Different series, same result: Kyle Busch keeps winning with Truck triumph at Pocono

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In only his second-ever Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway, Kyle Busch continued his outstanding recent run, winning Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150.

Busch, who finished second in his previous Truck race at Pocono in 2011, dominated Saturday’s race, leading 53 of 69 laps. Busch finished the race with just enough fuel to barely make it the checkered flag and earn his 43rd career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory.

Kevin Harvick finished second, followed by new points leader Tyler Reddick, Cameron Hayley and Austin Dillon. Sixth through 10th were Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, Matt Tifft, Daniel Hemric and Erik Jones.

Originally a 60-lap scheduled event, the race went nine extra laps due to three attempts at a green-white-checker finish.

On Lap 59, Austin Dillon spun Erik Jones, taking the latter out of contention for the win and extending the race to the first of what would be three eventual green-white-checker situation.

Jones came to pit road for repairs and was back on-track on Lap 61 as the race went into overtime.

The most significant wreck of the race occurred early when, on Lap 6, Brad Keselowski ran into the rear of Matt Crafton’s truck, causing significant damage to both trucks.

MORE: Final results of Camping World Truck Series’ Pocono Mountains 150

MORE: Shake-up in Truck Series standings: Reddick takes No. 1 from Crafton, Jones still third

How Busch won: While he dominated the race, it was the final restart on what was a third attempt at a green-white-checker finish that did it for Busch. Once he cleared the pack, it was smooth sailing for him. Busch’s crew chief, Jerry Baxter, said after the race that his driver wound up going one additional lap than he thought he could on fuel. … Also of note, Harvick blocked Dillon from getting past him on the restart and potentially challenging for the lead.

Who else had a good race: It was a great day overall for Tyler Reddick. Not only did he finish third, he also took over the points lead from Matt Crafton. Reddick now leads Crafton by 11 points, while Erik Jones remained in third place, now 16 points behind Reddick and five points behind Crafton. … Kevin Harvick held off the rest of the field to finish second, while Reddick took over the points lead with his third-place finish. Erik Jones may have had a shot at the win had he not been spun by Austin Dillon on Lap 59. Jones recovered to finish 10th.

Who had a bad race: Matt Crafton not only was involved in a Lap 6 wreck with Brad Keselowski, he also lost the points lead. Crafton finished 28th. … Unlike Crafton, who had his truck repaired and managed to get back on-track for seven additional laps late in the race, Keselowski’s truck was too heavily damaged for him to return to the race. … Also, John Wes Townley and Mason Mingus were involved in a wreck on Lap 63, costing both a chance at a higher finish than they hoped for. Townley fell from fifth to sixth in the standings, as a result.

Notables: Saturday’s win marks the 10th consecutive season that Busch has won at least one race in all three NASCAR series in the same year. … While it appeared Crafton would fall to third in the standings, his crew managed to repair his truck enough to get him back on-track to run seven additional laps (13 in total) late in the race to gain enough points to minimize the damage and put him in second place, 11 points behind Reddick, rather than third.

Quote of the day: “That’s your Cup champion. That’s pretty much an idiot right there.” – Matt Crafton, talking about Brad Keselowski, after their Lap 6 wreck in Saturday’s Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway.

Up next: The Truck Series will take a weekend off and return on Aug. 15 at Michigan International Speedway for the Careers For Veterans 200.

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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.

Other

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.