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He said, he said: John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer tell their sides of last lap

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John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer beat and banged their way to the checkered flag Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, with Nemechek being declared the winner upon review.

Custer finished second but was unhappy with how Nemechek got to his back bumper and moved him out of the way. The two made contact in the final corner and then bounced off each other through the grass on their way to the finish line.

As Nemechek waited for NASCAR’s decision on the frontstretch, Custer jumped over pit wall and tackled him at full speed.

When he met the media later, the JR Motorsports driver still wasn’t happy.

“There’s no respect in this garage area right now,” Custer said. “We had another fight right outside of our truck that didn’t even involve us, but it’s just a joke right now, really. We’ll see what happens.”

Here is what Nemechek and Custer said afterward:

On the last lap:

Nemechek: “My guys gave me a great truck there at the end. Cole and I, we’re very competitive. Very competitive racers and we would have done anything in the same position to make sure we got that win.”

Custer: “Going into Turn 8, and going down the backstretch and into that corner, I had a car length or so on him and stayed about even. He might have closed up a little bit, and then going into the second-to-last corner, I drove pretty normal from what I had done the whole race, and guess he just drove in a little bit deeper and hit us in the back. That just got us off line and made me pinch the corner going into the last corner, and since I had to make a sharper corner, I had to slow down a little bit more, and he just decided to run into me again. That turned us into the wall, and then he hit me again in the door, and that sent us into the wall.”

On the frontstretch tackle:

Nemechek: “I didn’t know he was going to come over there and do that but there’s a lot of tempers that fly. It’s an emotional sport; it’s a competitive sport; that’s just how it goes sometimes.”

Custer: “I played freshman football, but that was definitely my biggest problem, I would not get low enough. I wasn’t expecting him to duck at the last second.”

On whether the feud is over and what NASCAR had said:

Nemechek: “I can’t really comment on (the conversation). It was good. We’re always looking forward to the next race, getting to the next race. We’re just going to take it one race at a time and do our best and if circumstances happen, they happen, but we’re looking forward to taking this momentum to Chicago and being good there and then taking it into the Chase and being in the final four at Homestead.”

Custer: “We talked to NASCAR, just talked to them for about 20 minutes in there, and it’s up in their hands, and it’s what they want to do, what they want to accept, I guess, what’s right in this sport. Ball’s in their court, can’t do much now. For retaliation, I’m not looking at that now.”

On what he means by “right in this sport” in the context of past truck races at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park featuring similarly controversial finishes:

Custer: “I think the last few years it has been (OK). This year, I don’t think it was. When you don’t give a guy a chance, what’s the point of racing? I couldn’t do anything else. He gave me no choice, no chance to do anything, so it’s not racing in my book. But he’s shown time and again throughout the year that he doesn’t have much respect, just through different situations when he’s under people. Instead of spinning himself out when it’s his fault, he’ll correct into them and ruin their day when it should have been his day ruined.”

On whether Sunday will change the way he races Nemechek going forward:

Custer: “I’m just not going to give him any breaks, really. If he decides to do anything or if he makes my day any harder than it has to be, I’m going to voice my opinion, I guess, but that’s about it.”

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Race results, Truck Series point standings after Gateway

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Justin Haley survived two late-race restarts to win his first career Camping World Truck Series race in the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park.

His victory was aided by a push into turn one by rookie Todd Gilliland, who finished second.

Johnny Sauter finished third to score his 10th top-five finish in 10 races.

Myatt Snider and Zane Smith rounded out the top five. Smith was making his first career Truck start.

Click here for complete results.

Johnny Sauter maintained his points lead with a third-place finish, extending the advantage to 73 points over Noah Gragson, who finished 10th.

Brett Moffitt is third in the standings and has two wins to his credit.

Grant Enfinger and Stewart Friesen round out the top five

Hayley climbed from eighth to sixth in the standings with his win, but more importantly that victory gets him a berth into the playoffs.

Click here for the complete points standings.

 

Justin Haley wins first Truck race at Gateway

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Justin Haley won his first career Camping World Truck Series in a three-lap shootout at the end of the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park.

With seven laps remaining, then-leader Noah Gragson took the bottom line on a restart. That lined Todd Gilliland up behind Haley and proved to be the difference for both drivers on the front row. Gilliland pushed Haley hard into turn one, but contact between Gragson and Gilliland allowed Haley to gain the advantage.

A quick caution for debris forced Haley to survive one more restart – this time with Johnny Sauter lined up beside him. In a three-lap shootout to the end, Haley held onto the top spot.

