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Burton readies for Camping World Truck Series debut with father at his side
Related: Martinsville practice results " Views from opening day MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Heading into this weekend, Harrison Burton's experience level at Martinsville Speedway was next to zero, counting only a smattering of laps shaking down his cousin Jeb's Late Model car not long ago. His lap count went up significantly Friday in practice for his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in Saturday's Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented by Alpha Energy Solutions (1:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Should things go according to plan, he'll add another 200 more circuits to his developing background at the .526-mile track in his first NASCAR national series event. But the 16-year-old NASCAR Next driver has some tangible factors to help offset his lack of laps around the historic short track -- a top-quality Kyle Busch Motorsports truck and some sage advice from his father, Jeff Burton , who logged 39 career starts here, including a win in 1997, before transitioning to the NBC Sports broadcast team. The elder Burton was by his son's side after Friday's final practice, providing a sounding board with helpful pointers. "He's had tons of experience at places like this and obviously at this very race track, he's won in the (Sprint) Cup Series which is one of the hardest things to do," Harrison Burton said. "Obviously he's a great resource and I've utilized him pretty much every day coming up to this event. I've talked to him about it and tried to pick his brain as much as I could. He's really smart about this kind of stuff, that's for sure." Burton posted the seventh-fastest lap in Friday's early practice and followed that with the 18th spot on the leaderboard in final practice in the KBM No. 18 Toyota. But Friday was also about gaining experience and making first impressions at one of NASCAR's most rhythm-dependent venues. "It's probably one of the hardest race tracks I've been to," Burton said. "I feel like the braking and how to get off the brakes, how to get on them and how far to drive in -- it's so easy to overdrive these corners because they're so little. Compared to how long the straightaways are, it's just disproportional. It really throws me for a loop, but I'm learning as fast as I can and I'm trying my hardest." Burton's path to NASCAR's national ranks has been a fairly conventional one, but with extraordinary progress. He finished seventh this year in his first full season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, but has also made his mark with an excellent run of Late Model success. Burton turned 16 on Oct. 9, making him eligible for national series races on tracks 1.25 miles or shorter. Making the move three weeks after blowing out the candles might seem like an accelerated jump, but Burton says he hasn't locked himself into a firm timetable for his stock-car racing career. "It's hard to tell," Burton said. "Just to make it in one of NASCAR's three series is so, so tough. You have to do so many things right and have so many things align for you to have an opportunity like I have now, so I didn't really have a timeline. I was just going to go out every race and race as hard as I could every time I did and hopefully impress some people to get a shot at it." The timetable isn't quite set for 2017 and beyond, Burton said, with plenty of pathways still to be decided in the offseason. "The schedule's still in the works, for sure," Burton said. "We have a lot of options and a lot of things to think about, which is great. You always want to have options and hopefully you make the right choices leading up. It's tough to foresee the future. We might choose right, we might choose wrong, but no matter what, we've got to stay 100 percent committed to our choice. I'm really excited for the future and what it has to come. I hope we make the right choices." Burton indicated he has modest goals for his maiden voyage in the truck series , hoping to complete every lap but also keeping the door open to grab more if the opportunity exists. It's helped having Kyle Busch Motorsports personnel as support, bringing a certain level of swagger in their approach to the race weekend. "All these guys out here want to come out here and win every single week and that's what you have to have," Burton said. "You have to have that drive to come out and beat everyone and walk down pit road and say, 'I'm going to beat you and you and you and you,' and that's what these guys have. They come out here 100 percent committed. There's a lot of intensity involved, which is awesome. It's a great environment and I've loved it so far." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Sauter puts pieces of puzzle together to win first Truck Series title
RELATED: Full race results " Truck Series Chase Grid " Race recap HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Johnny Sauter remembers well the first time he talked to GMS Racing competition director Mike Beam about making a significant career change. While at the hospital for the birth of his third child in September 2015, Sauter scurried away to the parking deck for a 45-minute chat about driving for the upstart organization. That period in Sauter's life wound up being the rare lightning-strikes-twice instance of two life-changing events coinciding. The longtime journeyman, in the first year of his partnership with the Maurice Gallagher-owned team, realized his life's dream Friday night by clinching his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship with a gritty third-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Though the bonds forged between Sauter and GMS, like his toddler-aged daughter, are barely a year old, the team was front of mind for the veteran driver after crossing under the checkered flag. He offered a rapid succession of thank-yous over the team radio, a champion at last. "I never thought that would happen," Sauter