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Johnny Sauter wins Truck Series race at Texas

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Johnny Sauter won his fourth race of 2018 and for the fifth time at Texas Motor Speedway by holding off pole sitter Stewart Friesen in a green-white-checkered finish to end the PPG 400.

Sauter started the race in fifth and managed to stay in contact with the leaders, but did not take the lead until the final stages of the race. Using a combination of fuel and tire conservation, he led 51 laps on the way to victory lane.

Stewart Friesen led the field to green from the pole, but got loose in the outside groove early in stage one. He fought back throughout the night – winning stage one and challenging for the lead late in the race. A determined charge in the final 20 laps put him in position to challenge Sauter. Unfortunately he got hung up behind Justin Haley on the final lap and could not get close enough to make the pass for the lead.

The biggest incident of the night came on lap 109. Battling for a position in the top 10, Dalton Sargent and Myatt Snider got together while trying to use Jennifer Jo Cobb as a pick. Snyder made hard contact with the wall and retired on lap 105 in 23rd. Sargent remained on the lead lap and finished just outside the top 10 in 11th. 

STAGE 1 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

HOW SAUTER WON: Sauter stayed out on old tires with 55 laps remaining and stretched his fuel to race to the end.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Enfinger inherited the lead when Todd Gilliland pitted near the end of the second segment and scored his first stage win of the season; he continued to battle among the leaders before finishing fourth. Friesen matched his career best finish of second; his previous runner up finish came on the dirt track of Eldora Speedway last July. Justin Haley gave his teammate Sauter a huge push on the final restart before getting overhauled by Friesen on the final lap; Haley finished third to score his sixth career top five.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Ben Rhodes developed an engine problem toward the end of stage one and lost multiple laps while trying to diagnose the issue; he finished three laps off the pace in 16th. Justin Fontaine hit the wall hard on lap six and pancaked the right side of his truck – finishing 30th in the 32-car field. Driftwood Texas driver Bayley Currey got loose in the outside lane on lap 11 while running 18th and hit the turn four wall; he finished 29th. With 10 laps remaining in stage one, Brett Moffitt got loose under Austin Wayne Self and spun into the turn one wall. Moffitt brought out a second yellow when he almost spun 19 laps from the end before finishing 18th. Fighting to stay on the lead lap, Bo LeMastus made contact with Norm Benning, cut a tire, and hit the wall with six to go in stage two. LeMastus finished 26th; Benning finished 21st.

NOTABLE: Gilliland received his high school diploma in a pre-race ceremony before climbing into the lead at the start of the Rattlesnake 400.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I’m speechless at this point; I don’t even know what to say anymore,” Sauter said from victory lane on FoxSports 1. “This is a lot of fun. Five wins at Texas – I feel very, very lucky … It’s all about getting that clean start. I knew that (Friesen) was going to be aggressive – obviously he’s hungry for his first win and so I just timed it right.”

WHAT’S NEXT: M&Ms 200 at Iowa Speedway at 7:00 p.m. ET on June 16 on FS1.

Truck Series practice report from Charlotte Motor Speedway

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CONCORD, North Carolina — Dalton Sargeant was fastest in the final practice for tonight’s Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He led the session with a top speed of 178.950 mph.

He was followed by Ben Rhodes (178.560 mph), Justin Haley (178.218), Noah Gragson (178.153) and Myatt Snider (178.130).

Brett Moffitt, who was 16th fastest, recorded the most laps with 40.

Kyle Busch was ninth fastest but he had the best 10-lap average at 176.221 mph.

Click here for final practice report.

First practice

Matt Crafton was fastest, leading the session with a top speed of 181.129 mph.

He was followed by Johnny Sauter (180.995 mph), Noah Gragson (180.264), Todd Gilliland (179.964) and Myatt Snider (179.760).

Kyle Busch, who was sixth fastest, recorded the most laps in the session with 26.

The session had three cautions, including one for an incident with Austin Wayne Self.

Click here for the practice No. 1 speed chart.

Martin Truex Jr. to visit White House, President Trump on Monday

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The final stop of Martin Truex Jr.‘s championship tour will be Monday on the South Lawn of the White House.

Truex, the defending Cup Series champion, and other members of Furniture Row Racing will meet with President Donald Trump during a ceremony scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET, according to an advisory from NASCAR.

Truex’s visit is the first for a NASCAR champion during the Trump Administration. There was not a White House visit last year for Jimmie Johnson‘s seventh championship.

A Furniture Row Racing spokesman confirmed to NBC Sports that Truex’s crew chief, Cole Pearn, who has taken shots at the president on Twitter, also will attend the ceremony Monday.

