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Brett Moffitt wins Truck race at Iowa

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Brett Moffitt survived a banzai move by Noah Gragson in the final corner of the last lap of the M&Ms 200 to score his second win of the season and first on his hometown track of Iowa Speedway. Moffitt hails from Grimes, Iowa.

Gragson dove into turn 4 and overshot the exit, making heavy contact with the wall. He managed to cross the finish line second despite the contact.

Harrison Burton, David Gilliland and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top five.

Two multi-car incidents early in the race set the stage for the dramatic ending.

On lap 31, Christian Eckes moved up the track in a three-wide battle. He clipped Cody Coughlin and was turned into the wall, collecting Grant Enfinger, Austin Hill and Ben Rhodes in the aftermath.

On lap 134, Stewart Friesen and Matt Crafton made contact battling for eighth, pushing the left front tire in on Crafton’s truck. Two laps later, Crafton’s tire blew while he was battling Friesen, Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek and Dalton Sargeant. The caution allowed some of the leaders to pit, leaving Moffitt with a decision to make as to whether to stay out on old tires.

Coughlin survived his incident to finish seventh. Eckes finished eighth, Friesen was ninth, and Snider rounded out the top 10.

STAGE 1 WINNER: John Hunter Nemechek

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

HOW BRETT MOFFITT WON: Moffitt inherited the lead at the beginning of stage three and used the clean air to maintain his position.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: David Gilliland’s third start of the season was his second top-five finish. His previous top five was a fourth at Dover. … Myatt Snider‘s first Iowa race ended with a 10th-place finish. … Making his fourth start of the season, Jesse Little scored his third top 10 of the year – the sixth-place finish is a career best.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Todd Gilliland got loose on lap 25 and damaged the right rear of his truck; he was running third at the time. Gilliland (who finished 28th) remained within one lap of the leaders until lap 101 when he spun into the wall and did heavy damage. … Nemechek and Crafton headed to the garage immediately following the lap-136, five-truck accident. … On lap 140, Justin Haley developed an engine problem that cost him four laps and sent him home 16th – ending a five-race streak of top-15s.

NOTABLE: Tanner Thorson lost a lap in the middle of stage two, but managed to stay in contact with the leaders. The midget racer earned his first career top-15 finish.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Just overshot a little bit; committed to the gas and hit the fence.” – Gragson said of his last-lap move to FoxSports 1.

WHAT’S NEXT: Villa Lighting Delivers the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park at 8 p.m. ET on June 23 on FS1.

NASCAR mourns Kobe Bryant

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Joining their brethren in other sports, the NASCAR world took to social media upon learning the tragic news of the death of Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Bryant had met a number of NASCAR drivers in his career, including Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano. They were among a number of NASCAR notables who took to social media to mourn Bryant:

 

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Chad Knaus and wife expecting second child

Photo courtesy Brooke Knaus official Instagram account
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Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion crew chief Chad Knaus and wife Brooke are expecting their second child.

Brooke made the announcement Saturday on her Instagram account.

The couple, already parents to one-year-old son Kip, will soon be adding a daughter to their growing family.

Brooke Knaus’s Instagram post said the baby is due in July.

Kip figured prominently in the baby revelation, coming at the end of mom and dad’s ski run while vacationing in Telluride, Colorado:

 

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Kyle Larson flips, misses finals of Australia’s biggest sprint car race

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Kyle Larson’s hope of following up last week’s Chili Bowl win with a triumph in Australia’s prestigious Grand Annual Sprint Car Classic fell far short Sunday.

Larson’s bid to race his way into the 24-car finals of the three-day race at Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Australia, ended when he flipped (uninjured) on the opening lap of a last-chance qualifying heat race earlier in the evening.

Instead of being one of the featured drivers in the Classic’s 40-lap finale – the largest and most popular sprint car race of the year in the land down under – Larson was left to watch the event from the pits and cheer on Dyson Motorsport teammate and fellow American Carson Macedo.

Even that didn’t go very well, as Macedo flipped his own sprint car on the first lap of the Classic, resulting in a last-place finish. The highest finishing American was Cory Eliason, who ended up fourth.

Meanwhile, it was an all-Australian podium, with James McFadden winning the Classic for the second time in his career, followed by James Veal and Kerry Madsen.

In eight days, Larson went from capturing what he called the biggest win ever of his racing career on all levels – the Chili Bowl in his 13th try last Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma – to nothing but bad luck and utter frustration throughout his Australian journey.

Larson’s first race on Wednesday in the King’s Challenge at Borderline Speedway was rained out.

Then, in the first night of the Classic on Friday, Larson wrecked heavily in his first heat race, including flipping (he was uninjured). After his team repaired his car, Larson went back on the track, only to suffer a blown engine that knocked him out of contention to race in that evening’s feature event.

After not being on the schedule to race in Night 2 of the Classic on Saturday, Larson had one last chance to make Sunday’s featured championship event.

A total of 80 drivers battled it out in the B, C and D Mains for the eight remaining spots in the A Main, but Larson would end up not being one of those — as can be seen in the second line of the following tweet by his team:

Larson now returns to the United States to prepare for the Daytona 500 on February 16.

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Kyle Busch feeling like ‘the new guy’ during his Rolex 24 debut at Daytona

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kyle Busch was looking forward to his first stint at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The two-time Cup champion was less enthused about his second turn behind the wheel in the IMSA season opener. Busch will climb back into the No. 14 Lexus RCF GT3 at 2 a.m. Sunday, just past the midpoint of the endurance race classic at Daytona International Speedway.

“That’s going to suck, yeah,” Busch deadpanned. “That’s exactly when I told them I did not want to run, and I got it.  Thank you very much.

“(I’m) the new guy.  I pulled the short straw.”

Click here to read more about how Busch felt about his AIM Vasser Sullivan car.