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Kyle Busch wins Truck race at Chicagoland; Hayley, Custer, Reddick miss Chase

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Kyle Busch needed one extra lap in overtime to earn his second win in just four Camping World Truck Series starts this season, capturing Friday’s American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Busch’s 46th career win in the Truck Series — and his fifth Truck win in six career starts at the 1.5-mile track — added to his early-season triumph at Martinsville. Busch also finished second at Charlotte and 30th at Kentucky. Friday’s race is slated to be Busch’s final Truck race of the season.

“This has just been a really good place for us and (Kyle Busch Motorsports) over the years,” Busch told Fox Sports 1 about his success at Chicagoland Speedway. “It wasNASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 nice to come out and keep it going.

“It’s really important to see the 9 (William Byron) and 4 (Christopher Bell) make the Chase for KBM, so we have two opportunities to go after the championship.”

Daniel Hemric finished second, followed by Cameron Hayley, Christopher Bell, Johnny Sauter, pole-sitter Spencer Gallagher, Grant Enfinger, Timothy Peters, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer.

Several drivers who needed a win to make the Truck Series’ inaugural Chase fell short when the seven-race playoff begins next Saturday at New Hampshire.

MORE: Results from American Ethanol E15 225

MORE: William Byron ends Trucks regular season No. 1, now comes the Chase

ADVANCING TO THE CHASE: The eight drivers who will take part in the inaugural Camping World Truck Series Chase are: William Byron, Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Christopher Bell, Ben Kennedy, Daniel Hemric and Timothy Peters.

MISSED THE CHASE: Among the drivers who failed to earn a win that would have put them in the playoffs: Cole Custer, Cameron Hayley, Tyler Reddick, Ben Rhodes and pole-sitter Spencer Gallagher.

“It just sucks,” Custer said. “We had to fight from the back all the time. It’s just not our night, I guess, but we have a fast truck so we’ll have to win some races (in the Chase).”

HOW BUSCH WON: In pretty much the same formula he’s used to win many of his 46 career Truck victories, Busch had the strongest truck of the night, led the most laps (95), stayed out of trouble, kept his challengers at bay and seemed to get stronger as the laps counted down.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Hemric, who came close to earning his first win of the season, and Peters were the only drivers to qualify for the Chase without winning a race. “This is huge,” Hemric said. “We thought if we could get ourselves in, we could make a serious run for the championship. Now it’s time to go to work.” … Even though he fell short of the Chase, Hayley finished third in a KBM truck.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Points leader William Byron had a rough start, wrecking just three laps into the event. He returned late in the race to finish 30th. … On Lap 112, Ben Kennedy made contact with teammate Johnny Sauter, triggering a crash that also collected Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes. The race was red flagged for 14 minutes because a section of SAFER Barrier was repaired. “I just got loose and I didn’t mean to do it,” Sauter said over the team radio. “I’m sorry.” … Tyler Reddick saw his Chase chances end when he wrecked with John Wes Townley on Lap 144.

NOTABLE: It may not have been a win, but it likely felt like it for Matt Tifft, who made his first race start since undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor on July 1. Tifft finished 12th. … Rico Abreu raced into the top five in the second half of the race and appeared headed for a strong finish until he wrecked on the last lap and finished 19th. … Kennedy’s right hand was wrapped after his accident. He said he would have it examined further on Saturday.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “That’s why he’s (Kyle Busch) a Cup driver and I’m a Truck driver. I have a lot to learn from that guy. … We tried, we’re not in the Chase, but we can’t say we didn’t try.” – Third-place finisher Cameron Hayley.

WHAT’S NEXT: The inaugural Camping World Truck Series Chase begins Saturday, Sept. 24, in the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

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.