Only one time in its 20-year history has a driver won back-to-back NextEra Energy 250 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series races – Todd Bodine in 2008-09. And with the stacked field set for Friday night’s season-opener (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) defending winner Austin Hill faces a mighty challenge.
Three-time race winner Johnny Sauter will look to add his historic tally of trophies, but will face plenty of inspired competition from other series veterans such as newly-crowned three-time series champion Matt Crafton, Crafton’s teammate, the 2019 regular season champ Grant Enfinger and fellow title contender Stewart Friesen.
Last year’s Daytona race winner Hill made his first NASCAR Playoff appearance in 2019 and is expected to be a big player in this year’s title run, as is 2018 series champion Brett Moffitt.
Five drivers begin their Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaigns – Raphael Lessard, Zane Smith, Christian Eckes, Ty Majeski and Tanner Gray – and all of them bring stacked resumes to the series.
Former ARCA Menards Series champion Eckes won three pole positions and had three top-five finishes in eight starts for his Kyle Busch Motorsports team last year. Lessard is teaming with Eckes at series powerhouse KBM.
Majeski, a late mode champion, takes over the Niece Motorsports ride that Ross Chastain won three races in last season, qualifying for the championship. Gray comes to his fulltime NASCAR ride with the DGR-Crosley team transitioning from a hugely successful drag racing career where he hoisted the 2019 NHRA Pro Stock championship trophy.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!