Ross Chastain has to be the odds on favorite to win this year’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship. For the third time of the season, Chastain took his No. 45 Chevrolet to victory lane.
The Niece Motorsports driver led a race-high 54 of 60 lap en route to the dominating victory on Saturday at the Pocono Raceway. The Florida native bet on himself and his team back in the late spring when he switched from scoring NASCAR XFINITY Series points to the Truck Series. Not only would he have to win, he’d have to make it into the top 20 of the points standings.
Now, he’s not only won, but he’s done so three times and is solidly into the top 20. That’s why he’s the favorite.
Chastain, ended a four race Toyota win streak in this race an scored his 13th top 10 finish of the season – four straight.
Tyler Ankrum backed up his win at Kentucky and would finish runner-up in his No. 17 Toyota. Ankrum, now has four top three finishes on the season and is a legit sleeper to make some noise in the playoffs.
Harrison Burton would finish third in his No. 18 Toyota for his sixth third place finish of his young Truck Series career. The second generation driver has nine top 10 finishes on the season and five top five finishes in his last six starts on the year.
Christian Eckes would finish fourth while Brett Moffitt rounded out the top five in his No. 24 Chevrolet.
ThorSport put all four cars in the top 10 as all took four of the bottom five spots in the bottom half of the top 10.
But, the big story of the day was Stewart Friesen crashing on the opening lap and finishing last in his No. 52 Chevrolet. With Burton scoring 18 stage points and Matt Crafton coming in sixth, the playoff bubble just got a whole lot more interesting.
Crafton, moves up to seventh (+29) while Friesen (+13) falls to the bubble spot. Burton, is now 13 points from the final cutoff spot heading to Eldora next Thursday night. Ben Rhodes fell to -34 out while Todd Gilliland is -85. Sheldon Creed got into the wall and finished 25th and is now 105 points out. He and Friesen are great dirt racers though and will have a chance of winning the Eldora Dirt Derby.
The race had two cautions in the first five laps but only the two stage breaks following.
Gander RV 150 Results
17 Ankrum R
18 Burton R
02 Dippel R
12 Dean R
54 Decker R
49 Ciccarelli -2
33 Reaume -2
10 Cobb -2
6 Benning -3
44 Currey -3
28 Dauzat -3
2 Creed R -4
38 Bell OUTChastain
32 Barnhill OUT
87 Nemechek OUT
0 Sasnett OUT
16 Hill OUT
15 Alfredo R OUT
52 Friesen OUT