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Trucks

Creed Continues To Improve in Truck Series

LAS VEGAS — Sheldon Creed may be out of the playoffs, but that has not stopped him from contending for wins in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Entering Friday night’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the driver of the No. 2 had four straight finishes of sixth or better. This trend continued during the World of Westgate 200, where Creed once again proved to be a contender all night long and put himself in a constant battle for the lead.

“I mean we’ve been getting better and better. I feel like I’ve finally got my team back this week, so that was nice,” Creed told POPULAR SPEED. “I thought we were going to be pretty good, maybe a little snug, and we were plowing. Like I could hall butt for 10, 15 laps and then I would get so tight. But I don’t know. I had a shot there at the end. I have a lot of fun battling with those guys for the top three. Then I just got too tight there at the end, even trying to keep up. It’s a bummer but it’s something to build off of.”

While he may drive for one of the best teams in the series in GMS Racing, this season has still be a learning process for the 21-year-old rookie.

The good news for Creed? He has himself surrounded by a lot of people to lean on for advice, including two drivers that are current championship favorites.

“I have a ton of speed, just learning how to race better and better every weekend. Just trying to learn from Brett (Moffitt), and from Ross (Chastain), and from all these guys up front. I just want to learn as much as I can. I feel like tonight I did a really good job of passing and just being patient. Just need to keep working on that.”

The California-native will hope to keep to continue the improvement going in the closing stages of the season, but it could prove challenging with as the next two tracks the trucks visit. Creed has yet to run an event at Talladega Superspeedway, he finished outside the top-15 in his two prior starts at Martinsville Speedway.

Despite this, Creed will also look to break into the top-10 in points, as he currently sits 11th in the standings.

EMAIL MITCHELL AT mitchell.breuer@popularspeed.com

TWITTER: @MitchellB66

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Trucks

Three Crew Members Suspended from Sheldon Creed’s Team

Everybody may have fun in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series’ lone race on dirt this season, but it was not smiles for everyone leaving.

Three crew members from Sheldon Creed‘s team have been suspended as a result of violating Section 20.3.4.a of the NASCAR Rule Book having to do with ballast containers. Crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz, truck chief Austin Pollak and engineer Jonathan Stewart will miss the next three events on the schedule. 

The penalty comes after the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado had a ballast fall out during practice leading up to the Eldora Dirt Derby. Creed ultimately scored a runner-up in the race on Thursday night. 

GMS Racing has announced they will not appeal the penalty, with Darren Fraley serving as the interim crew chief for the next three events. An engineer with GMS in 2018, he helped Justin Haley earn three wins, nine top-five’s, and 18 top-10 finishes. 

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Trucks

Creed Scores First Top-10 of the Season At Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nev — After crashing out at Daytona International Speedway, and finishing 12th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sheldon Creed headed to Las Vegas Motor Speedway looking for better results.

The day started off a shaky note as on Lap 7, his No. 2 Chevrolet spun through the infield grass, causing the race’s only natural caution, and looking as if his day may be over be it started. However, the 21-year-old would rebound, ending stage two in seventh which allowed him to earn points. The true punctuation on Creed’s day came at the end of Strat 200, where he would finish sixth, capturing his first top-10 of the season.

“I feel like we should’ve done it two weeks ago so,” Creed told POPULAR SPEED. “Just slowly building. We’re getting better. I made a mistake there at the beginning of the race. Spun it. So, we regrouped from that and, happy to be back in the top-10I think we would’ve run fifth, but I think something happened with lug nuts there on the last stop and they took a second. So overall, a good rebound from that spin early. Just ready to keep improving.”

Creed moved to GMS Racing after winning the ARCA Menards Series Championship in 2018. The impressive finish marked a sign of progress for the rookie and his team in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. It’s a progression the California-native hopes continues throughout the season.

“I think we just gotta keep working together. Our team’s really good, but we just need to keep working together and keep getting better,” Creed said.

After three races, the 21-years-old sits 10th in the standings, 26 points behind first, and only five behind eighth as the series heads into a three-week break. When the trucks do return to action, they will compete at Martinsville Speedway, where Creed will look to improve his lone start at the track which came last October, where he finished 19th.

EMAIL MITCHELL AT mitchell.breuer@popularspeed.com

TWITTER: @MitchellB66

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement. 

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Trucks

Rookie Outlook: Gander Outdoors Truck Series

Since 2010, five of the nine drivers that have won the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Rookie of the Year have gone on to secure full-time rides in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

The most recent of which being William Byron, who now drives the famed No. 24 for Hendrick Motorsports.

With that being said, the award clearly introduces fans to drivers that will likely be on the rise in the next couple of years. In 2019, the series will once again have quite the class.

