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As it’s been the case for the past few years, the NASCAR Gander RV+ Outdoors Truck Series grid is filled with up and coming young drivers.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 to keep an eye on between the rookies and returning drivers.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 young drivers for the new season.
The odds for the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV+ Outdoors Series are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Martin Truex Jr||+700|
Smith has dealt with sponsorship problems throughout his career, and could not land a full season ride last year.
He ran a limited schedule in the ARCA Series for two seasons, before finally securing the funding for 2018.
The youngster did not disappoint, scoring four wins and 12 top 5 results in 20 races, finishing as the runner-up to champion Sheldon Creed.
Smith appeared in ten Xfinity Series races in 2019, driving the #8 JR Motorsports car.
The rookie impressed once again, scoring two top 5 finishes and seven top 10 finishes.
For 2020, Smith will have a good chance to prove himself.
After seeing his deal fall through in 2019, he managed to secure a seat with Truck Series powerhouse GMS Racing.
With good equipment in hand, expect Smith to deliver some solid results during his rookie season.
The reigning K&N Pro Series West champion, Kraus is making the step to the national level after turning 18.
He spent the last three years in the West Series, scoring ten wins in 42 starts.
Kraus also ran a limited schedule in the East Series, scoring two wins, six top 5 and nine top 10 finishes in nine races.
The rookie will continue with Bill McAnally Racing in 2020 for a fourth consecutive year.
It will likely be a learning season for Kraus, but expect him to be in the mix for race wins towards the final races.
The 2018 K&N East Series champion, Ankrum made the step-up to the Truck Series last year with the DGR-Crosley team that took him to the title.
Since it was the team’s second season in the trucks, the expectations for Ankrum weren’t particularly high.
However, the rookie soon found his groove and won at Kentucky in only his tenth career start, surviving a fuel-mileage finish.
The result secured a spot in the playoffs, an impressive feat for a first-year driver running for a second-year operation.
While Ankrum was eliminated in the first round, the rookie proved that he could take the fight to the front-runners.
For 2020, Ankrum is moving to GMS Racing.
With better equipment in hand, expect the sophomore driver to challenge for wins on a regular basis.
Smith is one of Toyota Racing Development’s top prospects.
The 17-year old will run a part-time schedule for powerhouse Kyle Busch Motorsports.
While he won’t be competing for the title, it will be interesting to keep an eye on Smith’s development.
The youngster made four appearances last year, finishing eighth at Iowa and scoring consecutive top 5 finishes at Gateway, Bristol and Phoenix.
He made 20 starts in the ARCA Series for Toyota powerhouse Venturini Racing between 2018 and 2019.
Despite not running a full schedule, Smith still scored seven wins and missed out on the top 10 only twice.
Another member of TRD’s program, Eckes is making the full-time move up to the Truck Series.
The reigning ARCA Series champion has 12 career starts in the trucks.
The 19-year old made eight appearances last year, scoring four pole-positions and a best finish of third.
Eckes has three top 5 finishes and seven top 10 results.
He claimed the ARCA Series title last year despite missing one race, scoring four wins, 13 top 5 and 17 top 10 finishes in 19 starts.
Expect Eckes to be among the title contenders during his first full season.
The ages of the drivers are 17, 18, 19, 20, and 26.
Out of the top 5 youngest drivers, 2 prefer Chevy while 3 drive with Toyota.
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