The Round of 8 for the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will kick off at Kansas Speedway Saturday afternoon.
After an off-week last weekend, the remainder of the playoff field will look to regroup and head into the next round of the playoffs with a sharper and more refined mindset.
Chandler Smith will start on the pole. Although the 18-year-old is not a playoff driver vying for the championship, he has shown success through the early part of his truck series career. In 13 career truck races, Smith has finished inside the top 10 seven times. This will be Smith’s truck debut at Kansas.
Austin Hill currently leads the playoff field in terms of points above the cutoff (+12). In four career truck starts at Kansas, Hill has posted one win (July 24), two top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes. At the track, Hill has an average finish of 5.8. Hill will start the race in eighth.
Ben Rhodes will start the highest among all remaining playoff drivers (second). In six career truck starts at Kansas, Rhodes has two top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes. His average finish at the track is 12.2. Rhodes currently sits below the four-driver cutoff (-5).
Brett Moffitt currently sits ahead of Rhodes in terms of points but is also behind the four-driver cutoff (-3). In five starts at Kansas, Moffitt has one top-five finish and three top-10 finishes. His best finish at the track came earlier this year as he finished second on July 24. Moffitt will start third.
Matt Crafton and Tyler Ankrum round out the playoff drivers currently sitting below the four-driver cutline for the Round of 4. In terms of points, Crafton is currently 10 below the cutoff, while Ankrum is 16 behind. Crafton holds the edge over Ankrum in terms of average finish (11.2 compared to 24.0). Crafton will start the race in fifth, while Ankrum will start seventh.
Hailie Deegan will make her NASCAR national series debut in the truck series this weekend. The debut will make her the 44th female driver to compete in a NASCAR national series event. She will also be the 21st female to make her debut in the truck series. Deegan will start the race in 34th.
Stages for the race will end on lap 30, lap 60 and the finish on lap 134. TV coverage will begin on FOX at 4:00 p.m. EST, while the Motor Racing Network will provide radio coverage.
Pit stall assignments:
Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/10/14/goodyear-fast-facts-kansas-4/