The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series had an off-week last weekend as the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series took on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. After a weekend of recouping and preparing, the series now heads to Kansas Speedway to kick off the next round of the Gander Trucks Playoffs.
Prior to the series’ weekend break, the Gander Trucks took on Talladega Superspeedway in an intense battle between the entire field, specifically the Playoff drivers as the Round of 8 was on the line.
Two drivers were eliminated after Talladega – Christian Eckes in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota and Todd Gilliland in the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford.
Raphael Lessard, the 19-year-old Canadian and non-Playoff driver, won the Talladega elimination race in a wild, two-lap shootout that ended early because of a wreck in Turn 3. Lessard, driver of the No. 4 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, had never won a race before and called his first career win “amazing”.
Saturday’s race at Kansas Speedway, the Clean Harbors 200 (4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), will be 134 laps and 201 miles and will kick off a full weekend of racing.
The series already visited Kansas once this season for the first-ever doubleheader of the series. Austin Hill (7/24) and Matt Crafton (7/25) were both victorious.
Crafton, the reigning champion, has 21 starts at Kansas Speedway, the most of any other active driver in the series. He also has three wins (2013, 2015, 2020).
Hill, Crafton and Johnny Sauter are the only three drivers in the field with wins at the track.
Chandler Smith in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota will start on the pole on Saturday afternoon with Ben Rhodes in the No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford joining him on the front row.
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff Outlook Following Talladega:
|Rank||Driver||Points||Race Wins||Stage Wins||Playoff Pts||Pts from Cutoff|
|3||Zane Smith #||3,022||2||5||22||6|