Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Srigley’s Stats: Is Austin Hill The King of The Speedways?, Derek Kraus Doubles Up on Top-Ten Finishes & MORE Following Saturday’s NGROTS Race at Kentucky

SPARTA, KENTUCKY – JULY 11: Storm clouds seen as trucks race during the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway on July 11, 2020 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Saturday Night’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225, was the fourth race in a five race weekend for NASCAR and ARCA at Kentucky Speedway. The race was originally scheduled for 225 miles (150 laps), but was shortened to 71 laps (106.5 miles) due to inclement weather. Sheldon Creed finally picked up his first career victory for GMS Racing, and became the second driver to win for the five-truck organization this season.

Austin Hill, Derek Kraus, Todd Gilliland and Angela Ruch are some of the drivers who had noteworthy runs, with many more looking to build on strong runs in recent weeks for when the series heads to its next three races – all on tracks 1.5 miles in length.

Career-Best Finishes:

1st: No. 2 – Sheldon Creed – GMS Racing

Best Runs of 2020:

1st: No. 2 – Sheldon Creed – GMS Racing
2nd: No. 99 – Ben Rhodes – ThorSport Racing
3rd: No. 88 – Matt Crafton – ThorSport Racing
18th: No. 75 – Parker Kigerman – Henderson Motorsports
22nd: No. 51 – Chandler Smith – Kyle Busch Motorsports
26th: No. 26 – Clay Greenfield – Clay Greenfield Racing
28th: No. 55 – Dawson Cram – Long Motorsports
33rd: No. 33 – Bryant Barnhill – Reaume Brothers Racing
36th: No. 14 – Trey Hutchens III – Trey Hutchens Racing

Is Austin Hill The King of The Speedways? It Sure Looks Like It.

Austin Hill and Hattori Racing Enterprises have been on a tear this season in the NASCAR Truck Series, finishing inside the top-ten in all seven of the series’ races this season. Hill’s streak of eight top-tens, is the longest active streak in the series right now, dating back to the end of 2019 when the No. 16 went to victory lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

However, Hill and HRE have proven to the competition that their strength lies on the bigger tracks, scoring twelve consecutive top-ten finishes at tracks 1.5 miles or longer, a streak which dates back to last June at Pocono Raceway. In fact, eight of Hattori Racing Enterprises’ ten victories in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series have come on tracks larger than 1.5 miles in length.

Hill is well on pace to surpass the record for the most top-tens in a single season by a Hattori Racing Enterprises driver, as in each of the last three seasons, drivers Ryan Truex, Brett Moffitt and Austin Hill all scored thirteen top-ten finishes. The record for the most top-tens in a single season in NASCAR Truck Series history is twenty-three, but seeing as there are only twenty-three scheduled races this season, Austin Hill would have to finish inside the top-ten in every race in 2020.

Derek Kraus Doubles Up on Top-Ten Finishes at Kentucky.

Derek Kraus has been on many people’s radar since moving into the truck series on a part-time basis in 2018, earning a top-ten finish in his debut race at Phoenix, after a spin in his qualifying run. Kraus’ immense NASCAR K&N Pro Series success – which saw him capture 13 wins between the East and the West Series’ — had many cautiously optimistic about Kraus moving to the NGROTS in 2020 with Bill McAnally Racing.

Kraus has proven to be one of the better surprises of the season, scoring one top-five and four top-tens through seven races this season and currently sitting just outside the playoff bubble. Saturday at Kentucky, Kraus earned an eighth-place finish, marking back-to-back top-ten finishes for the first time in the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing driver’s career following a tenth-place effort at Pocono.

NASCAR Decree(d)s Sheldon Creed Winner of Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky.

When NASCAR officially determined that the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 had run its course Saturday Night, California-native Sheldon Creed was at the front of the field, after just claiming the stage two victory. The second-year NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driver earned his first-career victory, driving the No. 2 for GMS Racing – the first time the No. 2 truck has been to victory lane since Kevin Harvick brought it to victory lane at Martinsville in 2012.

The victory by Creed marked the second GMS Racing driver to visit victory lane in 2020, – the first being Chase Elliott at Charlotte — marking the first time since 2018 that multiple drivers from GMS Racing’s now five-truck organization had visited victory lane in a single season.

