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Grant Enfinger wins Truck race at Las Vegas

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Grant Enfinger survived three overtimes to win his second career race and lock himself into the second round of the playoffs. Enfinger took the lead on the final restart when Brett Moffitt ran out of fuel. Enfinger had fresher tires after gambling and taking no tires with 49 laps remaining.

Enfinger entered the Las Vegas race last among the eight playoff contenders in the points after getting spun late in the Truck race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and finishing 17th.

On the final lap Friday night, Enfinger held off Johnny Sauter.

Playoff contenders Justin Haley, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton rounded out the top five.

Haley was already locked into round two of the playoffs with his win in the opening playoff race.

Moffitt fell to 11th after his fuel problem.

Noah Gragson blew a left front tire with 25 to go after contact with Moffitt in traffic. Gragson was hit with a commitment line violation when the tire blew and lost two laps in the process. He made one of those laps up and finished 18th.

Stewart Friesen spun three times in the final stage of the race. He did substantial damage in the final spin and finished 17th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Noah Gragson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

MORE: Click here for complete results.
MORE: Click here for points report

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Matt Crafton had to start at the rear of the field after making unapproved adjustments to his truck; he was in the top 10 within five green flag laps and maintained his track position…. Myatt Snider snapped a six-race streak of finishes outside the top 10 with a sixth. … Ross Chastain is attempting the tripleheader at Vegas. He got off to a strong start with a seventh in the Truck race. … Jennifer Jo Cobb scored her first top 15 in 90 attempts with a 12th. Her last top 15 before this was a 13th at Kansas in May 2014. This is Cobb’s second best career finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Tanner Thorson went high to avoid a loose Myatt Snider and got out of the groove on Lap 2. He pounded the outside wall and was the first driver out. … Bo LeMastus was running 28th on Lap 46 when he pancaked the right side of his truck. … Riley Herbst pushed into the wall late in Stage 2, cutting his tire with five to go in that segment. … Todd Gilliland and Jesse Little ran out of room trying to arc into Turn 1 on Lap 83; Gilliland got turned into the wall. … Stewart Friesen was battling for a top-five finish when he spun the first time; he hit the wall and did significant damage in his third spin on Lap 131.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “We were supposed to be a few laps to the good. It shouldn’t have been an issue,” Brett Moffitt on if he had any concerns about fuel before running out on the final restart.

NOTABLE: Justin Haley and Grant Enfinger will advance to the second round with their wins in the first round. That leaves six drivers contending for the last four spots to advance to the second round.

WHAT’S NEXT: Talladega 250 at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 13 on Fox.

Noah Gragson wins truck pole at Las Vegas

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Noah Gragson posted a lap of 178.036 mph to grab the pole for tonight’s World of Westgate 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas. It is his fifth pole of the season. The last time he led the field to green was on another 1.5-mile track (Kentucky) and he finished eighth in that race.

Gragson beat Stewart Friesen (176.811 mph) by more than two-tenths of a second.

Grant Enfinger (176.540), Chris Eggleston (176.240) Riley Herbst (176.056) rounded out the top five.

Points leader Johnny Sauter qualified sixth.

Tate Fogleman, JJ Yeley and Norm Benning failed to qualify. 

Click here for the complete lineup

Noah Gragson addresses where he stands with Todd Gilliland, 2019 plans

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Noah Gragson said he doesn’t know where he’ll race next year but stated Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio where things stood with Todd Gilliland after their last-lap incident Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Gragson attempted to pass Gilliland for the lead on the last corner but made contact. Both trucks spun, allowing Justin Haley to win the playoff-opening race in the Camping World Truck Series and secure a spot to the next round. Gragson finished ninth. Gilliland placed 11th.

Gragson addressed the incident with Gilliland, his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, on “SiriusXM Speedway.”

“I’ve talked to Todd a little bit,” Gragson told host Dave Moody. “We’re back on good terms. I wanted to get his opinion on that last lap. He wanted to get my opinion. At the end of the day, we were racing for a win. I hate the result for everybody at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Not my intention. We’re both going to move on from it and keep racing each other hard and going out there and trying to beat the rest of the competition.”

