By: Mitchell Breuer
It was all about GMS Racing as the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series opened the Round of 8 at Kansas Speedway on Saturday.
At the end of the day it was Brett Moffitt capturing his first win of the season and securing his spot in the Championship 4;but, he did not emerge at the front until the closing laps. It was all about his teammate Sheldon Creed, who won the first two stages.
While Creed stayed secured at the front, the opening stage did see some comers and goers throughout the field. Ben Rhodes, who started the race from second, backwards, dropping to 22nd by the end of the first stage. On the opposite end, Parker Kligerman, quickly improved from 35th and moved up to 14th by the first caution.
Both of these drivers would then have their days shaken up, as they would be included in a big wreck to open Stage 2.The incident would begin with Raphael Lessard sliding up the track and into traffic, and causing a chain reaction throughout the field. Rhodes and Kilgerman continued with different results, finishing 20th 15threspectively.
As a result, Rhodes’ playoff run took a hit, now 33 points below the cutline, only ahead of Tyler Ankrum (56 behind), who was also involved in the big crash. Both will likely need wins to advance to Phoenix.
Jumping ahead to Stage 3 and, for the first time all day, Creed was challenged for the lead, with teammate Zane Smith, taking over first. As Creed continued to fall backwards, as another GMS truck in Moffitt, moved up to second.
It was green flag pit stops that allowed Moffitt to finally get side-by-side with Smith. The two traded the lead back and forth until Moffitt attempted to block Smith, but instead sent him sliding and causing the race’s final caution with just a handful of laps to go. As Moffitt went to victory lane, Smith ended the day disappointed and in 11th.
In her debut, Hailie Deegan finished 16th after running inside the top-20 for majority of the race. While she kept her truck clean, there was one hiccup she experienced. During her first green-flag stop of the year, she ran out of gas coming to pit road and struggled for a little bit to get back up to speed when she returned to the track. Her day also included some big news for her future, as it was announced she will be moving up to run the full-schedule in 2021 with DGR-Crosley.
Another notable finish was the seventh-place result put together by Timothy Peters, who was making his first start since Talladega last season filling-in for Stewart Friesen, who missed the race due to prior commitments.