Trackin’ Trucks: Ross Chastain Wins at Kansas

Credit: Brian Lawdermilk

Ross Chastain can now call himself a winner in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Under the lights at Kansas Speedway, Chastain took the lead on Lap 165 of 167 after the No. 52 of Stewart Friesen ran out of fuel, ending his dominating day mere laps away from earning his first career victory.

Chastain led five laps during Friday night’s Digital Ally 250. He held off a charging Ben Rhodes to earn his first GOTS victory. The win was also the first for Al Niece, owner of Niece Motorsports.

“Aw, man, this is what sports is all about,” Chastain said in Victory Lane. “We had the world by the tail last fall, and everything got taken away from us. We didn’t quit, though … I’m going to celebrate this one a lot more than I did the last one.

“I thought, after the last one (in Las Vegas), they were going to come a lot more easy. But it’s not easy … I hate to see Stewie lose one like that. I know he’s been trying to win, but, yes — we got it!”

Friesen, who finished 15th, came down pit road on Lap 126 for a scheduled four-tire stop and fuel. Miscommunication between Frisen and (crew chief) Trip Bruce led to the driver leaving after two tires.

Two cautions, one for Brett Moffitt and Grant Enfinger, and another for the No. 33 of Josh Reaume allowed Friesen to save fuel. It was not enough, however, to get Friesen to the checkered flag.

“We just can’t close it. I figured I’d screw up a restart at the end, rather than run out of fuel. They said that we were to the good. I didn’t know we were taking four (tires). I thought for sure we were taking two. Just a lot of silence on the radio. That’s it.”

Natalie Decker finished in the 25th position after a wild ride on Lap 53. Decker got loose and spun in Turn 4 through the grass. She went airborne after contact with her splitter.

A Look Ahead

The Gander Outdoors Truck Series heads home to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the North Carolina Education Lottery 250 on Friday, May 17th.

Sauter is looking for redemption after the drive shaft of his No. 13 Tenda Heal Ford broke during the final stage of the race. Sauter sits fifth in the standings, 35 points behind leader Grant Enfinger.

Nine races remain before the start of the NGOTS Playoffs. Todd Gilliland is on the outside looking in, nine points behind Harrison Burton in eighth.

Trackin’ Trucks: Ross Chastain Wins at Kansas Trackin’ Trucks: Ross Chastain Wins at Kansas Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Saturday, May 11, 2019 Rating: 5

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