As for what car owner Kyle Busch said to him, Gragson said: “I don’t think he’s too happy. He’s been on vacation this week. I’m sure we’ll hear about it later on.”

Another question for Gragson is about his future.

Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern reported Wednesday that JR Motorsports is expected to sign Gragson for next season in the Xfinity Series. Gragson would replace Elliott Sadler, who announced earlier this month that this would be his final full-time season in NASCAR.

“I think the key word to that whole phrase,” Gragson told Moody when asked about being a part of the rumor mill, “is rumor. Right now it’s not really my focus. I know my guys at Clutch Management have been working really hard on finding me an opportunity next year. My main focus is to win a championship at Kyle Busch Motorsports and compete for wins on a weekly basis.”

Asked about how quickly he’d like to advance to the Xfinity Series, the 20-year-old Gragson said: “I’m not really sure what I’m going to do next year. I think it would be a great opportunity if I was in position to race in the Xfinity Series.”

Gragson finished second in his Xfinity debut at Richmond in April and followed it with a fourth at Talladega and a seventh at Dover for Joe Gibbs Racing. Those were all Dash 4 Cash races and Cup drivers were not allowed to compete in those events.

Gragson is in the Truck playoffs and is third in the points after one race. He has one win this season.

NASCAR America: Jeff Burton: Don’t forget about Justin Haley

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The NASCAR community was abuzz for the last 24 hours over the finish to Sunday’s Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The finish saw Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson and Todd Gilliland spin in the final turn of the last lap after Gragson attempted a pass on the inside.

After a lengthy discussion on the merits of Gragson’s move, NASCAR America analyst Jeff Burton wanted to remind everyone about who actually won the race.

Justin Haley avoided the wrecking leader to score his second win of the season and advance to the second round of the playoffs.

“Don’t forget Justin Haley in this,” Burton said. “We’ve spent so much time talking about this wreck and it opened the door for Justin Haley. But what a cool story. Here’s a guy who’s now moved into the second round. I agree, he’s certainly not the guy everyone’s talking about being the favorite. … As good as they’ve run, they’ve made a huge step in the way they’ve performed. You’ve seen him running in the front five a lot this year, especially in the second half of the year. We should not forget about him. He won the race! It’s being overshadowed by what happened.”

Monday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Late Shift,” Gilliland discussed the fallout of incident.

Gilliland said he and Gragson have only texted once since Sunday, but that “I definitely feel a little different than I did. People always say microphones get there fast and you really don’t have much time to think. I’ve just never really been involved in a situation like that. I was surprised how fast everything got there. At that point, I thought I jsut got wrecked in the last corner, I’ve seen it happen before and that’s just what happened to me.”

The rookie driver added “I’d say there’s definitely blame on both sides” for the incident among teammates.

Gilliland said he was done in by racing at “maybe 99 percent” over the last lap, enough to “where I knew I wasn’t going to make a mistake” while Gragson was going at “110 percent.”

“Everything came together perfect,” Gilliland said.

Watch the video below for the discussion on the Gragson and Gilliland wreck.

Results, point standings after Truck playoff opener

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Justin Haley became the first driver to advance to the second round of the Truck Series playoffs after winning Sunday’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

He stole the win after Noah Gragson and Todd Gilliland wrecked in the final corner.

Haley beat John Hunter Nemechek, Brett Moffitt (playoff driver), Timothy Peters and Matt Crafton (playoffs).

Where the rest of the playoff drivers placed:

Johnny Sauter (sixth), Stewart Friesen (seventh), Gragson (ninth), Ben Rhodes (14th), Grant Enfinger (17th).

Click here for results.

Points

With Haley’s win, the playoff field is now vying for five spots in the second round.

Here’s the point standings after Sunday’s race.

Sauter leads the way with a six-point advantage over Moffitt.

Gragson is third (-11) followed by Haley (-16), Crafton (-34), Friesen (-34), Rhodes (-35), Enfinger (-46).

Click here for the standings.