Bump & Run: What to do with the overtime line? (video)

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Are you OK with NASCAR making every attempt possible to finish a race under green even if it means officials might not call a caution in overtime until the leader has passed the overtime line?

Nate Ryan: No. After a 13-year run, it’s time to eliminate the overtime/green-white-checkered policy, which worked fine for roughly 56 years. End races at their schedule distances. The debate over how to end races has become endlessly intricate and pointlessly circuitous.

Dustin Long: It’s obvious that the overtime line is not the solution. It creates too many questions about NASCAR’s reaction to crashes as the leaders approach the overtime line. Fans like racing the way it was back in the day? Fine, give it to them. A 400-mile race ends … after 400 miles, not something that is extended to 408 miles. What a concept!

Daniel McFadin: I’m all for NASCAR making every attempt to finish under green, but they need to do it via rules they are consistent in enforcing. In the last few months they have been consistent in not calling cautions in a timely manner in overtime. I’ll give them a pass for Indy, since they were about out of sunlight.

Jerry Bonkowski: NASCAR will almost always attempt to finish a race under green, but sometimes there are — and need to be — exceptions. There wasn’t much choice at Indy because of approaching darkness, but I’m comfortable with the overall system the way it is. NASCAR will never be able to make everyone happy, but it puts forth what I consider an honest effort to complete races. 

How many drivers will make the playoffs on points?

Nate Ryan: None … or one. It depends on how you want to phrase this question. Five more drivers will lay claim to playoff berths on victories (Kyle Busch at Pocono, Chase Elliott at Michigan, Matt Kenseth at Bristol, Joey Logano at Darlington and Clint Bowyer at Richmond), and points will determine which 16 of 17 winners qualify for the 10-race championship run.

Dustin Long: Three. Unless Kyle Busch keeps finding ways to lose races, I expect him to win a race before the playoffs. I don’t foresee anyone else without a win pulling off a victory before the playoffs.

Daniel McFadin: I think we’ll get one more first-time winner this season in the next six races and three drivers get in on points.

Jerry Bonkowski: Just two drivers will point their way into the playoffs. 

Jamie McMurray, Chase Elliott and Matt Kenseth are the last three drivers in the playoff standings. Who has the best chance of making the playoffs?

Nate Ryan: As noted above, opportunities for wins are looming for Elliott and Kenseth. McMurray has been very consistent, though, and if there is a spot to be claimed on points, he has a solid shot.

Dustin Long: Jamie McMurray. Think the final races before the playoffs begin set up well for him and he should easily advance by points.

Daniel McFadin: Jamie McMurray. He and Elliott are tied with 11 top 10s this year, but McMurray has a better average finish through 20 races at 13.2. McMurray might not win, but he’ll continue his consistent performance. 

Jerry Bonkowski: I have to go with veteran experience for this one. While McMurray has had a good season, I’m leaning towards Matt Kenseth to make what could potentially be the final playoffs of his Cup career — if he doesn’t catch on with another team for 2018. 

Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

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Chase Briscoe earned his first Camping World Truck Series victory in Friday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

And while finishing second is supposed to be the first loser, it wasn’t for Christopher Bell, whose runner-up showing clinched the 2017 Truck Series championship for him.

Click here for the full results from Friday’s race.

MORE: Christopher Bell wins Truck Series championship, Chase Briscoe earns first career Truck win

MORE: Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings


Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings

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Christopher Bell won the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200, with all four Championship 4 drivers finishing within four points of each other.

Bell finished with 4,035 points, 2016 Truck champ Johnny Sauter finished second in the standings with 4,034 points, rookie Austin Cindric finished third (4,032) and two-time series champ Matt Crafton finished fourth (4,031).

Click here for the final 2017 season driver standings.

MORE: Christopher Bell wins Truck Series championship, Chase Briscoe earns first career Truck win

MORE: Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

Christopher Bell wins Truck title, Chase Briscoe earns first career series win

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The first champion of the NASCAR Championship Weekend was crowned Friday night as Christopher Bell earned his first Camping World Truck Series title.

Chase Briscoe won the race, the Ford EcoBoost 200, leading a race-high 77 laps in the 134-lap event, while Bell captured the championship by finishing second.

“It’s a dream come true,” Bell told FS1. “These trucks are so good and they pay so much attention to all the detail that goes into these things, and that’s what makes these Tundras so fast. I’m just speechless.”

MORE: Results, statistics from Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck season finale

MORE: Here’s the final 2017 Camping World Truck Series driver standings

Bell, an Oklahoma native who turns 23 on Dec. 16, has already been announced to drive next season in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. He ends the 2017 Truck campaign with five wins and 21 top-10s in 23 Truck races.

“To be see Christopher be able to mature and grow … it just goes to show these guys develop and we do a good job of developing these guys,” team owner Kyle Busch told FS1. “Erik Jones won our first driver’s championship and now with Christopher Bell bringing home our second, it just continues to solidify our legacy.”

Briscoe, who also turns 23 one day before his good friend Bell, helped send Brad Keselowski Racing out on a high note. BKR is closing after this season.

“This is a long time coming,” Briscoe told FS1. “I’m so proud of these guys to know they’re not going to have job next year, yet they continue to bring real good trucks even though we were outside of the playoffs. … For those guys to continue to believe in me, I’m so blessed and thankful.”

Briscoe was also named Truck Series Rookie of the Year.

Team owner Brad Keselowski, who will be vying for the NASCAR Cup championship on Sunday, told FS1 about Briscoe: “He has a big, bright future ahead of him and along with (BKR teammate) Austin Cindric and I’m just happy to play a role and help him out.”

The other Championship 4 contestants that came up short were 2016 Truck champ Johnny Sauter (finished third), Austin Cindric (fifth) and Matt Crafton (sixth).

STAGE WINNERS: Stage 1 (Christopher Bell), Stage 2 (Ben Rhodes)

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Cindric showed a lot of mettle while running near the front much of the race. Not bad for a 19-year-old rookie. … Bell did exactly what he needed to do to win the title: finish ahead of his other three challengers.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Noah Gragson had a rough night, finishing 18th, three laps behind the leaders.

NOTABLE: Toyota earned its fifth consecutive Truck Manufacturers Championship, and 10th overall in the last 14 seasons. … With the exception of the two cautions between stages, there were no other cautions caused from on-track action.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This whole organization, this whole team has been so good for so many years, you just don’t want to be that guy to let them down – and I’m really glad I didn’t let them down tonight.” – 2017 Truck Series champ Christopher Bell (via FS1).

WHAT’S NEXT: The 2017 season has concluded. The next race is the 2018 NextEra Energy Resources 250, Friday February 16, Daytona International Speedway.

Starting lineup for Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Cup title race

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After making contact with both the outside wall and Chase Elliott last Sunday at Phoenix, Denny Hamlin failed to advance to Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

But that didn’t stop Hamlin — who has two career wins at the South Florida 1.5-mile track — from earning his second career pole for Sunday’s race.

Martin Truex Jr. — who has six wins on 1.5-mile tracks in his seven overall victories this season — was the highest qualifying Championship 4, starting on the front row alongside Hamlin.

The other Championship 4 drivers qualified third (Kyle Busch), fifth (Brad Keselowski) and ninth (Kevin Harvick).

Click here for the starting lineup for Sunday’s race.