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GMS Racing expands NASCAR Truck effort after shutting down Xfinity program

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 15: Brett Moffitt, driver of the #24 CMR Construction & Roofing Chevrolet, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2019 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

GMS Racing has pulled the plug on its NASCAR Xfinity Series program but is expanding its NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series efforts for 2020 with plans to field four trucks full-time in the series.

Driver Sheldon Creed and crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz will remain on the No. 2 Chevrolet team. Brett Moffit also remains with GMS Racing for 2020, but his truck number will change from 24 to 23, and he’ll have a new crew chief in Chad Norris. Norris replaces Jerry Baxter.

Norris has experience as a crew chief in all three of NASCAR’s national series, but most of his experience is in the Xfinity Series. He guided GMS Racing to its first Xfinity Series win with Spencer Gallagher as driver at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2018.

GMS Racing is adding two new drivers to its 2020 lineup in Zane Smith and 2019 Truck Series Rookie-of-the-Year Tyler Ankrum. Ankrum moves to GMS Racing from DGR-Crosley to drive the No. 26 truck. Ankrum claimed his first-career Truck Series win at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta in 2019, and his stats from last season also included three top-fives and eight top-10 finishes in 20 races. Ankrum missed three races early in the 2019 season as a result of NASCAR’s minimum age requirements.

Chad Walter will be Ankrum’s crew chief in 2020. Walter was an engineer for Ankrum’s team at DGR-Crosley in 2019, but he does have crew chief experience in the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series.

Kevin “Bono” Manion will be Smith’s crew chief on the No. 21 team. Manion also has experience as a crew chief in all three of NASCAR’s national series. And, like Ankrum, he comes to GMS from DGR-Crosley. Manion was Ankrum’s crew chief for 18 races in 2019, including the win at Kentucky. In all, Manion has four wins as a Truck Series crew chief.

“All four of our teams have veteran crew chiefs to lead the way and I don’t think we could get a better group,” GMS Racing Pesident Mike Beam said. “All of them have the knowledge and experience to lead each of their teams to success this year and I am excited to see what they can do.”

Smith will be a Truck Series rookie in 2020. He has one-career series start to his credit, coming Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis in 2018. He finished fifth for DGR-Crosley in that race.

Smith ran a partial NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule for JR Motorsports in 2019. He posted two top-five finishes, fifth-place showings at Iowa Speedway in Newton and ISM (formerly Phoenix International) Raceway, in 10 starts. He also finished in the top-10 seven times.

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Posted by on December 16, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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