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Johnny Sauter wins at Texas, locked into Truck championship race in Miami

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Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champ Johnny Sauter took a big step towards repeating, winning Friday night’s JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway.

It is the Wisconsin native’s third win of the season, which equals the number of wins he earned en route to last year’s championship.

It also marks the second consecutive year that Sauter has won the fall playoff race at Texas, assuring himself a spot in the championship race in Miami in two weeks.

“I haven’t been pumped up this much in a long, long time,” Sauter said.

Sauter held off a late-race challenge by runner-up Austin Cindric to earn his fourth career triumph at TMS. In addition, it was the Hendrick Motorsports Engine Department’s 400th overall win.

Christopher Bell finished third, followed by Chase Briscoe and Justin Haley, who spun on Lap 58 after making contact with Sauter, his teammate at GMS Racing.

Haley kept his truck off the wall and sustained only minor damage to the left rear and was able to continue on.

Sixth through 10th were Kaz Grala, Grant Enfinger, Ryan Truex, Matt Crafton and Noah Gragson.

Crafton suffered a costly pit road penalty just past halfway when NASCAR ruled a crew member came over the wall too soon, and was never able to recover.

Justin Haley’s truck was found to be too low in inspection after the race. Christopher Bell’s truck was found to have an unsecured lug nut.

MORE: Results from JAG Metals 350 Truck race at Texas Motor Speedway

MORE: Johnny Sauter clinches spot in championship race, Christopher Bell close on points

STAGE WINNERS: Christopher Bell (Stage 1), Noah Gragson (Stage 2).

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Austin Cindric gave Sauter a stiff challenge in the closing laps, but couldn’t get past. … Chase Briscoe bounced back from tough races at Talladega and Martinsville to finish fourth.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Tommy Joe Martins completed three laps before suffering a hard wreck in his Chevrolet Silverado. … John Hunter Nemechek pitted late in the race, had struggles restarting and then was penalized for speeding while exiting pit road. He finished 19th.

NOTABLE: John Hunter Nemechek, who is 39 points out of the final transfer spot, must win next weekend at Phoenix to advance to the championship round in Miami.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It was a nice points day, but we already have really good points, so we really wanted to win.” — Third-place finisher Christopher Bell.

WHAT’S NEXT: Lucas Oil 150; 8:30 p.m. ET Nov. 10 at Phoenix Raceway

Justin Haley takes pole for tonight’s Truck race at Texas Motor Speedway

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18-year-old Indiana native Justin Haley earned his first career Truck Series pole and became the youngest Truck Series pole winner at Texas Motor Speedway in qualifying for tonight’s JAG Metals 350.

In addition, Haley recorded the fifth-fastest pole speed in Truck Series history, covering the 1.5-mile oval at 186.181 mph.

Haley was followed by Noah Gragson (186.053), Christopher Bell (185.982), Johnny Sauter (185.861), Ryan Truex (184.894) and Austin Cindric (184.887).

Seventh through 12th were Kaz Grala (184.571), Matt Crafton (184.351), Ben Rhodes (183.861), Chase Briscoe (183.849), John Hunter Nemechek (182.051) and Myatt Snider (177.101).

Click here for the full qualifying results.

Little brother does good: Ryan Truex takes Truck race pole at Las Vegas

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Like big brother, like little brother.

On Friday, 37-year-old Martin Truex Jr. won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Dover.

Roughly 24 hours later and over 2,500 miles away, younger sibling Ryan Truex, 25, won the pole for tonight’s Las Vegas 350 Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a run of 177.194 mph.

“I was confident in this truck,” Ryan Truex told Fox Sports 1. “It’s the same one we sat on the pole at Chicago, so I had no worries going in.”

Tonight will be Ryan Truex’s 37th career start in the Truck Series. He’s enjoying his best season ever with seven top-5s, 11 top-10s and now two poles.

Now, Truex said, there’s one more detail left:

“I’ve gotta win still,” he told FS1. “That’s the last box I need to check. We’ve got stage wins, led laps and earned poles, we just need to put this Tundra in victory lane.”

Defending Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter was second (175.916 mph), followed by Chase Briscoe (176.881), Christopher Bell (176.713) and Matt Crafton (176.655).

Also of note, Travis Pastrana qualified 18th in his first Truck start in two seasons and third overall of his career.

The race takes the green flag shortly after 8 p.m. ET and will be televised on FS1

Click here for the qualifying results.

Kaz Grala fastest in final Truck practice in Las Vegas

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Kaz Grala posted the fastest lap in Saturday’s final Camping World Truck Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Grala paced the field with a lap of 179.045 mph.

He was followed by Noah Gragson (179.039 mph), Christopher Bell (178.832), Johnny Sauter (178.772) and Ryan Truex (178.330).

Matt Crafton had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 176.225 mph. He was followed by Chase Briscoe (176.091 mph) and Grala (175.744).

Twenty-eight trucks practiced.

Click here for practice report

Qualifying and the race are later today.

Johnny Sauter paces opening Truck practice at Las Vegas

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Johnny Sauter posted the fastest lap in Saturday’s opening Camping World Truck Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sauter led the way with a lap of 179.468 mph.

He was followed by Ryan Truex (178.619 mph), Matt Crafton (178.589), Noah Gragson (178.512) and Stewart Friesen (178.506).

Twenty trucks practiced in the session. Noah Gragson had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 175.781 mph.

The series has one practice left today, followed by qualifying and tonight’s race.