NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Richmond Raceway

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Toyota Owners 400
The Place: Richmond Raceway
The Date: Saturday, April 13
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: FOX, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300 miles (400 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 100),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 200), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)
2018 Winner: Kyle Busch

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: ToyotaCare 250
The Place: Richmond Raceway
The Date: Friday, April 12
The Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance:  187.5 miles (250 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 75),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 150), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 250)
2018 Winner: Christopher Bell

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 
Next Race: JEGS 200
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Friday, May 3
The Time: 5 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 4:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
2018 Winner: Johnny Sauter

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Kyle Busch looking for three in a row
They say Virginia is for lovers and one thing Kyle Busch would love to do is win his third straight race at Richmond Raceway this Saturday (April 12, 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader and winner of three races already this season (including last weekend’s battle at Bristol) is looking to do what was last accomplished in the early 1980s by Bobby Allison – win three consecutive races at the 3/4-mile track.

Only three drivers have won three or more in a row at Richmond – all NASCAR Hall of Famers – David Pearson (three, 1965-66), Richard Petty (seven, 1970-1973) and Allison (three, 1982-83).

And in the last 20 years, only one other driver has even won back-to-back races – Jimmie Johnson in a sweep of the 2007 season races.

It will be hard to bet against Busch achieving that mark of three straight this weekend. The Las Vegas native remains the lone Monster Energy Series driver to finish in the top 10 in each race this season. And last year the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry also won Bristol the weekend before the Toyota Owners 400.

Overall, Busch has six Richmond Cup wins in 27 starts – along with 17 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes. And even if he doesn’t visit Victory Lane on Saturday, he still stands a good shot at extending his top-10 streak to 11 races as he has an average finish of 6.9 at Richmond.

Harvick still hungry for a win
After posting eight wins in 2018, Kevin Harvick is winless thus far in 2019 and has to be missing the sweet sound of confetti cannons in Victory Lane.

Despite failing to post a win through the opening eight races, the 2014 Monster Energy Series champ has six top 10s (Daytona and Bristol being the lone exceptions) and three top fives. And a fun fact there – all of those top fives were fourth-place finishes for the driver of the No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing Ford Mustang.

But could Richmond be the place that puts Harvick back on top? He has three wins at the track and finished in the top five in both races last season. Overall in 36 starts at Richmond, Harvick has 14 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes.

He’s completed over 99% of the laps in those races, led 1,109 laps (fourth on his career tally list: Phoenix – 1,595, Dover – 1,442, Atlanta – 1,197) and has yet to post a DNF at the 0.75-mile track.

However, it’s been five years since his last win at Richmond Raceway – which came in the spring race in 2013 while he was still with Richard Childress Racing. But in the 10 races at Richmond since joining Stewart-Haas, Harvick has been amazingly consistent – posting seven top fives and recording a worst finish of 15th.

So, could this be the track that puts Harvick back on top? Survey says…possibly!

Seven-time getting back on track
The last time a winner of a Richmond Raceway Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series contest went on to win the year-end title was 2008. And in fact, that same driver achieved the same feat in 2007.

The driver? Jimmie Johnson.

After posting his second top-10 finish in a row, and fourth of the season, last weekend at Bristol, the driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is hoping this positive trend continues as he hopes to end a nearly two-year winless streak…and potentially march towards a record-setting eighth championship.

The last time Johnson visited Victory Lane was in June of 2017 at Dover. Through eight races last year, he had two top 10s and an average finish of 19.12. This year, he has an average finish of 14.5 to accompany his four top 10s.

There’s reason to have optimism that Johnson can post a solid finish or even reach Victory Lane at Richmond this weekend. He has three wins, seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes and has finished all but one race in 34 starts. And he has top-10 finishes in seven of the past nine races at the track – including a sixth-place result in this race last season.

The terrific two at the top
Nobody has dominated the Monster Energy Series this season like the Fords of Team Penske and the Toyotas of Joe Gibbs Racing.

