Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.
NASCAR will become one of the first professional sports across North America to resume action following a two-month hiatus because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The first event, closed off to fans and other non-essential personal, will take place at 3:30 p.m. ET. live on FOX from the Darlington Raceway.
Two days later, on Tuesday, May 19th, the NASCAR XFINITY Series will resume with a 200-mile event also at Darlington Raceway. That event will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET live on FOX Sports 1. The day following, on May 20th from Darlington at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1, the cup series will hit the track for a second time at the famed oval.
The sanctioning body will then head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for several events as well beginning with the historic Coca-Cola 600 cup series race on Sunday, May 24th at 6:00 p.m. ET. on FOX. The NASCAR XFINITY Series will race the following day at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1.
On May 26th, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will resume action at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Tuesday night feature will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET. and air live on FOX Sports 1. The truck series last hit the track on February 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The cup series will cap off these scheduled events thus far at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday, May 27th at 8:00 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1.
Except for the Coca-Cola 600, where qualifying will take place, there will be no practices or qualifying held. In addition, no fans will be allowed to attend the noted above races.
NASCAR will expand the field size in XFINITY from 36 to 40 and from 32 to 40 in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series for events in which qualifying will not take place. Race winners will still receive 40 points for a win while the 36th-place finisher in the NXS will get one point. 37th to 40th will also take home one point. 32nd to 40th place finishers in trucks will get five points. The NASCAR Cup Series field will remain at 40 entries.
With essential personal only allowed, NASCAR will require several restrictions to drivers and team members for these events. The restrictions include masks and social distancing as well as required temperature checks when entering the premises.
NASCAR issued a rule bulletin last week outlining possible penalties if an individual fails to comply with NASCAR’s COVID-19 protocols. In the cup series the fine can range from $10,000 to $50,000. Over in the NASCAR XFINITY Series it can range from $5,000 to $25,000 and $2,500 to $12,500 in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
The NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series were last on-track at Phoenix Raceway in March. Joey Logano scored his second win in 2020 after leading the field for 60 laps. Brandon Jones took the checkered flag the last time out in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at the one-mile Arizona oval. The win marked his second career trip to victory lane.
Kyle Busch visited victory lane the last time out for the truck series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Vegas native led the field for 108 laps in the second event of 2020. Grant Enfinger won the season opener a week earlier at Daytona International Speedway.
Top five in cup series standings going into Darlington this week: Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson.
Top five in XFINITY Series standings through four races include: Harrison Burton, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones and Ross Chastain.
Top five in Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series standings with two races complete: Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes, Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed.
NASCAR has yet announced its plans for racing beyond the month of May.
NASCAR on Tuesday sent out a competition update regarding how lineups and pit stalls will be determined for these events. You can read all the details from that announcement below:
Pit Selection and Starting Lineup:
May 17 (NASCAR Cup Series)
- Order based on charter team owner points followed by open team owner points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.
- Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
- Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
- Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
- Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points in owner points
May 19 (NASCAR Xfinity Series)
- Order based on Phoenix qualifying.
- Positions 1 -12: The first 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 12th using a random draw.
- Positions 12 – 24: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 12th- 24th using a random draw.
- Starting positions 25 – 36: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 25th -36th using a random draw.
- Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 37th – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.
May 20 (NASCAR Cup Series)
- Order based on finishing position from the May 17th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.
- Positions 1-20: Invert the top 20 from the May 17th race at Darlington
- Positions 21-40: In finishing order from the May 17th race at Darlington, followed by new entries
May 24 (NASCAR Cup Series)
- Order based on finishing position from the May 20th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.
- Based on qualifying
May 25 (NASCAR Xfinity Series)
- Order based on finishing position from the May 19th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points.
- Same procedure as Darlington
May 26 (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series)
- Order based on Las Vegas qualifying.
- Positions 1 -10: The first 10 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 10th using a random draw.
- Positions 11 – 21: The next 11 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 11- 21 using a random draw.
