ISM Raceway hosted the conclusion of the Round of 6 this past weekend for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. The Lucas Oil 150 from Phoenix was quite a different race than the one we saw two weeks ago at Martinsville Speedway. Only five cautions slowed the pace for 30 laps, but in reality, there were only two if you remove the stage cautions. Not much action, but that was more than likely a welcome sight for the playoff drivers who were fighting for a spot in the Championship 4.
While one playoff driver rebounded from an early penalty, a couple of drivers who were not in the playoffs continued to shine and made their names known.
With that in mind, here are this week’s Power Rankings following the Lucas Oil 150.
- Brett Moffitt – When you look at the results and see that Moffitt finished 10th, it might not seem too impressive but the No. 24 GMS Racing team got the job done. That job was to lock themselves into the Champ 4 at Homestead. By having such a large points lead at one point in the race, the Grimes, Iowa native clinched a spot early in the race. Even if something catastrophic happened, Moffitt would still be in the championship race. The 10th place finish is what might have been for the GMS driver, but the focus is now on Homestead as Moffitt chases his second Truck Series title. Don’t be shocked if the team is able to pull off another championship when the season closes Friday night.
Previous Week Ranking – First
- Stewart Friesen- In what looked liked was going to be a troubling race for Friesen and the No. 52 Halmar Racing team, the Canadian rebounded to his second win of the season. Like his GMS technical teammate Moffitt, Friesen was solidly locked in barring any circumstances. It took most of the race to do it, but on Lap 107, the Halmar driver took the lead and led the last 44 laps en route to a Championship 4 spot this week. He may slide under the radar going into the race but Friesen just may be the spoiler in the championship race.
Previous Week Ranking – Not Ranked
- Chandler Smith – The Talking Rock, Georgia rookie Chandler Smith continues to impress in his short Truck Series stint this season. Smith qualified the No. 46 Kyle Busch Motorsports truck in the sixth position and remained consistent in the top-10 throughout the night. In fact, the Georgia native was close to winning the first stage by finishing second. Smith followed Stage 2 up with a third place finish. In the end, the KBM driver ultimately finished third after leading just one lap. With most of his racing season wrapped up in the ARCA and Truck Series, Smith most likely is focusing on the 2020 season where he will continue to make starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports. The future NASCAR star doesn’t turn 18 until June 26. In retrospect, he may very well challenge for the title next year, should NASCAR grant him a waiver if Smith ends up winning a race in the second part of the season.
Previous Week Ranking – Not Ranked
- Ross Chastain – It was a valiant ninth-place effort for Chastain and his No. 45 Niece Motorsports team who now find themselves battling for their first ever championship. The Florida native didn’t have the best qualifying spot of 14th, but a stage finish of fourth in Stage 1 and avoiding trouble helped Chastain chase for the Truck Series title. Now the pressure is on Chastain to perform well in hopes of winning the championship before focusing on his Xfinity efforts in 2020 with Kaulig Racing.
Previous Week Ranking – Third
- Grant Enfinger- It was a quiet fifth-place finish for Enfinger and the No. 98 ThorSport Racing team after starting eighth. The Alabama native didn’t lead any laps or win any stages but Enfinger notched his 10th top five of the season.
Previous Week Ranking – Fifth
- Todd Gilliland – After breaking through for his first career Truck Series win a few weeks ago at Martinsville, Gilliland and the No. 4 team struggled to finish in the top-10 at Phoenix. While the North Carolina native had stage finishes of sixth and seventh in both stages, Gilliland wound up a disappointing 14th place finish. Not the night the KBM driver was looking for in hopes of following up Martinsville with a strong finish.
Previous Week Ranking – Second
- Timmy Hill – Hill did not compete in the Truck race as rookie Carson Hocevar piloted the No. 56 Hill Motorsports Chevy to a 23rd place finish, one lap down.
Previous Week Ranking – Fourth