NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Preview-Kansas

After visiting the Monster Mile this past weekend, the Truck Series heads to the Midwest and Kansas Speedway. Some drivers may follow “the yellow brick road” to victory lane in the heartland and others will leave grateful they are “not in Kansas anymore.”

The sponsor of the race is a Lenexa, Kansas based company Digital Ally, and the Truck Series race will be called the Digital Ally 250.

Currently, there are 27 Trucks entered on the preliminary entry list for Friday night’s race at Kansas Speedway.

While Johnny Sauter won his first race of the season last weekend at Dover, is he ready to set the world on fire or will someone else take over this weekend?

Here’s a look at who might just win Friday nights Truck race at Kansas.

  1. Matt Crafton – This weekend could be the weekend that snaps Crafton’s year and a half winless streak since Eldora of 2017. He has the most starts of any active drivers with 18 starts and has competed in every race since the Trucks debuted at Kansas in 2001. Crafton has two wins at Kansas (2013, 2015). Overall, he has completed 97.7 percent of the laps and has led 110 laps. The No. 88 driver also has five top fives and nine top-10 finishes but does have three DNFs with the last coming in 2005. Since then, he’s had inconsistent finishes. In 2018, Crafton finished sixth, 16th in 2017, second in 2016 and 2014, and 12th in 2012. Nonetheless, Crafton could be following the “Yellow Brickroad” to victory lane on Friday night and snapping his long winless streak.

  2. Brandon Jones – Brandon Jones will once again pilot the famed No. 51. Jones returned to the Truck Series last weekend at Dover where he finished 13th. He’ll have some pressure to perform well as Kyle Busch Motorsports drivers Noah Gragson and Kyle Busch swept the top two spots last season at Kansas. Jones will also have veteran crew chief Rudy Fugle who has two career wins at the track located in Kansas City, Kansas. The first in 2016 was with William Byron and last year with Gragson. Jones has two starts overall at Kansas with a best finish of ninth coming in last year’s race. He’ll be using chassis number KBM-055 as this chassis has had three outings with two wins, both this season with owner-driver Kyle Busch behind the wheel, at Atlanta and Texas. Jones finished seventh and fourth in both stages in 2018. He also has a couple of ARCA starts as well.

  3. Grant Enfinger – Enfinger has been on a roll recently in the Truck Series by taking over the points lead after Dover and he just might continue that momentum this weekend at Kansas. In just two starts, his first coming in 2017, he has a best finish of eighth at the 1.5-mile track. In the first race, Enfinger started 15th and finished eleventh, and led 14 laps led. In 2017, he finished ninth and sixth in both stages, while in 2018 Enfinger finished fifth and eight in both stages, respectively. Enfinger finished inside the top-10 last year on 1.5-mile tracks including winning the Las Vegas race in September. Look for the No. 98 team to continue their momentum this weekend for the Digital Ally 250.

  4. Stewart Friesen – Friesen and the No. 52 team will be looking forward to getting back on track this weekend at Kansas, and he might do just that. While his first outing didn’t go well finishing 32nd in 2017, Friesen upped his finish in last year’s race where he finished third after starting eighth and leading six laps. He also finished 10th and fifth in both stages last year. Friesen will be hungry for a win.

  5. Brett Moffitt – Moffitt only has two starts at Kansas with a best finish of seventh in his first start in 2017. Last year didn’t fare so well for the defending Truck Series champion, where he finished 16th, four laps down. However, Moffitt has had four top fives and four top-10 finishes this season and he finished second last weekend at Dover after leading 81 laps.

    Of note, Angela Ruch will drive the No. 44 for Niece Motorsports, Norm Benning will be in the No. 6, Joe Nemechek will drive the No. 8, Josh Bilicki will be piloting the No. 34 Reaume Brothers Racing Truck and Riley Herbst will be in the No. 46. Natalie Decker originally wasn’t supposed to race at Kansas but added six races to her schedule and will be competing this weekend in the No. 54.

    Update – Announced Wednesday, May 9, the No. 30 On Point Motorsports team of Brennan Poole has withdrawn from Friday night’s race due to lack of sponsorship. The team will return to Charlotte next week.

    The list of winners at the speedway include Ricky Hendrick winning the first race in 2001, Mike Bliss, Jon Wood, Carl Edwards, Todd Bodine, Terry Cook, Erik Darnell, Ron Hornaday, Jr., Mike Skinner, Johnny Sauter, hometown favorite Clint Bowyer, James Buescher, Matt Crafton who won twice, Kyle Busch who also won twice, William Byron in 2016, and recently, Noah Gragson in 2018.

    Qualifying will be critical here at Kansas, as the lowest a race winner has ever started was 10th set by Todd Bodine in 2005, Erik Darnell in 2007 and Kyle Busch in 2017. The highest a race winner has come from was first place three times, the first in 2008 by Ron Hornaday Jr., Kyle Busch in 2014 and Noah Gragson in 2018.

    The Truck Series gets on track early Friday morning with the first practice at 9:35 a.m. ET and final practice at 11:35 a.m. ET. Qualifying for the Digital Ally 250 is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports 1.

    The Digital Ally 250 will take place Friday night a little after 8:30 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports 1 and MRN Radio for 167 laps.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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