- positions 22 – 32: The next 11 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 22nd – 32nd using a random draw.
- Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 33rd – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.
May 27 (NASCAR Cup Series)
- Order based on qualifying for the May 24th race at Charlotte, followed by new entries in order of points. If qualifying is rained out, pit selection will be determined by finishing order on May 24. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.
- Positions 1-20: Invert the top 20 from the May 24th race at Charlotte
- Positions 21-40: In finishing order from the May 24th race at Charlotte, followed by new entries
Modified Competition Caution Procedures:
With the absence of practice, NASCAR will be modifying its Competition Caution procedures to allow teams additional time for adjustments.
The competition cautions will occur at or around the following laps:
- NASCAR Cup Series
- Darlington – May 17: Lap 30
- Darlington – May 20: TBD
- Charlotte – May 24: TBD
- Charlotte – May 27: TBD
- NASCAR Xfinity Series
- Darlington – May 19: Lap 15
- Charlotte – May 25: TBD
- NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Charlotte – May 26: TBD
Below are the procedures for the modified competition caution:
- Field will be frozen at the time of the competition caution
- Field will be assembled behind the pace car
- The running order lead lap / lap down will be established and the free pass sent
- Wave around rule is not in effect
- Pit road will open to the top 20 – car must beat the pace car off pit road to retain freeze position
- Pit road will open to the next 20 – car must beat the pace car off pit road to retain freeze position
- Above pit cycle repeats – each team allowed to pit two times
- Re-establish line-up per freeze and restart race
Infractions under modified competition caution:
- Not beating the pace car off pit road results in loss of lap and restarting at tail of the field
- Pitting more than twice or out of sequence results in restarting at the tail of the field
- All current pit road rules are in effect
May 11, 2020
Updated on Xfinity Series and Gander Trucks Field Size for Darlington and Charlotte:
For Xfinity Series and Gander Trucks races for which there is no qualifying scheduled to give teams the opportunity to earn their position in the starting lineup, the field size will be expanded to a maximum of 40 participants in each series to allow additional opportunities for teams to race.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
- Maximum of 40 (up four positions from 36)
- Currently 36th finishing position receives one point
- Under expanded field size, 36th to the balance of the field will be awarded one point
- Note: Post entries will not be eligible for the event.
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
- Maximum of 40 (up eight positions from 32)
- Currently 32nd finishing position receives five points
- Under expanded field size, 32nd to the balance of the field will be awarded five points
- Note: Post entries will not be eligible for the event.
Below is a statement from NASCAR, attributed to Scott Miller – NASCAR Senior Vice President, Competition:
"This move is critical for the long-term health of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. There are many new full-time and part-time team owners who have made significant commitments to our sport and secured sponsorship to participate this season. NASCAR wants to enable these teams to fulfill their commitments and grow their businesses without being affected by circumstances out of their control."
May 8, 2020
Darlington & Charlotte Stage Lengths:
May 17 (NASCAR Cup Series): 90 / 185 / 293 laps
May 19 (NASCAR Xfinity Series): 45 / 90 / 147 laps
May 20 (NASCAR Cup Series): 60 / 125 / 228 laps
May 24 (NASCAR Cup Series): 100 / 200 / 300 / 400 laps
May 25 (NASCAR Xfinity Series): 45 / 90 / 200 laps
May 26 (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series): 30 / 60 / 134 laps
May 27 (NASCAR Cup Series): 55 / 115 / 208 laps
Sam Mayer dominated the ARCA Menards Series West opener on Thursday at The Bullring in Las Vegas driving the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet. Mayer, a 17-year old racer from Franklin, Wisconsin, led the Star Nursery 150 for all but 13 circuits en route to his first career West victory.
“This is so special. I can’t thank GMS Racing enough for bringing out the best car out here today,” said Mayer after the race in victory lane. “I’m gonna enjoy this one for sure.”
