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Parker Kligerman wins Truck race at Talladega

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TALLADEGA, Alabama — NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman led the final two laps and won in overtime to score his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Christopher Bell finished second. Myatt Snider placed third.

Kligerman’s other series victory came in 2012 at Talladega. Just like then, he planted the checkered flag in the frontstretch grass.

“Everything is just a blur,” Kligerman said. “Every move worked perfectly. When I go back and look at it, I’ll look at those moves, some of the hardest to make are when you are in the bottom and you’re running the top five and you don’t really have a partner and you’re trying to stop or block that top lane or get that momentum of that top lane. All I think about these speedway races is literally the last three laps and what I’m going to see out of the right rear of my truck because the move that you make to win these races 90 percent of the time is that.”

MORE: Race results

Kaz Grala, who was involved in an early wreck, and Chase Briscoe, who had mechanical issues early, were eliminated from playoff contention.

Advancing to the Round of 6 are Bell, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter, Austin Cindric and Nemechek.

Stage 1 winner: Johnny Sauter

Stage 2 winner: Johnny Sauter

How Parker Kligerman won: He avoided issues early, put himself in the right spot and took the lead on the overtime restart to win.

Who had a good day: John Hunter Nemechek finished sixth after being in an accident and avoiding two others later to advance in the playoffs despite entering the race last among the playoff contenders, 14 points out of a transfer spot. … Christopher Bell finished second for his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Myatt Snider finished a career-best third.

Who had a bad day: Daytona winner Kaz Grala’s playoff hopes ended when he was involved in a crash on Lap 19. Chris Fontaine spun and Grala was involved in an incident when he was hit from behind and sent into the wall. Grala finished 29th. … Chase Briscoe’s truck started smoking on lap 6 and went to the garage on Lap 8 after fluids were leaking. He returned 10 laps down and finished 22nd, nine laps behind the leaders but it wasn’t good enough to advance in the playoffs.

Notable: Parker Kligerman led only three of 95 laps, including the final two.

Quote of the day: “That’s a tough one,’’ Kaz Grala said after a wreck prevented him from advancing to the next round of the playoffs.

Next: Oct. 28 at Martinsville Speedway

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New Hampshire to add traction compound to racing surface

Photo: Dustin Long
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New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials will add the PJ1 traction compound to the racing surface before this weekend’s racing, a track spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports.

Track officials are scheduled to put the traction compound on the track today and are expected to do so again Saturday and Sunday, pending NASCAR approval. The track reapplied the traction compound the morning of last July’s race.

The traction compound is to be applied to the first groove (lowest groove) and third grove (just outside the main groove) in all four corners. A track spokesperson said the traction compound would be applied on the 12 feet at the bottom of the track from the yellow line on up. Then there will be a 12-foot section that will not be applied (the main groove) and the traction compound is to be applied on another 12 feet above the main grove

The track used the PJ1 compound for both Cup weekends last year to help enhance the passing.

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Weekend schedule for Cup, Xfinity at New Hampshire

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The NASCAR Cup and Xfinity teams will make their lone visit of the year to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch combined to win 14 of the first 19 races. Will their dominance continue? In Xfinity, there have been six different winners in the last seven races. Will that streak continue.

Here’s a look at the track schedule for the weekend:

(ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN)

FRIDAY, JULY 20

8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. — Cup garage open

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

Noon – 12:50 p.m. — Cup practice (NBCSN)

1:05 – 1:55 p.m. — Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

3:05 – 3:55 p.m. — Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

4:45 p.m. — Cup qualifying; multi-vehicle/three rounds (NBCSN, Performance Racing Network)

SATURDAY, JULY 21

7 a.m. — Xfinity garage opens

8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. — Cup garage open

10:05 – 10:55 a.m. — Cup practice (CNBC)

11:05 a.m. — Xfinity qualifying; multi-vehicle/three rounds (CNBC)

12:35 – 1:25 p.m. — Final Cup practice (NBCSN)

1:30 p.m. — Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

3:30 p.m. — Xfinity driver introductions

4 p.m. — Lakes Region 200 Xfinity race; 200 laps/211.6 miles (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

SUNDAY, JULY 22

8:30 a.m. — Cup garage opens

Noon — Cup driver/crew chief meeting

1:20 p.m. — Cup driver introductions

2 p.m. — Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Cup race; 301 laps/318.46 miles (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch believes Martin Truex Jr. is his biggest competition

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Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. have been so strong in 2018 that many believe the championship will come down to them – and only them.

Busch has five wins, Harvick matches him with five and Truex earned his fourth win last week on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway.

Who is Busch’s greatest competition? Busch does not think the other five-time winner will be the driver to beat. Instead, he picked Truex as the top contender at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Wednesday’s NASCAR America.

“If you had to choose just one, I’d have to say Martin,” Busch said. “Just with the successes that they’ve had on mile-and-a-halves. Even though Harvick’s been just as good at mile-and-halves.”

Last year, Truex dominated the 1.5-milers – including a win in the final race that crowned him champion.

“Overall, the 78’s just so strong and they certainly know how to turn up the wick when it matters most,“ Busch said.

Busch is not ready to concede the title to Truex, however.

“I think you’ve seen the 78’s dominance of last year toned back,” he said. “They’re third, they’re fourth, they’re fifth – they’re still competitive, They’re still right there, but they’re not nine seconds out front. So I think the field has been closed up. … But they still have that little bit of edge when they need it.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter.

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch would have accepted Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s call on Friday

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If Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had called Kyle Busch as late as Friday morning before the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, none of last week’s verbal conflict between the two would have happened.

At least that is Busch’s opinion of the situation.

“If he would have made the call: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – even Friday morning still counts,” Busch said. “He could have talked about how I hurt his feeling for the things I said over the radio when I blasted him because I was mad over knocking a wall down.

“He could have said, ‘Hey man I’m sorry I got into you – you know I pushed up,’ or whatever happened … and ‘Hey, by the way, those things that you said after the crash were pretty rough.’ And I would have been, like ‘Ricky, you’re totally right. That was over the top.’

Then, when the question was posed about whether they the two had talked, the answer would have been “yeah, we’re all fine.”

And that would have been the end of the story.

“I learned, after making that mistake a few times that it’s just easier to make the call,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “Sometimes you don’t even think you’re in the wrong. … But it’s just easier to go ahead and make the call, because that guy’s annoyed. It goes into the next week – and then, like (happened with) you guys, y’all had it play out in front of everybody at Kentucky.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter.