Matt Crafton wins fuel mileage battle to take Kansas Truck race

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In a battle of fuel-mileage gamblers, Matt Crafton won while several others were forced to fold early in Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250 Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway.

Crafton earned his seventh career Truck Series race and became the first Truck driver to win twice at Kansas.

Erik Jones led 151 laps – a series record on a 1.5-mile track – but was forced to pit with five laps to go when he ran out of fuel. Jones finished 11th.

Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez then challenged for the lead, but both also ran out of fuel in the final two laps, allowing Crafton to take the lead and hold on for the win, having led a total of just six laps in the 167-lap event.

Sprint Cup regular Ryan Newman finished second, followed by Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters and Cameron Hayley.

Suarez finished sixth, followed by Justin Boston, Scott Lagasse Jr., Mason Mingus and Daniel Hemric.

How Crafton won: Fuel mileage management. While pole-sitter Erik Jones dominated, building more than a 10-second lead at one point, Crafton was his usual calm and collected self. He saved fuel when he needed to and watched Jones, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez all fall short of their bid to win when they all ran out of fuel in the closing laps. “They told me we weren’t going to make it, but we had great horsepower,” Crafton said. “It was not the winning truck. We were definitely second-place truck.”

Who else had a good day: The entire ThorSport Racing team. Teammates Johnny Sauter finished third and Cameron Hayley finished fifth. … Also having a good day was Sprint Cup regular Ryan Newman, who made a rare Truck Series start and finished second. … In a deal that was put together earlier this week, Scott Lagasse Jr. came up with an eighth-place finish.

Who had a bad day: Even though he dominated, Erik Jones ultimately had a bad day, finishing 11th. Part of the reason could be how Jones stretched out such lengthy leads over his competitors several times in the race. Had he been able to save fuel, he may not have had to pit with five laps to go, costing him any chance at the win. … Ben Kennedy managed to complete only 57 laps and finished a disappointing 26th.

Notables: Tyler Reddick overcame going to a backup truck after a qualifying crash with teammate Austin Theriault. Reddick was looking for a win and likely would have had it if he hadn’t of run out of fuel with two laps to go. He finished 13th.

Quote of the day: “Man, it just sucks. We had by far the best truck. We were up to an 11-second lead at one point. It’s just so terrible for these guys when we bring that fast of a truck and we can’t bring the win home. … Being eight laps short, I don’t know how the 88 (Crafton) made it. It’s just too bad.” – Erik Jones

What’s next: May 16, 8:30 pm, North Carolina Education Lottery 200, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Fox Sports 1/Performance Racing Network

Standings: 1 Matt Crafton. 2 Tyler Reddick (-17 points). 3 Erik Jones (-18). 4 Johnny Sauter (-22). 5 Cameron Hayley (-52). 6 John Wes Townley (-53). 7 Timothy Peters (-54). 8 Justin Boston (-61). 9 Ray Black Jr. (-63). 10 Spencer Gallagher (-64).

FINAL RESULTS:

1 Matt Crafton … 167 laps (led 6 laps)

2 Ryan Newman … 167 laps (led 2 laps)

3 Johnny Sauter … 167 laps

4 Timothy Peters … 167 laps

5 Cameron Hayley … 167 laps

6 Daniel Suarez … 167 laps (led 1 lap)

7 Justin Boston … 166 laps

8 Scott Lagasse Jr. … 166 laps

9 Mason Mingus … 166 laps

10 Daniel Hemric … 166 laps

11 Erik Jones … 166 laps (led 151 laps)

12 John Wes Townley … 166 laps

13 Tyler Reddick … 165 laps (led 7 laps)

14 Austin Theriault … 165 laps

15 Tyler Tanner … 165 laps

16 Wendell Chavous … 164 laps

17 Spencer Gallagher … 163 laps

18 Jordan Anderson … 159 laps

19 Jennifer Jo Cobb … 154 laps

20 Ryan Ellis … 154 laps

21 Ray Black Jr. … 109 laps

22 Korbin Forrister … 90 laps

23 Tyler Young … 74 laps

24 Norm Benning … 69 laps

25 Travis Kvapil … 60 laps

26 Ben Kennedy … 57 laps

27 Justin Jennings … 24 laps

28 BJ McLeod … 18 laps

29 Matt Tifft … 18 laps

30 Brandon Jones … 11 laps

31 Michael Affarano … 6 laps

32 Caleb Roark … 5 laps

Average Speed: 139.857 MPH

Time of Race: 1 Hour, 47 Minutes, 28 Seconds

Margin of Victory: 8.339 seconds

Lead Changes: 11 among 5 drivers

Cautions: 4 for 19 laps

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Nashville Fair Board votes to terminate contract with operator of Fairgrounds Speedway

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
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The Nashville Metro Fair Board voted Tuesday to terminate its contract with the operator of Fairgrounds Speedway, a track being eyed for a possible NASCAR race, according to The Tennessean.

Last December, Formosa Productions and Bristol Motor Speedway announced “an agreement to explore bringing major NASCAR racing events” back to the .596-mile track. The earliest Nashville could potentially be added to the schedule is 2021, though the schedule for that season is expected to be revealed in April.

Bristol Motor Speedway released a statement Tuesday night saying it is still interested in pursuing future involvement with the Fairgrounds Speedway.

“We appreciate all that Tony and Claire Formosa have done to sustain local racing in Nashville over the years,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager for Bristol Motor Speedway. “Today’s news does not change our interest or belief that Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway can be returned to prominence to help create a true renovation of the Fairgrounds. There is huge local, regional and national interest in the future of the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. As Mayor (John) Cooper, the Fair Board and Council determine what’s next for the historic race track, we are ready to engage with them on the vision that we believe can deliver a bright future for the Fairgrounds.”