With no pit road and no scheduled breaks to change tires, Mayer and the field had to conserve breaks and tires throughout the race. Thanks to a late caution, Mayer was able to cool his breaks just enough to finish the 56.25-mile event.
“About halfway through the race my breaks pretty much went away. Thank God that caution came out because I was able to cool them down,” Mayer continued. “It was a tough race and this place is a lot harder on breaks than I thought it’d be. That’s what makes a race team and a race car driver – perseverance through adversity.”
Jesse Love was the only competition upfront for Mayer in Thursday’s Star Nursery 150. Love, making his West series debut, led the way for 13 circuits in his No. 19 NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota after starting second on the leaderboard.
“Probably an A without the plus on the end,” Love said after the race when asked to grade his night. “We started off maybe a little bit too snug but we’re gonna come back swinging next time. We were way better than the rest of the guys running for a West championship.”
Mayer, the 2019 NASCAR K&N East Champion, leaves Las Vegas sitting high atop a mountain as he ended the night victorious last weekend in the ARCA Menards Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
Blaine Perkins rounded out the top three finishers on Thursday in Las Vegas. The third-place finish gives Perkins his second top five finish in the ARCA Menards Series West division.
“We had a really good No. 9 Sunrise Ford. I’m just really looking forward to the rest of the year,” Perkins said. “This is my first podium finish so I’m just looking forward to this year and Irwindale.”
Gracie Trotter and Trevor Huddleston also took home top-five finishes.
Rest of the top 10 included Lawless Alan, Jack Wood, Todd Souza, Austin Reed and Gio Scelzi.
Two teammates brought out the first caution flag of the evening on lap 25 in turn two. The No. 12 of Lawless Alan got into Gio Scelzi to send Scelzi around. Alan continued in his No. 12 machine.
On lap 64 Austin Reed went around in turn two. Reed, driving the No. 7 car, continued without any further incident.
On lap 80 Zach Telford stalled on the track to bring out the third yellow flag of the evening. Telford did not continue and finished 16th as a result of a mechanical malfunction.
On lap 138, with 12 laps remaining, debris was spotted on the racing surface to bring out the fourth and final yellow flag of the night. With seven laps to go, with Mayer and Love restarting in first and second, the field went back green.
The next race for the ARCA Menards Series West will be at Irwindale Speedway on March 28.
The Star Nursery 150 will air Tuesday, February 25th at 6:00 p.m. ET. on NBCSN.
Grant Enfinger survived NASCAR Overtime to win the season opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday evening. Enfinger, trading paint with driver Jordan Anderson coming to the checkered flag, edged Anderson by 0.010 seconds to score his third career Gander RV Outdoors Truck Series victory.
Anderson, driving for his own racing team, walked away with his best career finish in the series with a runner-up. His last top 10 run came at Talladega Superspeedway in 2018 with a seventh-place finish.
Enfinger, after dodging a 14-truck melee that sent the 100-lap event into NASCAR overtime, has 29 top five and 54 top 10 finishes in 84 career starts.
Codie Rohrbaugh ended the night with his best finish of third in the series on Friday. The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet now has two finishes inside the top 10 with his last coming at Martinsville Speedway in the fall of 2019.
Derek Kraus and Natalie Decker rounded out the top five.
Rest of the top 10 featured Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter, Ross Chastain, Sheldon Creed and Jason White.
The race had three caution flags that involved several drivers throughout the event. The first came out on lap 15 on the frontstretch that featured nine trucks. Ty Majeski landed on his roof and skidded a long distance before stopping upside down on the apron of the speedway. NASCAR red-flagged the event for seven minutes and 59 seconds to flip the truck over. Majeski climbed out of his damaged truck and walked to an awaiting ambulance.
Cautions two and three were for scheduled stage breaks at laps 20 and 40. Pole sitter Riley Herbst took stage one while eventual race winner Grant Enfinger claimed stage two.
