It was a long and wild race that included three red flag race stoppages that lasted over a combined 37 minutes.
It also saw one driver who was in a must-win situation if he wanted to advance to next week’s championship race come up one spot short of doing so.
And it also marked a first win ever in the Valley of the Sun for the victor.
Those were some of the highlights of Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix Raceway.
MORE: Patience pays off for Johnny Sauter at Phoenix, wins 2nd straight race
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Defending Truck Series champ Johnny Sauter won his second race in a week, and his first ever at Phoenix. John Hunter Nemechek, who came up short of advancing to Miami, was second, followed by Cody Coughlin, Chase Briscoe and Kaz Grala.
Click here for the results.
Erik Jones was the fastest driver in Saturday’s final Truck Series practice at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
Jones led the field with a speed of 110.436 mph. Alex Tagliani, who was fastest in the morning’s first practice session, was a close second in the final practice with a speed of 110.364 mph.
Cameron Hayley was third fastest (110.273), while Johnny Sauter (110.177) and Ben Kennedy (110.132) rounded out the top five.
Several drivers were involved in incidents, including Jennifer Jo Cobb and John Wes Townley, who both slammed into a tire barrier in the same exact spot during practice.
Townley’s truck suffered extensive damage, forcing his team to go to a backup truck. Cobb’s team was working to repair her truck.
Qualifying for Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 race will take place later today at 5:45 pm ET.
Here’s how the final practice session played out:
Fresh off earning the pole and a runner-up finish in last week’s Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio, Alex Tagliani will have an encore performance in next week’s Camping World Truck Series race for Brad Keselowski Racing.
Tagliani will drive BKR’s No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 in the Aug. 30 Truck race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
A native of Montreal, Tagliani made his Truck Series debut in 2014 at CTMP, won the pole (with a track record) and finished 16th.
“I really enjoyed driving the truck because it was so well prepared by the team,” Tagliani said in a team media release. “A big part of racing is the chemistry.
“This was so unique because of everyone’s attitude at BKR. By the time qualifying was over I felt like I had been working with the team for years.”
Tagliani won a Canadian Tire Series race in June at Sunset Speedway in Innisfil, Ontario. He dominated the 300-lap event by leading 193 laps. At the checkered flag, Tagliani finished more than a lap ahead of his closest challenger.
Kyle Busch got an early start on potentially winning a fifth Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway by winning the pole for tonight’s UNOH 200 (8:30 pm ET, Fox Sports 1).
Busch (125.683 mph) edged Ryan Blaney (125.559 mph) for the pole.
Brandon Jones qualified third (125.469 mph), alongside Erik Jones (125.166), while Cole Custer (125.142) will be alongside two-time defending Truck series champ Matt Crafton (124.987).
Current Truck series points leader Tyler Reddick qualified 19th (123.961 mph).
Here’s how qualifying played out:
Michael Waltrip tried to keep a smile on his face despite Wednesday being one of the darkest days in his race team’s history.
The NASCAR owner spoke about Michael Waltrip Racing’s impending shutdown in 2016 at the beginning of the Fox Sports 1 telecast of Wednesday morning’s Camping World Truck Series practice session at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“It’s a sad day for MWR,” said Waltrip, who called Michael Waltrip Racing a “perfect workplace.”
Waltrip, who is part of Fox Sports 1’s Truck Series broadcast team, tried to maintain a positive outlook, hinting that his Cornelius, N.C.-based shop might stay open and keep some of its employees if it were sold.
“My hope is somebody wants to have a really nice shop full of really cool people that work together well and want to have a race team, and we can provide that for them,” Waltrip said. “But Rob’s (team majority owner Rob Kauffman) going to be a part of Chip Ganassi Racing going forward.
“Rob and I are best of buddies. Rob has done an amazing job of stabilizing MWR at the beginning and then we raced for a championship, finished second in 2012.”
MWR has fielded cars full time in the Sprint Cup Series since 2007.
“My heart goes out to all the employees, all the people who worked at MWR,” Waltrip said. “Hopefully, somebody wants to have a team, and they can have it right there at our place.”
Waltrip concluded by adding, “I’m thankful. I’m happy. It’s a great run that we’ve had. We’ll just see what’s next.”