Austin Hill

Photo courtesy Kyle Busch Motorsports

Truck Series practice report from Iowa

Leave a comment

Sheldon Creed was fastest in the second and final Truck Series practice Saturday at Iowa Speedway.

Creed covered the 7/8-mile paved oval in Newton, Iowa, at 134.283 mph.

Raphael Lessard was second-fastest (133.588 mph), followed by Austin Hill (133.446), Harrison Burton (133.367) and Brett Moffitt (133.299).

Sixth through 10th were Ben Rhodes (133.237), Johnny Sauter (133.114), Riley Herbst (132.839), Stewart Friesen (132.788 mph) and Brennan Poole (132.743).

Chandler Smith, who was fastest in the first practice session earlier in the morning – and in his first-ever Truck Series practice – was 18th fastest in the second session (131.678 mph).

Qualifying takes place later this afternoon at 5:35 p.m., and the day’s main event, the M&Ms 200, takes place tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1 and MRN).

Click here for the full speed chart from the second practice session.

FIRST PRACTICE SESSION:

Just over 12 hours after winning the ARCA race at Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin, Chandler Smith kicked off his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut in outstanding fashion Saturday morning, being the fastest of the 32 drivers that took to the 7/8-mile oval at Iowa Speedway in the first of two practice sessions.

Driving the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, the 16-year-old Georgia native topped the field with a best lap of 136.046 mph, more than 1.5 mph faster than second-fastest Brett Moffitt (134.506 mph).

Third-fastest was Raphael Lessard (134.380 mph), followed by Sheldon Creed (133.832 mph) and Harrison Burton (132.945 mph).

Sixth through 10th were Tyler Dippel (132.643 mph), Austin Hill (132.620), Matt Crafton (132.281), Stewart Friesen (132.253) and Todd Gilliland (132.220).

The second and final practice session of the day will go from 11:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. ET.

Click here for the full speed chart from the first Trucks practice session.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Just like old times: Greg Biffle celebrates first Truck win in 18 years

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
1 Comment

Greg Biffle, running in his first Gander Outdoors Truck Series race since 2004, survived a caution-filled event to win Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

Biffle led the final 13 laps in the 167-lap race.

It is Biffle’s 17th Truck win but first series victory since 2001 at what is now ISM Raceway. Biffle, 49, ran Friday’s race for Kyle Busch Motorsports. It is his only scheduled start for the team this year.

“It was not easy,” Biffle said. “I had my work cut out for me. At the beginning of the race, so much odd stuff happened. We ran five laps at a time and then the caution would come out. There was a lot of people wrecking in front of me and behind me. I was just trying to keep the truck clean and stay out of trouble. Then we got four-wide off of turn 2, and I didn’t know you could do that here.

“We beat the fenders in a bit, but the Mobil 1 Toyota ran really good tonight. I want to thank those guys for coming on board and helping us. Kyle Busch assembles a great group of guys. The pit stops were phenomenal. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) did a great job calling the race from the top of the box. It’s not easy to win these, but I can see how Kyle has done very well.”

The race featured a record 13 cautions. The previous record was 10 on two different occasions.

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points report

Friday’s race was the opening round of the Triple Truck Challenge, awarding a $50,000 bonus to Biffle and the team. This is Biffle’s first NASCAR win since a Cup victory at Michigan in June 2013.

Matt Crafton finished second and was followed by Tyler Ankrum, Grant Enfinger and Harrison Burton.

Stage 1 winner: Johnny Sauter

Stage 2 winner: Ben Rhodes

Who had a good race: Rookie Tyler Ankrum finished a career-high third. Grant Enfinger’s fourth-place finish was his sixth consecutive top 10.

Who had a bad race: After winning the first stage, Johnny Sauter hit the wall. Austin Hill drifted up and made contact with Sauter, sending both into the wall early in Stage 2. That ended Sauter’s hopes of a win. Sauter placed 13th. … Todd Gilliland lost control when his Truck broke loose while battling for the lead on a restart in the second stage. He finished 27th.

Notable: Ross Chastain finished 10th and scored 38 points in his first race since declaring points for the Truck Series. He is 35th in the points. Chastain needs to be in the top 20 by the end of the regular season and have a win to be eligible for the playoffs. He is 64 points from 20th in the standings.

Next: June 15 at Iowa Speedway

 

Todd Gilliland to start on pole for Truck race in Texas

Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Todd Gilliland won his first pole of the season and will lead the Gander Outdoors Truck Series field to the green tonight at Texas Motor Speedway.

