TRACKING THE CHANGES: Gander Outdoor Truck Series Silly Season
From one season to the next, NASCAR is never short of changes as there are always drivers in new rides entering another year of NASCAR competition. The Truck Series is also seeing a change of their own, with the new identity as it will be known as the Gander Outdoor Truck Series, rather than the Camping World Truck Series.
As we look into the next chapter for the series, let’s review where things stand as of January 16, 2019.
After winning the ARCA Racing Series Championship, Sheldon Creed turned that into a five-race opportunity with GMS Racing last year. He made the most of that, scoring a pair of top-10 finishes including a fifth at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As a result, he will be behind the wheel full-time for 2019.
Creed won’t be the only new face at GMS Racing, as he will be joined by Brett Moffitt. Moffitt takes the control of the second entry for the Chevrolet team after winning the series title last season for Hattori Racing, but was left to search for a new ride due to lack of funding.
Justin Haley and Johnny Sauter who drove for GMS Racing last year are at two different ends of the spectrum. Haley will move up to the XFINITY Series, while Sauter has yet to announce any plans for 2019.
Hattori Racing will be back full-time, as they have signed Austin Hill to drive their truck for 2019. When speaking with POPULAR SPEED prior to the announcement, he expressed his excitement about the opportunity.
The move for Hill will see Young’s Motorsports have a new driver behind the wheel of the No. 02 truck, with Spencer Boyd taking the reigns. Boyd ran the full XFINITY Series schedule last year, scoring a season-best 17th at Daytona International Speedway in July.
Young’s Motorsports followed that up by announcing they will enter two trucks full-time, with Gus Dean behind the wheel of their second entry. Dean makes the move up to the truck series after spending the last two seasons in the ARCA Racing Series, scoring two wins and 24 top-10 finishes in 40 races.
After running a partial schedule throughout the 2018 campaign, Harrison Burton will chase after the Gander Outdoor Truck Series Championship with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“It’s gone pretty well, as far as the truck season goes,” Burton told POPULAR SPEED about 2018. “I’m fairly happy with it. I’m happy with my team’s progression and growth together. I feel almost more comfortable in the trucks than I do in the some of the lower series that I run. I’m really happy with where we are, and hopefully we can keep that group together going into next year if everything works out like I want it too. But you never know so you have to put in a last good job application and see what we got.”
DGR-Crosley Racing is looking to have their hands full for 2019, as they have so far released three different driver announcements over the winter. Natalie Decker and Anthony Alfrado will each run a partial schedule, while Tyler Ankrum is set to chase Rookie of the Year, as well as the series title for the organization.
“I’m super excited to be doing the truck series, and then a little bit of ARCA and K&N,” Decker told POPULAR SPEED. “I think it’s just a great opportunity, and I’m so thankful for my sponsor N29 for bringing me into this next step of my career. I’m really thankful for the team that I’m going to be on – DGR Crosley. I think it’s going to be a really good fit, and I can’t wait to see how Daytona goes.”
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