TALLADEGA, Alabama — Christopher Bell will be the points leader when the Round of 6 begins later this month at Martinsville Speedway.
TALLADEGA, Alabama — NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman led the final two laps and won in overtime to score his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kligerman’s other series victory came in 2012 at Talladega. Just like then, he planted the checkered flag in the frontstretch grass.
“Everything is just a blur,” Kligerman said. “Every move worked perfectly. When I go back and look at it, I’ll look at those moves, some of the hardest to make are when you are in the bottom and you’re running the top five and you don’t really have a partner and you’re trying to stop or block that top lane or get that momentum of that top lane. All I think about these speedway races is literally the last three laps and what I’m going to see out of the right rear of my truck because the move that you make to win these races 90 percent of the time is that.”
MORE: Race results
Stage 1 winner: Johnny Sauter
Stage 2 winner: Johnny Sauter
How Parker Kligerman won: He avoided issues early, put himself in the right spot and took the lead on the overtime restart to win.
Who had a good day: John Hunter Nemechek finished sixth after being in an accident and avoiding two others later to advance in the playoffs despite entering the race last among the playoff contenders, 14 points out of a transfer spot. … Christopher Bell finished second for his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Myatt Snider finished a career-best third.
Who had a bad day: Daytona winner Kaz Grala’s playoff hopes ended when he was involved in a crash on Lap 19. Chris Fontaine spun and Grala was involved in an incident when he was hit from behind and sent into the wall. Grala finished 29th. … Chase Briscoe’s truck started smoking on lap 6 and went to the garage on Lap 8 after fluids were leaking. He returned 10 laps down and finished 22nd, nine laps behind the leaders but it wasn’t good enough to advance in the playoffs.
Notable: Parker Kligerman led only three of 95 laps, including the final two.
Quote of the day: “That’s a tough one,’’ Kaz Grala said after a wreck prevented him from advancing to the next round of the playoffs.
Next: Oct. 28 at Martinsville Speedway
Given that it’s Friday the 13th, it’s fitting that Cody Coughlin — driver of the No. 13 Toyota — was fastest in the first of two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practices Friday morning at Talladega Superspeedway.
Coughlin had a top speed of 191.719 mph around the 2.66-mile, high-banked oval, the largest track in NASCAR.
John Hunter Nemechek was second at 191.260 mph, followed by Regan Smith (190.518), Las Vegas winner Ben Rhodes (190.465), Grant Enfinger (190.374), Justin Haley (190.370), Johnny Sauter (190.208), Parker Kligerman (189.858), Matt Crafton (189.451) and Kaz Grala (189.058).
Points leader Christopher Bell was 17th fastest at 181.470 mph.
A total of 30 Trucks took to the track for the session.
The second and final practice session will be this afternoon from 2 – 2:55 p.m. ET on FS1.
Christopher Bell, who finished second in Saturday’s Las Vegas 350 Truck Series race, holds a commanding 47-point lead over race winner Ben Rhodes, while Matt Crafton is third (-51), followed by Johnny Sauter (-54) and and Chase Briscoe (-68).
The first playoff round cutoff race is two weeks from now at Talladega Superspeedway.
Austin Cindric is sixth at 70 points behind Bell, on the positive side of the cutoff line.
Click here for the Truck Series point standings after Saturday’s race.
Ben Rhodes came into Saturday night’s Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race worrying if he’d advance to the second round of the playoffs in two weeks at Talladega.
He also has long wondered when — or if — he’d ever earn his first Truck Series win.
The Louisville, Kentucky native took care of both worries by winning the race in spectacular fashion, passing below the three lead trucks with seven laps left and then held off a late challenge by Christopher Bell to take home the checkered flag.
Click here for the full race results.