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John Hunter Nemechek wins postponed Truck race at Martinsville

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MARTINSVILLE, Virginia —  John Hunter Nemechek won the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway after a seven-lap shootout at the half-mile track.

Nemechek held off Kyle Benjamin to earn his sixth Camping World Truck Series win. He led the final 31 laps.

The top five was completed by Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger and Noah Gragson.

Nemechek took the lead on a restart with 31 laps to go when he passed Benjamin and Todd Gilliland three wide on the backstretch.

Nemechek was in position to take the lead because of miscommunication with his crew during the previous caution kept him out of the pits.

“(Crew chief) Gere (Kennon) came on the radio and said ‘pit,'” Nemechek told Fox Sports 1. “I didn’t hear exactly what he said because of static and we had to stay out there. I didn’t know if we were going to be able to do it. … I can’t thank everyone enough, Dad, everyone that puts their heart and soul into this deal. There’s only four guys at our shop this year, so it’s really cool to be able come back over here to the Truck Series.”

Nemechek had to survive four restarts in the closing laps. The win comes after he had three top-three finishes in his previous nine starts at the track.

Nemechek is competing for points in the Xfinity Series with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Benjamin finished second in his first Truck Series start. He was driving the No. 54 Toyota owned by David Gilliland and led 74 laps.

The race began on Saturday but was red flagged after 23 laps due to precipitation. It continued at 11 a.m. ET Monday.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ben Rhodes

STAGE 2 WINNER: Ben Rhodes

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Brett Moffitt earned his third consecutive top five … Timothy Peters finished seventh in his first start of the season … Harrison Burton finished eighth for his second top 10 in eight starts. Both are at Martinsville.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Ben Rhodes finished 12th despite winning the first two stages. The No. 41 Toyota was plagued by two slow pit stops in the final stage … Stewart Friesen finished 20th after being involved in two accidents, on Lap 87 and Lap 118 … Matt Crafton rammed into the back of Johnny Sauter out of Turn 2 with 27 laps to go. Sauter appeared to lose power before the accident. Sauter finished 19th, Crafton finished 15th … Todd Gilliland finished 14th after having to pit under caution late.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Tick tock we finally got a clock.” – John Hunter Nemechek

WHAT’S NEXT: Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway at 5 p.m. ET on May 4 on Fox Sports 1.

 

Ben Rhodes grabs Martinsville Truck pole

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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Ben Rhodes laid down a lap of 95.942 mph in the final round of qualification for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 Truck series at Martinsville to win his third career pole.

Teammate Matt Crafton will line up beside him on the outside of the front row with a lap of 95.704 mph.

Grant Enfinger qualified third to give ThorSports a clean sweep of the top spots.

Round two: Kyle Benjamin was fastest 95.830 mph. With time running off the clock, Myatt Snider (94.984) bumped Harrison Burton (94.770) out of the top 12.

Round one: Todd Gilliland topped the chart with a speed of 95.213 mph. He will have to drop to the back to start the race because of an engine change, so he did not attempt to post a time in the second round.

Click here for the race lineup.

Weather permitting, the green flag will wave over the field at 2 p.m.

 

Camping World Truck Series practice report from Martinsville

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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Final Practice

Grant Enfinger posted the fastest lap in the third and final practice for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 Truck series at Martinsville with a speed of 95.055 mph. Enfinger was the third different driver to top practice on Friday.

Matt Crafton (95.041), who posted the fastest lap in practice two, landed second on the speed chart.

After changing an engine following the first practice session, Todd Gilliland posted the 12th-fastest time of 93.733 mph. Gilliland will have to drop to the back of the pack to start the race.

Kyle Benjamin (94.875), Johnny Sauter (94.373) and Myatt Snider (94.373) rounded out the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek (93.459) had the quickest 10-lap average in final practice.

Click here for the final practice report

Practice 2

After posting a top-five time in the first session, Crafton was fastest in the second of three Camping World Truck Series practices Friday at Martinsville Speedway.

Crafton posted a speed of 94.571 mph and narrowly beat out Brett Moffitt‘s 94.557 mph by .003 seconds.

Cody Coughlin (94.529), Ben Rhodes (94.477) and Justin Haley (94.322) rounded out the top five.

Sauter posted the best 10-lap average of 93.733 early in his run to beat out Noah Gragson (92.825).

Click here for practice report No. 2

Practice 1

Justin Haley was fastest in the first of three Camping World Truck Series practice sessions Friday at Martinsville Speedway.

The GMS Racing driver topped Noah Gragson in the final moments of the session with a speed of 94.125 mph.

Gragson, the defending winner at Martinsville, posted a speed of 93.891 mph.

The top five was completed by Crafton (93.738), Nemechek (93.724) and Sauter (93.622).

Justin Fontaine recorded the most laps in the session with 70.

Gilliland had the best 10-lap average at 92.804 mph. Following this practice, the team was forced to change their engine.

Click here for practice report No. 1.

Entry lists for Martinsville (updated)

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NASCAR visits a short track for the first time this season when it heads to Martinsville Speedway, the oldest track on the circuit.

The Cup Series is joined by the Camping World Truck Series, which has been off the last two weeks.

Here are the entry lists for both races.

Cup – STP 500

There are 38 cars entered.

Jeffrey Earnhardt is listed as driving StarCom Racing’s No. 00 Chevrolet, but the team announced Sunday it has parted ways with Earnhardt.

Landon Cassill will take his place this weekend and at Texas Motor Speedway.

D.J. Kennington is entered in his third race this season, driving Gaunt Brothers Racing’s No. 96 Toyota.

Ross Chastain is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 15 Chevrolet for the fifth time this season.

Harrison Rhodes is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Chevrolet. Rhodes has one start in the No. 51 at Atlanta.

JJ Yeley will drive Premium Motorsports’ N0. 55 Chevrolet. Reed Sorenson was originally listed as the driver.

Last year, Brad Keselowski won this race after leading 116 of 500 laps. He beat Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott. In the fall playoff race, Busch won over Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Alpha Energy Solutions 250

There are 36 trucks entered.

Todd Gilliland will make his first start of the season in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Toyota.

Kyle Benjamin is entered in DGR-Crosley’s No. 54 Toyota. It will be his first Truck start.

Timothy Peters will make his first start of the year driving Ricky Benton Racing’s No. 92 Ford. A former driver for the defunct Red Horse Racing, Peters’ last start was in the 2017 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Last year, Chase Elliott won this race over Johnny Sauter and Christopher Bell. The fall playoff race was won by Noah Gragson over Matt Crafton and Sauter.

Click here for the entry list.

What a finish! Check out how the K&N Pro Series East opener ended (Video)

Photo: Scott Hunter/NASCAR
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Todd Gilliland passed Harrison Burton on the final lap to win the NASCAR K&N Pro  Series East opener Sunday night at New Smyrna Speedway.

The 17-year-olds dueled the final two laps with Burton taking the lead before taking the white flag. Gilliland applied pressure and got back by him to win. Cole Rouse nipped Burton for second. The New Smyrna 175 will air at 6 p.m. ET on Feb. 27 on NBCSN.

Gilliland will compete for rookie of the year honors in the Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports this season. Burton will be at teammate at KBM and is scheduled to run nine Truck races this season.

Watch the final two laps of Sunday night’s race: