GMS Racing will expand into the K&N Pro Series East and West and the ARCA Racing Series next year, the team announced Wednesday.
The team will field 15-year-old Sam Mayer in each series where he will drive the No. 21.
Mayer is also scheduled to make four starts in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series with the first set for August at Bristol Motor Speedway after he turns 16 in June.
The native of Franklin, Wisconsin, joins GMS Racing with seven K&N starts and three ARCA starts in his career.
“GMS Racing has had tons of success over the past couple years, especially this past year,” Mayer said in a press release. “Knowing that a great team is behind me going into next season gives me a lot of confidence that we will have success, too.”
He earned two top fives in his six K&N East starts.
Mayer made his ARCA debut at Iowa Speedway and finished 10th and later placed seventh at Lucas Oil Raceway.
He will make his debut in the K&N East season opener at Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 10.
“We are excited to add K&N, as well as ARCA to our organization in 2019,” said team president Mike Beam in a press release. “Mayer is very talented at such a young age, and I see a big future for him in motorsports. I’m glad that he chose us to pursue his career in racing. Our goal has always been to build championship caliber teams no matter what series we participate in. With Mayer behind the wheel and Mardy Lindley leading the team, I do not doubt in my mind they will be successful in 2019.”
Natalie Decker will seek to make her NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut in February with DGR-Crosley, the team announced Friday.
The team co-owned by former Cup driver David Gilliland signed the 21-year-old Decker for its driver development program. She will run a select number of Truck races and a combination of K&N Pro Series and ARCA races.
She has competed in ARCA the past two seasons. Decker finished seventh in the points in ARCA last year, scoring two top-five and nine top-10 finishes. She became the fourth woman to win a pole at Daytona International Speedway.
“I’m really excited to be making the step up to trucks, especially with DGR-Crosley,” Decker said in a statement from the team. “Making the transition to trucks is going to help me progress my career and build my skillset. I think it’s very important that I’ll have the same team around me whichever series I’m running and having David (Gilliland) there to help coach me and give me advice.”
Said Gilliland: “I’m excited to be adding Natalie to our 2019 driver roster at DGR-Crosley. We have really competitive cars and a lot of talented drivers lined up for next year, so I’m excited to see what we can do together.
Decker’s full schedule for 2019 will be released at a later date.
Harrison Burton, the son of former Cup driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, will drive full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports next season in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, the team announced Wednesday.
Burton, 18, has competed part-time for KBM in the Truck Series since 2016 with 14 starts. He has four top fives, seven top 10s and one pole in that time.
He tied his career-best result last weekend at ISM Raceway, placing third.
Burton won 2017 K&N Pro Series East championship off five wins.
He also has two ARCA Racing Series wins since 2017.
Burton will be sponsored by Safelite AutoGlass in 19 races.
“I’ve worked really hard the last few seasons driving a limited schedule for KBM to prove that I’m capable of running full-time in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019 and I’m excited for the opportunity to do so with Safelite AutoGlass as my primary sponsor,” Burton said in a press release. “By using all of the resources that I have available at KBM, with the support of Toyota and Toyota Racing Development, I know that I’ll continue to improve as a driver and I’m confident that I’m capable of competing for wins and being a legitimate contender for the Truck Series championship next year. Obviously, to get to this point in my career it has taken a lot of support from a lot of different people, so I can’t thank my parents enough as well as companies like DEX Imaging, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Buildings, RUUD and FIELDS for being great partners.”
Burton’s crew chief and further sponsors will be announced at a later date.
“Harrison has done a great job of balancing being a high school student, as well as a student of racing since making his first Truck Series start for KBM shortly after turning 16 a few years ago,” Kyle Busch said in the press release. “The results of his hard work are starting to pay dividends and we’re confident that his first Truck Series win will be coming shortly and he’ll be able to be in the mix for the championship next year.”
On Thursday, NASCAR announced rules changes for the Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. They also announced the tracks that will make up the 2019 Dash 4 Cash program.
Beginning in 2019, the Xfinity series will have a maximum of 38 cars starting each race, down from 40 in 2018. The prize money for the 39th and 40th will be reallocated among the other 38 cars.
“Our goal is to ensure that each race features the strongest field and best racing for our fans,” said John Bobo, NASCAR vice president of racing operations in a press release.
The rules for playoff eligibility and playoff bonus points have been changed for both the Xfinity and Truck series.
For the Owners Championship in the Xfinity series, team owners will only earn playoff points and race wins will count toward playoff eligibility if the driver earn points in either the Xfinity or Truck series. Drivers earning points in the Cup series will not provide playoff points or playoff eligibility for stage or race wins.
For the Owners Championship in the Truck series, playoff points and eligibility will be awarded only to drivers earning points in that series. Xfinity and Cup drivers earning points in their respective series will not provide bonuses or eligibility for stage or race wins.
The 2019 Dash 4 Cash will be contested on the same tracks as in 2018.
The March 30 race at Texas Motor Speedway will serve as the first qualification race for the Dash. The top four Xfinity points earners in that race will be eligible for the opener at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 6. The next three Dash 4 Cash races will be held at Richmond Raceway (April 12), Talladega Superspeedway (April 27) and Dover International Speedway (May 4).
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Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World Holdings, announced on an earnings call Tuesday morning plans “to rebrand the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starting with the 2019 season.”
Lemonis said: “Camping World’s NASCAR sponsorship has been very successful. We expect the passionate fans of NASCAR, who likely line up even more than our Camping World customers, to embrace Gander Outdoors and the outdoor active lifestyle, the same way they’ve supported Camping World over the last 15 years.”
Camping World acquired the assets of Gander Mountain Company through a bankruptcy auction in April 2017.
Camping World has sponsored the Truck Series since 2009. In 2014, Camping World signed a seven-year sponsorship agreement through the 2022 season. The remaining years of the deal remain intact even with the name change. Gander Outdoors will sponsor the July 28 Truck race at Pocono Raceway and the July 29 Cup race there.
Also, as part of the expanded agreement, Camping World partner brands Overton’s and The House Outdoor Gear will also receive official NASCAR status.
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