radioed in during the cool-down lap. "This is because of you guys." Sauter made a self-described "leap of faith" in the offseason after spending seven seasons with perennial powerhouse ThorSport Racing. During his tenure with the Ohio-based organization, Sauter regularly competed for victories and finished among the top five in series points in five of those seven years. Yet his first discussions with GMS brought newfound energy, a near-instant comfort level and confidence in the group's dedication to building a title-contending team. Renewing his family's long-running General Motors allegiances by shifting to a Chevrolet team was also an important motivator. "People is a big ingredient," Sauter said. "There's just a lot of little things. I could sit here all night and talk about it. It's just the whole package. I just felt very comfortable about meeting the Gallagher family. I'm not sitting up here blowing smoke, I'm telling you the truth. I felt very comfortable that night and knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of." For Gallagher, the move to bring Sauter to the fold was nearly two years in the making. Since the operation's full-fledged launch in 2014, GMS Racing has fielded trucks for a host of several part-time Sprint Cup stars along with relative newcomers to the series , but the 38-year-old Sauter represented an element that was missing. "Johnny was that kind of constant," Gallagher said. "He shows up with that kind of experience -- and I call him the old salt -- and you just can't put a price on that kind of been there, done that. He was terrific with the younger guys, and I couldn't ask for a better teammate. It's an investment. You do it, and you hope to have the outcome we had. You'd like to think that every investment pays off. It's hard in this business, but this one has paid off in spades." The new partnership bore fruit with immediacy after a victory in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway . The team then peaked in the series' first-ever Chase postseason, with two wins in the Round of 6 clinching Sauter's title shot in style. Friday night's performance, rallying from a 19th-place starting spot and outdueling former teammate Matt Crafton in a sterling battle down the stretch, represented a coronation for the 15-year veteran with experience in all three NASCAR national series . It also meant the first season-long laurels for Sauter since a championship in the former American Speed Association (ASA) AC-Delco Challenge Series in 2001. And it also signified a long-awaited celebration for a Wisconsin family with a rich devotion to racing. "It's all about putting the pieces of the puzzle together," Sauter said. "Sometimes it works out, and I've always said, timing is everything. You know, I feel like the timing is good where I'm at right now." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Kaz Grala lands full-time 2017 ride with GMS
STATESVILLE, N.C. (December 5, 2016) -- GMS Racing announces today that Massachusetts-native Kaz Grala will pilot the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado full time in 2017, across all 23 races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). The soon-to-be 18-year-old rookie, a part-time driver at GMS Racing in 2016, accomplished three top-10 results in only nine races and has now earned a larger opportunity to step up to full-time competition in one of NASCAR's premier racing series . In recent years, Kaz has made a name for himself in Late Model racing by breaking records. In his first race at fabled Hickory Motor Speedway, Kaz won the 2013 UARA 150 and became the youngest winner in series history. The following year, he became the youngest NASCAR winner in Caraway Speedway history when he held off the Whelen All-American Series National Champion to win the 171-lap event. In 2015, Kaz won his Pro All Stars Series debut at South Boston Speedway with a dominant performance, leading 131 of 150 laps. Kaz differentiates himself by tearing up road-course events each year. He has won the 12 hours of NJMP, the 13 hours of VIR, and competed in the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, the pinnacle of sports-car racing in America. Kaz made it to the final round in NCWTS qualifying in all but one race in 2016. He scored his first top-10 finish in only his second start in the series at Dover International Speedway . In his first race at Gateway Motorsports Park , Kaz brought home yet another top-10 finish. At the rookie's home track, New Hampshire Motor Speedway , he brought home his best finish of 2016, a 7th-place result. "I am beyond thankful to have an opportunity with GMS Racing to run full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017. This organization has been on a steep rise the past couple of years, and it's been fun being a part of it in 2016," remarked an excited Grala. Joining the GMS Racing stable in 2017 is veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter who claims time in the principal team role in all three of NASCAR's top racing series , dating back to 1986. Baxter has worked with a variety of NASCAR notables and most recently recorded four seasons with Kyle Busch Motorsports and in 2016 with rookie Chase contender Christopher Bell . "I'm looking forward to next season with GMS and working through this transition with Kaz. I really enjoy helping young drivers get started in this series and developing their talent, and I saw what Kaz accomplished in the few races he ran last season," said Baxter. Next season Baxter will tackle year seven in the Camping World Truck Series and looks to add to his series resume of nine wins, 38 top-five finishes, 67 top-10 finishes, six pole-qualifying positions and 1,426 laps led, with the No. 33 team and Grala. Kaz further described his eagerness for next season, "GMS Racing has really gone out of their way to bring some of the best people in the industry on board, and Jerry Baxter is no exception. I'm extremely excited to get to work with Jerry, who not only is a great match for me personality-wise, but also is very accomplished in the NASCAR world . I am looking forward to returning to the No. 33 Chevy Silverado, which I made a few starts in this year. Hopefully Jerry's experience on top of the box will complement my Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender status, and bring success to the team next year." In three full-time seasons in the NCWTS, GMS Racing has earned seven wins and recently captured the 2016 Driver Championship with longtime competitor Johnny Sauter . The success was a result of the perfect combination of veteran skill and young talent. When he's not improving his race skills to become an accomplished NASCAR driver, Kaz is an honor-roll high school senior at Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. The 17-year-old who has a birthday on December 29th is currently interviewing with colleges for the fall of 2017. