Kasey Kahne tops charts in first Truck Series practice in Charlotte

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Kasey Kahne, in his first Camping World Truck Series action in three years, claimed the top spot of the first practice session for Sunday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kahne put up a time of 29.957 seconds at 180.258 mph in his JR Motorsports N0. 00 Chevrolet. He was the only driver to record a lap time of less than 30 seconds.

He was followed by Joe Nemechek (179.856), Daniel Hemric (179.851), Spencer Gallagher (179.485) and Justin Boston (179.313).

The first of two sessions was 2 hours and 55 minutes, almost an hour longer than the 1 hour and 59 minutes it took to run the race itself last year.

Times for the first CWTS practice:

1. Kasey Kahne … 180.258 … 21 laps

2. Joe Nemechek … 179.856 … 17 laps.

3. Daniel Hemric … 179.581 … 33 laps

4. Spencer Gallagher … 179.485 …21 laps

5. Justin Boston … 179.313 … 32 laps

6. Erik Jones … 179.152 … 36 laps

7. Scott Lagasse Jr. … 179.099 … 30 laps

8. Brandon Jones … 178.672 … 34 laps

9. Tyler Reddick … 178.571 … 24 laps

10. Brad Keselowski … 178.501 … 24 laps.

11. Matt Tifft … 178.265 … 39 laps

12. Cameron Hayley … 177.895 … 26 laps

13. Matt Crafton … 177.626 … 16 laps

14. David Gilliland … 177.328 … 10 laps

15. John Wes Townley … 177.270 … 35 laps

16. Johnny Sauter … 177.165 … 24 laps

17. Mason Mingus … 177.038 … 40 laps

18. Timothy Peters … 176.962 … 32 laps

19. Caleb Holman … 176.148 … 22 laps

20. Ben Kennedy … 175.001 … 35 laps

21. Brandon Brown … 173.449 … 29 laps

22. Tyler Young … 173.232 … 23 laps

24. Wendell Chavous … 172.046 … 12 laps

25. Tyler Tanner … 171.614 … 15 laps

26. BJ McLeod … 171.461 … 3 laps

27. Ray Black Jr. … 171.396 … 6 laps

28. Korbin Forrister … 170.390 … 21 laps

29. Todd Peck … 170.347 … 18 laps

30. Kyle Fowler … 169.131 … 5 laps

31. Justin Jennings … 169.009 … 3 laps

32. Jennifer Jo Cobb … 168.703 … 4 laps

33. Travis Kvapil … 168.366 … 3 laps

34. Jordan Anderson … 168.319 … 11 laps

35. Ryan Ellis … 166.893 … 8 laps

36. Norm Benning … 156.042 … 5 laps

Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average

1. Brad Keselowski … 175.424 mph

2. Brandon Brown … 169.884

3. Todd Peck … 166.360


NBC Sports Power Rankings: Kyle Busch ends the season No. 1

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The 2019 season is over and Kyle Busch is the NASCAR Cup champion. And not surprisingly, the younger Busch brother also ends the season as No. 1 in this week’s Power Rankings.

Busch received 39 of 40 possible points to take the No. 1 spot, followed by the other three Championship 4 contenders: Martin Truex Jr. (35 points), and Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick (tied for third place with 28 points each).

The biggest surprises in this week’s standings were Xfinity Series champ Tyler Reddick in fifth and Gander Outdoors Truck Series champ Matt Crafton in sixth.

Here’s this week’s Power Rankings:

1. Kyle Busch (39 points): Finally gets that second title. Last week: Second.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (35 points): Inexcusable pit mistake left him as the championship runner-up for the second year in a row. Last week: Fourth.

(tie) 3. Denny Hamlin (28 points): Came so close to his first championship, only to be fall short yet again. Could this be the closest he’ll get? Last week: First.

(tie) 3. Kevin Harvick (28 points): Needed a bit more help than he got going against the Joe Gibbs Racing juggernaut. Still, a very strong season regardless. Last week: Third.

5. Tyler Reddick (18 points): It’s hard enough to win one championship, but back-to-back championships with two different teams? Last week: Unranked.