The organizations have shut all other teams out of Victory Lane in 2019. Penske’s Joey Logano (Las Vegas) and Brad Keselowski (Atlanta, Martinsville) have captured three races while JGR’s Denny Hamlin (Daytona, Texas) and Kyle Busch (ISM Raceway, Auto Club, Texas) have combined for the other five wins.

And there’s no reason to think that trend couldn’t continue this weekend. The dynamic duo has combined to win eight of the last 10 races at Richmond Raceway. The lone standouts were current Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Kyle Larson in the 2017 fall race and Kurt Busch in the spring of 2015:

Spring 2014 – Joey Logano (Team Penske)
Fall 2014 – Brad Keselowski (Team Penske)
Spring 2015 – Kurt Busch (Stewart Haas Racing)
Fall 2015 – Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing)
Spring 2016 – Carl Edwards (Joe Gibbs Racing)
Fall 2016 – Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing)
Spring 2017 – Joey Logano (Team Penske)
Fall 2017 – Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Spring 2018 – Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing)
Fall 2018 – Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing)

Here’s a breakdown of the current driver lineups for the two teams and their historic performance at Richmond:

Joe Gibbs Racing
Kyle Busch – The leader among active drivers with six wins at the track (double that of the next closest competitors), he also has 17 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 27 starts.

Denny Hamlin – The Virginia native has three wins at his home track along with 11 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 25 starts.

Martin Truex Jr. – The first-year Joe Gibbs Racing driver has yet to win in 26 starts at Richmond, and has three top fives and nine top 10s.

Erik Jones – The JGR driver with the least experience at the track has one top-10 finish in four starts.

Team Penske
Joey Logano – The reigning Monster Energy Series champion leads the team with two wins at Richmond, along with eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 20 starts.

Brad Keselowski – The 2012 series champion has recorded a win in 19 starts and has tallied four top fives and nine top 10s. Richmond will be Keselowski’s 350th career Monster Energy Series start.

Ryan Blaney – The most junior member of the team has yet to post a top 10 in six starts at Richmond.

Chip Ganassi Racing looking to break up the band at the top
If there’s a team who might feel optimistic about their chances of breaking up the pair of dominating forces on the winners’ list this year it could be Chip Ganassi Racing.

Kyle Larson is one of two non-JGR or Penske drivers to record a win at Richmond in the last 10 races – winning the fall race in 2017. And the only other driver outside of those teams to win at Richmond in that 10-race stretch was Kurt Busch (then with Stewart Haas Racing but now teamed up with Larson at CGR) in the spring of 2015.

Busch’s 2019 has started off strong. Through the opening eight races, he has three top-five and six top-10 finishes – including a runner-up to his little brother Kyle last weekend at Bristol. And he currently sits eighth in points.

Overall, he has a pair of wins at Richmond, along with seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 36 starts.

Larson has only recorded two top-10s this season and sits an uncharacteristic 14th in points.

In 10 starts at Richmond, he has the win from 2017, two top fives (including a runner-up finish in the fall of 2016) and four top 10s.

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media breakouts
Six drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Richmond Raceway leading into this Saturday’s Toyota Owner’s 400 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Ryan Blaney – The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang has yet to post a top 10 in six career series starts at Richmond Raceway – and is the only member of his team to not have a win, yet, in 2019. Currently sixth in points, he has four top fives and four top 10s so far this season along with a Busch Pole and a season-best finish of third at Phoenix.

Chris Buescher – Racing with a full-time teammate (Ryan Preece) for the first time at JTG Daugherty Racing is the driver of the No. 37 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Buescher is currently 23rd in points and recorded a ninth-place finish at Atlanta earlier this season. He, like Blaney, has six starts at Richmond without a top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. – The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry is still chasing his first win of the season – and his first win at Richmond Raceway. He does have three top fives and nine top 10s in 26 starts at the 0.75-mile venue. Overall this season he is seventh in points with two top fives and five top 10s.

Aric Almirola – Almirola’s streak of six top-10 finishes came to an abrupt end last weekend in Bristol after getting caught up in an early-race incident. Besides last week, the driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang is having a fantastic start to the year. In 14 starts at Richmond, he has two top fives and five top 10s, including placing fifth here last fall.

