2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series Preview

It’s been quite the off-season for the Truck Series. First with a new sponsorship and name change. In the past few year’s, the series has been known as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. However, late last summer, CEO Marcus Lemonis announced that their sister brand, Gander Mountain will be taking over as title brand of the series. Fans will have to get used to the new name, as they have been calling it the Camping World Truck Series. It’s just the fourth new sponsor for the series since its inspection in 1995.

On the driver side, it has been a major shakeup since the season ended in Homestead. Fans will see some familiar faces, but in new rides.

For DGR-Crosley, it will be their second full-time season in the series. Tyler Akrum will not be allowed to compete for three races with those being Daytona, Atlanta, and Las Vegas due to age restrictions, but will be able to run the rest of the season starting at Martinsville. Natalie Decker is also scheduled to drive part-time with sponsorship from N29 Technologies. Anthony Alfredo is slated to make starts with the team beginning at Atlanta.

Young’s Motorsports rounded out their driver lineup in the off-season with Tyler Dippel in the No. 02, Gus Dean in the No. 12, and Spencer Boyd who previously competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series will drive the No. 20. Dippel competed in five races last year with a best finish of 13th at Eldora. Dippel rounded out the season with GMS Racing. Dean will be making his season debut. Dean has made starts in the ARCA Racing Series with two wins. Boyd has competed part-time with three starts, his last with Copp Motorsports at Talladega in 2017 finishing 13th. Boyd has starts at Martinsville, Gateway, Homestead, Kansas and Charlotte.

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GMS has made quite the change in the off-season. In January, it was announced that Johnny Sauter who has competed for them in the past few year’s will not be returning due to financial issues. Instead, last year’s champion, Brett Moffitt will take over. The No. 21 will change over to the No. 24. Moffitt had six wins last year along with Sauter. If Sauter can’t find a ride, it will be the first time since 2007, that he did not compete all season in the Truck Series. Sheldon Creed is also going to compete in the No. 2. Creed comes from the ARCA Racing Series. Former driver, Justin Haley, is moving up to the Xfinity Series to drive the No. 11 Kaulig entry. Moffitt will have crew chief Jerry Baxter.

Despite questions and sponsorship struggles last year, Hattori Racing will return to the series with driver Austin Hill. United Rentals is the sponsor. Hill previously drove for Young’s Motorsports with a best finish of fifth.

Also returning to the series is Niece Motorsports. Niece will have part-time driver’s with Ross Chastain and Reid Wilson who will split the season in the No. 45. Timothy Peters returns to the series for three races with Niece.

On-Point Motorsports announced a few weeks ago that they will compete full-time with former Xfinity Series driver Brennan Poole. Poole has three starts in the series with a best finish of eleventh in 2015 for Maury Gallagher.

Chad Finley Racing will be increasing their schedule for 2019. Bruce Cook hopes to run the full season with driver’s Chad Finley and Robby Lyons. Finley has just five starts with a best finish of sixth at Gateway last year. Lyons has eleven career starts with a best finish of 12th in 2017 at Phoenix and 14th at Talladega last year.

Kyle Busch Motorsports has two full-time driver’s with Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland. Burton takes over Noah Gragson’s ride and Gilliland returning to the No. 4. Both will be making their first full time season start this year. Kyle Busch will more than likely break Ron Hornaday’s all-time wins list this year, as he is slated for five races. Those races are Atlanta, Martinsville, Las Vegas, Texas and Charlotte. Busch has won at all of these tracks with Vegas being the latest last year. Multiple driver’s will also drive the No. 51. Those has yet to be announced.

Jesse Little returns with his family owned team in the No. 97. Little has 22 starts in the Truck Series, seven to 10’s and two laps led. His best finish came in Atlanta, where Little finished sixth last year. The team plans to run 12 to 15 races this year.

Copp Motorsports announced that they will pay tribute to Truck Series pioneer Mike Mittler in 2019. Beginning with the season opener at Daytona, instead of using No. 83 the truck number will be changed to No. 63 for the 2019 Truck Series season.

Vizion Motorsports announced late January that Baley Currey will driver the No. 35. Other driver’s are also slated to share the ride as well.

There are many other teams that have yet to make any announcements regarding their 2019 plans. Those should come within the coming week.

The Truck Series will be on track Thursday afternoon Feb. 14th with first practice at 2:35 p.m. ET.

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