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NASCAR Truck: John Hunter Nemechek wins delayed race at Martinsville Speedway

MARTINSVILLE, VA – MARCH 26: John H. Nemechek, driver of the #8 Fleetwing Chevrolet, poses with the winner’s decal on his truck in Victory Lane after winning the weather delayed NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 26, 2018 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

After the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ran 23 laps of the 250-lap Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Saturday before rain and snow delayed on-track activity until Monday, the race resumed Monday morning and ended with John Hunter Nemechek in victory lane for the first time in 2018 and the sixth time of his career.

“I can’t thank everyone enough, Dad (truck owner Joe Nemechek), everyone that puts their heart and soul into this deal,” Nemechek said. “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 took the race lead on a restart following a lap-214 debris caution and ran up front the remaining distance, including maintaining the position through three additional restarts over the course of the remaining laps of the 250-lap race.

For the final two restarts, both coming in the final 20 laps of the race, Kyle Benjamin was alongside Nemechek on the front row, but each time, he was unable to overtake the race leader.

“It was pretty close right there,” Benjamin said. “We had a pretty good truck, mostly on long runs. Unfortunately, it came down to a short run. I had to give him (Nemechek) a run for his money in the last corner coming off of turn four. I had to give him some contact, but we had a good day. Thank you to all the guys at David Gilliland Racing for giving me a fast truck. I wish we could have had a few more laps there, but hopefully, we continue to the momentum and I get another shot here to do it somewhere else.”

Benjamin, though, was the driver Nemechek overtook to take the lead, and prior to losing the lead to Nemechek, Benjamin led 74 laps. He wound up second in his first-career Camping World Truck Series start.

The top-two finishers combined to lead 105 laps, but their combined tally was shy of that put up by Ben Rhodes. Rhodes started on the pole and led over half of the race, running up front for 134 laps.

Rhodes started on the pole and led all 23 laps ran Saturday and picked up where he left off Monday, leading nearly all of the 140 laps that made up the first two stages of the race, taking wins in both stages.

After winning two stages, though, Rhodes was back in 15th to restart for the third stage after varying pit strategies from his fellow-competitors and a slow pit stop. He failed to get back into the top-10 and was 12th at the checkered flag.

Crafton ran second to Rhodes through much of the first half of the race, and Johnny Sauter also was a fixture inside the top-five early, but Sauter experienced a battery issue that caused him to stumble on lap 224. Crafton, with nowhere to go to avoid Sauter, made contact, bringing out the eighth caution of the race on lap 224.

Crafton finished 15th, and Sauter was 19th at the checkered flag, snapping a string of seven top-three finishes, dating back to the final races of 2017.

Brett Moffitt finished third, and Grant Enfinger and Noah Gragson rounded out the top-five. Finishing sixth through 10th were Myatt Snider, Timothy Peters, Harrison Burton, Austin Hill and Justin Haley.

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Posted by on March 26, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Camping World Truck. 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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