Todd Gilliland

John Hunter Nemechek gets first Truck win of year with Gateway victory

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John Hunter Nemechek led the final six laps following a restart with eight to go to win the Camping World Truck Series’ race at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Nemechek passed Matt Crafton in Turn 2 and went unchallenged to claim his fourth Truck Series win and his first of the year.

NEMCO Motorsports is the first non-Kyle Busch Motorsports or GMS Racing team to win this year.

The win comes after Nemechek entered the race with no laps led despite two top-five finishes. Outside those two races, Nemechek had finished 21st or worse in every other race.

“It’s definitely an emotional win,” a tearful Nemechek told Fox Sports 1. “All the hard work that goes in, everyone’s worked their tails off. We haven’t had the best luck this year. Getting into victory lane when we needed to, God is great, I can’t thank him enough. I knew all the hard work would pay off. This is an awesome Father’s Day present for dad here and team owner (Joe Nemechek).”

Nemechek later said, “Not knowing how many more races we’re going to get to this year, this definitely means a lot.”

Joe Nemechek said only half the team’s races for this season had sponsorship and that there was doubt whether the No. 8 Chevrolet would be able to go to the next race at Iowa Speedway.

“I hate to see John Hunter go through that, he has so much talent,” Joe Nemechek told FS1. “He’s going to be a Cup champion one of these days. Right now, we’re just trying to get to the next race. He is tough. As far as driving the racecar is one thing, but when you deal with all the financial part of it just to figure out how to keep going, that makes it hard on a young kid. … That was his will tonight. We got the truck close, but he was on it.”

Chase Briscoe, who led a race high 88 laps,  finished second for the second week in a row. The rookie was one of two drivers who pit during the final caution for tires, leading to a frantic charge through the field.

The top five was completed by Chase Briscoe, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger.

Stage 1 winner: John Hunter Nemechek

Stage 2 winner: Chase Briscoe

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Christopher Bell was in second on the last lap, but contact with Briscoe cut his left rear tire and sent him to sixth. … Matt Crafton earned just his second top five of the year …. Ryan Truex finished seventh for his sixth top 10 in a row … Grant Enfinger earned his third top five of the year.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: The 11 trucks that failed to finish due to some sort of mechanical failure … Todd Gilliland earned his second DNF in as many starts after a transmission problem on Lap 114 … Jennifer Jo Cobb failed to start after the team discovered a hole in her radiator on the starting grid and was unable to make repairs. … Josh Reaume brought out the only caution outside of the stage endings. His No. 50 truck stalled on pit road with 12 laps to go.

NOTABLE: The No. 02 of Austin Hill failed front heights in post-race inspection. Any penalties will be announced later in the week.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Those guys just took two tires and I was on no tires and we had a lot of laps on them right side tires and we were just done. You win some, you lose some and everybody is upset but at the same time they knew we were here tonight.” – Matt Crafton after finishing fourth.

WHAT’S NEXT:  The Iowa 200 at Iowa Speedway at 8:30 p.m. ET on June 23 on Fox Sports 1.

Chase Briscoe wins pole for Truck race at Gateway Motorsports Park

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Rookie Chase Briscoe won the pole for the Camping World Truck Series’ race at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Briscoe used a speed of 136.828 mph to earn the pole for the Drivin’ for Linemen 200. It’s his second pole of the year. His first came at Dover.

The Brad Keselowski Racing driver will be joined on the front row by John Hunter Nemechek (136.745). It is Nemechek’s best start of the year and his first in the top five.

Completing the top five is Christopher Bell, Todd Gilliland and Austin Cindric.

Noah Gragson and Kyle Donahue start from the rear of the field because of unapproved adjustments.

Briscoe was fastest in the first round of qualifying, while Bell topped the chart in the second round.

Click here for the full qualifying results.

Christopher Bell leads opening Truck practice at Gateway

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Christopher Bell posted the fastest lap in the opening practice session Saturday at Gateway Motorsports Park with a lap of 136.030 mph.

He was followed by Noah Gragson (135.915 mph), Chase Briscoe (135.747), Todd Gilliland (135.595) and Justin Haley (135.294).

Toyota took three of the top four spots with Bell, Gragson and Gilliland.

