Scott Lagasse Jr.

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Johnny Sauter wins Truck race at Bristol

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Johnny Sauter passed John Hunter Nemechek with five laps remaining in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway to win his fifth Truck race of the year in the regular season finale. This is Sauter’s first Truck win at Bristol.

Stewart Friesen raced Sauter in the closing laps for what was an apparent bid for second until Nemechek faltered in the closing laps when his engine lost power to an undisclosed mechanical failure.

Friesen followed Sauter around the faltering Nemechek to second. This is the third time this season that Friesen has finished second. He is is still looking for his first Truck win.

Nemechek held on to finish third, but seemed to have the truck to beat until he lost power. Nemechek took the lead from pole sitter Christopher Bell on lap 31 and went on to win Stage 1 and 2 of the race.

Parker Kligerman and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top five.

STAGE 1 WINNER: John Hunter Nemechek

STAGE 2 WINNER: John Hunter Nemechek

ADVANCING TO THE PLAYOFFS: Johnny Sauter, Brett Moffitt, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen, Grant Enfinger, Justin Haley and Matt Crafton.

HOW JOHNNY SAUTER WON: He took the lead for the first time at the beginning of the final stage when Nemechek pitted, lost it briefly to Gragson on the restart, and regained the top spot on lap 131. Nemechek ran Sauter down in traffic, retaking the lead on lap 177. Battling Friesen hard in the closing lap kept Sauter from losing the second spot and when Nemechek faltered, he was in position to take advantage. 

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Making his Truck debut, Stefan Parsons stayed on the lead lap until lap 95. He lost another lap late in the race and finished 17th to earn a top 20. … Also making his debut, Codie Rohrbaugh finished 16th. … Ross Chastain got his weekend off to a good start with a 12th-place finish in the Truck race. He will also race in the Xfinity Series Friday night and Cup on Sunday.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: After finishing fifth at Daytona in the season opener, Scott Lagasse Jr. spun and crashed on lap 16 in just his second Truck start of the season. … Myatt Snider was fighting to stay on the lead lap and battling for a position with Gragson when the two made contact coming to the end of Stage 2. Snider spun into the inside wall and did major damage.

NOTABLE: Christopher Bell acclimated quickly to the No. 51 truck. He won the pole after taking over for an ailing Harrison Burton and then jumped out to an early lead and paced the field for 31 laps. He faded at the end when his power steering failed.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Uncle Johnny (Sauter) races me hard and that was a couple of bad ass Silverados going at it. … The lap traffic was to our advantage. We could roll when they moved up. … That was probably the most fun I’ve had all year, bumping and grinding. There are no better guys to race with than John Hunter and Johnny.” – Stewart Friesen on Fox.

WHAT’S NEXT: Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Aug. 26 at 2:30 PM on FS1.

Scott Lagasse Jr. to drive four Xfinity races for Richard Childress Racing

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Veteran NASCAR driver Scott Lagasse Jr. has been added to the Richard Childress Racing stable, the organization announced Tuesday.

Lagasse will drive RCR’s No. 3 Xfinity Series Chevrolet in four races this season: his team debut on June 25 at Iowa Speedway, along with Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Lagasse, 36, of St. Augustine, Florida, will split driving duties in the car with Ty Dillon as both attempt to earn the 2017 owner’s championship for RCR.

Lagasse finished sixth in last Saturday’s Xfinity season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. It was a career-best finish in 62 starts in the Xfinity Series for Lagasse.

He also has 26 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, with a career-best third-place finish in the 2015 Xfinity season opener at Daytona.

Matt Swiderski, who assumed crew chief duties on the No. 3 late last season, will continue in that role this season with Dillon and Lagasse.

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Ryan Reed takes Xfinity Series points lead after Daytona win

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With his season-opening win in Saturday’s Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway, Ryan Reed is the first points leader of 2017 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings.

Brendan Gaughan is second, nine points behind Reed, followed by Elliott Sadler (-14) in third place.

There is a three-way tie for fourth place, all drivers 16 points behind Reed: Scott Lagasse Jr., rookie Matt Tifft and Dakoda Armstrong.

MORE: Ryan Reed captures second season-opening Xfinity win in three seasons at Daytona

MORE: Race results: Xfinity Series Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona

Rounding out the top 10 are seventh-ranked Joey Gase (-17), Garrett Smithley and Blake Koch are tied for eighth (-18) and rookie William Byron is 10th, 19 points behind Reed.

Click here to see the Xfinity Series point standings.

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Two multi-car wrecks involving 30 cars bring out red flags early in Xfinity race at Daytona

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Saturday’s Xfinity Series season-opening Powershares QQQ 300 has been red-flagged twice in less than the first 30 laps.

The first red flag was the result of a major wreck that involved 18 cars. The pack was on Lap 23 of the scheduled 120-lap event when several drivers made contact, setting off a chain reaction crash.

Among those involved in the wreck were Cole Custer, Garrett Smithley, Austin Dillon, Michael Annett, Ray Black Jr., Jeff Green, William Byron, Blake Koch, J.J. Yeley, Ryan Reed, Brad Keselowski, Spencer Gallagher, Ryan Sieg, Tyler Reddick, Anthony Kumpen, Benny Gordon, Scott Lagasse Jr., Jeremy Clements, Clint King and Aric Almirola.

The first red flag lasted 18 minutes, 20 seconds.

The race went back to green flag racing on Lap 28 when yet another multi-car wreck – this time 12 cars – took place one lap later on the back straightaway, bringing out the red flag once again.

The second wreck occurred one lap before the scheduled end of the first of two stages in the race.

Drivers involved in the second wreck included Darrell Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, Erik Jones, Chris Cockrum, Harrison Rhodes, Brandon Hightower, Matt Tifft, Blake Koch and Ryan Reed.

The second red flag lasted 27 minutes, 51 seconds.

When the racing resumed following the second wreck, of the 40 cars that began the race, only Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon, Ross Chastain, Dakoda Armstrong, Brennan Poole, Joey Gase, Brendan Gaughan, Kasey Kahne, Mario Gosselin and David Starr had not been involved in wrecks.

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Rookie Chase Briscoe fastest in lone Truck Series practice at Daytona

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Chase Briscoe has never made a start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

But that didn’t stop the Truck Series rookie from being fastest in Thursday’s sole practice session at Daytona International Speedway.

The 22-year-old Mitchell, Indiana native paced the 42-truck field with a top speed of 192.980 mph in his Cooper Standard Ford.

Scott Lagasse Jr. was second-fastest at 192.786 mph, followed by another Truck Series rookie, Cody Coughlin at 192.497 mph.

Ben Rhodes was fourth-fastest at 191.914 mph and series veteran Timothy Peters was fifth-fastest at 188.909 mph. Defending 2016 series champ Johnny Sauter was sixth-fastest at 187.203 mph.

Originally, the Trucks were supposed to have two practice sessions Thursday, but rain forced the cancellation of the first session at 2 p.m. ET, prompting NASCAR officials to combine sessions for nearly two hours of practice later in the afternoon.

The 2017 Truck Series season kicks off Friday night with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Here’s how the entire practice session played out:

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