Less than 15 hours after leaving the track, the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series returns on a hot sticky Kansas afternoon to run the E.P.T. 200.
The race is the same length as Friday night and the heat remains, but this time the drivers will be running in the heat of the day on a bright sunny day with temperatures around 90 and temps on the track at over 120 degrees. After the race last night, five drivers had to seek attention from the infield care center due to heat issues.
In the first ever doubleheader for the Gander Truck Series, the drivers must run the same truck with the same equipment. Teams who had to move to a backup truck due to accident damage will have to move to the back of the field. Sheldon Creed, Jordan Anderson, Spencer Davis, and Stewart Friesen will all start from the back of the field in a backup truck.
Ty Majeski has to start the race from the back of the field after making a transmission change.
The starting lineup for today’s race was determined by how the drivers finished on Friday night with the first 15 positions inverted; putting Chase Purdy on the pole with Brandon Jones alongside on the front row. Last night’s race winner Austin Hill starts the race in 15th place.
Watermelon man Ross Chastain is not running the truck race today; award winning driver Travis Pastrana is driving in Chastain’s place.
Stages one and two of the race are 30 laps each with stage three lasting 74 laps for a total of 134 laps around the mile and a half track.
Chase Purdy brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with the drivers quickly getting three wide. Third place driver Christian Eckes takes the lead with Todd Gilliland in second; Brandon Jones in third.
Lap three, Ty Majeski is already having trouble and has to bring his truck down pit road with contact damage. On pit road his pit crew has a jack issue causing a slow pit stop.
Lap five, Christian Eckes has a half second lead on Zane Smith; Brennan Poole, Todd Gilliland, and Brett Moffitt round out the top five.
Ty Majeski returns to the track one lap down.
Lap seven, Zane Smith takes the lead; Christian Eckes, Brennan Poole, Brett Moffitt, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.
Christian Eckes has a big plastic bag stuck on one of the hood pins and is flapping around. The bag finally pulls off and nearly gets caught on another truck.
Chase Purdy gets a little sideway on the track but saves the truck and the track stays green.
Lap 15, Zane Smith has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Brett Moffitt; Christian Eckes, Brennan Poole, and Matt Crafton round out the top five.
Lap 18, there are 31 trucks on the lead lap.
Brett Moffit has closed the gap on leader Zane Smith to a little over half a second; Matt Crafton, Christian Eckes, and Brennan Poole round out the top five.
Drivers are reporting some very loose conditions on the track. Loose trucks was also a big issue in the race on Friday night.
Travis Pastrono brings his truck down pit road for an unscheduled pit stop with a flat tire. Pastrono has not been in a truck since 2017. He had to borrow a fire suit from Stewart Freisen.
Lap 26, Zane Smith has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Brett Moffitt; Matt Crafton, Christian Eckes, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.
With a lead of nearly a second, Zane Smith wins stage one for his second stage win of the season.
Robby Lyone is the “lucky dog”.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Drivers bring their trucks down pit road for service with Austin Hill winning the race off of pit road after taking only two tires. Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen also took only two tires.
Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two and gets out in front for the lead with Zane Smith and Ben Rhodes battling for second.
Lap 39, the top five are Austin Hill, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, and Stewart Friesen. There are 28 trucks on the lead lap.
Lap 40, Austin Hill has a narrow lead on Zane Smith.
Zane Smith gets around Austin Hill for the lead.
Tanner Gray scrapes the wall but the track stays green.
The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap 42 for Bryan Dauzat spins out.
After having some major truck issues on Friday night, Tyler Ankrum has gone from 33rd to the top five in today’s race.
Zane Smith brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 46 with Ben Rhodes alogside on the front row. Drivers are gettting four wide on the restart with Zane Smith getting out in front for the lead.
The top five are Zane Smith, Austin Hill, Matt Crafton, Brett Moffitt, and Derek Kraus.
Todd Gilliland and Tyler Ankrum make contact on the restart but the track stays green.
Lap 50, Zane Smith has a third of a second lead on Matt Crafton with Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed, and Austin Hill rounding out the top five. There are 28 trucks on the lead lap.
Lap 56, Matt Crafton is challenging leader Zane Smith for the top spot.
