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Christopher Bell holds off Brandon Jones at Kentucky to earn third Truck win of 2017

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Christopher Bell held off Brandon Jones in a strong battle over the last three laps to capture Thursday night’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway.

It was Bell’s third win this season in the Camping World Truck Series, all coming on 1.5-mile tracks. He led 54 of the 150 scheduled laps.

Justin Haley finished third, followed by Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson. Sixth through 10th were: Kyle Busch, Parker Kligerman, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and Austin Hill.

The start of the race was delayed three hours due to rain, but fans that waited things out were rewarded with an exciting finish. The race ended well past midnight Eastern Time.

MORE: Results from Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway

MORE: Johnny Sauter still No. 1 in Truck standings after Kentucky

Still, it wasn’t easy for Bell, who endured a dropped lug nut that got hung up on a brake rotor on one pit stop, prompting the team to take off the fresh tire it had just put on to retrieve the loose lug. Bell also suffered a single-car spin but recovered from that and roared back to win.

Just a few laps after Ben Rhodes won Stage 1, Rhodes got loose and spun, collecting ThorSport Racing teammate Grant Enfinger. Teammate ,Matt Crafton also suffered damage in the incident.

STAGE WINNERS: Ben Rhodes (Stage 1) and Noah Gragson (Stage 2) both earned their first career stage wins.

HOW BELL WON: Bell hovered around the lead for much of the race, leading 54 laps. Brandon Jones made a strong challenge in the closing laps.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Runner-up Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson came back from a spin to finish fifth (and led 32 laps), while Matt Crafton rallied back from contact to finish eighth.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Just a few laps after winning Stage 1, Ben Rhodes admitted he got a bit too aggressive when he spun and took out ThorSport teammate Grant Enfinger and caused minor damage to another ThorSport teammate, Matt Crafton.

NOTABLE: Third-place finisher Justin Haley and fourth-place finisher Austin Cindric both earned their Truck Series career-best showings.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “I knew if the right circumstances came up, we could do it.” – Christopher Bell.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Truck Series moves to the only dirt race on the schedule, July 19 at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Raceway in Rossburg, Ohio.

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Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer tied at top of Xfinity playoff standings

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Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer are tied for the top spot in the Xfinity playoff standings after the playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

Each driver has 2,057 points.

Allgaier finished third after bouncing back from losing a tire on Lap 19 and going two laps down. He was two laps down for 27 laps and one lap down for 30 before getting back on the lead lap.

Custer, who finished fifth, won the first two stages of the race, earning two playoff points in the process.

The top five in points are Allgaier, Custer, Elliott Sadler (-2), Daniel Hemric (-5) and William Byron (-6).

Click here for the points standings.

Results from Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway

Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images
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Tyler Reddick scored his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win, leading a 1-2 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Reddick beat teammate Brennan Poole by 14.5 seconds in the playoff opener.

Reddick is the seventh different winner in the last seven series races. He led twice for 66 laps. Reddick had not led any laps until Saturday night.

Playoff contender Justin Allgaier rallied from two laps down after a right front tire went down early in the 200-lap race to finish third. Ryan Preece placed fourth. Rookie Cole Custer, who won both stages, finished fifth.

Click here for race results

Tyler Reddick wins playoff opener at Kentucky for first career Xfinity victory

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Tyler Reddick, a part-time driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, led 66 laps to win the Xfinity Series playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

In his rookie year in the series, Reddick earned the win in his 15th start in the No. 42 Chevrolet.

The 21-year-old driver beat teammate Brennan Poole, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Cole Custer.

“I don’t know if it was necessarily me making a statement, it’s just Chip Ganassi Racing making a statement,” Reddick told NBCSN. “(Crew chief) Mike Shiplett has brought me from ground zero all the way to here. All the guys at Ganassi have gone above and beyond in helping me become a better driver. To be here today is surreal.”

Reddick, who had not led a lap before Saturday night, took the lead for the first time on Lap 126 of the 200-lap race.

Reddick is the fourth Xfinity driver to get his first win this season.

Saturday’s win comes after it was announced on Sept. 14 that Reddick would join JR Motorsports full-time in 2018.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Cole Custer

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Justin Allgaier bounced back from losing a tire and going two laps down to finish third. He leaves Kentucky tied with Cole Custer at the top of the playoff standings. … Brennan Poole’s runner-up finish is a career-best result in 77 starts … Ryan Preece has finished in the top four in all three of his starts for Joe Gibbs Racing. … Ryan Reed finished 10th, ending an eight-race streak without a top 10.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Sam Hornish Jr. finished 31st, nine laps down after contact with Brandon Jones on Lap 53 caused him to hit the wall at the exit of Turn 2, forcing him to pit for repairs. … William Byron finished 18th, two laps down after he was forced to pit on Lap 101 for a loose wheel.

NOTABLE: The No. 2 of Ben Kennedy failed rear heights in post-race inspection. … Reddick is the seventh different driver to win in the last seven races this season. … Reddick is the seventh different winner in the last eight races at Kentucky.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I was about the color of my car (red) there for a little bit.” – Justin Allgaier after finishing third following a rebound from going two laps down early in the race.

NEXT: Drive Sober 200 at Dover International Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on Sept. 30 on NBCSN.

Social Roundup: Sights from first Martinsville night race

Marty Snider
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The wait is over.

Night racing at Martinsville Speedway is now a reality.

After tests and practice sessions, the half-mile track in Virginia hosted the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 and its qualifying races Saturday night for the NASCAR Late Model Series, which was won by Timothy Peters.

In attendance at the race were Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez, as well as NBCSN’s Marty Snider, who watched his son Myatt compete in the race.

Here’s a look at some of the sights and sounds from the historic night for NASCAR’s oldest track.