Eleven trucks tangled in turn two bringing out the fourth caution of the night. The incident involved most notably Brett Moffitt, Christian Eckes, Sheldon Creed, Derek Kraus, Natalie Decker and Riley Herbst.
The field went back green on lap 75 and stayed green just before Grant Enfinger took the white flag in regulation on lap 98. 14 trucks piled into each other as the field raced off turn two eliminating several contenders from the victory. Some of those involved were Ben Rhodes, Johnny Sauter, Stewart Friesen, Jesse Little, Matt Crafton and others.
Rhodes led 17 circuits prior to the incident and had one of the best runs going before being knocked out of the event. Other lap leaders involved were Stewart Friesen and Riley Herbst.
The next race for the series will take place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 21. The Strat 200 will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET. live on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio.
Sam Mayer walked away victorious on Monday in the ARCA Menards Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway. The 2019 NASCAR K&N East Champion started sixth on the leaderboard and led 28 of the 175 circuits. The victory will mark his fifth career win in the East division.
“I was riding behind him saving tires cause I knew he hadn’t pitted yet,” said winner Sam Mayer in victory lane. I’m definitely going to enjoy this one, beating Ty (Gibbs), and all these other people. Their team is amazing, and beating them is definitely something to be said.”
Mayer held off hard charging Derek Griffith in the closing laps of the 84-mile event. Griffith, piloting the No. 2 Chad Bryant Racing Ford and making his series debut, was popped for pulling up to pit and sent to the rear of the field prior to a restart with a handful of laps left. Before the penalty, Griffith led 144 laps.
“Definitely,” Griffith said after the race when asked if he could’ve caught Sam Mayer with five more laps. “Man, that thing was HOOKED UP, and we didn’t take tires. These General Tires held up really good.”
Mayer leaves the season opener with 12 career top five and top 10 finishes in the East division.
Ty Gibbs rounded out the top three finishers on Monday. The driver of the No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota started fourth and led the field for five laps.
Nick Sanchez and Giovanni Bromante rounded out the top five.
Stephen Nasse, Corey Heim, Parker Retzlaff, Chase Cabre and Max McLaughlin rounded out the top 10.
The race remained calm with single-car incidents until lap 145 when three cars tangled in turn four. Tanner Gray, Mason Diaz and Max McLaughlin came off turn four three wide following a restart on lap 144 and simply ran out of racing room. Tanner Gray’s No. 17 Ford went on its side against the outside retaining wall damaging the catch-fence before landing back on all four wheels. The incident resulted in a lengthy red flag period for fence repair.
Gray finished 18th while Diaz finished 17th as a result of the melee. McLaughlin continued and finished 10th on the lead lap.
Tonight’s race will air on NBCSN at 1:00 p.m. ET. on February 14.
The ARCA Menards Series East will return at Five Flags Speedway on March 14. The event will air live on NBC TrackPass Gold at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Michael Self celebrated in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday piloting the No. 25 Toyota with sponsor Sinclair Lubricants. Self, driving for Venturini Motorsports, started on the pole and led 60 of the 80 laps to score his eighth career win in the series.
Self led the first 21 circuits of the event before coming down pit road. The now two-time Daytona winner in the ARCA Racing Series fell to eighth on the leaderboard for the restart on lap 23.
The driver from Utah regained the top spot while under the caution flag on lap 41 and held the lead for the rest of the way.
Self, with 40 career ARCA Racing Series starts, leaves the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway with 26 top five and 27 top 10 finishes.
Hailie Deegan sat 0.125-seconds behind race winner Michael Self in the finishing order on Saturday. Deegan, driving the No. 4 Monster Energy Ford, restarted third on the final restart on lap 75. Looking for her first career ARCA Racing Series win, Deegan took the runner-up position one circuit later on lap 76.
She’ll leave the 2.5-mile oval in South Florida with her second top five and fifth top 10 finish.
