford Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Heritage Trophy gives well-deserved bragging rights to the winning manufacturer of the Michigan race weekend. For the 2020 historic doubleheader, an OEM must win one or both NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway. If one OEM sweeps both races, that OEM will be declared the winner of the Heritage Trophy. If different OEMs win on August 8 and 9, then the award will go to the OEM with the most points earned by top 10 finishers of both races. If there is a tie in the points totals, then the tie breaker would fall to a total of most laps led by OEM in both races.

"The Michigan Heritage Trophy is one of the more unique and coveted prizes in NASCAR," said Michigan International Speedway President Rick Brenner. "The competitive spirit at any race, especially at MIS, isn’t just confined to the drivers, and this trophy allows the winning manufacturer to boast about their accomplishment. We are thrilled that the race teams have joined us this year in recognizing the prominence of this trophy to our sport and in the state of Michigan, and look forward to an amazing doubleheader of racing in the Cup Series this weekend."

Since 2013, Ford has won at Michigan seven times, Chevrolet has won six times and Toyota has won once. In addition, Ford has won the last four consecutive races at Michigan International Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Playoff Bubble: Six spots left with six races to go

Time is dwindling for the NASCAR Cup Series competitors not locked into the Playoffs. Just six races remain in the regular season and with 10 winners this year, six spots are left to make the postseason.

New Hampshire was good to Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola, who extended his points lead over the Playoff cutline by 11 markers, and is now 145 up, heading into the doubleheader weekend at Michigan. Almirola is the highest ranked driver without a win this season but has put up five top fives and 12 top 10s. This weekend could be an uphill battle for the Tampa, Florida native, Almirola has struggled at Michigan in the NASCAR Cup Series only posting one top-10 finish in 15 starts. He finished 17th in the June race and the 33rd in the August race last season.

Two drivers looking to rebound after losing ground in the points at New Hampshire are brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch crashed early at New Hampshire, and that relegated him to a last-place finish – his third DNF of the season. As a result, he dropped a spot in driver standings and is now 94 points up on the Playoff cutoff. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch also finished outside the top 10 last week at New Hampshire (17th) and his points cushion shrank by eight points, now 112 up on the postseason cutline. Both Busch brothers will be eager to get to Michigan this weekend as both are former winners at the 2-mile speedway. Kyle has made 30 series starts at Michigan posting one win (2011), seven top fives and 12 top 10s; including a streak of top 10s in the last six consecutive races at the track. And if you think that is impressive, Kurt has made 38 series starts at Michigan collecting three wins (2003, 2007, 2015), seven top fives and 14 top 10s. He finished runner up in the June Michigan race last season.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer increased his points cushion over 17th place Tyler Reddick by one point at New Hampshire and is now 43 points above the cutline. Bowyer’s 2020 season has produced two top fives and five top 10s. Heading into this weekend, Bowyer is probably cautiously optimistic. The Kansas native won at Michigan in 2018 and in 28 starts has 12 top-10 finishes, but last season was caught in multi-car incidents in both races resulting in back-to-back DNFs on the 2-mile track.

Wood Brothers Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto collected himself following his first DNF of the season at Kansas

2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Outlook
Rank Driver Wins Points Pts from Cutoff
1 Denny Hamlin 5 688 In On Wins
2 Kevin Harvick 4 803
3 Brad Keselowski 3 722
4 Joey Logano 2 653
5 Ryan Blaney 1 685
6 Chase Elliott 1 660
7 Martin Truex Jr. 1 648
8 Alex Bowman 1 561
9 Austin Dillon 1 466
10 Cole Custer 1 381
11 Aric Almirola 0 614 145
12 Kurt Busch 0 581 112
13 Kyle Busch 0 563 94
14 Clint Bowyer 0 512 43
15 Matt DiBenedetto 0 509 40
16 William Byron 0 484 15
17 Tyler Reddick 0 469 -15
18 Jimmie Johnson 0 459 -25
19 Erik Jones 0 453 -31
20 Michael McDowell 0 359 -125
21 Chris Buescher 0 357 -127
22 Bubba Wallace 0 356 -128
23 Christopher Bell 0 355 -129
24 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0 345 -139
25 John H. Nemechek 0 326 -158
26 Ryan Newman 0 325 -159
27 Ty Dillon 0 292 -192
28 Matt Kenseth 0 274 -210
29 Corey LaJoie 0 251 -233
30 Ryan Preece 0 216 -268

two weeks ago, to rally to his sixth top-10 finish of the season last weekend at New Hampshire. The Californian continues to hold the 15th spot in the Playoff outlook, but the solid result at New Hampshire added five points to his points cushion total (+40) over the Playoff cutoff with six races remaining in the regular season. Looking to the 2-mile track nestled in the Irish Hills, DiBenedetto has made 10 series starts at Michigan posting his career-best finish at the track (20th) last August. He finished 21st in the June race as well.