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt
New NASCAR.com homepage improves mobile, live-event experience
NASCAR.com's homepage is being redesigned with mobile and live events in mind. The new look and functionality improves the user experience by taking fans to the track and the news of the day on any device, wherever they are. The more visual layout presents top stories, videos and photo galleries in a consistent way across computers, tablets and phones. A single homepage highlights news, schedules and standings for the premier series , XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series . Races are at the heart of the new NASCAR.com homepage with the new Race Center component. When cars or trucks are on track, find quick links to all the ways to keep track of what's happening in a clean, well-organized format. It's your go-to spot for weekend schedules, live leaderboards and results for all three national series . Each week, the upcoming track will be featured with facts, photos and ticket links for fans to learn more about that week's venue and see the races live. The new NASCAR.com homepage will launch in January, but take a sneak peek now with the video at the top of the page. Any feedback? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reddick to drive for CGR in XFINITY Series
CONCORD, N.C. -- Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced today that Tyler Reddick , a current driver and a three-time winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), will pilot the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro in multiple NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2017. Reddick, 20, will share the No. 42 Chevrolet with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Series Rookie of the Year and 2016 member of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , Kyle Larson . Veteran XFINITY Series crew chief Mike Shiplett will continue to lead the No. 42 team. · Reddick has competed in many forms of dirt and asphalt racing in his still young career. He was the youngest driver to qualify in the pole position at the Eldora Speedway World 100, the youngest driver to win at the East Bay Winter Nationals, and the youngest winner in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series . He's also the youngest driver ever to qualify for a feature race in World of Outlaws Late Model Series . · Reddick won in his first career start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Rockingham Speedway in 2012. He competed in the NCWTS on a part-time basis in 2013 and 2014, before moving to full-time duties in 2015 and 2016. In 62 starts, Reddick has three wins, three poles, 24 top-five and 39 top-10 finishes. He finished second in the NCWTS standings in 2015 and after a win, seven top-five and 11 top-10s in 2016, Reddick currently sits ninth in the standings. &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
2016 Camping World Truck Series Chase field
RELATED: Chase Grid " Every 2016 race winner The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase Grid was set with the end of the 16-race regular season on Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway . Six full-time drivers with victories in 2016 made the eight-driver field with two drivers getting in on their strength of consistency thanks to their point positions in the driver standings. This year marks the first time the Camping World Truck Series will use the elimination-style format that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has used since 2014. The Truck Series Chase will be three rounds and opens next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . The Round of 8 will consist of races at New Hampshire, Las Vegas and Talladega, where two drivers will be eliminated from the field. The Round of 6 will consist of races at Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix, where two drivers will be eliminated from the field, setting the stage for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18. Here's who comprises the field. NASCAR announced the seeding and the points shortly after the finish of the American Ethanol e15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway . 1. William Byron, No. 9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota (five wins, 2015 points) 2. Matt Crafton , No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota (two wins, 2006 points) 3. John Hunter Nemechek , No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet (two wins, 2006 points) 4. Christopher Bell , No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota (one win, 2003 points) 5. Johnny Sauter , No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet (one win, 2003 points) 6. Ben Kennedy , No. 33 GMS Racing Chevrolet (one win, 2003 points) 7. Daniel Hemric , No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford (on points, 2000 points) 8. Timothy Peters , No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota (on points, 2000 points) &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase explained
Get caught up on the format for the inaugural Chase in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with this informative video.