Harrison Burton

The most recognizable name on the list, and arguably the favorite for not only the Rookie of the Years honors, but the championship as well.

The son of Jeff Burton will be making his first full-time effort with Kyle Busch Motorsports after making 15 starts with the team over the last three years. He will be competing in the No. 18, replacing 2018 series runner-up, Noah Gragson.

The expectations will be high for the 18-year-old and, it will be interesting to see if he can carry his previous success in the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR K&N East Series into a series where he does have experience.

In 15 starts (all coming with KBM), Burton has posted four top-five’s and seven top-10’s, with his best finish of third coming at Iowa and Phoenix last year.

Sheldon Creed

Someone who may be overlooked heading into Daytona, but it may not stay that way for long.

Creed has proven himself a capable competitor in the past, winning four races in the ARCA Series a year ago in route to a championship. The 21-year-old will align himself with GMS Racing and will drive the No. 2 Chevrolet.

Like Burton, he has had opportunities in the series before, making seven starts with a top-five and two top-10’s to show for it.

Gus Dean

Another ARCA winner makes the move up, as Dean joins Young’s Motorsports to drive the No. 12 Chevrolet.

Unlike Burton and Creed though, he has zero starts in a truck; so this year may serve as a learning curve for the 24-year-old.

Tyler Ankrum

After winning four races and a championship in the K&N East Series, Ankrum looks to continue his winning ways as he continues to climb the NASCAR ladder driving the No. 17 Toyota for DGR-Crosley.

The 17-year-old will have his work cut for him early though, as his season will not start until March 23rd at Martinsville Speedway, after which he will be 18 and face no age restrictions. In the process, Ankrum will miss three races, which was enough to keep Todd Gilliland from winning the Rookie of the Year last year.

Part-Timers

Ankrum won’t be the only rookie getting a ride from DGR this season as both Natalie Decker and Anthony Alfredo will share the No. 54 Toyota.

Decker made headlines last year in ARCA, where she was able to win the pole at Daytona International Speedway and score nine top-10’s throughout the season.

Alfredo comes from a season in the K&N East Series where he won one race and finished fifth in the points standings.

EMAIL MITCHELL AT mitchell.breuer@popularspeed.com

TWITTER: @MitchellB66

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Trucks

ASHLEY ASKS…… Sheldon Creed

With four wins and 18 top-10’s in 20 races, Sheldon Creed was able to take home the ARCA Racing Series Championship for the 2018 season. The success has brought forth a new opportunity, racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with GMS Racing. 

The California native recently spoke about his success to date, as well as the future moving forward. 

POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts on the ARCA Championship?

SHELDON CREED: Pretty stoked about it. It didn’t really come easy. It started off slow, and got better as the season went on. Overall pretty happy with how it went.

PS: What was the most memorable moment of the season for you?

RUSSELL LABOUNTY | NKP

SHELDON: I would say probably winning the first race at Michigan was pretty memorable, or our last win at Kansas was a cool one.

PS: With that championship, you’ve got the opportunity to run some truck races. What are your thoughts on how your first couple starts have gone so far?

SHELDON: Not as well as I expected myself, but I think our next truck will be good for us so I’m looking forward to it.

PS: What are your goals as you close out this truck series season with running these events?

SHELDON: My goals are to run top-five every week, but if that doesn’t happen, then top-10, and if we’re not there, then we got work to do. So our goals are top-five for sure.

PS: Is it possible next time to see you full-time in the truck series?

SHELDON: That’s the goal; that’s the plan right now. We just have to work with partners and put something together for next year.

PS: Now, your background is a little different than some of the recent graduates we’ve seen. How much do you feel your dirt experience has helped you now in asphalt stock cars?

SHELDON: I think it helped in a lot of ways in car control and getting up to speed, but it also gave me a lot of bad habits too. I think that’s what took the longest to learn and slow down a bit. But for sure, there were pluses and minuses.

PS: Looking five years down the road, perhaps longer, what would it mean for you to race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series?

RUSSELL LABOUNTY | NKP

SHELDON: That’s the goal is to be in a full-time Cup car with a competitive team. I think if I go to that point, I’d look back with no regrets.

PS: Who is your racing hero?

SHELDON: Probably Jeremy McGrath, Travis Pastrana, Jimmie Johnson, and maybe a Rob MacCachren.

PS: How did you get your start in racing?

SHELDON: It all started when I was three and a half, four racing on BMX bikes. I went to dirt bikes when I was six or seven, and did that for a few years. Then started in off-road in trophy karts and raced that until a couple years ago.

PS: What would be your advice to someone looking to get into racing?

SHELDON: I feel like the hardest thing is having the funding to do it. Anybody can go race, but having sponsors and funding is the hard part. So you need to find that, and have a never give up attitude.  

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.