Alex Tagliani

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Brett Moffitt wins second consecutive Truck race

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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.

Alex Tagliani was second and followed by Ben Rhodes, Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill.

MORE: Click here for race results

MORE: Click here for driver points report

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.

Stage 1 winner: Brett Moffitt

Stage 2 winner: Ross Chastain

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.

Brett Moffitt wins Truck pole

Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images
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Brett Moffitt will start from the pole for today’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The race is the second in the opening round of the Truck playoffs. Moffitt won last week’s playoff opener at Bristol to advance to the second round.

Moffitt won the pole Sunday morning with a lap of 111.376 mph. He was followed by Todd Gilliland (111.242 mph), Ross Chastain (111.238), Alex Tagliani (110.938) and Ben Rhodes (110.590).

Click here for starting lineup

 

 

Truck Series practice report from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

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Brett Moffitt was fastest in final practice for Sunday’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The defending series champion posted a top speed of 111.295 mph around the road course.

The top five was completed by Austin Hill (110.580 mph), Johnny Sauter (110.018), Tyler Ankrum (109.354) and Todd Gilliland (109.242).

Sauter recorded the most laps in the session with 19.

Click here for the practice report.

Sheldon Creed and Jordan Anderson wrecked in the middle of the session. Creed will go to a backup truck. Anderson does not have a backup.

First practice

Todd Gilliland was fastest in the session, posting a top speed of 111.187 mph and leading a Kyle Busch Motorsports sweep of the top three spots.

He was followed by Harrison Burton (110.408 mph) and Alex Tagliani (110.325).

The top five was completed by Ross Chastain (110.002) and Austin Hill (109.720).

Sheldon Creed recorded the most laps in the session with 15.

Click here for the practice report.

Playoff driver and Canada Stewart Friesen wrecked during the session and will go to a backup truck.

Alex Tagliani to race for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Bowmanville

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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

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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.

All that was missing was a thrown helmet.

MORE: NASCAR won’t punish retaliatory actions from Watkins Glen

But Bristol is still two weeks away.

The Cup and Xfinity races on the New York track again provided further evidence that road courses are the new short tracks, and it wouldn’t hurt to see more added to the schedule.

Don’t believe us? Here’s proof from the last five years.

Jimmie Johnson vs. Ryan Blaney / William Byron vs. Kyle Busch / Bubba Wallace vs. Kyle Busch, Sunday

Ok, so a lot happened on Sunday. But even more happened after the race.

Bubba Wallace went on an expletive filled rant against Kyle Busch after their run-in.

William Byron provided a “no comment” on his retaliation against Busch.

But Jimmie Johnson?

After he was wrecked from contact with Ryan Blaney, a clearly angry Johnson confronted the Team Penske driver on pit road. Afterward, he shared his feelings with NBCSN. This isn’t the kind of Johnson we’re used to seeing. But we’re also not used to seeing Johnson desperate to make the payoffs.

“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.”

Justin Allgaier vs. Ross Chastain, Saturday

A short book could be written about Chastain and his altercations with drivers over the last few years.

The latest chapter was Saturday between him and Allgaier in the first stage of the Xfinity race, when Chastain made contact with Allgaier in the inner loop and sent him into a tire barrier on Lap 14.

Six laps later, Allgaier used his front bumper to get his message across.

“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.”

Jimmie Johnson vs. Martin Truex Jr., Charlotte Roval 2018

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).

Ross Chastain vs. Joey Gase, Mid-Ohio 2018

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.”

John Hunter Nemechek vs. Cole Custer, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park 2016

Something dramatic happens on the last lap of this Truck Series race every year.

No, seriously. Every. Single. Year. (Except 2015).

But only once did it result in the driver who lost tackling the winner while he celebrated on the frontstretch.

The series returns north of the border on Aug. 25

Regan Smith vs. Alex Tagliani, Mid-Ohio 2015

There were no blows or expletives exchanged after Smith performed a bump-and-run on Tagliani in the final corner of this race to capture the win.

But Tagliani let it be known he wasn’t happy with the maneuver or Smith’s choice of a burnout celebration.

“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.”

Regan Smith vs. Ty Dillon, Watkins Glen 2015

Smith had an eventful year on road courses in 2015. Before Mid-Ohio he was on the opposite end of a bumper at Watkins Glen when Ty Dillon tagged his right rear in Turn 1 and spun him on a restart.

After the race, Smith grabbed Dillon by the collar. They began grappling and had to be separated by NASCAR officials.

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