6. Matt Crafton (14 points): Wins the championship without even winning a race (in fact, his last win was more than two years ago). Thrived on his underdog status. Last week: Unranked.

7. Ryan Blaney (12 points): Finished 11th or better, including a win at Talladega, in five of the last six playoff races. Last week: Fifth.

(tie) 8. Joey Logano (11 points): Ends year with four consecutive top 10s, but he fell short in making it to the championship round and defending last year’s title. Last week: Eighth.

(tie) 8. Erik Jones (11 points): Ends season with four top 10s in last five races. That bodes well for next season. Last week: Seventh.

10. Christopher Bell (6 points): Missed his chance to add an Xfinity title to his Truck championship. Still, with eight wins, had an outstanding season. Up next: a promotion to the Cup Series. Last week: 10th.

Others receiving votes: Kyle Larson (5 points), Clint Bowyer (5 points), Cole Custer (4 points), Austin Hill (2 points), Brad Keselowski (1 point), Brett Moffitt (1 point).

Zane Smith joins GMS Racing for full-time Truck Series ride

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Zane Smith will compete full-time for GMS Racing in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series next year, the team announced Tuesday.

Smith, 20, joins the team after competing part-time with JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series this year, where his best result in 10 races was fifth twice.

He will be GMS Racing’s fourth full-time entry next year, joining Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed and Tyler Ankrum. Sam Mayer will compete part-time.

Smith will have veteran Kevin “Bono” Manion as his crew chief.

“When I got the offer from Mike Beam asking me to run a truck full-time for GMS Racing, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” Smith said in a press release. “GMS is a championship-caliber team and to be a part of an organization like theirs is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with Manion again. He has a lot of experience and I know we will be a great team.”

Manion, who has 24 wins across all three national NASCAR series since 2003, joins GMS Racing after serving as a crew chief for DGR-Crosley in 2019, including working with Rookie of the Year Tyler Ankrum. Manion was crew chief for Smith in 2018 when he made his Truck Series debut at Gateway and finished fifth.

“I am really excited to join GMS Racing and Zane (Smith) for the 2020 season,” Manion said in a press release. “With GMS Racing’s championship caliber equipment and Chevrolet support, we have all the resources to win some races and be in the hunt for the 2020 Championship. I got the opportunity to crew chief Zane (Smith) in his first Gander Trucks start in 2018 at Gateway and we worked really well together. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish next season.”

Sponsorship and an assigned truck number for Smith will be announced at a later date.

Penalty report from Homestead-Miami Speedway

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NASCAR issued four fines and one suspension for lug nut violations during its championship weekend in Miami.

Cup Series

Mike Wheeler, crew crew chief on Matt DiBenedetto‘s No. 95 Toyota, was fined $10,000 for one unsecured lug nut.

Xfinity Series

Mike Shiplett, crew chief on Cole Custer‘s No. 00 Ford, was fined $5,000 for an unsecured lug nut.

Truck Series

Steve Lane, the owner of On Point Motorsports and crew chief on Danny Bohn‘s No. 30 Toyota, was fined $5,000 and suspended one points race for two unsecured lug nuts. The No. 30 truck competed part-time this season and made 16 starts. The team told NBC Sports it will not appeal the penalty.

Trip Bruce III, crew chief on Stewart Friesen‘s No. 52 Chevrolet, was fined $2,500 for one unsecured lug nut.


NASCAR issued an indefinite suspension to Jeffrey Schmidt for violating its substance abuse policy.

Truck Series gets minor name change for 2020

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Four days after the end of the Gander Outdoors Truck Series season, NASCAR announced the series will receive a minor name change for the 2020 season.

The series will be called the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series when the season starts in February at Daytona International Speedway.

This is the second name change for the series in two years.

This season saw the name change from the Camping World Truck Series, which had been the title from 2009-2018.

Gander Outdoors and Camping World are owned by the same company.

Next year will also see a different name for the Cup Series. With the series going to a new sponsorship model, it will simply be called the NASCAR Cup Series.