Drew Dollar rounded out the top three finishers in the Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona. Dollar, piloting the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota, started the 200-mile race in fifth. The driver from Atlanta sat second early on before being popped for a pit road penalty that relegated him to the 20th spot for 14 laps.
The No. 15 crew gained 10 positions on lap 39 as a result of a caution flag – putting them 10th on the leaderboard.
Sean Corr and Thad Moffitt rounded out the top five.
Jason White, Riley Herbst, Willie Mullins, Bret Holmes and Scott Melton rounded out the top 10.
The next event for the series will be at Phoenix Raceway on March 6th at 7:00 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1.
NASCAR unveiled rule changes on Tuesday in preparation for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. The rule changes include changes to downforce at road course and small short tracks one mile in length or shorter. NASCAR hopes that these changes will improve the on-track product going forward.
The changes include the rear spoiler, front splitter overhang and alterations to radiator pan. The new package will be used at six oval tracks and three road courses in 2020.
“When we consider changes to the aero package, we often can look back on our playbook, if you will, from seasons past,” Probst told NASCAR.com, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Innovation and Racing Development. “And there’s obviously some trade-offs that you make between introducing something completely new that the industry has never seen versus something that we have run before where we have a playbook from our side and (teams) have setup books from their end. We felt like we were going to look at aero packages that we have run in the past, and looking back at a lot of competitive metrics that we track, we feel like the 2017 levels of downforce on those types of tracks had pretty good side-by-side racing that our fans enjoyed.
Specs: (via NASCAR.com)
- A significantly smaller rear spoiler, which shrinks from an 8-inch height to 2.75 inches.
- The front splitter’s overhang will now measure a quarter-inch (down from 2 inches), with approximately 2-inch wings (reduced from 10.5 inches).
- Alterations to the radiator pan, removing its vertical fencing in an effort to reduce front-end downforce. The dimensions of the pan remain the same.
The six tracks that will see the new changes include Bristol, Dover, Martinsville, New Hampshire, Phoenix Raceway and Richmond. The three road course events include Charlotte Roval, Sonoma and Watkins Glen.
“Our first and foremost core goal is to deliver great racing, and I think that we constantly evaluate the things that we do on the race track, however and wherever we need to, to improve that situation for them,” said John Probst, “And as part of our normal ongoing critique of ourselves and how we’re doing, we just felt like this was a good opportunity for us to improve the on-track product at the short tracks and road courses.”
Stewart Friesen locked himself into the Round of 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday by winning the Lucas Oil 150 at ISM Raceway. Friesen, who will race for a championship next week in South Florida, led 44 of the 150 circuits en route to his second career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win.
The win did not come easy for the driver from Canada as he was popped for a start violation at the initial start of the race. Friesen, the second-place starter, beat pole sitter Austin Hill to the start-finish line and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Luckily for Friesen, second-place finisher Brandon Jones brought out the first yellow in turn two on lap six that sent Friesen to the rear instead of a pass-through on pit road.
Fresen goes into the season-finale next week with 12 top five and 16 top 10 finishes in 2019.
Brandon Jones, winner of stage two, started seventh on the leaderboard and led 36 of the 150 circuits. The driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports, making his fifth truck series appearance of 2019, sat 0.860 seconds behind the winner and finished stage one in ninth.
Chandler Smith made his fourth appearance in the series at ISM Raceway in 2019. The driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports will leave the one-mile oval with a third-place finish following a sixth-place start.
Ben Rhodes, winner of stage one, and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top five.
Matt Crafton, Harrison Burton, Johnny Sauter, Ross Chastain and Brett Moffitt rounded out the top 10.
Four drivers move into the Round of 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway while two drivers were eliminated on Friday at ISM Raceway. Moving on will be winner Stewart Friesen, reigning series champion Brett Moffitt, Ross Chastain and two-time series champion Matt Crafton. Eliminated was 13th-place finisher Austin Hill and 26th-place finisher Tyler Ankrum.
