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Chase Briscoe earns Miami Truck pole; Austin Cindric highest of Championship 4 drivers

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Chase Briscoe took the pole for tonight’s Camping World Truck Series season-ending and championship-deciding Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Briscoe was fastest with a speed of 167.499 mph, followed by Ben Rhodes (167.348 mph), who will also sit on the front row when the green flag drops tonight.

Three of the four Championship 4 drivers didn’t qualify as well as they might have liked.

One did, however, as 19-year-old Austin Cindric qualified third (166.831). Cindric and Briscoe are both competing in the final race for Brad Keselowski Racing, which is folding after this season.

As for the other three Championship 4 drivers, two-time Truck champ Matt Crafton qualified eighth (165.614), defending series champ Johnny Sauter (165.092) qualified 11th, and Christopher Bell (165.309) failed to advance past the first round of qualifying. He’ll start tonight’s championship race 13th.

As for the rest of the top 12 qualifiers who are not running for the championship, Grant Enfinger was fourth (166.590) followed by Noah Gragson (165.909), Ryan Truex (165.848) and Justin Haley in seventh (165.705). Also, Stewart Friesen qualified ninth (165.431), Kaz Grala was 10th (165.203) and Myatt Snider was 12th (161.575).

The Ford EcoBoost 200 will take the green flag shortly after 8 p.m. ET. The race will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the full qualifying grid.

John Hunter Nemechek fastest in final Truck Series practice in Miami

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John Hunter Nemechek posted the fastest speed in the final Camping World Truck Series practice session of the season.

The NEMCO Motorsports driver recorded a speed of 165.239 mph around Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Nemechek was followed by Grant Enfinger (164.971), Kaz Grala (164.845), Noah Gragson (164.534) and championship driver Christopher Bell (164.414).

The three remaining championship drivers:

9th – Austin Cindric, 161.968 mph

13th – Matt Crafton, 160.839

14th – Johnny Sauter, 160.762

Myatt Snider, who was ninth fastest, recorded the most laps with 28.

Justin Haley had the best 10-lap average at 159.992 mph.

Cindric was the only playoff driver to make a 10-lap run. He had the fourth best 10-lap average at 159.441 mph.

Three drivers – Timothy Peters, Austin Wayne Self and Robby Lyons – experienced engine failures during the session.

The Truck Series will qualify for the Ford EcoBoost 200 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the practice report.

Johnny Sauter returning to GMS Racing next season

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GMS Racing announced that defending Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter will return to the team in 2018.

Sauter, who will compete for the Truck championship tonight at Homestead-Miami Speedway (8 p.m. on Fox Sports 1), will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet in his 10th full-time season in the series.

The 39-year-old driver has been with GMS Racing since 2016 when he won his first NASCAR title. Prior to that he competed for ThorSport Racing.

“I can’t thank the Gallagher family and Mike Beam enough for the opportunity they’ve given me the last two years,” Sauter said in a press release. “To be able to compete at this level, where you know you could win any given weekend, is incredible and I’m excited to be able to continue with the No. 21 team next year.”

Regardless of where he places in tonight’s Ford EcoBoost 300, Sauter will clinch his seventh top-five finish in the Truck standings.

Sauter has 17 wins since his rookie Truck season in 2009. He has seven victories with GMS Racing, including a career-best four this season.

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Johnny Sauter fastest in Truck practice in Miami

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Championship 4 driver Johnny Sauter was fastest in the first Camping World Truck Series practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The defending series champion topped the session with a speed of 168.629 mph.

The GMS Racing driver led Kaz Grala (168.618), championship driver Christopher Bell (168.140), Noah Gragson (168.104) and Ben Rhodes (167.582).

The remaining championship drivers, Austin Cindric and Matt Crafton, were sixth and 13th fastest.

Myatt Snider, 16th fastest, recorded the most laps in the session with 35.

Bell and Snider were the only drivers to record 10-lap runs.

The final Truck practice session is scheduled to run from 10-10:55 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the practice report.

Friday’s schedule for Trucks, Cup and Xfinity at Homestead-Miami Speedway

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The first of three NASCAR championships decided this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway takes place tonight in the Camping World Truck Series’ Ford EcoBoost 200.

The green flag will fall shortly after 8 p.m. ET. Johnny Sauter looks to win a second consecutive Truck crown, while Matt Crafton seeks his third Truck title. Vying for their first Truck championship are youngsters Christopher Bell and Austin Cindric.

The Cup Series will have one practice session and qualifying today, while the Xfinity Series will have two practices.

Here’s today’s schedule:

(All times EASTERN)

7 a.m. — Truck garage opens

8:30 – 9:25 a.m. – First Truck practice (Fox Sports 1)

10 – 10:55 a.m. – Final Truck practice (FS1)

10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

12:30 – 1:55 p.m. – First Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

2:30 – 3:25 p.m. – First Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

3:30 p.m. – Truck qualifying (single vehicle, two rounds) (FS1)

5 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

6 p.m. – Truck driver/crew chief meeting

6:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds) (NBCSN, MRN)

7:30 p.m. – Truck driver introductions

8 p.m. – Ford EcoBoost 200 (134 laps, 201 miles) (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)