William Byron – The second-year Hendrick Motorsports driver who pilots the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has just two starts at Richmond and is still looking for his first top 10 there. Byron is currently 20th in the points standings and has a season-best finish of sixth at Texas for his lone top 10 of the year.

Paul Menard – Legendary Virginia-based Wood Brothers Racing is hoping the driver of the No. 21 Ford Mustang can net the team their 100th Monster Energy Series win in their home state. His best finish of the season came last weekend at Bristol (sixth). In 24 starts at Richmond, he has one top 10 – a fifth-place result in the fall of 2013.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Xfinity dashes for the cash at Richmond Raceway
This season’s Dash 4 Cash program continues to produce lots of heightened action for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contenders.

First at Texas Motor Speedway two races ago, Michael Annett, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Chase Briscoe all qualified for the first round of the Dash 4 Cash at Bristol.

Then last weekend, Christopher Bell won the first of four Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus checks with his victory at Bristol Motor Speedway. Bell not only grabbed the checkered flag at Bristol, the spoils of Victory Lane and the big check, but he also qualified himself for this weekend’s Dash 4 Cash at Richmond Raceway.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick, Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Cole Custer and Chase Briscoe are this weekend’s Dash 4 Cash qualifiers in Friday night’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway (April 12 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).  

2019 Dash 4 Cash Format Rundown:

 

Christopher Bell is looking to become the ninth driver in NASCAR Xfinity Series history to win more than one Dash 4 Cash in a single season; joining Brad Keselowski (2009), Reed Sorenson (2011), Elliott Sadler (2012 and 2018), Austin Dillon (2013), Regan Smith (2015), Daniel Suarez (2015) Erik Jones (2016) and Justin Allgaier (2017) with two Dash 4 Cash wins each per season.  Bell swept both Richmond races in 2018. He has made three series starts at Richmond posting two wins, three top 10s and an average finish of 2.7.

2018 Xfinity champ and current points leader, Tyler Reddick, is ready to cash one of those big bonus checks. In three starts at Richmond he has put up one top 10 and an average finish of 11.7.   

Cole Custer came close to cashing in on last weekend’s Dash 4 Cash check, finishing third at Bristol, just behind race winner Christopher Bell. This weekend, Custer will have another shot at the big payday at 0.75-mile Richmond Raceway, a track where he has made five starts, posting two top 10s and an average finish of 10.8.

A $100,00 bonus is big chunk of change for any of the drivers this weekend at Richmond, but especially so for Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Briscoe.  The youngster from Indiana will get his second chance at the bonus as he finished a strong fourth last weekend at Bristol to qualify for this weekend. Briscoe has found his footing early this season, as he is on a streak of five top-10 finishes dating back to Las Vegas. He made his series debut at Richmond last season driving for Roush Fenway Racing, starting 15th and finishing 26th.

Christopher Bell not done cashing in
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell will be making his 49th NASCAR Xfinity Series career start this weekend at Richmond Raceway, and with how his career has skyrocketed it should be no surprise his name is being mentioned with some of the all-time greats of the series.

Last season, Bell set the Sunoco Rookie single season record for wins with seven victories, surpassing previous rookie record holders Greg Biffle (2002), Kyle Busch (2004) and Carl Edwards (2005) with five wins each.

This past weekend at Bristol, Christopher Bell won his 10th NASCAR Xfinity Series race in his 48th career start – a winning percentage of 20.83%. How impressive is that? Well, only four other drivers in series history have recorded 10 or more wins in their first 48 Xfinity Series starts – Darrell Waltrip (12 wins), Dale Earnhardt (11 wins), Harry Gant (10 wins) and Jack Ingram (10 wins).

Last weekend’s performance was also Bell’s 25th Xfinity career top-five finish, making him one of seven drivers all-time to post 25 or more top fives in their first 48 races, joining Jack Ingram (34 top fives), Sam Ard (29), Darrell Waltrip (28), Brett Bodine (26), Geoff Bodine (26), and Dale Earnhardt (25). 

