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NASCAR docks seven Cup cars practice time at Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS – Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Suarez will be penalized 30 minutes each in the first practice Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for inspection issues last weekend at Indianapolis. They are among seven Cup cars that will be penalized.

Truex and Suarez are being docked practice time for failing pre-race inspection three or more times at Indy.

The cars of Austin Dillon and Reed Sorenson will miss 15 minutes each in the first practice for failing pre-race inspection. Dillon’s team failed it at Darlington and Sorenson’s team at Bristol.

Also missing 15 minutes of the first practice is Kyle Larson (late to inspection), B.J. McLeod (late to inspection) and Ross Chastain (missing the rookie meeting).

Opening Cup practice is from 2:05 – 2:55 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

In the Xfinity Series, two cars will be docked 30 minutes of practice in the first session and 10 cars will be docked 15 minutes each of the opening practice.

Penalized 30 minutes will be the teams of Brandon Jones and Spencer Gallagher for failing pre-race inspection three or more times.

Missing 15 minutes of Xfinity practice will be the teams of Matt Tifft, Justin Allgaier, Max Tullman, Joey Gase and David Starr for being late to inspection.

Missing 15 minutes of Xfinity practice for failing inspection twice are the teams of Ryan Truex, Ryan Preece, Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain.

Missing 15 minutes of Xfinity practice for inspection interference after a race is the team of Cole Custer.

Xfinity practice is from 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Chase Elliott returns to GMS Xfinity car at Darlington, Indianapolis

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GMS Racing announced that Spencer Gallagher‘s injury will sideline him from the next two races in the Xfinity Series. The team will put Chase Elliott in the No. 23 Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The team announced last week that Gallagher reinjured his shoulder during a workout, replacing him in the Camping World Truck Series race Sunday with Timothy Peters.

After winning the April 28 race at Talladega Superspeedway, Gallagher missed seven races after being suspended for a violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. He since has started two Xfinity races, finishing 20th at Kentucky Speedway and eighth at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Elliott has made five starts in GMS’ No. 23 this season, most recently finishing eighth at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“Due to Spencer Gallagher’s shoulder injury, Chase Elliott will return to the No. 23 Chevrolet beginning this weekend at Darlington Raceway as well (as) next week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” GMS Racing president Mike Beam said in a statement released Tuesday. “As Gallagher continues to work with his doctor back home in Vegas, we do not have an exact time frame of when he will return to the seat.”

Justin Haley wins Truck Series playoff opener in overtime

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Justin Haley took advantage of a last turn incident involving teammates Todd Gilliland and Noah Gragson to win Sunday’s Truck Series playoff opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in overtime.

Haley took the lead coming to the checkered flag after Gragson, running in second, caught Gilliland and made contact as he tried to make the pass. The contact sent both trucks around.

Haley, one of the eight playoff drivers, claimed his second win of the season.

“That was amazing,” Haley told Fox Sports 1. “I knew going in there Gragson was probably going to do something not the smartest. That was going to line us up pretty good. … I saw it coming and I knew we were in the catbird’s seat.”

The top five was completed John Hunter Nemechek, Brett Moffitt, Timothy Peters and Matt Crafton.

Gragson, a playoff driver, finished ninth. Gilliland placed 11th.

Gilliland told FS1 he expected the contact from Gragson.

“Should never have let him get to me,” Gilliland said. “Should have just given him the inside, maybe let him wreck himself, I don’t know. He’s done that to me on like five or six road courses. It sucks. We had the fastest truck and we didn’t win again. I’m going to have to talk to him for sure.”

Gilliland, in his rookie year, added: “I’d go fight him right now, but I can’t. I just need to get my emotions in check and go talk to him. But I’m extremely mad.”

Gragson took the blame for the incident, saying “That one’s on me.”

“I wasn’t trying to take him out,” Gragson told FS1. “Was expecting him just to give me a little bit more room on the bottom. It just wasn’t there. Wasn’t meant to be.”