And for the second straight week, Hendrick Motorsport’s driver William Byron has clung to the 16th position in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff outlook – the final Playoff transfer spot on points. Byron’s six top 10s this year have him up 15 points on 17th place Tyler Reddick, but a winning driver over these next six races from outside the postseason cutline would bounce Byron out of the Playoffs. The young talent from North Carolina, Byron, has made four series starts at Michigan posting a track-best finish of eighth last August.

Of the drivers outside the Playoff cutoff, this weekend’s doubleheader at Michigan is an ample opportunity to capitalize on the contenders ahead of them in the standings.

Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick in 17th in the driver standings, the first spot outside the Playoffs, will be making his series track debut this weekend at Michigan. But the two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion did grab the checkered flag in the Xfinity Series at the 2-mile speedway in 2019.

Hendrick Motorsport’s driver and seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson is 18th in the driver standings 25 points behind his Hendrick teammate William Byron in 16th – the final Playoff transfer spot. In his final season of fulltime Cup competition, Johnson has been bleak in comparison to previous championship winning seasons, only putting up two top five and six top 10s thus far. But Johnson could turn his season around this weekend at Michigan, the veteran driver from California has made 36 series starts at Michigan posting one win (2014), five top fives and 13 top 10s.

Byron, Michigan native and Joe Gibbs Racing’s driver Erik Jones is still in the thick of the Playoff hunt just 31 points back from the postseason cutline with six races to go in the regular season. Jones has put up comparable numbers this season to his competitors posting five top fives and eight top 10s. But Jones has made six series starts at his home track posting just one top-five finish (third in 2017).

Front Row Motorsport’s Michael McDowell is more than 100 points outside the Playoffs (-125) with six races remaining, which doesn’t make it impossible to get in to eh Playoffs on points, but it will be tough with the level of competition in the series. McDowell has posted two top 10s and a career-best average finish of 19.4 through 20 races this season to get to this spot in the standings. McDowell has made 12 series starts at Michigan in the NASCAR Cup Series posting a career-best finish of 22nd in the August race last season

Of the rest of the Playoff eligible drivers that are more than 100 points behind the Playoff cutline, two are former winners at Michigan International Speedway – Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth.

Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman is currently 26th in the driver standings 159 points behind William Byron in the 16th and final Playoff transfer spot. Newman has only made 17 starts this season due to being sidelined for three races from his accident in the season opening Daytona 500. Newman has made 37 series starts at Michigan posting two wins (2003, 2004), six top fives and 10 top 10s.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Matt Kenseth replaced driver Kyle Larson in the No. 1 Chevrolet following the fourth race of the season, and since has posted one top five and two top 10s. Now Kenseth sits 28th in driver standings 210 points back from the Playoff cutoff. Though 210 points is not mathematically out of it, the mountain of points to make up is very steep in six races. But a win could solve all that and Michigan is one of Kenseth’s best tracks. In 38 starts at Michigan he has posted three wins (2002, 2006, 2015) 14 top fives and 20 top 10s.

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Detroit’s 12-time Grammy winning artist Cece Winans to sing virtual National Anthem – The best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, CeCe Winans, will sing the virtual National Anthem prior to the running of the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 on Saturday, August 8 at 4:00 p.m. (NBCSN).

"I am so honored to perform the national anthem for the upcoming NASCAR race in my home state of Michigan," Winans said. "I wish I could be there in person but be sure to tune-in, it’s going to be a great event!"

2019 American Idol winner Lain Hardy to also sing virtual National Anthem – The winner of the 17th season of American Idol in 2019, Laine Hardy will be performing the virtual National Anthem prior to the running of the NASCAR Cup Series Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, August 9. The race will start at 4:30 pm and will be televised nationally on NBCSN.

"I can’t believe I’m getting to sing the National Anthem before a NASCAR race," Hardy said. "Although I can’t be there in person during this time, I’m definitely looking forward to future races and watching the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. It’s going to be a great race!"

