Just as he did at Bristol, Brett Moffitt won the pole and then won another playoff race. Moffitt, the reigning series champion, won Sunday’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for his second consecutive playoff victory this season.
This is Moffitt’s fourth playoff victory in a row, dating back to last season. He won the final two playoff races last year, including the title race at Miami, and has opened this year’s playoffs with wins at Bristol and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Sunday’s victory also is Moffitt’s 11th career triumph in the series.
With one race remaining before the eight-driver playoff field is cut to six, Johnny Sauter and Tyler Ankrum are outside a playoff spot. Sauter is seventh in the standings, two points behind ThorSport Racing teammate Grant Enfinger. Ankrum is 14 points behind Enfinger.
Who had a good race: Alex Tagliani finished second in his first series start of the season. … After failing to make the playoffs, Ben Rhodes has finished eighth (Bristol) and third (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) in the opening two playoff races. Stewart Friesen finished seventh in a backup truck after wrecking his primary truck on Saturday.
Who had a bad race: Harrison Burton was set for a top-10 finish before the engine blew on his truck. He finished 21st. … Todd Gilliland had damage and then a mechanical issue in what was a long day for him.
Next: The series is off until Sept. 13 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Alex Tagliani will compete for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Aug. 25 Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, the team announced Monday.
Tagliani, a former IndyCar driver, will drive the No. 51 Toyota, which will be sponsored by three Canadian companies: CanTorque, Spectra Premium and RONA.
Tagliani’s four Truck Series starts have been in four of the last five races at CTMP. He has a best finish of fifth in 2015 with Brad Keselowski Racing.
“It’s a real honor to represent KBM by driving the 51 truck, I really appreciate Kyle and the entire team’s trust in giving me the opportunity to try to win,” Tagliani said in a press release. “Carrying three Canadian companies to support the initiative at CTMP is really special. CanTorque showcasing their new tools made in Canada, driving a KBM truck equipped with a Spectra Premium Radiator and having lucky fans living a special behind-the-scenes experience feels really unique.”
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Tagliani currently races full-time in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in Canada where he has nine wins in 78 starts wince 2007. He is fourth in the championship standings this year with one win in four races.
He also has six Xfinity starts with the most recent coming in 2016 at Road America.
Watkins Glen latest example of short track excitement, tempers on road courses
The hurt feelings and damaged cars from revenge were so numerous this weekend, one could have mistaken the postrace atmosphere at Watkins Glen International for that of the Bristol night race during its peak in the late 90s and early 2000s.
“I couldn’t hear what he was saying, his lips were quivering so bad that he can’t even speak,” Johnson said. “I guess he was nervous or scared or both, I don’t know what the hell the problem is. He just drove through me and spun us out, and it clearly has big implications on what we’re trying to do for the playoffs right now. Clearly not happy with his actions there.”
“We’ve had a rocky relationship over our racing career,” Allgaier said after he finished the race in third. “Unfortunately, I’ve been on the receiving end a number of times of him running into me. He flat wrecked me in the Bus Stop back there. At some point you just get to a point where you’re tired of getting run into. I ran back into him. I had no intention of putting him in the wall. I wanted to spin him out for sure. I wanted him to kind of have the same feeling that I had a few laps before whenever he spun me out.”
Said Chastain: “It’s better if I keep my opinion to myself.”
There’s one road course left on the Cup schedule: The Charlotte Roval (Sept. 29).
On any given day, Truex and Johnson are two of the more mild-mannered drivers in the garage.
That says a lot about the power of road courses.
On the final turn of the final lap of the inaugural Cup race on the Roval, Johnson locked his brakes while trying to pass Truex for the win. That sent Johnson’s car spinning and into Truex’s car, which also went around.
After Ryan Blaney slipped by for the win, Truex rammed into the back of Johnson’s car and turned him around.
“I was not mad at all about Jimmie trying to win,” Truex said the next weekend. “That’s his job. That’s what we all try to do every single weekend. He was trying to win the race. I get that.
“I was mad that he screwed up.”
While you have to wait two months for Cup to return to a road course, the Xfinity Series will satisfy your needs for two of the next three races. First up, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this Saturday (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
A year ago, Chastain and his JD Motorsports crew members got into an expletive-laden scuffle with Joey Gase following the race at Mid-Ohio.
The ruckus was a result of Chastain pushing Gase deep into a corner on the last lap and spinning him.
“I don’t really appreciate that a whole lot,” Gase said afterward. “He’s (JD Motorsports team owner) Johnny Davis’ golden child. He can’t do anything wrong. It’s always the other guy’s fault. I passed him clean through the Keyhole, he left the door open. In the esses, he hit me six times and pushed me off the track. He races everyone hard, but if you race him that way, it’s a problem.”
“He knows I’m not going to be there next weekend to retaliate and give him the payback,” Tagliani said. “It’s just really unfortunate to win like that, but also to see him celebrate after a win like that … but he knows he wasn’t going to win unless he pushed us off.”