By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Since joining the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2014, GMS Racing has become a powerhouse within the Series. Heading into the season opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway, GMS is in line to possibly earn their third consecutive win.
In 247 Truck Series starts, GMS Racing’s trucks have earned 13 victories among seven drivers. The organization’s trucks have also earned 59 top-fives, 126 top-10s, and nine pole positions including three consecutive Daytona poles. Series veteran Johnny Sauter won the Driver’s Championship with the organization in 2016. Sauter finished second in points last season.
“The No. 21 team is in good shape heading into Daytona,” Sauter explained. “We’ve got 100% of our guys coming back, so I feel good about that. The way we finished up 2017 was positive, getting a few wins and coming only one point short of another title. GMS has been really good at the superspeedways, as we’ve seen the last few seasons. Hopefully, when we get on track we can do like last year and get up front and stay there. We led the first two stages at Daytona and Talladega last year, but it didn’t end the way we’d like, so ultimately we just need to put ourselves in a position to win at the end.”
On the Superspeedways, GMS has earned three victories. Sauter and Kaz Grala at “The World Center of Racing” in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and Grant Enfinger at Talladega in 2016.
Sauter will have only one teammate that has competed in the Truck Series at Daytona previously, Cody Coughlin. Both Sauter and Coughlin were in the hunt for the checkered flag when they were caught in a frightening pile-up. Sauter’s teammate Grala snuck through the wreck as nearly the entirety of the field was wiped out a half a lap away from the finish.
“I’m really confident going to Daytona (International Speedway) this week,” Coughlin said. “I was in the top-five on the final lap last year but had to avoid getting caught up when the field wrecked on the backstretch. The whole thing with this race is making it to the end. We’ve seen how these races go, sometimes there’s nothing going on until the very end, or sometimes there is wrecks throughout the race. There’s one thing I know for sure though, GMS Racing has really fast Chevy Silverados for the superspeedway races. That will definitely be in my corner. If we can be there at the end, I think we have a really good shot to get the win.”
In addition to GMS Racing being known for having fast Chevrolet Silverados, they were the first team that tested the new Spec Engine for NASCAR. After last year’s Talladega Playoff race, Sauter tested the new Ilmor Spec Engine on a restrictor plate track for the first time.
Now Coughlin, Sauter, and the entire GMS Racing team will look to continue their season-opening win streak.