Anthony Alfredo

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Austin Hill wins Truck Series race at Michigan in overtime

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Austin Hill won Saturday’s Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway in overtime, fending off Sheldon Creed on the final lap to score the victory in the regular-season finale.

It is Hill’s second win of the season after he won the season-opener at Daytona.

The top five was completed by Tyler Dippel, Austin Wayne Self and Brett Moffitt.

MORE: Click here for race results

MORE: Click here for points report

Hill bounced back from a speeding penalty early in the final stage to lead 26 of 105 laps.

“It’s huge, we’ve had a struggle these last four or five races,” Hill told FS1. “We just keep having issues and can’t finish races. Man, these guys just work their tails off day and night just trying to put these trucks together. This is actually a brand new truck, first time (it saw) the race track was yesterday. When we unloaded we had to workout some bugs on it. We got it driving really good.”

The overtime finish was setup by a large wreck on a restart with four laps to go in the scheduled distance. Tyler Ankrum, who was the leader, received a push from Matt Crafton, which turned his truck into the outside wall and started a chain reaction.

Among those in the wreck were Johnny Sauter, Todd Gilliland, Anthony Alfredo, Natalie Decker and Spencer Boyd.

“I think (Ankrum) just spun his tires, to be honest,” Crafton said after the race. “That’s from what I saw from my seat. I asked a couple of people and they said it looked like he was still spinning the tires when I hit him. Definitely, never going to try wreck somebody. We worked so good together on the restart before that. I shoved him to the lead and it was just wrong timing.”

Pole-sitter Ross Chastain led every lap of Stage 1. But during the ensuing pit stops, Johnny Sauter turned Codie Rohrbaugh into Chastain’s right side as Chastain exited his box. The damage from the collision sent Chastain to the garage and ended his day.

By just starting the race, Grant Enfinger clinched the regular season championship and was awarded 15 playoff points.

With Hill’s win, Crafton clinched the last playoff spot based on points since there wasn’t a new winner.

The eight driver playoff field is Brett Moffitt, Enfinger, Stewart Friesen, Chastain, Hill, Crafton, Sauter and Ankrum.

Not involved in the playoffs is Kyle Busch Motorsports. Both Gilliland and Harrison Burton needed to win Saturday to get into the playoff field. At least one KBM driver has been a member of the championship four the last three years.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ross Chastain

STAGE 2 WINNER: Brett Moffitt

WHAT’S NEXT: Playoff opener: UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway at 8:30 p.m. ET Aug. 15 on FS1.

 

Truck Series practice report from Michigan

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Christian Eckes was fastest in the second of two Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice sessions Friday at Michigan International Speedway.

Eckes claimed the top spot with a speed of 184.233 mph.

The top five was completed by Ross Chastain (184.204 mph), Ben Rhodes (184.096), Anthony Alfredo (183.899) and Stewart Friesen (183.889).

Harrison Burton was 12th fastest and Todd Gilliland was 16th.

Burton recorded the most laps in the session with 39.

Eckes had the best 10-lap average at 180.980 mph.

Click here for the speed chart.

First practice

Chastain was fastest, posting a top speed of 185.931 mph in the session and was the only driver to surpass 185 mph.

The top five was completed by defending race winner Brett Moffitt (184.649 mph), Rhodes (184.601), Tyler Dippel (184.200) and Jordan Anderson (183.899).

Gilliland was 10th on the speed chart and Burton was 12th. Both Kyle Bush Motorsports drivers will likely need to win this weekend to make the playoffs.

Rhodes, Eckes and Matt Crafton recorded the most laps in the session with 32.

Dippel had the best 10-lap average at 180.876 mph.

Click here for the speed chart.

Ross Chastain wins at Pocono for third Truck Series victory of season

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Ross Chastain held off Tyler Ankrum and Harrison Burton to win Saturday’s Gander RV 150 at Pocono Raceway.

It was Chastain’s third career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win, all of which have come this season. He won earlier at Kansas and Gateway. In addition, Chastain is now the only driver in the Truck Series to have three wins thus far this season.

“We stomped them in the dirt, we pressed the attack, I’m so excited,” Chastain told FOX. “We’ll go try to press the attack (in the next race, Thursday night at Eldora Speedway). We don’t back down at all. We just keep going.”

Eldora will be Chastain’s first career Truck race on dirt, prompting him to quip, “I’ve always thought dirt was for farming and asphalt was for racing, but we’re going to learn something next week.”

Christian Eckes finished fourth, followed by Brett Moffitt, Matt Crafton, Todd Gilliland, Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger.

Click here for results.

Click here for updated point standings

The race didn’t even get past Turn 1 on the opening lap when Stewart Friesen’s Chevrolet spun and collected the Toyota of Anthony Alfredo. Both trucks were damaged beyond repair.

I’m not really sure,” Friesen told FOX when asked what happened in the incident. “I spun around and made contact with the wall.

I got to the apron there and it’s just a bummer. I had a lot of friends and family here today and just really, really disappointed. I wish I could have done more to last a little longer out there. We’ll be back but it just sucks right now.”

Natalie Decker and Ben Rhodes were also involved but both suffered only minor damage and were able to continue on.