Playoff Points Adding Up Quickly - Brad Keselowski became the third driver this season to accumulate over 20 Playoff points with his win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Denny Hamlin leads the series in Playoff points this season with 29; followed by Kevin Harvick (22) and Brad Keselowski (21). What is interesting is Hamlin and Harvick reached their 20+ Playoff points through a majority of wins – Hamlin (five wins = 25 Playoff points) and Harvick (four wins = 20 Playoff points), but Keselowski’s have come at the hands of green & white checkered flags i.e. stage wins – Keselowski (three win = 15 Playoff points + 6 stage wins = 21 Playoff points). Keselowski leads the series in stage wins this season with six.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Road Course Racing in Wisconsin

The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action after a weekend off and heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for some exciting road course racing at Road America for the Henry 180 (12 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Brandon Jones won in overtime at Kansas Speedway to go back-to-back at the track and steal the victory from Austin Cindric on the final lap.

The series will take on Road America, the 4.048-mile road course with 14 turns and 171 feet of elevation changes in one lap.

Road America has been home to 10 different winners in as many starts. Michael McDowell holds the qualifying record at the track at 110.377 mph from August 16, 2016.

Chevrolet holds the record for the most wins by a manufacturer with seven and Brendan Gaughan holds the record for the most top fives at the track (four). Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier have the most top 10s (five) and the most lead changes in a race at the track came in 2011 with 12. The most laps led by a race winner was 35 in 2010 and the fewest laps led by a race winner was one in 2011.

Saturday’s Henry 180 will be 182.16 miles and 45 laps. Stage 1 will end on Stage 14 and Stage 2 will end on Lap 29. Christopher Bell won last year’s race at the track, leading 10 laps and starting from the 12th position.

Last year, road course ace Cindric finished second followed by the 2019 Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick in third, Noah Gragson in fourth and Kaz Grala rounding out the top five.

Cindric is the highest-finishing driver entered this weekend, looking to add on his fourth win of the season.

Eyes on the Cutline: Playoff outlook heading to Road America

After a weekend break for the Xfinity Series, they’re back on track this weekend at a 4.048-mile road course.

With six drivers locked into the Playoffs with a win, spots seven through 12 are still up for grabs and the competition is getting crazier each week.

Ross Chastain holds the seventh spot in the driver Playoff standings as the first driver without a win. Justin Allgaier is right behind Chastain in eighth and Michael Annett is in ninth. Riley Herbst, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, is hanging on to the 10th spot while Ryan Sieg is sitting in 11th. Brandon Brown is holding onto the final Playoff spot.

Rank Driver Points Race Wins Stage Wins Pts from Cutoff
1 Chase Briscoe 718 5 3 In On Wins
2 Austin Cindric 722 3 7
3 Noah Gragson 666 2 8
4 Harrison Burton # 587 2 0
5 Brandon Jones 500 2 2
6 Justin Haley 592 1 1
7 Ross Chastain 662 0 0 320
8 Justin Allgaier 586 0 7 244
9 Michael Annett 510 0 0 168
10 Riley Herbst # 410 0 0 68
11 Ryan Sieg 408 0 2 66
12 Brandon Brown 374 0 0 32
13 Jeremy Clements 342 0 0 -32
14 Myatt Snider # 325 0 0 -49
15 Alex Labbe 301 0 0 -73

Jeremy Clements has seen a lot of success in recent weeks, bumping himself up right below the cutline in 13th.

Myatt Snider, another rookie, is in 14th, 49 points back from the cutline and Alex Labbe is in 15th.

Noah Gragson has the most stage wins of any driver in the series with eight and his JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier and Team Penske’s Austin Cindric are tied with seven.

Hey, Rookies!

Sunoco Rookie of the Year
Rookies Points
Harrison Burton 587
Riley Herbst 410
Jesse Little 301
Joe Graf Jr. 227
Myatt Snider 173
Kody Vanderwal 105

Harrison Burton finished third two weekends ago at Kansas Speedway, making him the highest-finishing rookie and awarding him the Rookie of the Race award. Burton has 12 rookie awards this season.

Riley Herbst was the second-highest finishing rookie at Kansas in ninth.

Luckily for Herbst, he is still holding onto his second-place ranking in the rookie standings.

Looking ahead to Road America, all of the rookies will be making their track debut. In comparing the results from the Indianapolis Road Course for the rookies, Snider was the highest finisher in 16th followed by Jesse Little in 18th.

Burton doesn’t have to worry about making his way into the Playoffs since he’s already won this season, but Herbst and Snider, who are still fighting for their spots, need a clean weekend at the road course.

Pit-road procedure update

This weekend’s stand-alone even for the Xfinity Series at Road America will have a modified version of pit-road procedures that were announced in January.

The new rules include that the field will be frozen at the time of caution. When pit road opens, all cars may pit and teams may add fuel OR change up to four tires.

Four tires and fuel would require two pit stops to complete a full pit cycle. Stage breaks will consist of a full pit cycle, which means two opportunities to pit to add fuel or change tires will pit road is open.