Bell heads to Richmond this weekend to add to his already fast start to 2019. Bell swept both Richmond races in 2018; including the fall race from the pole. He has made three series starts at the 0.75-mile circuit, posting two wins, three top 10s and an average finish of 2.7.

Richmond Raceway: Stats Snapshot
Below are some quick stats to get you up to speed for this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway (Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio):

Races/Starts:
Richmond Raceway is tied with Dover International Speedway for hosting the third-most (70) NASCAR Xfinity Series races in series history. The first Xfinity Series race held at Richmond Raceway was on February 20, 1982 and the event was won by Tommy Houston driving for car owner Mike Day (Pontiac). The series has competed at Richmond Raceway three times the first season (1982) and then twice a season since 1983. In total, 484 different NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers have made starts at Richmond Raceway, and 336 drivers have competed in more than one. Kenny Wallace leads the series in starts at Richmond Raceway with 36.

Poles:
In total, the NASCAR Xfinity Series has seen 38 different drivers win the pole award at Richmond Raceway; led by Kyle Busch with six poles (2004 ,2007, 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2017). Geoff Bodine won the series’ first pole (96.207 mph) at Richmond Raceway in 1982 and Christopher Bell won the most recent Xfinity pole (118.990 mph) at Richmond last September. The youngest Xfinity pole winner at Richmond Raceway is Kyle Busch (May 14, 2004 at 19 years, 0 months and 12 days). Harry Gant is the oldest series pole winner at Richmond Raceway (September 10, 1988 at 48 years, 8 months, 0 days). Kyle Busch holds the NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying record at Richmond Raceway with a speed of 129.348 mph (May 14, 2004).

Wins:
In total the NASCAR Xfinity Series has seen 34 different drivers win the race at Richmond Raceway; led by Kevin Harvick with seven victories (2003, 2005, 2006 sweep, 2010, 2012 and 2014). Tommy Houston won the series’ first race at Richmond Raceway in 1982 and Christopher Bell won the most recent Xfinity race at Richmond last September. Only two former winners are entered this weekend – Jeff Green (2000) and Christopher Bell (2018). The youngest Xfinity race winner at Richmond Raceway is Kyle Busch (May 14, 2004 at 19 years, 0 months, 12 days). The oldest series winner at Richmond is Harry Gant (March 7, 1992 at 52 years, 1 month, 26 days). Denny Hamlin holds the race record in the series at Richmond Raceway with an average speed of 108.415 mph (April 29, 2011).

Loop Data:
Below are the top five NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contenders in key Loop Data categories heading into Richmond Raceway. 


Driver Rating

Average Running Position

Laps in The Top 15

Drivers

Driver Rating

Drivers

Avg. Running Pos.

Drivers

Laps in Top 15

Christopher Bell

127.0

Christopher Bell

4.527

Justin Allgaier

2,990 (81.8%)

Noah Gragson

119.7

Noah Gragson

4.800

Michael Annett

1,220 (40.6%)

John H. Nemechek

98.4

John H. Nemechek

6.448

Cole Custer

1,111 (96.4%)

Cole Custer

96.5

Cole Custer

9.068

Christopher Bell

976 (97.6%)

Justin Allgaier

93.9

Justin Allgaier

10.815

Tyler Reddick

577 (76.9%)

Laps Led

Quality Passes

Fastest Laps Run

Drivers

Laps Led

Drivers

Quality Passes

Drivers

Fastest Laps

Justin Allgaier

195

Justin Allgaier

270

Justin Allgaier

166 (4.5%)

Christopher Bell

187

Michael Annett

148

Christopher Bell

81 (10.8%)

Cole Custer

43

Cole Custer

113

Michael Annett

46 (1.5%)

John H. Nemechek

36

Jeremy Clements

98

Cole Custer

35 (3.0%)

Noah Gragson

10

Brandon Jones

83

Noah Gragson

32 (12.8%)

Can’t Stop: Elliott Sadler returns to the Xfinity Series with Kaulig Racing
Some just can’t get enough. At least that seems to be the case for veteran driver Elliott Sadler, who last season announced he was retiring from fulltime racing, but it didn’t take long for him to return to the series as the Virginia native is back this weekend in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro for the ToyotaCare 250 (April 12 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

This weekend will mark the third time this season Kaulig Racing has fielded a second car. The previous starts saw Ross Chastain (Daytona) and Austin Dillon (Las Vegas) behind the wheel of the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Sadler will be working with crew chief Adam Yontz this weekend at Richmond Raceway. The 43-year old from nearby Emporia, Virginia, has made 31 series starts at the famed 0.75-mile short track, posting six top fives, 16 top 10s and an average finish of 12.9. 