Byron earns fourth Camping World Truck Series win of 2016
RELATED: Results SPARTA, KY. -- William Byron didn't have the fastest truck at the end of Thursday night's Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway. But Byron had the most important ingredient in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the newly repaved and reconfigured 1.5-mile track. Byron held the top spot for all 42 laps after the final restart of the event on lap 108 of 150. It was no cakewalk. Byron had to stave off assaults from both runner-up John Hunter Nemechek and third-place finisher Daniel Hemric , who dogged the race winner -- and each other -- for the entire closing green-flag run. At the end, after surviving a last-ditch effort from Nemechek, Byron's No. 9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota crossed the finish line .190 seconds ahead of Nemechek's family-owned No. 8 Chevrolet. Hemric was .291 seconds behind the winner at the finish. The victory was the fourth in 10 starts this season for the 18-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner, and it was the 51st win for KBM, most all-time for a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. "It's a dream come true to get a fourth win like this," Byron said. "I can't thank the team enough." With Christopher Bell finishing fourth, KBM grabbed two of the top four spots, but team owner Kyle Busch had to watch the last 93 laps from the sidelines after Spencer Gallagher checked his Chevrolet up in front of him and triggered a wreck that sent Busch's Toyota spinning into the outside wall on Lap 57. Busch expressed frustration in the aftermath of the crash, but was more upbeat after the race when reflecting on the meteoric rise of the team he launched in 2010. "This is a special moment," said Busch, whose drivers have won the last four series races. "It's been really cool. What to me makes it most special, I think, is how we've done it in such a short period of time. "From 2010 through 2016, we've gotten 51 wins, and many of the teams that we excelled ahead of have been around a lot longer than we have. That's pretty awesome." Byron felt a vibration in his truck in the closing laps but stayed on the throttle. "It was tough," he acknowledged. "I honestly felt like I had a right rear tire going down. With the new surface, it's hard to get a tire to last that long. I had quite the vibration the last three or four laps. "I was just hoping and praying that there would be no cautions. Just a great run for us. Our Liberty University Tundra was really good tonight, and we were able to stay out front that last run and that was the key." Though they had faster trucks in the closing laps, Nemechek and Hemric couldn't focus solely on Byron because they were battling each other. Hemric lost momentum into Turn 1 on Lap 146 when he closed quickly on Byron's bumper, and he and Nemechek ran side-by-side for the better part of two laps before Nemechek took the second spot on Lap 147. Though Nemechek was clearly stronger than Byron through high-speed Turns 1 and 2, he wasn't able to get to Byron's rear bumper on the final lap. "The 19 (Hemric) got down on my right rear a couple of times and got me loose, but that's just racing, I guess," Nemechek said. "It sucks to be disappointed with second, but I guess that's a good thing." Hemric gave a tip of the hat to Byron, who had to work extremely hard to stay out front. "The 9 (Byron) was put in a position where he had to run perfectly for the last 40-45 laps, or else he wouldn't have won," Hemric said. "So congratulations to him." Byron, locked into the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, extended his series lead to 13 points over second-place Matt Crafton , who ran eighth, and 17 points over Hemric and Timothy Peters (ninth Thursday), who are tied for third.