NASCAR is allowed to call a quickie yellow flag during non-stage breaks, giving drivers one opportunity to pit to add fuel OR change tires.

Fuel only may be added during green-flag stops, with pit stops for tire changes on green-flag stops only permitted by NASCAR as a result of a flat tire or damage.

There’s a minimum 60-second time limit for teams making green-flag stops and an 80-second maximum time for teams making yellow-flag stops. (The time is measured from yellow line to yellow line.)

If there is bad weather, teams will be permitted to change from dry-weather tires to wet tires under yellow- or green-flag conditions.

Various road course ringers, newbies set to run Road America

It’s not something new for a NASCAR Xfinity Series team to field specialists for road course races. This weekend’s race is no different.

IndyCar driver RC Enerson is set to make his Xfinity Series debut in the No. 7 SS-Green Light Racing Chevrolet. Enerson has four career IndyCar starts, all at road course races and at his latest race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, he finished 17th. His career-best finish was at Watkins Glen International in 2016.

Jesse Iwuji, a NAVY officer and veteran of the ARCA Menards Series West, has made a handful of starts in the Gander Trucks but will make his Xfinity Series debut this weekend for MBM Motorsports in the No. 13. Iwuji’s Gander Trucks debut was also on a road course, finishing 25th at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2018.

NASCAR veteran Mike Wallace will return to the No. 0 JD Motorsports Chevrolet for the second time this season. He ran the Indianapolis Road Course, finishing 24th for the team and he will also run the Daytona Road Course the following weekend.

Andy Lally will pilot the No. 2 Our Motorsports Chevrolet at Road America and the Daytona Road Course, too. Lally, who is the 2011 Cup Series Rookie of the Year, has competed on various road course in the Xfinity Series. He has five top 10s in 11 starts and had best finish of fifth at Mid-Ohio in 2017. This weekend will be his first start since 2018.

Jade Buford will be in the No. 6 for JD Motorsports. Buford, an IMSA racer, finished 14th in his NASCAR debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. B.J. McLeod has been the main driver in the No. 6 this season.

Preston Pardus will join DGM Racing in the No. 36 Chevrolet this weekend. Pardus was the 2017 SCCA Spec Miata National Champion. He has made three Xfinity Series starts, all at road course races. At Indianapolis, he finished in the top 10 for the first time.

Scott Heckert will replace Vinnie Miller in the No. 78 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet at Road America. Heckert has three ARCA East wins at road courses and six of his eight Xfinity Series tarts were on road courses. He got a career-best finish of 13th at Watkins Glen International last season.

AJ Allmendinger will also be back this weekend for Kaulig Racing. He has run a part-time schedule for the organization in 2020 and scored his first NASCAR oval win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in June. He also finished fourth at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Iwuji to make Xfinity debut: LCDR Jesse Iwuji will make his Xfinity Series debut this weekend at Road America in the No. 13 MileMarker10 MBM Motorsports Chevrolet. Iwuji is the only current driver at the national level of NASCAR to have served his country. In July, he also earned a promotion in the US Navy moving from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Reserves. Iwuji has made nine starts in the Gander Trucks over three years with a best finish of 17th in 2019 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Earl Bamber making debut: Two-time Le Mans 24 race winner Earl Bamber will be making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut for Richard Childress Racing at the Daytona Road Course in the No. 21 Chevrolet. The team has partnered with KCMG for the event. Bamber has experience at the road course having scored four podiums in the Rolex 24 at the track. "I’ve dreamed about competing in NASCAR my entire life, so I am so thankful to Richard Childress, KCMG and everyone who has played a role in creating this opportunity for me," Bamber said in a press release.

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

On the road to Michigan for Gander Trucks

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series had a weekend break last weekend after a historic weekend at Kansas Speedway.

The Gander Trucks competed in their first ever doubleheader weekend at Kansas, where Matt Crafton snapped his winless streak and Austin Hill got his long-awaited first win of the season.

The series will head to Michigan International Speedway for a Friday evening race, the Henry Ford Health System 200 (6 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Austin Hill won last season’s Gander Trucks race at Michigan starting from sixth-place.

Michigan International Speedway is a 2-mile track with 18 degrees of banking in corners, 12 degrees of banking on the frontstretch and five degrees of banking on the backstretch. The frontstretch is 3,600 feet long and the backstretch is 2,242 feet long.

Johnny Sauter holds the race record in a Toyota at 161.110 mph from August 18, 2014.

Greg Biffle, Travis Kvapil and Brett Moffitt have the most Gander Trucks wins at Michigan with two, Crafton has the most poles (three) and Kyle Busch has the most top fives (eight). Busch and Crafton are tied for the most top 10s (nine). Only one race has been won from the pole position and it was in 2007 by Kvapil.