The series will head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 2019 season finale on November 15th. The Ford EcoBoost 200 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Derek Kraus will start on pole for Saturday’s NAPA ENEOS 150 at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, CA. Kraus, piloting the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, earned his eighth career K&N West pole at the half-mile paved oval.
The driver from Wisconsin enters the night leading the K&N West driver standings by 40 points over second-place qualifier Trevor Huddleston. Huddleston sat 0.064 seconds behind Kraus on the leaderboard
Kraus enters the penultimate race of 2019 with four victories, nine top fives and 11 top 10 finishes.
Hailie Deegan rounded out the top three qualifiers in the No. 19 NAPA Power Premium / Monster Toyota. Deegan posted an 18.363 and sat 0.081 seconds behind the pole winner.
Deegan enters Kern County Raceway with six top five and nine top 10 finishes along with two wins.
Brittney Zamora and Jagger Jones rounded out the top five in qualifying.
The NAPA ENEOS 150 will air live on FansChoice.TV at 10:00 p.m. ET.
|LAPS:150 LAPS, 75 MILES|
|TIME: 10:00 P.M. ET.|
|BREAK: LAP 75|
|HALFWAY: LAP 75|
|TV: FansChoiceTV (LIVE)|
|EVENT HASHTAG: #KNWest / #NAPAENEOS150|
Todd Gilliland left Martinsville Speedway on Saturday with his first career NASCAR National Series victory in a thrilling finish on the last lap. Gilliland, piloting the No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, started the afternoon 11th and finished stage one in 11th and stage two in 12th.
“It feels amazing. This place is really hard to win at. This Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra is not as pretty as we hoped it would be when we crossed the start-finish line, but man, it looks even better with water and Gatorade on it,” said Gilliland after the race. “Can’t thank JBL, Toyota, all the fans enough. Thank you guys for sitting around. I think that was a good finish. I don’t really know. Luckily we were out front. Just wish we could’ve been a little bit faster all weekend, but as a driver that’s what you always hope for and this thing was fast enough today.”
Jordan Anderson, Gus Dean and Natalie Decker tangled in turn two with four circuits remaining to send the event into NASCAR overtime. Gilliland later held off Ross Chastain on the restart to win the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at the historic track. Chastain, looking to advance into the Round of 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finished second.
Gilliland will go into ISM Raceway with six top five and 13 top 10 finishes.
“I’d say we didn’t have quite the speed just overall. To start the race, I was really tight. We made one pit stop and made it a lot, a lot better where I could contend for probably top five and then we were in a wreck, knocked the nose in, knocked the whole right-side in,” Gilliland later added. “We were going to stay out, but we decided that the tires were probably rubbed, so we came in and got four fresh tires and made even more adjustments. Man, I think we made our truck a ton better throughout the race, played the pace of the whole race really well. After we got that last set of tires, just picked people off kind of methodically. Forty laps is a long time here. Even at the end when we were up in like fourth or fifth. It was just about controlling it from there and just being smart.”
Chastain will leave the 0.526-mile oval with his ninth top five and 17th top 10 finish of 2019. The driver of the No. 45 CarShield Chevrolet finished stage one in 10th and fourth in stage two and led 68 of the 201 circuits.
Johnny Sauter sat third when the checkered flag waved on Saturday. The Wisconsin native started sixth and led one circuit in his No. 13 Tenda Heal Ford – earning his fourth top five of the season.
Grant Enfinger and Timmy Hill rounded out the top five.
Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, Danny Bohn, Jeb Burton and Codie Rohrbaugh took home finishes inside the top 10.
Several NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff drivers found themselves caught in calamity or technical issues in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200. Matt Crafton suffered a battery issue that put the No. 88 Menards Ford eight laps down. The two-time champion in the series went on to finish 23rd.
Playoff driver Brett Moffitt, winner of stage one and reigning series champion, led 80 laps before his day ended on lap 122. Moffitt tangled with eight other vehicles in turn two that ended the day for the No. 24 Chevrolet team. Tyler Dippel and Sam Mayer had their days end as a result of the incident.
