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Daniel Suarez capitalizes on late woes for teammate, wins first Truck Series race

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After William Byron‘s hope of a race win and a championship went up in his own engine smoke, Daniel Suarez took advantage of his teammate’s woes to win his first Camping World Truck Series race.

Suarez took the lead when Byron’s engine gave up with about 12 laps to go in the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Byron had led a race-high 112 laps from the pole before his engine gave out, allowing Suarez to add to his two Xfinity Series wins this  season.

“I guess it was our time to have a little bit of luck,” Suarez told Fox Sports 1. “This team, (Kyle Busch Motorsports), they work really hard. What a (great) way to clinch the Toyota manufacturer’s championship than with this victory.”

Filling out the top five was Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Cameron Hayley and Timothy Peters.

MORE: Race results

It’s Suarez’s first win in 26 Truck Series starts after having four runner-up finishes. He started second and led 34 laps, the fourth most in his career. Suarez likely would have had to settle for another second-place finish if not for Byron’s engine problem.

“I didn’t have any idea about the 9,” Suarez said of Byron. “I actually feel very bad for Byron, He definitely had the best truck out there. He did an amazing job. He was running a perfect race. Things like that happen in racing I guess.”

Byron’s DNF keeps him out of the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway after the rookie won a season-high six races.

Racing for the title in the inaugural Chase season will be Crafton, a two-time champion, Sauter, Peters and rookie Christopher Bell.

MORE: Point standings

HOW DANIEL SUAREZ WON: He took the lead when teammate William Byron lost an engine with 12 to go and led the rest of the way.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Cameron Hayley finished fourth for his sixth top 10 of the season … John Hunter Nemechek was sixth for his 11th top 10, but just his third in the last seven races … Matt Tifft finished eighth for his third top 10 of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Spencer Gallagher lost control of his No. 23 truck and wrecked in Turn 1 on Lap 11. He finished last … Austin Cindric was involved in three cautions. He spun Myatt Snider while trying to pass him on the inside in the first turn of Lap 1. On the restart from the Gallagher caution, Cindric and Noah Gragson made contact and spun to bring out the third caution. Then on Lap 108, Cindric spun on his own to bring out the eighth caution. Cindric finished 15th … On Lap 78, Kaz Grala and Rico Abreu made contact entering Turn 1, causing Abreu to bounce off the inside wall and Grala to slide up into the outside wall. Abreu finished 11th, Grala in 28th.

NOTABLE: In their first Truck Series starts, Noah Gragson finished 16th and Myatt Sider finished 17th.

NEXT: Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway at 8 p.m. ET on Nov. 18 on Fox Sports 1.

NASCAR America: Chase Elliott ‘biggest surprise’ of Cup playoffs

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Only two drivers are safely in the third round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs. Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski secured spots through their wins at Charlotte and Talladega.

That leaves six spots to be decided Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

NASCAR America analysts Parker Kligerman and Kyle Petty broke down the drivers competing for spots. Both of them agreed that Chase Elliott, who has finished in second in three of the five playoff races, has a great chance to make it all the way to the championship race in Miami.

“If Talladega had played out, he was either going to be in victory lane or in the top two or three,” Petty said. “When you look at that, he has had the most solid playoffs of any driver out there. We keep talking about the big three: Larson, Busch and Truex. This guy is a sleeper. But he’s my No. 4.”

Said Kligerman: “He’s been the biggest surprise. That 24 team has been incredible through the playoffs. One thing I’ve noticed about that team, just speaking to (crew chief) Alan Gustafson, speaking to Chase, it’s almost as if they want that first win more than they care about the playoffs.”

Watch the above video for more on the playoff drivers.

Friday’s NASCAR Cup, Xfinity schedule at Kansas Speedway

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Things get started today for the pivotal weekend at Kansas Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup Series will have its elimination race in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, where four of the 12 remaining playoff drivers will not advance to the Round of 8.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series begins its Round of 8 with Saturday’s Kansas 300.

But it all begins today, as Cup has its first practice (the other two are Saturday) and qualifying, while the Xfinity Series will have its two practice sessions.

Here’s how today’s schedule shapes up:

(All times are Eastern)

10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Cup garage open

12 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

1 – 2:25 p.m. — First Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

2:30 – 3:25 p.m. First Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

5 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

6:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, 3 rounds) (NBCSN, MRN)

NASCAR: Will Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch advance in playoffs?

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The last two drivers to win NASCAR Cup titles are in precarious positions ahead of the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch, the 2015 champion, is outside the top eight in ninth. He sits seven points behind defending champion Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR America analysts Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman debated who they think had the best chance to advance to the Third round after Sunday.

Petty put his money behind Busch, who has finished in the top five in each of his last five starts at the 1.5-mile track.

“He’s one of the big three: Truex, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson,” Petty said. “I don’t see where these (last) two races (Charlotte, Talladega) have changed anything. The one thing Kyle Busch brings into Kansas City … he brings speed. These guys have had speed all year-long.”

Johnson on the other hand has produced only four top fives all season and just one since he won at Dover in June.

But Kligerman explained why he thinks the seven-time champion will prevail on Sunday.

“Jimmie Johnson knows how to pass and that is what has become evident throughout this season,” Kligerman said. “No, they have not had the fastest cars at Hendrick Motorsports. No, they have not qualified well. They’ve actually been sort of abysmal at qualifying of late.

“… He has three wins this year. Two of those he started at the back.”

Watch the video for more.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Daniel Hemric, Daniel Suarez’ racing roots

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America begins at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut.

On the show:

  • We’ll debate which past Cup Series champion will advance to the Round of 8. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson currently leads 2015 champ Kyle Busch by only seven points for the final transfer spot. Who has the edge going into Kansas this Sunday? This elimination race will be a heated competition just to finish above the cut line. Log on to NBCSports.com/NASCARVote and weigh in!
  • Xfinity Series playoff driver Daniel Hemric calls into the show to talk about his chances of advancing to the championship four in Miami. He’ll also describe his experience being one of the four drivers to participate in the recent tire test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Roval.”
  • We take a look at the Daniel Suarez’s Racing Roots and discuss his transition from Xfinity Series champion to Monster Energy Cup Series rookie.
  • Parker Kligerman hops into the iRacing simulator to preview Sunday’s elimination race at Kansas, as well as the Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.