The series has another practice today before qualifying and racing later this evening.

 

Harvick, Blaney, Suarez entered in Sonoma K&N West race next weekend

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Several NASCAR Cup drivers will take part in next weekend’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Sonoma Raceway, track officials announced Thursday.

Cup drivers competing in the June 24 Carneros 200 K&N race include Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez.

Ryan Blaney (Getty Images)

Harvick will drive the No. 4 for Jefferson Pitts Racing. It will be Harvick’s first K&N start since 2007 at Iowa, where he earned his seventh win in the series in 22 career starts.

“(I’m) going to be the old guy that shows up,” Harvick said in a media release. “I have fun when I go do those events. You’d love to win and you want to go out and do that obviously to be competitive; it’s just a series that gave me several breaks and several opportunities to showcase what I did as a kid.”

Harvick isn’t the only Cup driver who will be making his first K&N start in a long while. Blaney has just one prior West series start, but he made the most of it, winning at Phoenix in 2011.

Daniel Suarez (Getty Images)

Blaney, who earned his first Cup win Sunday at Pocono, will race with GCR Racing, while Suarez will race for MDM Motorsports in the team’s first K&N West start of the season. It will be Suarez’s first race in the K&N West since 2012 and his first overall K&N race (in the East Series) since 2014.

Among other notable names that will compete in the 64-lap Carneros 200 include up-and-coming drivers Todd Gilliland, Derek Kraus, Julia Landauer, Will Rodgers and Michael Self.

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Johnny Sauter earns first Truck win of season and first career triumph at Dover

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Veteran Johnny Sauter held off hard-charging rookie Kaz Grala to win Friday’s Bar Harbor 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway.

It was the first win of the season for the reigning Truck champion and the 14th of his career. It was first career win at the Monster Mile. He had never led a lap at the track until today.

Sauter also broke a streak of three consecutive runner-up finishes, and made it a 1-2 finish for GMS Racing.

“I’m so proud of everyone at GMS and the 1-2 finish,” said Sauter, who led 33 laps in the 200-lap event. “It’s just a great day, unbelievable after three second-place finishes to get a win.”

MORE: Results from Friday’s Bar Harbor 200 Truck Series race at Dover

MORE: Truck Series driver standings after Bar Harbor 200 at Dover

 

The 18-year-old Grala, who skipped his high school graduation to race today, showed the maturity of a veteran and crept closer to Sauter in the final laps but could not get close enough to make a pass for the win.

“We were close,” Grala said. “Overall, it was a solid day. These races are all about track position and clean air. This was a really good race car, glad we got another top-five and it was another good points day.”

Rookie Grant Enfinger bounced back from a wreck earlier in the race to finish third, followed by Ben Rhodes, who led a race-high 71 laps, and rookie Austin Cindric.

Sixth through 10th were Brandon Jones, Regan Smith, rookie Justin Haley, rookie Noah Gragson and Ryan Truex.

Truex won the first stage. Matt Crafton won the second stage, his first stage win of the season.

HOW SAUTER WON: After three straight runner-up finishes, Sauter had his doubts that he’d have a good truck today. But he used patience and veteran wiles to not only get to the front, but also to hold off teammate Kaz Grala.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger bounced back from an early wreck to finish third. Austin Cindric earned his best career finish with his fifth-place finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Christopher Bell came into the race second in the standings and had top-10 finishes in all prior races this season. He was in a three-truck wreck with nine laps to go in Stage 1 and his day was done. Bell finished 25th in the 32-truck field.

NOTABLE: Todd Gilliland’s Truck Series debut came to an end with 82 laps to go when he hit the wall and broke the suspension on his truck. He finished 20th. … Brad Keselowski Racing is facing some major penalties after Chase Briscoe left pit road late in the race and the left front tire fell off. According to the Truck Series rule book, “loss of wheel(s) due to improper installation will result in a mandatory minimum four Race suspension of the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier for the lost wheel(s).”

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “There’s just some days when you wake up and don’t think it’s your day and don’t think things are clicking.” – Even so, Sauter still wound up winning the race.

WHAT’S NEXT: Friday, June 9 at 8 p.m. ET, WinstarOnlineGaming.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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