NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Overview
Event: Gander Truck Series 250 (Race 18 of 23), 64 Laps – 20/20/24; 157.37 Miles
Location: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario (2.459-mile road course)
Date/Broadcast: Aug. 25, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to Know
- O Canada, this weekend the No. 51 team will head north to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for a 64-lap event on Sunday, with Canadian road-course ace Alex Tagliani behind the wheel and three Canadian companies on the side of the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Tundra. The Canadian has two poles, 15 laps led, one top-five and two top-10 finishes across four career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts, all coming at the 2.459-mile road course north of the border. In addition to four Gander Truck Series starts, Tagliani has compiled four poles, 92 laps led, four top-five and five top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.0 across eight NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, all on road courses.
- Tagliani currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series where he has recorded one win, one pole, 42 laps led, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes across nine starts and sits fourth in the championship standings this season. Overall across 80 career Pinty’s Series starts Tagliani has collected nine wins, 10 poles, 35 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes. He led a race-high 23 laps en route to victory in last year’s Pinty’s Series race, which was held prior to the Gander Truck Series event, and will also be pulling double duty again Sunday.
- Last weekend at Bristol, Toyota Racing Development protégé Chandler Smith earned a second-place finish in the iBUYPOWER Tundra in just his third Gander Trucks start and helped the No. 51 team get off to a strong start in the owner’s portion of the Round of 8. The young driver started seventh and then made his way through the field to contend for the win in the closing laps. After one race in the Round of 8, the No. 51 team is ranked third in the owner’s points standings with 2064 markers, 22 above the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 6. The No. 51 team, which has earned five wins with owner-driver Kyle Busch behind the wheel and one win with veteran driver Greg Biffle at Texas Motor Speedway, will looking to bring home the organization’s seventh owner’s title. Overall across 17 starts the No. 51 team has two poles, 10 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
- Veteran crew chief Rudy Fugle leads the No. 51 team this season. Fugle has guided his team to four Owner’s Championships (2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017) as a crew chief at KBM, including combined Owner’s/Driver’s Championships with Erik Jones in 2015 and Christopher Bell in 2017. The New York native’s drivers have combined for 28 wins, 22 poles, 66 top-five and 102 top-10 finishes across his 130 races calling the shots for the organization. North of the border at CTMP, Fugle’s drivers have one win, Erik Jones in 2015, two top-five and four top-10 finishes across five starts at the 10-turn road course.
- CanTorque will adorn the hood of the No. 51. Founded in 2000, CanTorque Inc. is an Edmonton based designer and manufacturer of industrial bolting tools and accessories. Our range includes square drive hydraulic torque wrenches, low profile hydraulic torque wrenches, pneumatic torque wrenches, stud tensioning systems & calibration equipment. We’ve been a sponsor of Alex Tagliani since he rejoined IndyCar in 2008 and have worked with him in numerous series since then. More information can be found at www.cantorque.com. Also, on the side of the KBM Tundra are Canadian companies Spectra Premium and RONA.
Alex Tagliani, Driver Q&A
Are you excited to return to CTMP in a KBM Tundra?
“First of all, it’s a fantastic opportunity. Thanks to Kyle and Rudy and the entire KBM team for the trust — driving this No. 51 very iconic truck up in Canada is really big for me. Hopefully we can bring the truck in Victory Lane and give the fans some excitement.”
How does your experience at this track help you this weekend?
“Everything helps. I think the series is very competitive, they’ve come to that track a couple times and every team has improved their road course package. The drivers are using the simulator these days to get better at it, so knowing it and knowing all the little tricks and bits of the track, hopefully we can use it to our advantage and get a good result.”
How bad do you want to get a Truck Series victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park?
“I’ve come so close so many times, I feel that track owes me a couple of wins. If we can have one in the truck it will make up for all of the bad luck that we’ve had. Everybody seems to be tired of second place and I am one of those guys and hopefully this weekend will be the right one.”
What does it mean to race a truck in Canada sponsored by three Canadian companies?
“Timing is everything and showing up in Canada and showing up in Canada in a truck that is red, black and white and having three Canadian companies on the truck, one that has been with me for so many years, CanTorque, and they’re manufacturing tools right now so great timing for that. Spectra Premium having their high-performance radiator in the truck, it’s amazing. And RONA as well, we are bringing some contest winners to have a VIP experience with the KBM team. Thanks to all these sponsors and, like I said, hopefully everyone is going to come out of there waving the Canadian flag.”
Alex Tagliani Career Highlights
- Overall across 80 career Pinty’s Series starts Tagliani has collected nine wins, including a win in last year’s race at CTMP, 10 poles, 35 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes. He finished second in the championship standings in 2018 and third in 2016.
- The veteran driver also has eight NASCAR Xfinity Series road course starts with four top-five and five top-10 finishes and four poles.
- In addition to his NASCAR starts, Tagliani has 131 starts and one win in the CART Series and 74 IndyCar Series starts, as well as multiple starts in other series. He won the pole for the 2011 Indianapolis 500 and overall across eight starts in the event produced a best result of 10th in 2010.
Alex Tagliani’s No. 51 CanTorque Tundra:
KBM-061: The No. 51 CanTorque team will unload chassis KBM-061 for Sunday’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event. This chassis is brand new.
- KBM drivers have collected one win, 65 laps led, six top-five and eight top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.6 across 17 starts at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
- Erik Jones captured KBM’s lone victory north of the border in the 2015 event.
- KBM holds the Gander Truck Series records for most career wins (74) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record six Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers; Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
- The No. 51 is the winningest number in the KBM stable with 30 trips to victory lane in Gander Trucks action