Stage 1 winner: Ross Chastain (second stage win of season)

Stage 2 winner: Harrison Burton (first stage win of season)

Who had a good race: Harrison Burton continued in his bid to make the playoffs with a strong third-place finish.

Who had a bad race: Stewart Friesen’s first lap wreck could have significant playoff ramifications for him. Friesen came into the race seventh in the hunt for the eight playoff spots, and left in eighth place, on the playoff bubble. Because he has not won a race this season, he only has two more races – August 1 at Eldora and August 10 at Michigan – to lock himself into the playoffs.

Notable: Before he went to victory lane, Chastain — nicknamed “The Melon Man” —  had some fun by tossing a watermelon-shaped beach ball back and forth with fans in the frontstretch stands. Chastain’s family is watermelon growers.

What’s next: There will be a short turnaround for Truck Series teams, who are back at it – and on the dirt this time – this Thursday, August 1, in the Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway in Ohio.

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Brett Moffitt earns second Truck Series win in last three races

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Brett Moffitt won for the second time in three races, capturing Friday night’s Camping World 225 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Moffitt did it with domination, not drama, as was the case in his previous win two races ago at Iowa Speedway. In that race, Moffitt finished second to Ross Chastain. But about an hour after the checkered flag, Chastain’s truck was found to be too low in post-race inspection, prompting NASCAR to take the win away from him and give it to Moffitt instead.

But in Friday night’s race, Moffitt – last year’s Truck Series champion – led a race-high 72 laps, nearly half of the 150-lap event. In taking the checkered flag, he held off runner-up Brandon Jones, who won Stage 1 Friday night, followed by Stewart Friesen, Harrison Burton and Austin Hill.

“It’s been a rough start to the year, but we’re getting it rolling now,” Moffitt told FS1. “We didn’t have the results early, but it’s getting a lot better now.”

In earning his ninth career truck race — and eighth in the last two seasons (2018 and 2019) — Moffitt has now won more truck races during that time than any other driver. It was also the second straight win at Chicagoland Speedway for Moffitt, who won last year’s Truck race there.

Sixth through 10th were Todd Gilliland, Chastain, Matt Crafton, Anthony Alfredo and Dylan Lupton.

It was an especially frustrating night for ThorSport Racing.

First, Ben Rhodes barely got through one lap before his truck began smoking heavily. He made his way to pit road for service, but was pushed by his crew back to the garage just a few moments later.

Rhodes missed the first practice session on Thursday with an engine issue. It’s unclear if Friday’s problem was related to Thursday’s issue.

It’s just sickening,” Rhodes told FS1. “It’s awful and puts us in a bad spot for the playoff picture. What hurts the most is I thought we had a truck that could win tonight. Just weird stuff has been happening.

It was just oil dumping out of the main seal, didn’t show anything in qualifying and it just starts doing it as I go through the gears coming up to the green. I don’t know what to say, just a big letdown.”

In the second stage, Johnny Sauter had motor issues that saw him drop from qualifying second to 23rd after repairs on pit road. Sauter finished 18th, the fifth straight race that he has failed to finish in the top 10 following his win at Dover.

Then, early in the final stage, Spencer Davis got into Grant Enfinger’s truck and put him in the wall, causing extensive damage to Enfinger’s ride. Davis then bounced off and into the side of Austin Wayne Self’s truck, putting both trucks out of the race.

Enfinger had led the most laps up to that point (49) and won Stage 2 prior to the incident with Davis. Enfinger also had a slight confrontation with Austin Hill after the race (see tweets below).

On top of all that, Matt Crafton had the engine replaced in his truck after Thursday’s practices, forcing him to start Friday’s race from the back of the field. While he managed to work his way into the top 10, Crafton finished eighth.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Brandon Jones (passed Grant Enfinger on the last lap)

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger (held off Brandon Jones on last lap)

Race results: Click here

Point standings: Click here

WHAT’S NEXT: Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on July 11 on FS1

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Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter on front row for tonight’s Truck race at Chicagoland

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Austin Hill won the pole for tonight’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Camping World 225 race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Hill covered the 1.5-mile layout at a top speed and a track record of 176.632 mph. Alongside him on the front row for tonight’s race will be Johnny Sauter (176.494 mph).

It could be an interesting race, as it will be the first time Hill and Sauter have been on the same race track in two weeks. Hill and Sauter tangled two weeks ago at Iowa Speedway, when Sauter intentionally slammed into Hill’s truck during a caution period, leading to NASCAR to suspend Sauter for the following race last weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (formerly Gateway Motorsports Park).

Qualifying third through 10th fastest were Brett Moffitt (176.332 mph), Tyler Ankrum (176.108), Grant Enfinger (176.005), Anthony Alfredo (175.982), Sheldon Creed (175.821), Harrison Burton (175.781), Dylan Lupton (175.741) and Stewart Friesen (175.678).

Other notables include Todd Gilliland (13th, 175.456 mph), Ross Chastain (16th, 174.916 mph) and Ben Rhodes (17th, 174.859).

The race takes the green flag tonight at 9:05 p.m. ET (FS1 on TV and Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on radio).

Click here for the full row-by-row qualifying chart.

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