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media breakouts
Six drivers from the NASCAR Xfinity Series – JR Motorsport’s Tyler Reddick, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer and Chase Briscoe, SS Green Light Racing’s Gray Gaulding and Rick Ware Racing’s Kyle Weatherman - will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Richmond Raceway leading into this Friday night’s ToyotaCare 250 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Christopher Bell (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)
Birthdate: December 16, 1994
Driver’s Age: 24
Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma
Hobbies: Dirt track racing, iRacing, golf
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
Crew Chief: Jason Ratcliff
Xfinity Career Highlights:

2019 Season Highlights:

Richmond Raceway Performance:

Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi Ford Mustang)
Birthdate: December 15, 1994
Driver’s Age: 24
Hometown: Mitchell, Indiana
Hobbies: Spending time with family, online racing, watching sports
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi
Crew Chief: Richard Boswell
Xfinity Career Highlights:

2019 Season Highlights:

Richmond Raceway Performance:
He made his series debut at Richmond last season driving for Roush Fenway Racing, starting 15th and finishing 26th.

Cole Custer (No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang)
Birthdate: January 23, 1998
Driver’s Age: 21
Hometown: Ladera Ranch, California
Hobbies: Watching sports
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
Crew Chief: Mike Shiplett
Xfinity Career Highlights:

2019 Season Highlights:

Richmond Raceway Performance:

Tyler Reddick (No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro)
Birthdate: January 11, 1996
Driver’s Age: 23
Hometown: Corning, California
Hobbies: Riding ATVs, gaming, working on cars
Team: Richard Childress Racing
Crew Chief: Randall Burnett
Xfinity Career Highlights:

2019 Season Highlights:

Richmond Raceway Performance:

Gray Gaulding (No. 08 SS Green Light Racing Chevrolet Camaro)
Birthdate: February 10, 1998
Driver’s Age: 21
Hometown: Colonial Heights, Virginia
Hobbies: Weight lifting, basketball, spending time on the lake, Go-Karting
Team: SS Green Light Racing
Crew Chief: Patrick Donahue
Xfinity Career Highlights:

2019 Season Highlights:

Richmond Raceway Performance:

Kyle Weatherman (No. 17 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet Camaro)
Birthdate: August 28, 1997
Driver’s Age: 21
Hometown: Wentzville, Missouri
Hobbies: Go-Karting
Team: Rick Ware Racing
Crew Chief: Rb Bracken
Xfinity Career Highlights:

2019 Season Highlights:

Richmond Raceway Performance:

 

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

Looking Ahead: Dover poses a challenge for current point leaders
Since the NASCAR Gander Trucks Series began racing at Dover International Speedway in 2000, only one driver has managed to win at the Monster Mile and go on to win the series championship - NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. in 2007.

Looking back, Hornaday had an excellent season that year that included four wins, 13 top-five  and 22 top-10 finishes.

Since that season, we have not seen another driver win both the at Dover and take the title, but perhaps this will be the year. Let’s look at the current top four driver’s in the series and their performances at Dover International Speedway:

Stewart Friesen (No. 52 Halmar Friesen Chevrolet Silverado): Friesen currently holds the series points lead, but Dover may prove to be a challenge for the Canadian driver to hold that position. In two starts at Dover he has posted two DNFs – a 28th in 2017 and a 23rd in 2018. Still, we can’t ignore his solid performance this season, where he has managed three top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 7.8.