Gragson also said: “I apologize to Todd, I apologize to the 4 team, apologize to everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports. We’re in the playoffs and I’m trying to get a win. I was squirting the throttle right there in-between (Turns) 9 and 10. … Just wasn’t quite there. Just unfortunate. That one’s on me.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Noah Gragson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Noah Gragson

MORE: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Timothy Peters scored a top five in relief of Spencer Gallagher … Brett Moffitt placed third after starting the day in 17th. … Matt Crafton earned his first top five in four races … Austin Hill placed eight for his fourth top 10 of the year.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Austin Wayne Self brought out the final two cautions of the race for incidents. He finished 21st … Roger Reuse placed 27th after wrecking out on Lap 35.

NOTABLE: Jesse Iwuji placed 25th, two laps down in his series debut.

WHAT’S NEXT: World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 9 p.m. ET on Sept. 14 on Fox Sports 1

Timothy Peters to drive for Spencer Gallagher this weekend

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GMS Racing announced Friday morning that Timothy Peters will replace Spencer Gallagher for this weekend’s Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park after Gallagher re-injured his shoulder Thursday.

Peters, a 10-time winner in the Truck Series, has competed in one race this season. He placed seventh at Martinsville. Peters was a full-time driver in the series from 2009-16, finishing as high as second in the points in 2012.

“From a preexisting shoulder injury, Spencer Gallagher will not be in the seat of the No. 25 this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park after re-injuring his shoulder during a Thursday workout session,” GMS Racing President Mike Beam said in a statement. “Going to such a technical course, a driver requires full mobility. Gallagher will return to Las Vegas to work with his personal physical therapist. Timothy Peters will climb behind the wheel this weekend in Canada with further information regarding the No. 25 Chevrolet being released at a later date.”

Said Peters: “I really appreciate Mike and everyone at GMS Racing giving me a call to fill-in for Spencer. I do hate the circumstances that he is not able to get behind the wheel this weekend, but I do appreciate the call. It’s nice to know that there are people out there that believe in my abilities and I have a shot to come over and drive top-of-the-line equipment this weekend for GMS.”

 

Dalton Sargeant out at GMS Racing, Spencer Gallagher to fill-in ‘until the issue is resolved’

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Citing an “unfortunate circumstance” with Sargeant Motorsports, GMS Racing President Mike Beam announced Wednesday that Dalton Sargeant would not drive the team’s No. 25 Chevrolet for the rest of the season and that Spencer Gallagher will take his place “until the issue is resolved.”

Gallagher will take over the No. 25 beginning Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

“Due to a(n) unfortunate circumstance with Sargeant Motorsports, Dalton Sargeant will no longer compete with GMS Racing full-time in the Truck Series for the remainder of the 2018 season. Until the issue is resolved, Spencer (Gallagher) will serve as the fill-in driver of the No. 25 Chevrolet entry beginning this weekend in Canada. We hope a solution can be agreed upon and to see Dalton back racing GMS equipment in the near future.”

The move comes with seven races left in the season and the series beginning its playoff this weekend. Sargeant is not one of the eight playoff drivers.

Sargeant, 20, is in his first full-time season in the Truck Series. He ended the regular season 10th in the standings after earning one top five and four top 10s.

Sargeant released the following statement on Twitter, but did not add any details regarding the “unfortunate circumstance.”

Sunday’s race will be Gallagher’s first Truck start since the 2017 season opener at Daytona.

This is the second significant driver shakeup for GMS Racing this season. The first involved Gallagher in the Xfinity Series when he was placed on indefinite suspension on May 2 for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. 

Gallagher was reinstated on July 4 after completing the Road to Recovery program. Gallagher has only made two Xfinity starts since the reinstatement.

His No. 23 Chevrolet has been driven by Johnny Sauter, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, A.J. Allmendinger and Casey Roderick. Hall of Famer Bill Elliott will pilot it Saturday at Road America (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).