Creed has been impressive lately, dominating the series’ last race at Pocono Raceway, leading thirty-one laps en-route to a runner-up finish at “The Tricky Triangle”.

Ben Rhodes Goes Back-to-Back at Kentucky….. Again.

Ben Rhodes’ runner-up finish Saturday Night at Kentucky is an incredible confidence booster for Rhodes’ and the entire No. 99 Ford F-150 team – who hasn’t visited victory lane in almost two years — as they look for their first win of the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season, and the third of Rhodes’ career.

Rhodes’ back-to-back top-five finishes at Pocono and Kentucky mark the seventh time in Rhodes’ five full-time seasons in the NASCAR Truck Series that the Kentucky-native has gone back-to-back, but the ThorSport Racing driver has never been able to earn three straight top-fives, a feat which he will look to accomplish when the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend.

Roper Racing Team “Roping In” Consistent Lead Lap Finishes.

Cory Roper’s No. 04 Ford F-150 team has earned some notable backing this season in the form of CarQuest Auto Parts – which has been the primary sponsor of the No. 04 in the majority of the races this season — and it seems to be helping immensely, as through seven starts this season, Roper and the No. 04 team have finished on the lead-lap a total of four times, matching the total from the team’s first fifteen starts. While the results may not be flashy, Roper Racing Team continues to do all they can in order to slowly climb their way up the NASCAR Truck Series gird.

Anglea Ruch Thriving at Reaume Brothers Racing, Posting Career-Best Stats Through Seven Races in 2020.

Angela Ruch has been in the headlines this season alot, between the social media feud with Parker Kligerman, The “Bounty Challenge” to Kevin Harvick¬†and most recently, her funding issues that kept her out of the truck at Pocono. Needless to say, it has been an exciting season for Angela Ruch, who is finally getting her first opportunity to run the full-schedule for Josh Reaume’s Reaume Brothers Racing.

Through seven races this season, Ruch has finished inside the top 25 on four occasions – a respectable showing for the 36-year old, due to the immense depth in the series this season — and has finished on the lead lap twice this season, including Saturday Night at Kentucky. Ruch’s two lead-lap finishes, makes her the third driver to finish on the lead-lap multiple times for Reaume Brothers Racing, with team owner Josh Reaume and Jesse Iwuji the other two drivers to do so. Although the equipment may not be the best in the series, Ruch is proving that she can at least be consistent and notch some good finishes for the No. 00 truck.

Tanner Gray Stays Consistent, Despite Immense NASCAR Truck Series Learning Curve.

Tanner Gray has been quiet and consistent so far this season, as the former drag racing champion has continued to post solid top-fifteen finishes, earning his fourth consecutive top-fifteen Saturday Night at Kentucky. The New Mexico-native Gray, has only finished outside of the top-twenty on one occasion throughout his ten-race NASCAR Truck Series career, after being involved in an accident late in the going at Daytona International Speedway, relegating him to a 23rd-place finish.

DGR-Crosley Racing’s transition to Ford hasn’t exactly provided them with the benefits they had hoped for as of yet, but with the team solely focusing on Tanner Gray’s No. 15 team, is seems evident that improvement is on the horizon for the rookie driver.

Todd Gilliland On The Verge of Victory with Front Row Motorsports.

Todd Gilliland has easily been one of the biggest surprises of the 2020 NASCAR Truck Series season, running for NASCAR Cup Series team Front Row Motorsports’ start-up NASCAR Truck Series operations, expectations were for Gilliland and the entire No. 38 Ford F-150 to struggle to start of the season. However, Gilliland and the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports team have been incredibly solid to start the season off, most recently clicking off four straight top-ten finishes, including Saturday at Kentucky, which is a career-high for the son of DGR-Crosley Racing owner David Gilliland.

Gilliland is on the edge of getting that first victory for Front Row Motorsports, just needing to take that extra half-step to get the No. 38 in victory lane. When practice and qualifying are permitted once again by NASCAR, I would expect Gilliland to be contender for the victory every single week.

Mother Nature Must LOVE The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

Mother Nature must be a big fan of the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, as it has been over eight years since the NASCAR Truck Series had a race shortened due to inclement weather. That being said, with the way the 2020 NASCAR season has gone, with weather affecting nearly every race this season, you had to figure at some point the rain would well… rain on the NASCAR Truck Series parade.

