Matt Crafton took home his third Truck Series championship last season
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series made history in 2019 but in an unusual way. Matt Crafton became the first winless champion in Truck Series history. While he didn't win a single race (finished second once), he still claimed his third Truck Series title on the strength of 18 top-10 finishes over the 23-race schedule.
Unique circumstances aside, Crafton is set to defend his title against a field that also includes other past Truck Series champions and well as several intriguing newcomers.
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series' Top 10 Drivers for 2020
1. Brett Moffitt
It’s hard to pick against Moffitt, the 2018 Truck champion. He lost his ride just after locking up the 2018 title and immediately went to work landing another. He followed with another solid season, and a year with GMS Racing under his belt will only add to his strength.
2. Austin Hill
Hill took Moffitt’s championship ride and picked up right where his predecessor left off. Four wins, including victories in the season opener and the finale, prove he is one of the drivers to beat.
3. Grant Enfinger
What could have been for Enfinger had he not had engine issues at Las Vegas? The regular-season points champion had 18 top-10 finishes, same as his championship-winning teammate Matt Crafton. Enfinger is no stranger to racing for titles, and with his team intact for 2020, he should pick up right where he left off.
4. Matt Crafton
Entering his 20th consecutive season and his 19th with ThorSport, Crafton is again poised to race for the championship. He has won titles through the traditional route of Victory Lane and also by using the system to his advantage (2019). Crafton has as much savvy as he has longevity, and he will make a run at back-to-back championships.
5. Christian Eckes
The 2019 ARCA Menards Series champion has looked strong in every Truck race he’s entered. He’s won poles and led laps, and in 2020 it seems all but a foregone conclusion that he’ll win races and fight for the title.
6. Sheldon Creed
Coming to Trucks off an ARCA championship, Creed had some adjustments to make. In 2020, Creed will have a year under his belt, and with crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz on the box for the full season, he’ll look to recapture that ARCA success this season and reach Victory Lane.
7. Tyler Ankrum
Ankrum was the 2018 ARCA Menards Series East champ, and he made the transition to Trucks with DGR-Crosley Racing. He missed three races due to age restrictions, but his win at Kentucky locked him into the playoffs. Now with GMS Racing, he should be a year-long threat.
8. Johnny Sauter
Some things never change, and Sauter’s competitive nature is one of them. After a last-minute pairing at ThorSport for 2019, Sauter and lifelong friend Joe Shear Jr. will be ready to get back to full-blown championship contention in 2020.
9. Todd Gilliland
A tough 2019 season at KBM left Gilliland disheartened, but a late-season win at Martinsville rejuvenated the young driver and helped him close the season on a high note. With changes at DGR-Crosley, it’s expected that Gilliland will fill one of those seats and take the team on a playoff run.
10. Raphael Lessard
The Canadian short track ace has shown promise in super late models and in limited starts in ARCA and Trucks. He has impressed team owner Kyle Busch enough to earn a full-time ride for 2020 and could be a sleeper to make the Championship 4 at Phoenix.
(Top photo courtesy of @OffAxisPaint)