The vote to terminate the contract with Formosa Productions, operated by Tony and Claire Formosa, is in response to a claimed breach of contract, which was first raised by the city in April and includes unpaid concessions commissions and rent payments.

A fairgrounds spokesperson told The Tennessean that the Formosas would owe the city nearly $180,000 by the end of the year. The Tennessean reports the Formosas have 90 days to vacate the premises.

According to The Tennessean, Nashville Fairgrounds Director Laura Womack said she and another board member met Oct. 14 with the Formosas and asked that they provide specific contract changes and documents regarding attendance and revenue records from this year’s racing season.

A meeting where those documents were due to be delivered was rescheduled to Nov. 6 before it was canceled by the Formosas.

“This shows little to no faith that we will be paid by the end of the year,” said Fair Board member Caleb Hemmer, according to The Tennessean. “Which begs the issue that we need to start looking to the future and what we need to do as a board to ensure there’s racing next year if the (Formosas) can’t fulfill their obligations as put forth by (the contract).”

Jim Roberts, an attorney representing the Formosas, attended the meeting according to The Tennessean. Roberts believed the meeting, which was delayed two hours due to winter weather, was in violation of the opens meeting act due to it not being properly noticed.

The Formosas have operated the track since 2010 and entered into a five-year agreement in 2017 after the city chose its bid over one from Bristol Motor Speedway

The deal between Formosa Productions and Bristol Motor Speedway, which would need to be approved by the Fair Board, would focus “on a long-range plan of significant track improvements and high-profile race events that could include NASCAR events upon the facility meeting standards.”

In May, Bristol officials revealed a $60 million proposal to renovate the track.

The plan would increase seating capacity of the .596-mile short track from its current size of 15,000 to 30,000, as well as include an expanded concourse, premium seating, pedestrian tunnels and sound barriers.

 

Penalty report from ISM Raceway

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NASCAR has fined five crew chiefs for unsecured lug nuts on their cars after last weekend’s playoff races at ISM Raceway.

Each fine was for having a single unsecured lug nut.

In the Cup Series:

Paul Wolfe, crew chief on Brad Keselowski‘s No. 2 Ford, and Mike Hillman Sr., crew chief on J.J. Yeley‘s No. 53 Chevrolet, were each fined $10,000.

In the Xfinity Series:

Taylor Moyer, crew chief on Zane Smith‘s No. 8 Chevrolet, was fined $5,000.

In the Truck Series:

Joe Shear, Jr., crew chief on Johnny Suater’s No. 13 Chevrolet, and Trip Bruce lll, crew chief on race winner Stewart Friesen‘s No. 52 Chevrolet, were fined $2,500.

Preliminary entry lists for Championship Weekend in Miami

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NASCAR’s final race weekend of the year has arrived with the championship races for all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for all three races.

Cup – Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC)

A full field of 40 cars are entered into the race.

Drew Herring is entered in Gaunt Brothers Racing’s No. 96 Toyota for his Cup debut.

John Hunter Nemechek will make his third start in Front Row Motorsports’ No. 36 Ford in relief of Matt Tifft.

Joe Nemechek is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 15 Chevrolet.

Joey Logano won this race last year over Martin Truex Jr. to claim his first Cup title.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Ford EcoBoost 300 (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 39 cars entered. One car will not qualify for the race.

Jeb Burton is entered in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet.

Harrison Burton is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota.

Tyler Reddick won this race last year over Cole Custer to claim the championship.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Ford EcoBoost 200 (8 p.m. ET Friday on FS1)

There are 37 trucks entered. Five trucks will not qualify for the event.

K&N Pro Series West champion Derek Kraus is entered in Bill McAnally Racing’s No. 19 Toyota for his fifth start of the season.

Angela Ruch is entered in Niece Motorsports’ No. 44 Chevrolet.

Christian Eckes is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Toyota.

NBC Sports analyst Parker Kligerman is entered in Henderson Motorsports’ No. 75 Chevrolet.

No drivers are listed for NEMCO Motorsports’ No. 87 Chevrolet and Reaume Brothers Racing’s No. 33 and No. 34 Toyotas.

Brett Moffitt won this race last year to claim the championship.

Click here for the entry list.

JJL Motorsports announces new team owner

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JJL Motorsports, Jesse Little‘s Gander Outdoors Truck Series team, announced Tuesday it has sold its assets to Logan Puckett, president of Diversified Utility Group, a turnkey general contractor specializing in fiber optic telecommunications construction.

The company will sponsor Little in Friday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Puckett will re-brand the team as Diversified Motorsports Enterprises in 2020 with plans to compete part-time with Little as its primary driver.

Little, 22, has made eight starts in the Truck Series this year in his No. 97 Ford.

More: Jesse Little to compete full-time for JD Motorsports in 2020

The team announced in early September that its assets were up for sale.

“I’m honored to represent Diversified Utility Group this weekend at Homestead,” Little said in a press release. “Logan has been so excited about the opportunity to enter the Truck Series as an owner in 2020, but to have his company be a part of our last race under the JJL Motorsports banner as a sponsor is even more awesome.

“Hopefully we can have a good performance for him on Friday night before looking ahead to 2020.”

Said Puckett: “I am really looking forward to taking over an outstanding program that JJL has put together as it provides a great foundation to build on and hopefully grow. I think the growth potential is what excites me the most.

“I am certainly looking forward to the challenge that this provides, and I hope that I can bring some value to the team and ultimately it would be awesome if I can bring value to the sport as a young owner with a fresh outlook.”