John Hunter Nemecheck

NASCAR America: Who can challenge the Xfinity Series’ Big 3?

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Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Cole Custer have clearly staked out their territory in the Xfinity Series this season with three wins each.

But who are the drivers that can challenge the trio in the coming summer months?

Parker Kligerman and AJ Allmendinger discussed it on NASCAR America’s The Motorsports Hour.

Allmendinger believes veteran Justin Allgaier, who won at Iowa Speedway last year, is a threat.

“He’s been there, he’s done it for so long,” Allmendinger said. “He’s so consistent. You know at times he’s going to put himself in position to win races. … He’s the easy answer. But I look at guys like Noah Gragson, Justin Haley and John Hunter Nemechek. They’re young drivers, brand new to teams … In the second half of this regular season, will they be able to step up?”

Meanwhile, Kligerman championed Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe.

“He’s the teammate of one the Big 3 in Cole Custer,” Kligerman said. “I just think he’s doing everything he needs to be learning, riding hot on the heels of Cole Custer, he’s right there (sixth) in points. He’s had some good runs, he won in the Truck Series, he won on the Roval last year in the Xfinity Series and I just think he’s due.”

Watch the above video for more.

 

Noah Gragson wins Truck Series pole at Chicagoland

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Noah Gragson qualified first for tonight’s Overton’s 225 at Chicagoland Speedway, claiming his third Camping World Truck Series pole of the season.

Gragson recorded a top speed of 175.131 mph around the 1.5-mile track.

Gragson qualified ahead of Dalton Sargeant (174.543 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (174.531), Todd Gilliland (174.436) and Stewart Friesen (174.194).

The pole is the sixth of Gragson’s career. His only win this season (Kansas) came from the pole.

The Overton’s 225 is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.

Wendell Chavous will start last after spinning during his qualifying run in Round 1.

Click here for results.

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.

Xfinity Series practice report from Bristol

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Cole Custer was fastest in the final Xfinity practice at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Custer led the session with top speed of 123.570 mph.

He was followed by Daniel Hemric (123.182), Brandon Jones (123.118), Ryan Preece (122.968) and Christopher Bell (122.725).

Custer, Hemric, Preece and Bell are this week’s Dash 4 Cash drivers.

John Hunter Nemechek recorded the most laps in the session with 82.

Custer had the best 10-lap average at 121.830 mph

There were multiple accidents in the session. Tony Mrakovich, making his Xfinity debut, crashed for the second time today. Bell and Ross Chastain sustained damage trying to avoid him. Neither will go to a backup car.

BJ McLeod brought out the red flag for hitting the wall.  Tyler Reddick spun twice in the session.

“I was trying different things in the car to get more speed out of it, just kept finding the edge and crossing it and somehow not wrecking the car, which is a miracle,” Reddick told Fox Sports 1.

With about 10 minutes left, Ryan Reed made contact with the Turn 4 wall and spun.

“It’s ice once you get into the marbles,” Reed told FS1. Reed will not have to go to a backup car.

Click here for the final practice report.

First practice

Brandon Jones led the first practice, posting a top speed of 123.833 mph.

Jones led Justin Allgaier (123.515), Preece (123.499), Bell (123.491) and Austin Cindric (123.348).

Custer was sixth fastest and Hemric eighth.

Bell had the best 10-lap average at 122.385 mph.

Shane Lee, who is making his Xfinity debut driving the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, recorded the most laps with 72.

Click here for the practice No. 1 report.

John Hunter Nemechek wins postponed Truck race at Martinsville

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MARTINSVILLE, Virginia —  John Hunter Nemechek won the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway after a seven-lap shootout at the half-mile track.

Nemechek held off Kyle Benjamin to earn his sixth Camping World Truck Series win. He led the final 31 laps.

The top five was completed by Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger and Noah Gragson.

Nemechek took the lead on a restart with 31 laps to go when he passed Benjamin and Todd Gilliland three wide on the backstretch.

Nemechek was in position to take the lead because of miscommunication with his crew during the previous caution kept him out of the pits.

“(Crew chief) Gere (Kennon) came on the radio and said ‘pit,'” Nemechek told Fox Sports 1. “I didn’t hear exactly what he said because of static and we had to stay out there. I didn’t know if we were going to be able to do it. … I can’t thank everyone enough, Dad, everyone that puts their heart and soul into this deal. There’s only four guys at our shop this year, so it’s really cool to be able come back over here to the Truck Series.”

Nemechek had to survive four restarts in the closing laps. The win comes after he had three top-three finishes in his previous nine starts at the track.

Nemechek is competing for points in the Xfinity Series with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Benjamin finished second in his first Truck Series start. He was driving the No. 54 Toyota owned by David Gilliland and led 74 laps.

The race began on Saturday but was red flagged after 23 laps due to precipitation. It continued at 11 a.m. ET Monday.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ben Rhodes

STAGE 2 WINNER: Ben Rhodes

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Brett Moffitt earned his third consecutive top five … Timothy Peters finished seventh in his first start of the season … Harrison Burton finished eighth for his second top 10 in eight starts. Both are at Martinsville.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Ben Rhodes finished 12th despite winning the first two stages. The No. 41 Toyota was plagued by two slow pit stops in the final stage … Stewart Friesen finished 20th after being involved in two accidents, on Lap 87 and Lap 118 … Matt Crafton rammed into the back of Johnny Sauter out of Turn 2 with 27 laps to go. Sauter appeared to lose power before the accident. Sauter finished 19th, Crafton finished 15th … Todd Gilliland finished 14th after having to pit under caution late.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Tick tock we finally got a clock.” – John Hunter Nemechek

WHAT’S NEXT: Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway at 5 p.m. ET on May 4 on Fox Sports 1.