Grant Enfinger (No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150): Enfinger currently sits second in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points, six points back from Friesen after posting three top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 5.4. Heading to Dover in a few weeks, the Alabama native has had mixed results on the concrete track. He fought hard for a disappointing 14th-place finish last year but managed a third-place finish back in 2017. This season is Enfinger’s third fulltime season chasing a title the Gander Trucks. 

Ben Rhodes (No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150): Rhodes is off to an excellent start this season, as the 22-year old has jumped three spots in the driver championship points from sixth to third and only 16 points back from the series standings lead. This season Rhodes has put up two top fives, three top 10s and average finish of 11.2. Rhodes could use Dover as another spring board to catch points leaders Friesen and Enfinger (second), as the Kentucky native has made four series starts at the Monster Mile grabbing one top five and two top 10s. Plus, he has led 71 laps at 1-mile facility.

Johnny Sauter (No. 13 ThorSport Ford F-150): Sauter arguably has the greatest chance at matching Ron Hornaday Jr.’s 2007 achievement, not only is he a former NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series champion, he has also won the last two series races at Dover International Speedway (2017, 2018). Sauter is currently cruising in fourth in the Gander Truck point standings, 22 points back from series standings leader Stewart Friesen. In total the 40-year old veteran, Sauter, has made 10 series starts at Dover posting two wins, five top fives and seven top 10s. His average starting position is 7.8 and his average finish is 8.0.

Gander Truck drivers on the Playoff bubble
With five races in the books this season, the battle in the points along the Playoff cutoff is heating up between Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates. Just one-point separates Todd Gilliland in the coveted eighth place cutoff, and rookie Harrison Burton in ninth the first spot outside the cutoff for the postseason.

Both young drivers have rebounded from DNFs in the season-opener at Daytona to put themselves in Playoff contention. Gilliland has posted two top 10s and an average finish of 12.8 this season, and Burton has posted one top five, two top 10s and an average finish of 14.6.

Dover is a track both Gilliland and Burton have shown promise at recently. Gilliland has made two starts at the Monster Mile posting one top-10 finish and Burton also has two starts at Dover with one top-five finish.

Rank

Driver

Points

Pts From Cutoff

Starts

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

8

Todd Gilliland

149

1

5

0

0

0

9

Harrison Burton

148

-1

5

0

0

0

10

Sheldon Creed

133

-16

5

0

1

1

11

Tyler Dippel

97

-52

5

0

0

0

12

Spencer Boyd

95

-54

5

0

0

0

Reigning champ Brett Moffit hasn’t skipped a beat
Despite moving to a new team this offseason, reigning NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series champion, Brett Moffit, hasn’t skipped a beat. The Iowa native is fifth in series championship standings and this season is looking to become just the second driver in series history to win back-to-back titles; joining Matt Crafton (2013-2014).

Moffitt ended the 2018 season with six wins and the series championship while racing for Hattori Racing Enterprises.

This season, with GMS Racing, the 26-year old has amassed three top fives and an average finish of 10.8.

At Dover in a few weeks watch for Moffit to be a contender for the win. In his series track debut last season he started 12th and finished 12th.

Natalie Decker adding races to schedule, expected to be at Dover
This week, DGR-Crosley announced that the driver of the No. 54 Toyota Tundra, Natalie Decker, would be adding an additional six races to her schedule this season—including Dover International Speedway on May 3.

Decker had a rough start to the 2019 season with her debut at Daytona International Speedway ending in an incident on Lap 1, but she didn’t let that defeat her though. The 21-year-old rookie continued her season at Atlanta and Las Vegas where she finished 24th and 13th respectively.

After sitting out for Phoenix, Martinsville, and Texas, Decker picks her season back up at Dover International Speedway and she couldn’t be happier or more hopeful going into the remainder of the 2019 season.

"I'm so excited to add more races with DGR-Crosley," said Decker. "I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be with this team,” said Decker. 

“I didn't think that I would be racing this much this year in the Trucks, but I'm so excited that we are. I love competing in the Truck Series - it's challenging but so fun.”

Decker is definitely a driver to watch this season as she continues to grow with her team and showcase her skills as a developing driver.

--- NASCAR ---