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William Byron avoids last-lap crash, wins first Truck series race of career

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William Byron, only five races into his Camping World Truck Series career, earned his first series win Friday night at Kansas Speedway after avoiding a last-lap crash in Turn 4 between leaders Johnny Sauter and Ben Rhodes.

Byron, 18,  took the checkered flag driving the No. 9 Liberty University Toyota to claim the win in the Toyota Tundra 250.

“This is a dream come true,” Byron told Fox Sports 1. “I was 6 years old watching Truck races and didn’t start racing until I was 14. To be in a Toyota Tundra like this is amazing.”

The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver had never led any laps in a Truck race until the 34 he led Friday.

On Lap 165 of a scheduled 168, Tyler Reddick spun while racing Clint Bowyer, bringing out the 10th caution of the night and eliminating Byron’s large lead.

Byron got shuffled back a few spots on the restart as Sauter and Rhodes took off. When their wreck unfolded, Byron, who was third, dove to the apron and out of harm’s way.

“It was crazy the last couple of restarts,” Byron said. “I had the lead there on the green-flag run. I was really just praying for no cautions, but you have to earn it. My crew chief, Rudy Fugle, really told me that on all the restarts, ‘This is how you earn it.'”

Byron, a member of the NASCAR Next class, won the 2015 K&N Pro Series East championship after earning four wins. But the teenager from Charlotte, North Carolina, didn’t even know how to execute a burnout.

“I just kind of found the gears and watched the smoke in the back,” Byron said. “I visualized this for a bit, but never thought it would come like this.

Byron was followed by Matt Crafton, Daniel Hemric, Christopher Bell and Clint Bowyer.

MORE: Race results for Toyota Tundra 250

MORE: Truck series points standings

HOW WILLIAM BYRON WON: After a bad restart in overtime, Byron stayed with the leaders, who wrecked on the last lap in Turn 4. Byron avoided the incident and raced to the finish.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Matt Crafton started 13th and led 57 laps. He got loose racing for the lead on a late restart, which sent him back to around 15th. Crafton drove his No. 88 truck back to second thanks to the last-lap crash … Tyler Reddick started from the pole and led 56 laps, but Reddick caused the 10th caution of the night while running in fourth with three laps to go. Reddick avoided hitting anything and finished 13th … Daniel Hemric finished third for his best finish in 30 Truck series starts … Ryan Truex finished sixth to give him a top-10 finish in all four races this season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: After starting from the rear, rookie Rico Abreu brought out a caution on the first lap after hitting the wall in Turn 2, causing significant damage to his truck bed. He finished 22nd … During a Lap 50 restart, pole-sitter John Wes Townley, points leader John Hunter Nemechek and Parker Kligerman were involved in a crash in Turn 3. After Townley saved his truck from spinning, he clipped Kligerman, who went head-on into the outside wall. Kligerman was able to walk to the ambulance. Townley would finish 26th, 21 laps down… Nemechek could bring out another caution on Lap 66 after hitting the wall and finished 28th … Johnny Sauter had to start from the rear after unapproved changes and was called for speeding in the middle of the race. The Daytona winner battled back to lead in overtime but finished 15th getting tangled with Rhodes coming to the checkered flag.

NOTABLE: A truck series regular has qualified for the series’ Chase playoff with a win in three of four races … The caution clock was used twice in a race that featured 11 cautions.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I just got ran over by a bozo. I don’t know if the kid’s brain dead or he can’t see.” – Johnny Sauter on Ben Rhodes after they wrecked on the final lap.

WHAT’S NEXT: Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway at 5:30 p.m. ET on May 13 on Fox Sports 1.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.


Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter

Silly Season Scorecard: Front Row Motorsports adds John Hunter Nemechek

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Front Row Motorsports filled one of the last major vacancies in the NASCAR Cup Series when it announced Thursday John Hunter Nemechek will compete for the team full-time in the No. 38 Ford.

With the announcement also came the news the team is retracting to two cars after fielding three in 2019.

As a rookie, Nemechek will have Michael McDowell as a teammate.

Here’s how the rest of NASCAR’s Silly Season has played out so far.


No. 00: Quin Houff will race for Star Com Racing full-time. Announced Nov. 27.

No. 1: Chip Ganassi Racing announced on Nov. 1 a multi-year extension with Kurt Busch.