The series has been rather lucky in recent years, as the last race to be shortened by anything, was the 2015 UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway, when Ben Kennedy crashed going into turn one, damaging the catch fence. The NASCAR Truck Series also had a shortened race in 2014, when a power outage caused the series’ annual trip to Phoenix to be cut short.

2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Season Statistics:


  • Kyle Busch, Grant Enfinger (2)
  • Sheldon Creed, Chase Elliott, Brandon Jones (1)

Top 5’s:

  • Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed, Ben Rhodes, Johnny Sauter, Kyle Busch (3)
  • Grant Enfinger, Zane Smith, Todd Gilliland, Matt Crafton, Chase Elliott (2)
  • Christian Eckes, Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum, Derek Kraus, Jordan Anderson, Codie Rohrbaugh, Natalie Decker, Ross Chastain, Brandon Jones (1)

Top 10’s:

  • Austin Hill (7)
  • Sheldon Creed, Ben Rhodes, Todd Gilliland, Johnny Sauter (5)
  • Zane Smith, Derek Kraus, Ross Chastain (4)
  • Christian Eckes, Brett Moffitt, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, Kyle Busch (3)
  • Grant Enfinger, Tyler Ankrum, Tanner Gray, Ty Majeski, Chase Elliott (2)

Top 20’s:

  • Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed (7)
  • Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Zane Smith, Todd Gilliland, Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum, Johnny Sauter, Derek Kraus, Ross Chastain (6)
  • Matt Crafton, Tanner Gray, Stewart Friesen, Raphael Lessard, Ty Majeski, Brennan Poole (5)
  • Christian Eckes, Spencer Davis, Austin Wayne Self (4)
  • Jordan Anderson, Codie Rohrbaugh, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott (3)

Laps Led:

  • Kyle Busch (252)
  • Austin Hill (102)
  • Chase Elliott (66)
  • Sheldon Creed (61)
  • Christian Eckes (55)

Laps Complete:

  • Sheldon Creed, Johnny Sauter & Austin Hill (775)
  • Derek Kraus (772)
  • Stewart Friesen (770)
  • Tanner Gray (767)
  • Ben Rhodes & Tyler Ankrum (766)


  • Sheldon Creed, Johnny Sauter & Austin Hill (7)
  • Tyler Ankrum, Tanner Gray, Derek Kraus, Brett Moffitt, Todd Gilliland, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Ross Chastain, Ben Rhodes (6)


  • Sheldon Creed, Spencer Boyd, Cory Roper, Austin Hill, Stewart Friesen & Derek Kraus (7)
  • Todd Gilliland, Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum, Johnny Sauter, Zane Smith, Matt Crafton, Tanner Gray, Grant Enfinger, Christian Eckes, Ross Chastain, Ben Rhodes (6)

Average Finish:

  • Austin Hill (4.9)
  • Ross Chastain (8.0)
  • Sheldon Creed (8.9)
  • Ben Rhodes (10.6)
  • Johnny Sauter (11.1)

NASCAR Truck Series Regulars (Career Metrics):


  • Johnny Sauter (24)
  • Matt Crafton (14)
  • Brett Moffitt (11)
  • Grant Enfinger, Austin Hill (4)
  • Ross Chastain (3)

Top 5’s:

  • Matt Crafton (118)
  • Johnny Sauter (109)
  • Grant Enfinger, Brett Moffitt (30)
  • Ben Rhodes (27)
  • Stewart Friesen (23)

Top 10’s:

  • Matt Crafton (276)
  • Johnny Sauter (173)
  • Grant Enfinger (55)
  • Ben Rhodes (51)
  • Stewart Friesen (40)

Laps Led:

  • Matt Crafton (2,577)
  • Johnny Sauter (2,566)
  • Ross Chastain (851)
  • Brett Moffitt (752)
  • Ben Rhodes (658)

RAF (%):

  • Johnny Sauter (92.31%)
  • Grant Enfinger (92.22%)
  • Brett Moffitt (90.91%)
  • Tanner Gray (90.00%)
  • Matt Crafton (89.35%)

LLF (%):

  • Tanner Gray (90.00%)
  • Stewart Friesen (84.62%)
  • Grant Enfinger (83.33%)
  • Johnny Sauter (78.02%)
  • Todd Gilliland (76.36%)
Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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