Trump and NASCAR have intersected numerous times over the past three years, well before the 45th president of the United States took office.

On Feb. 18, President Trump tweeted an acknowledgment of the Daytona 500.

Last September, Trump tweeted his support of NASCAR drivers standing for the anthem.

NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France endorsed Trump in a Feb. 29, 2016 rally at Valdosta State University in Atlanta, Georgia, one day before the Super Tuesday primary.

Drivers Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Chase Elliott and NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott also attended the rally, with both Elliotts speaking briefly in support of Trump. Trump claimed in a tweet that he received the endorsement of NASCAR.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin endorsed Trump at another rally in Concord, North Carolina, a week later.

France later told the AP he was “very surprised” that after his “routine endorsement,” which he considered personal and not on behalf of NASCAR, “my diversity efforts for my whole career would have been called into question.”

In April 2016, France told the AP during the APSE Commissioners Meetings that he “probably shouldn’t have been” surprised by the reaction to the endorsement.

A month before the presidential election, Austin Wayne Self drove a paint scheme dedicated to Trump’s campaign in a Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway . In the Nov. 6 Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, Reed Sorenson drove a similar scheme two days before Trump was elected.

In July 2015, NASCAR announced it would no longer hold its Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series award ceremonies at the Trump National Doral near Miami, Florida.

The move was made hours after Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, threatened to boycott the event over “recent and ongoing blatantly bigoted and racist comments from Donald Trump in regards to immigrants of the United States.”

 

John Hunter Nemechek fastest in final Truck Series practice in Miami

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John Hunter Nemechek posted the fastest speed in the final Camping World Truck Series practice session of the season.

The NEMCO Motorsports driver recorded a speed of 165.239 mph around Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Nemechek was followed by Grant Enfinger (164.971), Kaz Grala (164.845), Noah Gragson (164.534) and championship driver Christopher Bell (164.414).

The three remaining championship drivers:

9th – Austin Cindric, 161.968 mph

13th – Matt Crafton, 160.839

14th – Johnny Sauter, 160.762

Myatt Snider, who was ninth fastest, recorded the most laps with 28.

Justin Haley had the best 10-lap average at 159.992 mph.

Cindric was the only playoff driver to make a 10-lap run. He had the fourth best 10-lap average at 159.441 mph.

Three drivers – Timothy Peters, Austin Wayne Self and Robby Lyons – experienced engine failures during the session.

The Truck Series will qualify for the Ford EcoBoost 200 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the practice report.

Ben Rhodes earns first career Truck win, advances to second round of playoffs

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Ben Rhodes blocked a last lap challenge by Christopher Bell to win his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in Saturday night’s Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Rhodes made his win look easy, but it was far from it. With seven laps to go, Rhodes ran low around the first three trucks on a restart, got past and then held on to take the checkered flag.

In so doing, Rhodes — a native of Louisville, Kentucky — gets an automatic berth into the second round of the Truck Series playoffs.

Bell finished second, followed by Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric and Kaz Grala.

MOREResults from Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race in Las Vegas

MORE: Christopher Bell holds dominating lead in Truck playoffs

John Hunter Nemechek looked like he might win, but ran out of gas with 14 laps left while in the lead after Austin Wayne Self wrecked on Lap 133, then stalled twice on pit road and was never able to catch back up. Nemechek, who is at risk of elimination in the playoffs, finished eighth.

Stage winners: Stage 1 (Chase Briscoe), Stage 2 (Ben Rhodes)

Who else had a good race: Christopher Bell gave it everything he had, but passed on a chance to wreck Rhodes on the last lap. “That was some intense racing right there,” Bell said. “Really happy for Ben, he’s been long overdue for that win. He earned it tonight.”

Who had a bad race: Myatt Snider’s race didn’t even last a full lap, spinning and hitting the wall in Turn 3. … A big wreck occurred on Lap 23 when Austin Cindric got into the rear of Johnny Sauter, spinning him into the wall. Kaz Grala was also involved. All three were able to continue, but were never able to get back up in the field to challenge.

Notable: There have now been 11 different winners in the last 11 Truck races. … Noah Gragson was penalized twice for speeding on pit road. … Making his first NASCAR start since 2015, Travis Pastrana finished 22nd.

Quote of the day: “I used every play in my playbook. That was the most nervous thing I’ve ever done in my life. This is the biggest high of my life. I just never thought it would come after so many things went wrong, and now it did.” – Race winner Ben Rhodes

What’s next: The series is off next weekend but returns Saturday, Oct. 14, with the Fred’s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. That will also mark the first cutdown race of the Truck playoffs.