Gilliland got around Sauter for second. Sauter finished third.

Myatt Snider finished fourth with Zane Smith rounding out the top five in his first career Truck start.

The race was red flagged on lap 119 to clean up fluid from John Hunter Nemechek. He ran over a piece of debris that punctured an oil line. Justin Fontaine spun in the oil with Tate Fogleman sliding in as well.

The incident had lasting ramifications. On lap 132, Brett Moffitt and Ben Rhodes were battling for fifth. Neither driver wanted to go high into turn one because of the speedy dry. Rhodes crowded Moffitt and both made contact with the wall. Rhodes stayed on track. Moffitt pitted, but was able to climb back into contention for a top 10.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Christian Eckes

HOW JUSTIN HALEY WON: Haley lined up in the outside groove with seven laps to go and got a bump from Todd Gilliland that pushed him to the lead. From there, it was simply a matter of surviving one more restart with the veteran Johnny Sauter lined up to his inside as Haley led the final laps.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: In his Truck debut, Riley Herbst scored a top-10 finish in eighth. … Jesse Little finished seventh, which was his fourth top-10 finish in the last five races. … In just his third Truck start and first since 2015, Chad Finley managed to stay out of trouble and finished a career-best sixth.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Dalton Sargeant cut a left front tire and pounded the wall with two laps remaining in stage one after contact from Todd Gilliland. … Matt Crafton developed an alternator issue at the end of stage two; they changed a battery and resumed racing, four laps off the pace. … On lap 76, Stewart Friesen got loose underneath Christian Eckes and spun him into the wall. … Battling for sixth on lap 98, Friesen and Johnny Sauter made contact on exiting turn two and Friesen spun into the inside wall. … Grant Enfinger started on the pole, led every lap of the first stage, but cut a tire in the closing laps and finished seven laps off the pace in 21st.

NOTABLE: It was a difficult night for Young Guns. In his second career Truck start, 17-year-old Eckes was wrecked during segment two after contact with Friesen. Making his first start in the Tuck series, 18-year-old Fogleman was collected in an accident triggered by Nemechek’s blown engine.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “We had to change the battery. The alternator’s done. I don’t know; they’re still trying to science it out I guess. You know, it’s a big cost for something we spend a lot of money on – and there’s just no excuse for it. Our day is pretty much over. We’ll use it as a test, go to Chicago and try to kick their ass there.” – Matt Crafton’s crew chief Junior Joiner after an electrical problem plagued them at the end of stage two.

WHAT’S NEXT: Overton’s 225 at Chicagoland Speedway at 9 p.m. ET on June 29 on FS1.

NASCAR broadcaster struck by car while jogging, suffers skull fracture

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Performance Racing Network broadcaster Wendy Venturini is recovering in a hospital after she was struck by a car while jogging Saturday morning in Novato, California.

Venturini suffered a skull fracture and a concussion, Doug Rice, president and general manager of PRN, told NBC Sports on Saturday night.

Rice told NBC Sports that Venturini’s prognosis “is very good. I was there (at Marin General Hospital) and heard the doctor tell her that.”

Rice also said: “She’s completely coherent and conversational, and I have talked to her on two occasions today. They told her she would have a really good headache for a couple of days.”

Rice said that Venturini is expected to be hospitalized for a day or two.

Venturini became the first female to serve as a co-anchor for a NASCAR Cup race in September 2014 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. She was in California to be a pit reporter for PRN’s radio broadcast of Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway. She also has served as a booth analyst for PRN broadcasts this season.

Venturini became the first female broadcaster to call an entire race on a national level during the July 2007 Cup race at Sonoma Raceway for DirecTV. She also has reported on NASCAR for Speed Channel and Fox Sports 1.

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Grant Enfinger wins Truck pole at Gateway

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With a speed of 138.867 mph, Grant Enfinger scored his second career Camping World Truck Series pole and will lead the field to green tonight for the Eaton 200. His first pole came on the restrictor plate Daytona International Speedway in February 2016.

Noah Gragson set a track record in round two of qualification with a speed of 139.035 mph. He slipped to third in the running order during round three.

Enfinger beat Christian Eckes (138.594 mph) by .064 seconds. Eckes is making only his second start in the Truck series. Last week he started ninth and finished eighth at Iowa Speedway.

Gragson (138.402), Justin Haley (138.325) and Ben Rhodes (138.211) rounded out the top five.

Johnny Sauter (137.358) failed to advance to the final round of qualification and will start 13th.

Camden Murphy and BJ McLeod failed to qualify.

Click here for the complete lineup.