NASCAR America: Sport needs more races like Iowa Speedway

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With the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series taking Father’s Day weekend off, the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series took center stage at Iowa Speedway and put on a pair of shows that had drivers and NASCAR America analysts asking for more.

Late-race battles for the lead with Noah Gragson‘s unsuccessful last-lap pass on Brett Moffitt and Christopher Bell’s near miss at closing the distance on Justin Allgaier is something that has been missing from the Cup series for much of the season, and the action had a lot to do with the configuration of the speedway.

“That’s why this racetrack has become so popular,” Parker Kligerman said on Monday’s edition of NASCAR America. “Because it’s allowing this multi-groove racing like we’ve seen. And it’s got everyone discussing – kind of like Brad Keselowski was saying – why don’t we bring the Cup cars there? It would be awesome.”

Iowa Speedway was built with inspiration from Richmond Raceway and both tracks have characteristics of a short track and a speedway. It is something that Jeff Burton believes the sports needs to embrace.

“There is no doubt that this style of racetrack is what we need more of,” Burton said. “The sport needs more of it. And all this effort we’ve been talking about with the All-Star package. All that is an effort to try and create races like we saw on Saturday and on Sunday.”

For more, watch the video above.

Race results, Truck Series point standings after Iowa

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Brett Moffitt took the lead at the beginning of the final stage of the M&M’s 200 and held the lead for the final 76 laps to win his second race of the season and the first on his home track of Iowa Speedway.

In the final 10 laps, Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton were able to close the gap as Moffitt lost ground on his older tires. That gave Gragson the opportunity to make a banzai move in turn four. Gragson slapped the wall hard on exit, but retained his second-place position.

Pole winner Burton finished third.

David Gilliland and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top five.

Click here for complete results.

Finishing second, Gragson was able to make up a little ground on points leader Johnny Sauter – cutting the points lead to 71 from 77. Gragson remains second in the standings.

Moffit’s Iowa victory cements his third-place position in the standings.

Stewart Friesen and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Click here for the complete points standings.

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.

Truck practice report at Iowa

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Harrison Burton was the fastest in Saturday’s final Camping World Truck Series practice at Iowa Speedway.

Burton posted a lap of 134.202 mph. He was followed by Dalton Sargeant (133.849 mph), Johnny Sauter (133.378), Stewart Friesen (133.074) and Todd Gilliland (132.917).

Burton also had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 130.603 mph.

Click here for full report of final Truck practice

FIRST PRACTICE

Justin Haley led the way in the first of two Camping World Truck Series practices Saturday at Iowa Speedway.

Haley posted a lap of 134.294 mph. He was followed by Cody Coughlin (134.248 mph), Brett Moffitt (133.554), Dalton Sargeant (133.469) and Todd Gilliland (133.328). Stewart Friesen had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 130.333 mph.

The Truck Series has a second practice and qualifying before its race at 7 p.m. ET today.

Click here for full practice report

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.