Toyota has the most wins by a manufacturer at the track with eight. Jack Roush is the winningest truck owner with five.

Friday night’s race will be 200 miles and 100 laps. Stage 1 will end on Lap 20 and Stage 2 will end on Lap 40.

Triple Truck Challenge is back!

The Triple Truck Challenge is returning his year after a successful debut last season. This year, the program will start at the Daytona International Speedway road course at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 16.

The second race will take place at Dover International Speedway and the third race of the challenge will be at World Wide Technology Raceway at gateway on August 30.

This year’s rules will copy last season. The drivers will compete for cash prizes:

  • $50,000 bonus for the race winner of any of the three events
  • If a driver wins two of the three events, they’re awarded an extra $50,000, totaling $150,000
  • Win all three events and take home an additional $300,000 for a total of $500,000 in prize money.

Greg Biffle came out of retirement in 2019 to win the first Triple Truck Challenge event at Texas Motor Speedway for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Brett Moffitt won at Iowa Speedway and Ross Chastain won at Gateway.

"The Trip" was originally supposed to take place beginning April 18 at Richmond Raceway and continuing into May at Dover and Charlotte Motor Speedway, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic it was rescheduled.

Playoff picture after Kansas doubleheader

The doubleheader weekend at Kansas Speedway for the Gander Trucks put the Playoff picture into perspective for the series.

There were two new winners at Kansas in Matt Crafton and Austin Hill, claiming their spot in the Playoffs. Prior to that, there were only two drivers locked in – Grant Enfinger and Sheldon Creed. Now, there are only six spots left up for grabs.

Rank Driver Points Race Wins Playoff Pts Pts from Cutoff
1 Grant Enfinger 320 2 11 In On Wins
2 Austin Hill 394 1 6
3 Matt Crafton 321 1 5
4 Sheldon Creed 319 1 8
5 Ben Rhodes 351 0 0 84
6 Christian Eckes # 344 0 0 77
7 Zane Smith # 344 0 3 77
8 Brett Moffitt 325 0 2 58
9 Derek Kraus # 294 0 0 27
10 Todd Gilliland 289 0 0 22
11 Tyler Ankrum 267 0 0 -22
12 Johnny Sauter 236 0 0 -53
13 Tanner Gray # 230 0 0 -59
14 Stewart Friesen 218 0 0 -71
15 Raphael Lessard # 217 0 0 -72

With 18 races in the books, former series champion Johnny Sauter is below the Playoff cutline after a tough few weekends. He currently sits in 12th, 53 points back from the final Playoff spot. Tyler Ankrum dropped below the cutline after Crafton and Hill secured their Playoff spots at Kansas and is now sitting in 11th.

GMS Racing adds Kris Wright to ARCA, Gander Trucks roster

GMS Racing announced this week that Kris Wright will run a partial schedule for the team in 2020, piloting the No. 21 Chevrolet in the ARCA Menards Series and the No. 24 Chevrolet in the Gander Trucks.

He will make his ARCA Menards Series debut with the team this weekend at Michigan International Speedway and will make his Gander Trucks debut on August 16 at the Daytona Road Course.

Wright made his ARCA West debut in June at the Utah Motorsports Campus doubleheader, finishing second and third in the two events. He also finished second in the LMP2 class in the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Wright, who is 26 years old, won the IMSA Prototype Challenge Championship in 2018 and was the IMSA Prototype Challenge Rookie of the Year in 2017.

The ARCA Menards Series race at Michigan, the VizCom 200, will be on Sunday, August 9 at 1 p.m. ET on MAVTV and NBC Sports Gold TrackPass.

In a press release, Wright said, "I’m really excited to be making my first ARCA and NASCAR starts with GMS and Chevrolet. You always want to be doing it with the best team. I’m a Chevy guy from birth so it’s a dream come true."

David Gravel making Gander Trucks debut

David Gravel made his stock car racing debut in the ARCA Menards Series season-opener at Daytona International Speedway in February and is set to make his Gander Trucks debut this Friday at Michigan International Speedway.

He was originally scheduled to make his debut at Eldora Speedway until the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the race for the year. He will now make the switch from dirt to asphalt in the No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet.

Gravel has 54 career World of Outlaw wins to his name and he was the 2019 Knoxville Nationals champion. The 28-year-old was the first driver since 1992 to collect a perfect 500 score at the Knoxville Nationals.

Gravel finished 12th at Daytona in the season-opener for the ARCA Menards Series after starting ninth.

ChevyGoods.com will be on board the No. 24 with Gravel.

— NASCAR —