Gander Truck Sunoco Rookies on the rise

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With a class of seven drivers in the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year program it was inevitable that a few would rise to the top of the series’ talent pool. Three of the seven – Zane Smith, Christian Eckes and Derek Kraus – have broken into the top 10 in points and are currently Playoff eligible.

Leading the way amongst the 2020 rookies is GMS Racing’s Zane Smith, driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet, who sits second in the driver standings heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway — 21 points behind points leader Austin Hill. Smith will be making his Homestead-Miami Speedway series debut this weekend but heads to the track with a good bit of confidence after finishing in the top-10 in the last three races; including a season-best third-place showing at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NGROTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings
Zane Smith1422
Christian Eckes1251
Derek Kraus1071
Tanner Gray860
Raphael Lessard840
Ty Majeski820
Tate Fogleman510
Spencer Davis420

Sitting sixth in the Gander Trucks driver standings is Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Toyota – 38 points back from standings leader Austin Hill. Eckes has had a slow start to the season but has rebounded recently posting a pole and a third-place finish last weekend at Atlanta – his first top five of the season.

The third series rookie to crack the top 10 in points is McAnally-Hilgermann Racing’s Derek Kraus, who currently resides ninth in the series driver standings – 56 points back from series standings leader Austin Hill. Kraus has had an up and down season so far, posting a top five (fourth) in the season-opener at Daytona and then another top 10 (seventh) last week at Atlanta.

Of the three rookies, Eckes is the only one with previous experience at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He made his series track debut last season, starting second and finishing third. Both Smith and Kraus will be making their series track debuts this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.