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William Byron wins seventh race as Johnny Sauter clinches first Truck Series title

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While William Byron won his seventh Camping World Truck Series race, Johnny Sauter finished third in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim his first NASCAR title in 14 full-time seasons across all three series.

Byron led 31 laps, including the final 10, to close out his season with the rookie record for wins in the Truck series.

Sauter had to do the most work of the Championship 4 drivers, starting 19th and charging his way toward the front where he delivered GMS Racing its first NASCAR title. GMS Racing debuted in 2013 with Spencer Gallagher.

Sauter’s title comes in his eighth year of full-time competition in the series.

“We qualified terribly today and I was kind of worried about it,” Sauter told Fox Sports 1. “Just proud of these guys. Flawless execution on pit road. (Crew chief) Joe (Shear Jr.) made the right kind of adjustments to where I could just kind of hang on. I’m not really a high line guy. Just elected to keep doing my deal and actually found some real good grip around the bottom of the race track.”

That led to Sauter passing Matt Crafton, his former teammate at GMS Racing, after the final restart with 20 to go.

Filling out the top five was Tyler Reddick, Sauter, Kyle Larson and Daniel Hemric.

A week after Byron was eliminated from the Chase at Phoenix thanks to a blown engine, the 18-year-old driver helped give Kyle Busch Motorsports its fifth owners title and fourth in a row.

“Feels awesome, it’s incredible,” Byron told FS1. “This team has worked so hard all year. We just had that unfortunate situation last week that we couldn’t control. But man they brought a good truck … I just hate this team not being together next year. It’s just insane how good they are.”

Byron, who was named Rookie of the Year, moves up to the Xfinity Series next year to drive for JR Motorsports.

Among the other Chasers, Matt Crafton finished seventh, followed by Christopher Bell in eighth and Timothy Peters in ninth.

Larson led a race-high 76 laps while Crafton led 10, the only laps led by a Chase driver.

MORE: Truck Series point standing

MORE: Race Results

HOW WILLIAM BYRON WON: After a three-wide pass of Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter for second with 17 to go, Byron took the lead from Tyler Reddick with 10 laps left and won.

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Kyle Larson started third and led the most laps in the race before losing eight spots on the final pit stop. He fought back to finish fourth … In their last starts for Brad Keselowski Racing, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Hemric each finished in the top five … Cole Custer finished 10th in his last race before moving up to the Xfinity Series.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Patrick Staropoli caused cautions on Laps 43 and 84 and 111. He finished 31st, nine laps down … Ryan Truex was the only DNF of the night, finishing last after losing an engine.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Before this race, we knew we had a lifelong bond between all of us. I mean, it’s just been an incredible season. I’ve learned so much. They didn’t know what to expect I think with a rookie driver. They were like, ‘What’s this kid going to do,’ so I just tried to prove them right all year and we just had an awesome year, so no better way to finish it off at Homestead like this.” – William Byron after winning the Ford EcoBoost 200.

Despite crash, Elliott Sadler maintains lead in Xfinity points standings after Charlotte

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Despite finishing 35th because of a late crash, Elliott Sadler maintained his Xfinity Series points lead Saturday after the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sadler remained six points ahead of JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier. Teammate William Byron is ranked third.

With Allgaier and Ryan Reed qualified for the playoffs via victories, provisional playoff spots basesd off points currently belong to Sadler, Byron, Daniel Hemric, Darrell Wallace Jr., Brennan Poole, Matt Tifft, Michael Annett, Blake Koch, Cole Custer and Dakoda Armstrong.

Click here for the Xfinity points standings after Charlotte.

Xfinity Series results and statistics from Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Ryan Blaney scored the fifth Xfinity Series victory of his career and first since September 2015, winning the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Blaney seized the lead from runner-up Kevin Harvick on a restart with three laps remaining.

Austin Dillon, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Blaney led a race-high 107 of 200 laps.

Click here for full results from Saturday’s Xfinity race at Charlotte.

Ryan Blaney wins Charlotte Xfinity race for first victory in series since September 2015

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CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Blaney won Saturday’s Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Blaney took the lead from Kevin Harvick on a restart with three laps to go.

It’s his fifth Xfinity Series win and the first for Team Penske in 2017. It’s Blaney’s first Xfinity victory since Sept. 26, 2015 at Kentucky Speedway.

Blaney was followed by Harvick, Austin Dillon, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin.

“I thought we were going to run out of laps to make it happen,” Blaney said, who was aided by a series of rapid cautions in the closing laps.

“We got a good restart and I was able to barely stay on (Harvick’s) quarter (panel) off of (Turn) 2 and dragged him back into (Turn) 3,” Blaney told Fox Sports 1. “I’m very proud, but you’re going to feel really bad if you mess up and don’t win. That’s what I thought was going to happen. I didn’t know if we were going to get our shot to get back to the lead. I don’t want to say the caution went our way because we kind of needed long runs. But they worked out so we could put ourselves in a position to  capitalize on it.”

Driving the No. 12 Ford, Blaney led four times for 107 laps on the way to the victory. Blaney raced to the front after starting from the rear for unapproved adjustments. He is the first driver to win after going to the rear since Marcos Ambrose at Montreal in 2011.

Blaney’s win comes 11 year after his father, Dave Blaney, won the fall Xfinity race at Charlotte. They are the first father-son duo to win at Charlotte in the Xfinity Series.

Stage 1 winner: Kevin Harvick

Stage 2 winner: Ryan Blaney

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: On the third lap of his Xfinity career, Christopher Bell was turned by Ryan Reed on the frontstretch and slid through the grass. He continued on and battled back to finish fourth. …. Brennan Poole brought out a caution with 42 to go after he got into the frontstretch wall, but managed to finish eighth. … Brad Keselowski finished sixth after starting 39th. He started there after multiple trips through inspection kept him from making a qualifying run. … Brendan Gaughan finished ninth after he spun exiting Turn 4 late in the race.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Michael Annett’s day ended with 25 to go when he got into the wall on a restart and went to the garage. He finished 36th …. On the next restart, points leader Elliott Sadler spun in Turn 4 and hit the inside wall hard. He was uninjured and finished 35th … Darrell Wallace Jr. was having his best race of the year, including leading three laps in the final stage, when it came unraveled. He brushed the Turn 4 wall with seven laps to go. He then lost a tire and spun in Turn 2. He finished 28th.

NOTABLE: Not counting the end of each stage, the race was slowed by 10 cautions.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Give him a sponsor, man. He passed me on a restart and drove away from me. It was awesome.” – Ryan Blaney on his battle for the lead with Darrell Wallace Jr. at the start of the final stage.

WHAT’S NEXT: OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway at 1 p.m. ET on June 2 on Fox Sports 1.

Kyle Larson fastest in final practice for Coca-Cola 600

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson topped the final practice session for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 with a speed at 186.400 mph.

The Cup points leader, Larson will start 39th in the race because his No. 42 Chevrolet didn’t clear inspection in time to qualify.

Ryan Blaney (185.861), Matt Kenseth (185.046), Kurt Busch (184.856) and Erik Jones (184.818) rounded out the top five.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh fastest at 184.433 mph. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was 20th fastest at 182.648 mph.

Jimmie Johnson recorded the most laps in the session with 47.

Jamie McMurray had the best 10-lap average at 180.914 mph.

The session was stopped for a caution once after Brad Keselowski spun exiting Turn 4.

Click here for the full practice report.