The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series headed west this past weekend to the heartland and the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway and as usual, the Truck Series didn’t disappoint.
Some were worried that it was going to be a single file race. But, in the end, a crowd favorite won the race with a late race thriller while others were left disappointed and still searching for a win.
There are some fresh new names that popped up in the power rankings, while some were able to keep their position. Here’s a look at this week’s power rankings.
- Ross Chastain – Chastain finally broke through this past weekend by winning at Kansas Speedway. Chastain and the Niece Motorsports team had been running and finishing inside the top-10 all season and have been close many times, especially with a third place finish at Daytona to open the season. Some fans since then have considered the Niece Motorsports a fan favorite and quite possibly, an underdog team in NASCAR. They continued week by week to strive toward their goal in hopes of winning in the Truck Series, or NASCAR overall. That moment came Friday night when Chastain passed Stewart Friesen with three laps to go, as Friesen ran out of gas and Chastain went on by. Chastain and the No. 45 team were hoping for no cautions for the rest of the way while Ben Rhodes was trying to chase him down in hopes of redemption from a couple of years ago, but couldn’t do it. In the end, Chastain and team owner Al Niece won their first Truck Series win. Chastain led three times for five laps and finished fourth in both stages. It was his first Truck Series victory in just 66 starts and Chastain’s first top-10 finish at Kansas Speedway. The Niece Motorsports team will look to carry this momentum throughout the rest of the season in hopes of fighting for the owners’ championship in which they currently sit third, 33 points behind Kyle Busch’s No. 51 team.
Previous Week Ranking – 5th
- Ben Rhodes – Rhodes had a strong No. 99 Carolina Nut Co. Ford F-150 on Friday night at Kansas and came oh so close to capturing the Digital Ally 250 checkered flag. Despite looking at practice speeds after practice was over with where Rhodes slated 12th and 14th fastest in both practices, some probably thought, he may not have the truck to win Friday night. Rhodes and the No. 99 Thorsport team proved them wrong where he finished tenth in Stage 2 and found himself with a shot at the win late in the race. Rhodes was chasing down eventual race winner Ross Chastain, but ran out of time and fell .483 seconds short. It was his third top five of the 2019 season.
Previous Week Ranking- Not Ranked
- Grant Enfinger – After qualifying 13th, Enfinger and the No. 98 Champion Power Equipment Ford F-150 quickly moved up into the top-10 and led 47 laps until a late race incident with 27 to go when he and Brett Moffitt made contact, bringing out the fifth caution of the race. The team was doing well before then by finishing third in both stages but eventually finished seventh. If things had gone their way, they probably could have finished inside the top five or top three. Nonetheless, Enfinger still holds the points lead over Brett Moffitt by 13 points.
Previous Week Ranking – 1st
- Todd Gilliland – Gilliland and the No. 4 KBM team improved on their finish from Dover by finishing third in Friday night’s race at Kansas. He started fifth and remained consistent, running in the top-10 and finishing seventh in both stages. In an exciting late-race battle for the win, Gilliland and company wound up in the top five. It was a much needed top five after finishing 15th at Dover and his first top five of the year.
Previous Week Ranking – Not Ranked
- Matt Crafton – Crafton was looking to snap the long winless streak this past weekend in the heartland, but once again, fell short of doing so, not without effort, however. The No. 88 Menards Ford F-150 driver showed speed in early morning practice sessions on Friday by placing third and fourth fastest, respectively, in both practices. The No. 88 Thorsport team followed that up by qualifying on the pole, Crafton’s 14th of his career and his first at Kansas. Crafton led early but only led eight laps and was not really seen up front after leading early. He finished sixth in both stages to ultimately finish a disappointing sixth after having such a fast truck in practice and qualifying.
Previous Week Ranking – 4th
1. Johnny Sauter – A forgettable night for Sauter and the No. 13 ThorSport team who previously won at Dover before heading to Kansas Speedway. Mechanical issues plagued Sauter early on and he was sent to the garage to fix the problem. He could never really rebound and wound up 22nd after starting 12th.
Previous Week Ranking – 3rd
2. Brett Moffitt – Much like Sauter, Moffit and the No. 24 GMS team had a disappointing night and were ready to move on to Charlotte after the race ended. The team started well by qualifying fourth earlier in the day. He even finished second in both stages and led three times for four laps. But troubles came late in the race when Moffitt and Enfinger collided with each other off Turn 2 and spun out. Both would escape without major damage, but the incident more than likely ended Moffit’s chance at the win and he had to settle for finishing eighth. The No. 24 GMS team will look to rebound this week at Charlotte.
Previous Week Ranking – 2nd