NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Preview-Gateway

After a crazy week in NASCAR’s third division, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will head to the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

The track was formerly known as Gateway Motorsports Park and is located in Madison, Illinois. Earlier in the season, World Wide Technology bought the track naming rights. There were 33 trucks on the preliminary entry list, however, the No. 30 of Brennan Poole has withdrawn from the race and the No. 0 of Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing has yet to be announced.

After being suspended on Tuesday afternoon, ThorSport Racing has announced that part-time driver Myatt Snider will occupy the No. 13 for this weekend while Johnny Sauter is serving his suspension.

Also, it appeared as if Greg Biffle, who won at Texas a couple of weeks ago, could be in the race, but he later found out that he was not eligible for The Triple Truck Challenge. Biffle had three starts at Gateway with one win and two top fives along with two poles at the track.

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Here’s a top five look at who might wheel it into victory lane Saturday night.

  1. Ben Rhodes – Rhodes has had a strong couple of finishes in the past few weeks and is carrying that momentum right on through. Since Martinsville, Rhodes has finished second, 10th at Texas, sixth at Dover, second at Kansas and fourth at Charlotte He had a transmission failure at Texas and previously finished second at Iowa. At Gateway, Rhodes’ first outing was in 2016, three years ago. In his first start, he started on the pole and finished second after leading four laps. The second year, he finished eighth while Rhodes finished 19th last year. Despite the finish last year, he has been finishing better in recent races. Rhodes average finish at Gateway is 9.7.

  2. Todd Gilliland – Gateway could be the place where Gilliland might break through for a first career win. He did not fare well here in his first outing after starting fourth and finishing 21st. But he finished fourth in Stage 1 and fifth in Stage 2. Last year’s race was a better turnaround for the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports team. Gilliland started eighth, finished third in Stage 2, and wound up second even after being involved in an incident mid-race. This time around, Gilliland will be piloting the “KBM-060, a brand-new chassis,” according to the KBM press release. Look for the Sherrills Ford, North Carolina driver to finish one spot better on Saturday night.

  3. Brett Moffitt – After a crazy turn of events following post-race inspection at Iowa, Moffitt was declared the new race winner. This happened after Ross Chastain who had been declared as the winner failed inspection. Last year’s champion could continue that winning streak at Gateway Saturday night. Moffitt has just one start, that came last year. Despite the finishing results not showing his strong efforts, the Grimes, Iowa native finished sixth in Stage 1 and fifth in Stage 2, respectively. He even led 18 laps, but finished a disappointing 14th. Moffitt and his new GMS Racing team will look forward to continuing their winning ways this weekend.

  4. Myatt Snider – Snider will be back in a truck for the first time since Martinsville earlier this season. He has one other start that came at Daytona, where Snider finished 21st after crashing out on Lap 62. He only has one start at Gateway, coming last year where he finished fourth, despite not earning a stage finish in the top-10. This weekend, however, despite unfortunate circumstances, the Charlotte, North Carolina driver will try to make the best of his ability to shine and turn a negative into a positive.

  5. Chandler Smith – After impressing the NASCAR world last weekend at Iowa, Smith returns to the Kyle Busch Motorsports team this weekend at Gateway. However, he will be competing in the No. 46 Toyota Tundra instead of the famed No. 51. Smith will also be having extra track time and doing double duty on Saturday by also competing in the ARCA Menards Series prior to the Truck Series race.

Also on the entry list, we see the return of Christian Eckes who will be back in the No. 51. Cody McMahan will drive the No. 1 of Beaver Motorsports and Bryant Barnhill will be in the No. 34 for Josh Reaume. Ross Chastain will also look to rebound from a disappointing Iowa weekend in the No. 45 and Lou Goss is entered in the No. 174.

After a four year hiatus, the Truck Series returned to the 1.250-mile paved track in Madison, Illinois in 2014. Since then, the track has seen five different winners and will see their sixth on Saturday night. Before the four year hiatus, however, World Wide Technology Raceway has seen 18 races with its first race in 1998.

There’s a who’s who of winners that have won here.

Rick Carelli was the first winner in 1998 and Greg Biffle won in 1999. Other winners include Jack Sprague, Ted Musgrave, Terry Cook, Brendan Gaughan, David Starr, Todd Bodine, Johnny Benson, Ron Hornaday, Mike Skinner, Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace, Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, John Hunter Nemechek and Justin Haley. The last five winners have gone on to competitively compete in the Xfinity Series.

Surprisingly enough, Ted Musgrave has been the only repeat winner at Gateway, winning in 2001 and 2005.

Qualifying is also important, as the lowest a race winner has ever come from was 14th set by David Starr back in 2004. The highest a race winner has ever come from was the pole position, three times, Musgrave in ’01 and ’05, and Harvick in 2010 before the track went on a hiatus.

It will be a one day and night show for the Truck Series at Gateway. The first practice will be live on Saturday at 10:35 a.m. CT while final practice is scheduled at 12:35 p.m. CT. Qualifying can be seen live on Fox Sports 2 at 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET.

The CarShield 200 is set to take the green flag shortly after 9 p.m. CT/10 p.m. ET, Saturday night, live on Fox Sports 1 and MRN Radio.

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