The Truck Series was in town this past weekend at the World Wide Technology Raceway from Gateway for race No. 13 of the 2020 Truck Series season.
GMS Racing continued their late-season dominance by scoring another victory Sunday afternoon when team driver Sheldon Creed won for the third time this season. Not only winning, but the victory marked GMS fourth consecutive win of 2020. Now, two drivers (Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith) have victories, while Brett Moffitt and Tyler Ankrum remains winless in the year, but are solidly locked in for a potential championship run.
At this point, GMS seems unbeatable, but there is normally at least one team that steps up during the playoffs run. Who that team is yet to be determined, but the playoffs should be interesting to watch with 10 drivers going for one championship.
With that storyline out of the way, we’ll take a look at what else we might’ve missed this past weekend in the CarShield 200 at Gateway.
- Stewart Friesen Gains Top-Five Finish – The 2020 season sure has been a crazy run with the Halmar Racing team, who has been uncharacteristic like. Before Gateway, Friesen only had one top-five finish and seven top 10 finishes, along with two DNF’s that have certainly hurt his playoff chances. However, some light was found at the end of the tunnel, when Friesen brought home the No. 52 Toyota Tundra to a fifth-place finishing position. No stage points for Stage 1, but the Canadian did gain some points in Stage 2 after finishing 10th. Despite the solid run, his season performance has cost the team a lot of points and is now in a must-win situation if Friesen wants to have another shot in the Championship, as he currently sits 14th nearly 100 points below the cut line.
- Sam Mayer Has Consistent Run – Sam Mayer is one of the up and coming stars in the NASCAR world, who currently competes in the ARCA series full-time and is on a part-time Truck Series schedule. Through the first four races, the Wisconsin native has struggled to earn a finish inside the top 10. However, Mayer was in contention to win with a late-race restart that came with 13 to go when he lined up alongside his team-mate Sheldon Creed. Unfortunately for Mayer, he spun his tires and fell out of the lead. But, not all was lost as the GMS development driver managed to stay in the top five when he finished fourth after leading 33 laps. Still, if/when Mayer looks back on the race, Gateway could be one of those races on what might’ve been.
- New Pit Procedure – NASCAR’s new pit procedure was seen Sunday afternoon for the standalone Truck Series race. The new pit procedure consisted of drivers not being allowed to change tires or add fuel during the green flag run and only allowed under the stage break. In addition, wherever drivers finished in the stages, is where they would line up for the stage restart. There were some mixed reactions from the drivers camp, as some drivers “hated the idea” as they thought the procedure “eliminated strategy.” I would have to agree on the driver’s side for this one, as the pit procedure kind of created for a boring race and eliminated the excitement of what goes in pit stops. I understand NASCAR’s creative thinking by trying to eliminate cost measures for teams, whenever they don’t have their regular pit crew with them, but I’m sure there could be other ways to go about with cost-effective measures without eliminating the strategy that goes on in these races.
- Jeff Green Spots – Yes, you read that right. Former NASCAR Busch Series Champion and part-time driver Jeff Green spotted GMS Racing driver Tyler Ankrum on Sunday. Green was on top of the spotter stand helping the young Californian navigate through the field. Things were looking pretty sporty through the first half of the race for Ankrum, after finishing 10th in Stage 1 and seventh in Stage 2. However, he sort of fell back a bit as the laps winded down, and placed 12th in the final running order.