Johnny Sauter and Stewart Friesen later tangled on lap 150 in turn two. Both drivers continued and later finished third and sixth on the leaderboard.
The series will have another off weekend before they return at ISM Raceway on November 8. The Lucas Oil 150 will air live on FS1 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Kaulig Racing and Ross Chastain announced a deal last Tuesday that will put Chastain behind the wheel of the No. 10 Chevrolet full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2020. The deal means that the small XFINITY team will field two full-time entries next season with Justin Haley in its No. 11 Chevrolet.
The deal comes while Chastain seeks a driver championship in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series – piloting the No. 45 Chevrolet with Niece Motorsports. Chastain spoke at Kansas Speedway on how the deal in 2020 with Kaulig Racing will help him confidence wise while racing for a championship in the truck series.
"This is the most confidence I’ve ever had- I sleep better at night. I still don’t sleep great, but better at night than I ever had. Just hearing the confidence in my guys and Chris and everyone at Nutrien Ag Solution, as we’re here for the long haul. Short term, more races in the 10 car here at Texas and those truck races; we have to go execute. And we feel like the confidence at Niece Motorsports is high. The parts and pieces, just like Chris and Matt; what Al Niece have given my group, with the No. 45 and 44, what they’ve given us to go race is everything we need."
Four of the five last Gander Outdoors Truck Series races have ended in a top-five finish for the Florida native – including a trip to victory lane at Michigan International Speedway. Chastain later took home two runner-up finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway along with a third-place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Chastain’s day was cut short the last time out because of an accident at Talladega Superspeedway. The driver of the No. 45 Chevrolet started 17th and finished 22nd due to an incident involving nine other trucks in turn four.
“I love racing at Martinsville,” said Chastain on the upcoming race at Martinsville. “This is a tough, fun track and I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s race. We have a little bit of ground to make up after what happened at Talladega, so I’m going to do everything I can to put this CarShield Chevrolet in Victory Lane and lock these Niece Motorsports boys and girls into the final round of the playoffs.”
In addition to the No. 45 Chevrolet in the truck series, the driver competed in numerous starts across the NASCAR XFINITY and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season with Kaulig Racing and JD Motorsports; along with Premium Motorsports in the cup series.
In 18 races behind the wheel of a NASCAR XFINITY Series car, Chastain made a trip to victory lane at Daytona International Speedway in July with Kaulig Racing, along with four top 10 finishes.
Chris Rice, co-owner of Kaulig Racing, spoke where the team stands as they close 2019 and look ahead to 2020 with two full-time XFINITY Series entries.
“We hired AJ Allmendinger to come in. I know our race team is not ready to win at certain racetracks, so we need help to do that,” said Rice. “Justin Haley, somebody that can be so good at making points and doing things, and we get into the playoffs and we kind of failed him. And I have to pick the guys up"
Kaulig Racing, in 2019, goes into Texas Motor Speedway next week having two wins across the organization. The team, between five drivers and 46 individual starts this year, has eight top five and 27 top 10s.
“Chris Rice and Matt Kaulig, they’re investing into this team, they came into this series; I don’t think a lot of people knew what to think, but they’re here and they’re investing,” said Chastain. “And the stuff like, the terrible thing that happened a few days ago, doesn’t slow them down.”
Chastain ended the afternoon at Kansas Speedway 10th in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300. The No. 10 crew faced adversity going into the weekend as the hauler was involved in a wreck en route to Kansas Speedway that destroyed both the primary and backup cars. The crew quickly pulled the necessary resources together with help from Richard Childress Racing to field the teams second entry.
Kaulig Racing will field two full-time entries with Haley and Chastain in 2020 – along with an occasional third entry.
Chastain sits sixth in points going into this weekend’s truck series race at Martinsville Speedway. He is one of several drivers looking to advance into the Round of 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.