Four Takeaways: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series-Chicago

Chicagoland Speedway hosted the 12th race of the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season Friday night and saw a familiar winner back in victory lane.

The Camping World 225 was a relatively quick, and for the most part, a caution free race. The race lasted about one hour and 49 minutes with five cautions for 27 laps. There were three incidents during the race; Jordan Anderson spun off Turn 4, Natalie Decker was nudged by Todd Gilliland off Turn 4 and Austin Wayne Self, Spencer Davis and Grant Enfinger were involved in an accident off Turn 4 as well.

The percentage under caution and green flag were about equal, with 18 percent run under caution, as race fans saw 20.5 laps under the green flag. There were seven leaders that made 12 lead changes among Austin Hill, Grant Enfinger, Brandon Jones, Camden Murphy, Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed and Spencer Boyd.

Despite those lead changes, Moffitt was able to pick up his second win of the 2019 Truck Series season and the ninth win of his career.

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With that said, here are this week’s Four Takeaways from the Camping World 225.

  1. Moffitt Wins In Unsponsored Truck – Quite possibly one of the more newsworthy items following the race was Moffitt winning in an unsponsored truck at Chicago. It’s the first time this season that Moffitt was not sponsored. While there may or may not be concerns in the GMS Racing camp about sponsorship, Spencer Gallagher noted on Friday night, “the statement is that the winning race truck is available for sponsorship to those organizations that want to be a member of a winning team and a future championship team, I believe.” Hopefully, it’s the only time Moffitt is not sponsored in a race and the team picks up more sponsors for the rest of the season. Nonetheless, it will be an interesting story to follow throughout the season.

  2. Kyle Busch Motorsports Has Solid Outing – KBM was able to place all their trucks in the top-10 in Friday night’s race. Brandon Jones was the highest finisher placing second, Harrison Burton was fourth and Todd Gilliland rounded out the KBM team finishing order in sixth. Jones and Burton were able to place themselves in the top-10 during the stages, while Gilliland did not. However, it was just what Burton and Gilliland needed after facing some criticism this season. Although, both will need a win soon as the Playoffs are on the horizon as Burton sits sixth in the standings while Gilliland is eighth and neither have any wins. They could race their way in on points. However, as it stands right now, Sauter, Hill and Moffitt all have wins, while Enfinger, Friesen, Crafton and Rhodes do not. When the points reset for the Playoffs, Sauter, Hill and Moffitt will be on top of the points standings and everyone else will move down a spot. This will more than likely leave someone that is highly competitive out of the Playoffs.

  3. ThorSport Racing Struggles – While one team enjoyed success, another team struggled to place their trucks in the top-10. After having such a solid season early on and leading up to Chicago’s race Friday night, it was a forgettable night for the Sandusky, Ohio based team. The night went from bad to worse when Ben Rhodes, who qualified 17th, blew up on the first lap of the race before getting into the turn. Due to the engine issue, Rhodes wound up with a last-place finish. It was the first last-place finish of his career for the Louisville, Kentucky native. More issues arose for his teammate Johnny Sauter. Sauter began experiencing the same thing in both of the stages. The No. 13 team believed it was a spark plug wire issue but never could figure out the exact cause. This left Sauter with a disappointing 18th place finish after qualifying second. For Enfinger, it looked like he was going to earn his first race win of the season. He qualified fifth, finished second in Stage 1 after getting passed on the last lap and won the second stage. The Alabama native led 49 laps only to finish 16th. Matt Crafton was the only ThorSport driver in the top-10 finishing eighth. It was a forgettable night for ThorSport Racing who will probably use the off week to reset and start fresh again.

  4. Off Week – After completing 12 races of the 2019 Truck Series season, the regulars will be taking a week off. Many drivers will probably be celebrating the Fourth of July holiday, while others will use it as a reset before heading to Kentucky next week. Believe it or not, there are only five races left until the Playoffs. Those five tracks are Kentucky, Pocono, Eldora, Michigan and Bristol (the cutoff race before the Playoffs begin). There are some drivers that could sneak into the playoffs like Sheldon Creed, Tyler Dippel and possibly Spencer Boyd, who could surprise the field. Nonetheless, there are some other drivers like Enfinger and Friesen, among others, who have not won yet. The 2019 Truck Series season will only heat up from here in what has been one of the most exciting seasons to date.

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