No. 6: Roush Fenway Racing announced Oct. 30 that Ryan Newman would return to the car as part of the news that Oscar Mayer would sponsor the No. 6 through 2021.

No. 8: Richard Childress Racing made it official Oct. 2 that Tyler Reddick will move to Cup in 2020 and drive the No. 8 car.

No. 10: Aric Almirola confirmed Oct. 11 he signed an extension to race for Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 13: Ty Dillon posted a video Sept. 6 on Instagram refuting rumors that he would retire after this season. He has a contract with Germain Racing through 2020.

No. 14: Clint Bowyer was announced Oct. 17 as returning to Stewart-Haas Racing for a fourth season.

No. 15: Brennan Poole will make his Cup debut and will drive for Premium Motorsports full-time. Announced Dec 11.

No. 17: Chris Buescher will take over the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 ride in 2020 after the team announced Sept. 25 that it would part ways with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after this season.

No. 20: Joe Gibbs Racing announced Sept. 6 that it had signed Erik Jones to an extension. It is a one-year extension for the 2020 season.

No. 21: Matt DiBenedetto replaces Paul Menard at Wood Brothers Racing (announcement made Sept. 10). DiBenedetto’s deal is for 2020 only.

No. 32: Corey LaJoie will return for a second straight full season with Go Fas Racing and the No. 32 Ford. The team announced on Nov. 1 it would enter a technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing next year.

No. 37: Ryan Preece moves over from the No. 47 to the No. 37. He will have a new crew chief, Trent Owens, who has been crew chief on the No. 37 for the past three seasons.

No. 38: John Hunter Nemechek replaces the now retired David Ragan for Front Row Motorsports. Announced Dec. 12.

No. 41: Stewart-Haas Racing announced Nov. 15 Cole Custer will replace Daniel Suarez.

No. 47: JTG Daugherty Racing announced Oct. 16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will join Ryan Preece at the two-car team, essentially swapping seats with Chris Buescher. On Dec. 2, the team announced Stenhouse will drive the No. 47, with Brian Pattie serving as his crew chief.

No. 95: Christopher Bell moves to Cup in 2020 and will drive for Leavine Family Racing (announcement made Sept. 24).

Rick Ware Racing: JJ Yeley will drive one of the team’s three full-time rides.



Daniel Suarez — The driver revealed Nov. 14  he would not return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2020 after one season driving the No. 41.



Xfinity Series 

Ross Chastain – Kaulig Racing announced Oct. 15 he would compete full-time for the team in 2020 driving the No. 10 Chevrolet, joining Justin Haley.

Joe Gibbs Racing — Announced Oct. 17 Harrison Burton will drive its No. 20 Toyota full-time in 2020. Announced Oct. 31 Brandon Jones would return for a third year in the No. 19. Revealed Nov. 5 it would field a third full-time entry with Riley Herbst in the No. 18.

JR MotorsportsJustin Allgaier will return to the team for a fifth year in the No. 7 Chevrolet. The No. 8 car will be driven by Daniel Hemric for 21 races, Jeb Burton 11 races and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for one race. Noah Gragson will also return for a second season in the No. 9 car, while Michael Annett returns for a fourth year with the team in the No. 1 car.

Richard Childress Racing — Will field a part-time car in the No. 21, which will be shared by Myatt Snider and Anthony Alfredo.

Stewart-Haas Racing – The team has not announced plans for the No. 00 Ford with Cole Custer moving to Cup or whether Chase Briscoe will return to the No. 98.

JD MotorsportsJesse Little will compete full-time for the team.


Truck Series

GMS RacingDriver lineup will include Brett Moffitt, Sam Mayer, Sheldon Creed and Tyler Ankrum

Kyle Busch MotorsportsRaphael Lessard will drive the No. 4 full-time while Christian Eckes will drive the No. 18 full-time.

Halmar Friesen Racing — Stewart Friesen will return for a third full-time season in the No. 52 Truck. The team will also switch from Chevrolet to Toyota Trucks in 2020.

Hattori Racing EnterprisesAustin Hill will return to the No. 16 Toyota for a second year.

Niece Motorsports: Ty Majeski will drive the No. 45 truck full-time, taking the place of Ross Chastain. Announced Dec. 10.

DGR-Crosley: Has not made any driver announcements, but will switch from Toyota to Ford. Announced Dec. 11.

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