The NASCAR Gander RV And Outdoors Truck Series was back in action Tuesday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway for race No. 3 of the 2020 Truck Series season.
It felt like forever since we had seen the Trucks in action, but once the green flag flew, there was tons of action from start to finish in a race that saw a 40-Truck field for the first time in several years. In fact, you would have to go back to 2004 at Mansfield to see a field of 40 Trucks hit the track.
We not only saw 40 Trucks in the race, there was also a $100,000 bounty on the line which was set up by Kevin Harvick and Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis. The rules for the bounty stated, if any full-time Cup driver could beat Kyle Busch “cleanly” in a race, they would win the bounty bonus. However, as conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic arose, the rules of the bounty were changed the day of the race. Now, should the winner beat Busch, they would donate the bounty to a charity COVID-19 relief effort.
As the bounty was on the line, Cup regulars like Chase Eliott, Brennan Poole and John Hunter Nemechek were all entered to compete. While Poole and Nemechek certainly had the opportunity to beat Busch, it was ultimately Elliott who proved the winner over Busch with coincidentally Elliott finishing first and Busch second in the running order.
While Elliott was class of the field in a GMS Racing truck, other notable regular Truck Series drivers had some decent runs and finishes as well.
Here are this week’s Power Rankings following the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
- Sheldon Creed – Creed had a quiet fifth-place showing Tuesday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The GMS driver started 21st due to a random draw earlier in the week. The 22-year-old ran as high as third, had 80 green flag passes and spent 92 laps in the top-15. While Creed didn’t get to lead any laps or manage to grab a stage point, he brought the No. 2 Chevy Accessories home to a top-five finish. The finish marked his sixth top-five of his Truck Series career.
Previous Ranking That Followed Las Vegas – Third
- Brett Moffitt – The GMS train continues with Brett Moffitt, who piloted the No. 23 truck home to fourth. Though his story is different compared to others. Right before the world got shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Moffitt broke both of his legs and it appeared as though he would have missed a few races, had the NASCAR world kept with its original schedule. But, luck came his way and Moffitt was able to rehab and was cleared to compete. He competed in the two Xfinity races at Darlington and Charlotte and had a solid run in the Truck race. Moffitt was able to lead just two-laps, made 60 quality passes and ran the event around eighth. The Iowa native finished 10th in Stage 1 and sixth in Stage 2, before finishing fourth in the race. It was a nice outing at Charlotte for Moffitt.
Previous Week Ranking That Followed Las Vegas – Not Ranked
- Austin Hill – Speaking of solid runs, Hill looked to be the fastest Truck in the field early on. The Georgia native started fifth and took the lead from the get-go, led 19 laps early on and led six-laps right before the stage ended. Unfortunately, he got passed by Ross Chastain for the stage win and was second in the first stage. The second stage wasn’t quite as impressive he would finish 10th. Hill noted that he was fighting a loose handling Truck through the middle of the race. He caught a lucky caution near the end and pitted with Kyle Busch and Tanner Gray. However, Hill got stuck in traffic and could not find the clean air that was needed. Ultimately, the Hattori Racing driver finished ninth for his third top-10 of the season, the 24th of his career.
Previous Week Ranking Following Las Vegas – First
- Matt Crafton – While still on his winless streak dating back to three years now, Matt Crafton was looking for a consistent run after the time off. Like Hill, Crafton was one of the few up front early on. The ThorSport driver finished fourth in both stages. Unfortunately, Crafton’s efforts were cut-short, as he suffered a broken track bar mount on the truck. Due to the issue, he was relegated to a 35th place finish.
Previous Week Ranking Following Las Vegas – Fifth
- Johnny Sauter – Sauter was impressive late in the going, challenging for the lead and perhaps a victory. Throughout the event, the Wisconsin native was unable to finish inside the top-10 for a stage point during both stages, with 68.7% of the laps in the top-15, while having 32 quality passes and 71 green flag passes. At the end of the day, Sauter placed the No. 13 Ford F-150 seventh.
Previous Week Ranking Following Las Vegas – Second
- Todd Gilliland – Gilliland had a rough Charlotte outing following his return to the track. On Lap 102, the DGR-Crosley driver was caught up in an accident that saw him blow a right-front tire. His night was done early and he was credited with a 37th place finish.
Previous Week Ranking Following Las Vegas – Fourth