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NASCAR Truck: John Hunter Nemechek goes two-in-a-row with Iowa win

John Hunter Nemechek celebrates at Iowa Speedway after winning the M&Ms 200 on June 23, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

John Hunter Nemechek celebrates at Iowa Speedway after winning the M&Ms 200 on June 23, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

After claiming his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of the 2017 season the previous weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., near St. Louis, John Hunter Nemechek and his small, underfunded NEMCO Motorsports team went two in a row Friday night with a trip to victory lane after the M&Ms 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton.
“It’s definitely special,” Nemechek said. “All year we felt really good about this whole stretch of Gateway, Iowa and Kentucky. Hopefully, we can go to Kentucky and make it three-in-a-row. Thank you to all my guys. They’re so determined and dedicated. They work as many hours as needed, and this is fun, getting to victory lane.”
Johnny Sauter finished second after leading 72 laps in the second half of the 200-lap race.
When the yellow flag waved for the fourth and final time for a Matt Crafton spin on lap 186, Sauter stayed out to reassume and earlier lead. Nemechek restarted fourth after taking four tires. He was beaten off pit road by Chase Briscoe and Noah Gragson, who took two.
“If a caution came out towards the end, we were going to come, no matter what and no matter who came, just because tires were a big factor,” Nemechek said.”
With his four newer tires, Nemechek got by Sauter for the lead on lap 195.
“in hindsight, we should have put tires on, but we didn’t,” Sauter said.
One other driver, Christopher Bell, led more laps than Sauter, running up front for nearly half the race by leading 99 laps. Bell started on the front row next to pole sitter Gragson and took the lead on lap 17. He, then, led until lap 116 when Sauter took the top spot. Before losing the lead, Bell took the win in the first 60-lap stage of the race.
The second caution of the race came for a Mike Senica spin on lap 108. Bell, along with Grant Enfinger, stayed out. Sauter pitted for fuel and tires and restarted fourth. He quickly got up to second on the restart and took the lead a few laps later.
After staying out, Bell and Enfinger were forced down pit road when the yellow flag waved again for a Kaz Grala, Ben Rhodes, Austin Wayne Self three-truck incident on lap 118. The second 60-lap stage ended under the yellow flag with Sauter up front. Sauter was third at the end of the first stage. By running in the top-10 at the end of both the first and second stages, Sauter continued his feat of collecting stage points in every stage, so far, this season.
Rhodes was a top-five runner throughout the first half of the race, but had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a vibration on lap 97, giving up the fifth position. The three-truck wreck in which he was involved later resulted in a red flag for the cleanup of an excessive amount of speedy-dry.
Another frontrunner, Ryan Truex, also had trouble late in the race. After running in the top-five throughout the evening, Truex fell off the pace with under 50 laps remaining because of an engine problem.
Sauter lost his lead to Chase Briscoe on lap 183, but it was short-lived, as Sauter was back up front after staying out the final caution.
Brandon Jones finished third, Enfinger was fourth, and Bell rounded out the top-five. Gragson was sixth, Briscoe seventh, Austin Cindric eighth, Jesse Little nintih and Justin Haley finished 10th, despite a last-lap incident with Harrison Burton.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on June 24, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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