The pole comes after a crew chief change this week at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Wes Ward, a shop foreman at KBM, is serving as Gilliland’s crew chief this weekend.

Gilliland starts first after a lap of 184.761 mph in qualifying. He will be joined on the front row by Johnny Sauter (184.634 mph).

They will be followed by Grant Enfinger (184.237 mph), reigning series champ Brett Moffitt (183.924) and Austin Hill (183.636). Greg Biffle, making his first Truck series start since 2004, qualified sixth for Kyle Busch Motorsports at 183.592 mph.

Stewart Friesen qualified 14th but will start at the back of 32-truck field because of a crash Thursday that sent him to a backup.

Green flag is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET

Click here for starting lineup

Truck Series practice report from Texas

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Johnny Sauter had the fastest lap in Thursday’s final practice session for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sauter went 183.237 mph. He was followed by Matt Crafton (183,138 mph), Austin Hill (183.057), Tyler Dippel (182.902) and Anthony Alfredo (182.865).

Click here for report on final Truck practice

The series has qualifying and its race Friday.

2nd session

Johnny Sauter posted the fastest lap in Thursday’s second Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sauter had a top lap of 184.168 mph. He was followed by Grant Enfinger (183.667 mph), Sheldon Creed (183.045), Matt Crafton (182.266) and Todd Gilliland (182.094).

Click here for practice 2 report

Stewart Friesen, who finished second at Texas in March, crashed late in the session. He was 11th on the speed chart with a top lap of 181.519 mph. He went to a backup.

Final Truck practice will be from 7-7:45 p.m. ET.

Session 1

Ben Rhodes turned the fastest lap (180.681 mph) in the first Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway.

ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter was second, followed by Grant Enfinger, Sheldon Creed and Brett Moffitt.

Ross Chastain, who switched to earning 2019 truck points this week and became eligible for the race, was 10th fastest.

Click here for speeds from the first truck practice Thursday at Texas.

The second truck practice is at 5:05 p.m. ET, and the final session is at 7 p.m. ET. Check back for more speeds.

NASCAR also announced Thursday afternoon that the No. 45 Chevrolet of Kyle Benjamin will be held out of the final 30 minutes in the last practice for an unapproved splitter during inspection.

Qualifying is Friday at 5:35 p.m. ET (click here for the order), followed by the race at 9 p.m. ET on FS1.

Ross Chastain wins first career Truck Series race

1 Comment

Ross Chastain won Friday night’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway to claim his first career Truck Series victory.

Chastain, driving the No. 45 Chevrolet for Niece Motorsports, inherited the lead from Stewart Friesen with three laps to go when Friesen ran out of gas.

The win comes in Chastain’s 66th Truck Series start. It is his second national series win after he won with Chip Ganassi Racing in the Xfinity Series last year. The win is the first for Niece Motorsports in 90 starts.

After his win with Ganassi, Chastain was announced as driving for the team full-time in Xfinity in 2019. But after primary sponsor DC Solar was raided by the FBI in mid-December, CGR shut down its Xfinity program in January due to a lack of sponsorship.

Chastain returned to JD Motorsports with a three-race deal with Kaulig Racing. He’s racing part-time for Niece Motorsports in the Truck Series as well as competing full-time in Cup with Premium Motorsports.

“This is what sports is all about, comebacks, man,” an emotional Chastain told Fox Sports 1. “We had the rope by the tail last fall. Everything got taken away from us. We didn’t quit though. … I’m going to celebrate this a lot more than I did the last one. After the last one I thought they were going to come a lot easier. But it’s not. It’s so hard to win.”

Friday night’s race was Chastain’s 28th consecutive national series start of the year.

“I’ve been called an underdog my whole career and I’m tired of that,” Chastain said in the media center. “I get so sick of hearing that. I know they mean well when they say it. But man, I just want to win and that’s why I race everything I can.”

The top five was completed by Ben Rhodes, Todd Gilliland, Austin Hill and Brandon Jones.

Friesen, who led 87 laps, finished 15th. On Friesen’s last pit stop, he left his stall with only two fresh tires, not knowing it was a four-tire stop, which also resulted in less fuel.

Grant Enfinger led 47 laps, but he finished seventh after he and Brett Moffitt made contact and spun while racing for second with 28 laps to go.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

Click here for race results.

Click here for point standings.

WHAT’S NEXT: North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at 8:30 p.m. ET on May 17 on Fox Sports 1