2020 NASCAR Truck Series Preview

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Old 11 Feb 2020, 07:10 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2020 NASCAR Truck Series Preview

Austin Hill returns to Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) for his second season after a breakout year. He is the reigning Daytona winner after driving to his first career win in his first event with HRE one year ago. The win qualified Hill for the Playoffs, and he didn’t stop there. Hill added another victory in the regular season closer at Michigan International Speedway, before adding two wins in the Playoffs to finish a career-best fifth in the standings. Hill looks to better that and advance to his first Championship 4 later this year. A member of last season’s Championship 4, and a new face behind the wheel of a Toyota Tundra this season, is Stewart Friesen. Friesen drove to the first two victories of his career – a dominating performance at Eldora Speedway, followed by a clutch effort at Phoenix Raceway in November to clinch his spot in the Championship 4. With TRD support this season, Friesen is reaching for even higher goals.

Four rookies fill out the rest of the Toyota camp this year – with three running for Rookie of the Year honors.

Last season’s ARCA Menards Series champion, Christian Eckes, is back in a full-time ride this season with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). Eckes seized the ARCA title – scoring seven straight top-two finishes to close the season. In his limited Truck Series starts, he performed strongly, producing three pole positions and a solid third-place finish in the season finale to help KBM score its seventh owner’s title. He is joined by Canadian Raphaël Lessard at KBM for all 23 races. Lessard was impressive in his five Truck Series starts last year, including scoring two top-10 finishes. Also joining the duo in a limited capacity this year is 17-year-old Chandler Smith. Smith led the ARCA series with five wins last season in just 11 starts. Smith will be running a mix of ARCA and Truck Series events this year. Finishing out the Tundra contingent is reigning ARCA West champion Derek Kraus, who moves up to the Truck Series level with his championship team, McAnally-Hilgemann Racing. Kraus’ West title run included top-10 finishes in 13 of the 14 races and an average finish of fourth. With limited 2019 Truck Series starts, he earned his best result with an eighth-place finish at Dover International Speedway. The 23-event Truck Series schedule kicks off at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 14.

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