OBSERVATIONS: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 at Kansas Speedway

By: Ashley McCubbin

A night of NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series competition brings forth another round of the applause from the fans. After all, they continually prove why they are the most fun series to watch.

From the drop of the green flag, there was action all the way around Kansas Speedway, keeping your eyes peeled to the screen. The restarts were wild as ever, with drivers making it three, sometimes four-wide in an effort to gain as much ground as quickly as possible.

Though if unable to do so, the unique grooves and aero package of the trucks allotted them an opportunity to make passes over the course of the run. Being able to witness Austin Hill and Brett Moffitt flip lines back and forth, getting runs on each other for the lead more than five laps was a testament to this.  There was also the late side-by-side battle for fifth courtesy of Zane Smith and Derek Kraus.

The excitement wasn’t there in the last 20 laps though, as Hill drove away from the field, ultimately crossing the finish line by almost three seconds ahead of Moffitt.

Seeing the No. 16 in victory lane is no surprise, considering the four wins last season and the fact he is your current points leader. As he mentioned during a post-race conference this past week, it was just a matter of time before the wins starting coming.

That said, the competition is still wide open in the series with GMS Racing (Moffitt) and ThorSport Racing (Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton) able to run up front all race long, meaning the battle for the title should be fun to watch.

Kyle Busch Motorsports not being part of the battle for the win was a surprise, considering none of his trucks placed inside the top-10. Christian Eckes showed potential, but ultimately fell back through the last run at race’s end, while Brandon Jones was unable to rebound following a penalty.

Busch proved his trucks could win races, courtesy of winning last weekend. He was also very critical last year when Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton were not performing to expectations. However, another season sees the young stars struggle while Gilliland has flourished with Front Row Motorsports. Eckes struggling is a big surprise, considering he is coming off the ARCA Menards Series Championship run with Venturini Motorsports in 2019.

Could KBM losing their touch on development?

The other surprise late was the lack of caution when Jordan Anderson and Spencer Davis got together, with the No. 3 Chevrolet slowing down, coming across the track before rolling around the apron. There have been yellow flags for even less reasons, such as a competitor slow due to a mechanical issue or innocent spin. However, the sanctioning body elected to allow the final four laps to play out without interruption.

Considering the debates across social media since the incident, it may be time the sanctioning body clarifies how they decide when to use the yellow flag in events.

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