Erik Jones lands Camping World Truck Series duty at Gateway
RELATED: Gateway entry list Erik Jones is returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for a start this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park . The 2015 Camping World Truck Series champion will pilot the No. 51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports in Saturday's Drivin for Linemen 200 brought to you by Altec (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM). This marks Jones' first start in the series since clinching the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November. Cody Coughlin was originally slated to pilot the ride but a schedule conflict came up between the Camping World Truck Series race and his full-time Late Model competition. The 20-year-old has made three starts in the Truck Series in 2016 for KBM. Jones is competing for a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The 20-year-old led 84 laps in last year's event at the 1.25-mile track before an electrical issue relegated him to a 23rd-place finish. The XFINITY Series is off this weekend. Cole Custer (No. 00 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) is the defending race winner at the Madison, Illinois track.
Bell earns first Camping World Truck Series win of 2016
RELATED: Results " Standings " Updated NCWTS Chase Grid MADISON, Ill. -- A gutsy decision to use the bottom lane for a restart with two laps to go paid off for Christopher Bell , who earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in Saturday night's third annual Drivin for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park . Bell, driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, survived a chaotic and intense second half to edge Ben Rhodes to the checkered flag, giving KBM its 50th victory in the series , tying Roush Fenway Racing for the all-time series wins lead. "This one's for my guys," said Bell in Victory Lane. "My guys, they deserve this one. We've been so fast all year long and I just kept making a lot of mistakes. I just can't say thank you enough to all the guys at Toyota, TRD, JBL, everyone at KBM, all my pit crew guys they did an awesome job. Track position was everything. We got awesome motors underneath the hood of these things and all the guys at JGR, they never give up and keep digging." Rhodes, who contended for his first career win, had to settle for a career-best second. "He (Bell) had a really loose truck and that's what you needed at the end of the race," Rhodes said. "It just got tighter and tighter as the runs went on. I was way too tight but I was making some good ground on the outside and he came up on us a little bit, which is fine. It's racing for the win at the end. He did an awesome job all night. He raced everybody clean and with respect. I think we could use a little more of that in our series after this crazy Drivin' For Linemen 200." For the second consecutive year, Mother Nature soaked the 1.25-mile track shortly before qualifying was to begin, forcing the field to be set by combined practice speeds, handing the top starting position to Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Rhodes. Despite an hour and fifteen-minute delay for inclement weather, Rhodes would lose the lead on the start from veteran Johnny Sauter who held command until Tyler Reddick elected to stay out on a Lap 26 caution for an incident in Turn 3. The bold strategy for Reddick paid off with the race lead until the event's third caution on Lap 65 for the expiration of the caution clock. During routine pit stops, a quick stop from William Byron's crew handed him the lead. The NASCAR Next alumnus led for a whopping 48 laps, until outside pole sitter Sauter squeezed ahead on pit road following a Lap 113 caution for the second expiration of the caution clock. The two would be under attack on the restart from Christopher Bell who surged into the lead on Lap on Lap 119 and despite losing the lead to Rhodes on Lap 149, the Toyota Racing development driver reclaimed the lead on Lap 153 and held on for his first NCWTS win on pavement. The event was red-flagged three times for incidents. The first for a three- truck incident in Turn 3 on Lap 120 lasted six minutes, 38 seconds. The second came 11 laps from the finish for a seven- truck accident in Turn 4 for a total of 10 minutes, 50 seconds. The final red flag broke out behind the leaders for an incident between Spencer Gallagher and John Wes Townley that lasted 12 minutes, 49 seconds. The two drivers wrestled after climbing from their trucks and were summoned to the Truck Series hauler post-race. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take a one-week breather before returning to competition at Kentucky Speedway on Thurs., July 7 for the Buckle Up Your Truck 225.