The NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series continued their momentum with another consecutive race following Charlotte Motor Speedway and sped to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the VetTix/Camping World 200 in what would be another thrilling race in typical Truck Series fashion.
After winning the season opener at Daytona, Grant Enfinger had high hopes of continuing his early-season momentum and march toward another playoff run later in the year. Meanwhile, Georgia native, Austin Hill had great motivation as he entered his hometown racetrack.
While Kyle Busch was dominant in the early and middle portions of the race, it was Austin Hill and Enfinger who battled for the checkered flag. Enfinger managed to get Hill loose and take the checkered for his first Atlanta victory.
With Enfinger and Hill taking the top two spots, other Truck Series regulars also had a strong, but quiet day at Atlanta. We’ll detail Enfinger’s race along with Hill and check out the others to see how they fared in the fourth race of the 2020 season.
- Austin Hill- Yes. While Hill did not win the race and the last lap dash to the finish with Enfinger, the Georgia native had the best Truck late in the going, especially on the longer runs. The No. 16 Hattori Racing team was nearly flawless all day, having great pit stops and keeping the truck in contention, should the opportunity present itself. Hill’s time to shine came during the final round of green-flag pit stops when race leader Kyle Busch was penalized twice for speeding. The Hattori driver took over the lead on Lap 99 and all the way up to Lap 134 (the original final lap of the race) before the Charlotte winner, Chase Elliott, spun and brought out a late-race caution. Hill did get a good restart but it wasn’t enough to keep Enfinger behind him. However, you can’t discount the effort of Hill’s team, who came up just a tad short in a disappointing loss. But this should give them some motivation heading into Homestead, as Hill won that race last year. In addition, he placed the No. 16 team fifth in Stage 1 and 10th in Stage 2 and gained the fourth top-10 in a row for the year.
Previous Week Ranking – Third
- Grant Enfinger – Flipping the roles, Enfinger also had a solid No. 98 Ford F-150 before he took the checkered flag. It took all race to get up in position to have the opportunity to win but the Alabaman led the laps that counted the most after getting Hill loose coming to the last lap. Enfinger also had some solid stage finishes, finishing ninth in Stage 1 and second in Stage 2. So far, the No. 98 team is on a roll early and could be a sleeper in the championship.
Previous Week Ranking – Not Ranked
- Todd Gilliland – After a disappointing Charlotte outing a week prior, Gilliland and the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports team looked to put that behind them. The No. 38 team started 12th, finished 10th in Stage 1 and fifth in Stage 2. Gilliland spent 130 laps in the top 15 throughout the majority of the race, before a timely caution came with a few laps left. He restarted in the top five and had a chance to win the race. Ultimately, Gilliland and company placed fourth for his first top-five finish of the year.
Previous Week Ranking – Fell Out
- Matt Crafton – Crafton and the No. 88 Menards F-150 had an up and down day but managed to fight back to a respectable 12th place finish. However, during the competition caution, there was a major check-up on pit road. Unfortunately, Crafton was on the receiving end and had some front-end damage to the hood of his truck. This set the team back a bit and they finished 20th in the first stage. In the second stage, he fought back to a 10th place finish. Crafton continued to make the best out of his day and brought the truck to a salvageable top-15 finish.
Previous Week Ranking – Fourth
- Christian Eckes – Eckes finally brought home his first top-five finish of the 2020 season in the No. 18 Safelite Tundra. The first three races weren’t so kind to Eckes who has finished outside the top-10 and had only a best finish of 14th the week prior in Charlotte. He did note during the week that Eckes and the team had a come to Jesus meeting about what they could improve on and gave him some motivation. Obviously, that meeting worked as Eckes finished third in Stage 1 and sixth in Stage 2. At the end of the day, he finished third for the first top-five of his Truck Series career.
Previous Week Ranking – Not Ranked
- Brett Moffitt – Moffitt and his GMS Racing Chevy was a quiet contender all day long. He was up at the front during certain parts of the race but never challenged for the lead or victory. The Iowan did manage to finish sixth in Stage 1, but received no stage points for Stage 2. Moffitt eventually brought the No. 23 to an eighth-place finish. It was somewhat disappointing after a strong finish of fourth at Charlotte.
Previous Week Ranking – Second
- Johnny Sauter – It was a crazy turn of events for Sauter on Saturday afternoon. The No. 13 driver had respectable finishes in both the stages, placing ninth and seventh, respectively. Troubles arose post-race when series officials disqualified Sauter’s finishing position of 17th. The officials found a tire modification violation after one of the tires was tested in what is called a dunk test, which will indicate any changes with the tire. Unfortunately, a penalty is expected later in the week, as this is an L2 penalty. This mean the driver could be penalized 75 points with the crew chief serving a four-race suspension along with a $25,000-$75,000 fine. It was a disappointing ending for Sauter, who had originally finished 17th.
Previous Week Ranking – Fifth