Nigel Kinrade Photography
GALLERY: NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series Playoff Picture Leaving Bristol
The first race of the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series playoffs for 2019 is in the books, and it came and gone in dramatic fashion. Tempers flared between drivers, as contact was shared with the defending champion ultimately punching his ticket into the next round.
Now heading north of the border, here is where the drivers sit with two races remaining in round one.
1. Brett Moffitt – Locked In
Brett Moffitt is going to have an easy ride into the next two weeks, as he has punched into his ticket virtue of winning Saturday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The defending champion also has momentum on his side, winning three of the last seven series races.
2. Ross Chastain (+25)
Ross Chastain may have gotten back to third by the checkered flag at Bristol, but he did not make any friends in the process. He ran up front until a pit road penalty dropped him back in the field, and then made his way back up to the top-five virtue of his using his front bumper. His aggressive nature has created discussion, and may be something to either help or bite him moving forward.
He finished seventh in his lone start at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, and has two top-10’s in four races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
3. Stewart Friesen (+17)
Stewart Friesen certainly had to pull up the gloves and work hard on Thursday night at Bristol. He was running solidly in the top-10 until contact with Matt Crafton sent him around spinning. He was able to rebound, ultimately finishing fourth. He also managed to talk out his differences with his fellow competitor post-race.
He finished seventh in his lone trip to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, and has led laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway en route to a pair of top-five’s in his last three trips.
4. Grant Enfinger (+13)
Grant Enfinger started off the night struggling at Bristol, running just outside of the top-10 through the beginning. However, his ThorSport Racing crew kept working on the track, and he avoided the chaos in the late stages to finish fifth with some pit strategy.
He has a best finish of 13th in his two trips to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, but has finished no worse than 12th in six races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Oh, and he used a win in last year’s event to make it into the second round of the playoffs.
5. Matt Crafton (+13)
Despite qualifying 11th, Matt Crafton was able to keep the No. 88 Ford F150 in the top-10 all night long at Bristol, finishing seventh.
He has five top-10’s at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in six starts, with the 25th-place finish happening as a result of a engine failure in 2017. On the flip side, he has 12 top-10’s in 20 races at Las Vegas, including a pair of top-five’s in the last two.
6. Johnny Sauter (+3)
Johnny Sauter played tag with a couple different drivers throughout the event, sustaining damage en route to an 11th-place finish. Oddly, it marks his third consecutive result outside of the top-10, with just two top-10 finishes in the last 10 races.
He has finished in the top-10 in his last five races at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, as well as his last five events in Las Vegas. Notably, that stretch has included a pair of runner-ups in the city that never sleeps.
7. Austin Hill (-3)
Austin Hill managed to escape the contact that plagued his fellow competitors, but also wasn’t able to do anything spectacular en route to finishing 10th. It seems the No. 16 is hitting it’s stride at the right time still, though, as he posted three finishes worse than 30th before winning at Michigan International Speedway and his top-10 at Bristol on Thursday night.
He finished eighth in his lone trip to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, and has just one top-10 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in three previous starts.
8. Tyler Ankrum (-13)
While his competitors battled each other, Tyler Ankrum was unable to join in the fun as motor issues took him out of contention with a 20th-place finish. It marks the second consecutive finish of 20th or worse for the 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
He has yet to run a race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, though finished seventh in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Watkin’s Glen International last season. He has also yet to run a truck series event at Las Vegas, either.
All Photos Courtesy of Nigel Kinrade Photography
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