Making the stage sweep Zane Smith wins stage two with 28 trucks on the lead lap.
The top 10 at then end of stage two:
Drivers bring their trucks down pit road for service. Taking fuel only, Stewart Friesen wins the race off of pit road.
Trying to cool off, Matt Crafton has ice all over the place in his truck…and him.
Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three with Matt Crafton alongside on the front row.
Lap 68, Matt Crafton gets out in front on the restart but Brett Moffitt jumps out in front for the lead. The drivers are getting four wide across the track and they battle for position.
Lap 69, the top five are Brett Moffitt, Matt Crafton, Sheldon Creed Tyler Ankrum, and Zane Smith.
The drivers can run 50 to 55 laps on a single fuel load; with a stage of 74 lpas, the drivers cannot complete the race on a single fueld load and will have to make a pit stop before the end of the race.
Lap 72, Sheldon Creed takes the lead.
Lap 73, Travis Pastrono spins out the makes a rund through the grass bringing out the caution flag.
Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 78 from the outside lane but it is Brett Moffitt who edges out for the lead.
Lap 78, Cory Roper gets into the wall after making contact with Derek Kraus.
Drivers bring their trucks down pit road for service, looking to make this their final pit stop.
Brett Moffitt stayed out on the track and brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 83. A big crash on the restart brings out the caution flag.
Natalie Decker, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Stewart Friesen, Codie Rohrbaugh, Spencer Davis, Ty Majeski, and Johnny Sauter were all involved in the crash. The wreck began when Tanner Gray made contact with Clay Greenfield.
NASCAR has red flagged the race to get the track cleaned up. There is debris everywhere.
After a delay of over five minutes, NASCAR pulls the red flag to display the yellow flag. The trucks get moving again with 50 laps remaining in the race. Drivers come down pit road for service including leader Brett Moffitt who had stayed out on the track during the last caution flag.
Kevin Donahue and Tanner Gray brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 87. Drivers get four wide across the track battling for position. In a three wide battle for the lead, Sheldon Creed gets out in front with Matt Crafton in second.
Lap 89, Sheldon Creed has pulled out to a lead of nearly half a second on Matt Crafton;Austin Hill, Derek Kraus, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.
Lap 91, Sheldon Creed has a one second lead on Matt Crafton with 26 trucks on the lead lap. There are five truck out of the race and one off the track.
The caution flag comes out on lap 94 for a wreck involving Brett Moffitt and Tyler Ankrum. Ankrum is stopped with the driver’s side again the wall. Zane Smith was also involved after making contact with Tyler Ankrum.
Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 100 and battles with Austin Hill for the lead. Austin Hill gets out in front for the lead; Sheldon Creed, Matt Crafton, Brandon Jones, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.
Lap 105, the caution flag comes out after Raphael Lessard has a flat tire and spins out while attempting to get to pit road.
Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag restart with reed gets into the wall. 28 laps remaining in the race. Matt Crafton and Austin Hill battle for the lead with Austin Hill getting out in front. The caution flag comes out when Sheldon Creed gets into the wall.
Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag restart with 23 laps remaining in the race. The drivers get three and four wide across the track with Matt Crafton getting out in front for the lead.
Christian Eckes challenges Matt Crafton for the lead bu t Craafton holds him off.
With 20 to go, Matt Crafton, Christian Eckes, Austin Hill, Derek Kraus, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.
Fifteen to go, Matt Crafton holds on to the lead with Christian Eckes close behind and challenging for the lead; Derek Kraus, Grant Enfinger, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.
Ten to go, Matt Crafton has a half second lead on Christian Eckes; Gran Enfinger Tanner Gray, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.
Five to go, Matt Crafton continues to lead the race with Christian Eckes just a tenth of a second back.
With only 18 trucks on the lead lap, Matt Crafton takes the white flag.
After a three year drought, three time and current Truck Series champion Matt Crafton wins the first daytime truck race since 2013. The last time there was a Truck Series race in the daytime at Kansas, Matt Crafton won the race in 2013.
The unofficial results of the E.P.T. 200:
Austin Wayne Self
Clay Green field
Jennifer Jo Cobb