Following the first eight races of the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, two drivers have locked themselves into the post-season of the eight positions available. With six more spots up for grabs over the next eight events, the action promises to be full of excitement.
As we hit the halfway mark of the regular season, here is an idea of how things look thus far.
1. Johnny Sauter – Locked In, 1 Win
Returning home to ThorSport Racing was the perfect medicine for Johnny Sauter as he is already locked into the post-season with a victory at Dover International Speedway. He has also shown potential across the board with five top-10’s in eight races.
He is projected to start the playoffs in second, four points behind Grant Enfinger.
2. Austin Hill – Locked In, 1 Win
Austin Hill wasted no time getting himself locked into the post-season by winning the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Driving for the defending series champions, he has since posted four more top-10 finishes.
He is projected to start the playoffs in fourth, five points behind Enfinger.
3. Grant Enfinger +79
Although he has yet to reach victory lane this season, Grant Enfinger has been the most consistent driver as he is one of two competitors to post seven top-10 finishes in the eight races thus far. It has paid off, allowing him to build a race cushion over the cut-off and currently lead the regular season standings.
He is currently projected to start the playoffs in the lead, four points ahead of Sauter.
4. Stewart Friesen +64
With having come close to winning on several occasions, Stewart Friesen has been given the title ‘the next driver to breakthrough’ for a long time now in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series. While we still await for the moment to happen, he has built himself a good cushion with five top-10 finishes this season.
He is currently projected to start the playoffs in third, four points behind Enfinger.
5. Brett Moffitt +46
The defending series champion has not slowed down despite switching teams, having scored five top-10’s in eight races, with half of those in the top-five. Certainly he will be hoping to put his 19th-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway behind him quickly to maintain his current advantage.
He is currently projected to start the playoffs in fifth, five points behind Enfinger.
6. Ben Rhodes +45
Ben Rhodes has been solid, scoring six top-10 finishes in the eight races this season, including a fourth-place finish at Charlotte to pad his advantage. With an average finish ranging from ninth to 11th at the next three tracks on the schedule, he needs to make sure his consistency continues.
He is currently projected to start the playoffs in sixth, nine points behind Enfinger.
7. Matt Crafton +42
It may come as a shock that Matt Crafton has yet to reach victory lane, but that is the case eight races into the 2019 campaign. He has shown the potential to do so as he put himself in contention on a couple occasions, but not consistency like he has been known to do so in the past. He will need to improve on making that a regular habit if he wants to continue racking up championships.
He is currently projected to start the playoffs in seventh, nine points behind Enfinger.
8. Todd Gilliland +1
While Kyle Busch Motorsports is known as being championship contenders and Kyle Busch managed to score five victories this year, the team now watches as their young drivers fight for the last spot in the top-eight of the playoffs. The only way to make it happen for them both now is to see a victory be earned. Gateway could very well see it happen for Todd Gilliland following a runner-up finish last season.
He is currently projected to start the playoffs in eighth, 13 points behind Enfinger.
9. Harrison Burton -1
Harrison Burton has shown potential behind the wheel with race-winning opportunities, but seems to be missing what it takes to be there at the end of these events with the veterans. Combined with having to fight back from issues each week, the points are not being earned as much as he would have hoped.
Out of the next three races on the schedule, Iowa Speedway is his best chance to reach victory lane following a pole and third-place finish last season.
10. Sheldon Creed -24
Sheldon Creed consistently runs up front with the leaders throughout the events, but seems to find trouble – sometimes of his own making – during the late stages which seems him relegated outside of the top-10 in the finishing order. As a result, he only has one top-10 finish despite leading 92 laps to this point.
Out of the next three races on the schedule, Texas Motor Speedway is the only track he has ran previously.
11. Tyler Dippel -88
For a rookie in the series, you need to give Tyler Dippel credit for the performance delivered thus far with a season-best finish of eighth at Texas Motor Speedway. He just needs to work at finding more consistency with Young’s Motorsports to run steadily in the top-10.
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