2019 will be a season of change in the Nascar Truck Series, with very little continuity from 2018 (except the schedule, unfortunately). Here’s a look at who’s been confirmed to race in 2019 and what’s changed for them.
Nascar Gander Outdoors Truck Series
What Happened?: Business magnate Marcus Lemonis has switched his series sponsorship from one company (Camping World) to another in his portfolio, Gander Outdoors.
Prediction: Fans will see the new acronym of “NGOTS” and wonder if it stands for “Nascar Grammy Oscar Tony Series”
(NOTE: teams listed in order of predicted regular season finish)
*—team’s plans are not confirmed
88 Matt Crafton (ThorSport Ford)
What Happened?: Well, my theory gets blown up in my first entry—never think that I just do these predictions for comedic purposes. Nothing’s changed for Nascar’s most-consistent team.
Prediction: Multiple wins and the regular season title
24 Brett Moffitt (GMS Chevy)
What Happened?: Last year’s champion got released from his ride at Hattori Racing due to lack of sponsorship, then latched on with GMS, unseating Johnny Sauter in the process. No idea how or why this happened, but perhaps Brett simply works cheaper (after you’ve worked for Michael Waltrip, you’ll work minimum wage to stay away from him).
Prediction: Multiple wins and coming on strong after a slow start
18 Harrison Burton (KBM Toyota)
What Happened?: After dabbling in the Truck Series for the past three years, the son of Jeff moves up full-time to replace Noah Gragson, who followed the usual KBM pipeline to JR Motorsports.
Prediction: Multiple wins and the Rookie of the Year title
51 Todd Gilliland (KBM Toyota)
What Happened?: The youngest of the racing Gillilands prepares for his first full season in the Trucks, free from age restrictions ironically put in place to stymie his truck owner, Kyle Busch.
Prediction: A win and a strong regular-season
16 Austin Hill
What Happened?: After a rookie year for the mid-level Young’s Motorsports team, Hill steps up to the defending championship team. No pressure.
Prediction: A win after getting used to a brand-new team, truck, and crew
52 Stewart Friesen (HFR Chevy)
What Happened?: The GMS-affiliated team and driver showed promise in their first full-time season, coming oh-so-close to their first win several times.
Prediction: Finally breaking through with a win while simultaneously trying to stay as far away from Tony Stewart as humanly possible
*13 Myatt Snider (ThorSport Ford)
What Happened?: The driver with a name spellcheck loves to hate posted three top-fives in his first full-time season in Trucks, with plans to compete again this year.
Prediction: A win (assuming he returns to this ride)
98 Grant Enfinger (ThorSport Ford)
What Happened?: Surprisingly little has changed lately, as the former journeyman seems to have found a home at ThorSport (which remains my favorite team name to hear Hermie Sadler say)
Prediction: A breakthrough win and a consistent season
2 Sheldon Creed (GMS Chevy)
What Happened?: After replacing Cody Coughlin, the former Stadium Truck Series standout finished strong with a top-five at Homestead, which was STILL less-sunrising than the fact that Robby Gordon is owning and operating a racing series.
Prediction: Top driver without a win
12 Gus Dean
What Happened?: The 24-year-old moves up to Truck competition with two years of ARCA experience under his belt. Its depressing that a 24-year-old rookie is now thought of as relatively “old”, but that’s the situation.
Prediction: Solid year of top-tens
02 Tyler Dippel (Young’s Chevy)
What Happened?: The former GMS and DGR developmental driver moves up to Young’s Motorsports, and while he might not win Rookie of the Year, he is a mortal lock for Funnest Name to Say.
Prediction: Up-and-down year
30 Brennan Poole (On Point Toyota)
What Happened?: The former Ganassi driver is back running full-time, no doubt feeling pretty good that he’s still in Nascar while DC Solar isn’t.
Prediction: Top-20s as a goal
3 Jordan Anderson (JAR Chevy)
What Happened?: The master of the press release ran all but one race last year in his self-owned team, despite a lack of steady sponsorship and, of all things, a crime scare
Prediction: Running every race and showing some speed, if not great results
20 Spencer Boyd (Young’s Chevy)
What Happened?: After a disappointing year in the Xfinity Series Boyd slides over into a full-time Truck ride.
Prediction: A highlight of topping his previous best Nascar finish of 13th
MULTIPLE DRIVER TEAMS
51 ??? (KBM Toyota)
What Happened?: This team typically runs a combination of developmental drivers and Cup veterans as part of the Stroke Rowdy’s Ego program.
Prediction: Multiple wins for Rowdy…again
17 Tyler Ankrum (DGR-C Toyota)
What Happened?: After winning last year’s K&N Pro Series East title, Ankrum (boy does that sound like an obscure industrial company from the 60’s) will run a full-schedule starting at Martinsville.
Prediction: Contending for wins
54 Natalie Decker, Anthony Alfredo (DGR-C Toyota)
What Happened?: The two developmental drivers will share the Gilliland-Crosley truck, for which I will assign the nicknames of “Black &” and “The Sauce”.
Prediction: Occasionally running at the front but mostly “building a notebook”
21 Sam Meyer (GMS Chevy)
What Happened?: Sam Meyer is confirmed for four starts once he turns 16. Yeah, he’s got a Nascar deal and he’s only FIFTEEN YEARS OLD.
Prediction: Building towards a more-complete schedule in the future
45 Ross Chastain, Reid Wilson
What Happened?: Chastain lost his ride in the Xfinity Series after the FBI raid on DC Solar, but reportedly remains tied to Ganassi. And Reid Wilson? He finished 30th in the last race last year.
Prediction: Top fives at Daytona and Talladega, top-20s elsewhere
75 Parker Kligerman (Henderson Chevy)
What Happened?: The former Red Bull developmental driver returns to run about eight races for the small, independent team.
Prediction: About eight races that NBC will suddenly take an interest in
97 Jesse Little (JJLM Ford)
What Happened?: Chad’s son plans to continue his team’s development by attempting about half the schedule
Prediction: Several top-tens, but sadly no John Deere throwback
42 Chad Finley, Robby Lyons, ? (CFR Chevy)
What Happened?: Finley returns with his own team joined by journeyman Robby Lyons
Prediction: The answer to life, the universe, and everything