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NASCAR Truck: Justin Haley takes lead on last lap for Texas win

during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas.

By AMANDA VINCENT

When Todd Gilliland ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night, Justin Haley took the race lead on the final lap of the JAG Metals 350 and drove to his third win of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

“I thought we had it lost there,” Haley said in victory lane. “I didn’t quite maximize my pit road. God stuck with me, kept my faith behind me.”

With the win, Haley joined Johnny Sauter as drivers with their playoff championship round berths secure with one race remaining in the round of six.

Ben Rhodes and Brett Moffitt passed Gilliland, too, and finished second and third.

“Honestly, I thought our Aisin Group Tundra was pretty good,” Moffitt said. “I guess we had too much right-front shock on it, and on the pit stops, the right front wheel wouldn’t drop out and we lost a lot of track position, and this race was all about track position. That cost us a lot in the long run, but we salvaged a decent finish, and hopefully, a good points night.”

Gilliland wound up fourth after leading a race-high 60 laps in the 147-lap race.

“I have no idea how we were on fuel,” Gilliland said. “I thought we were good. I am very disappointed but very proud at the same time. My team gave me a great truck, and I wrecked in qualifying. We were still able to come out here and contend for a win. We win and lose as a team. I made a mistake, and we ran out of gas. It is what it is.”

Austin Hill rounded out the top-five.

Haley also was a stage winner, running up front at lap 35 after taking the lead on a restart that followed a lap-three caution.

The first half of the race was marred by cautions, with the yellow flag waving seven times by the time the second stage ended at lap 70. Both stages ended under caution, the second with Myatt Snider up front.

Snider took the lead by staying out between the first two stages, having pitted during an earlier caution. He, then, maintained that lead throughout the second stage.

Gilliland took the lead for the final 77-lap stage the same way. Stewart Friesen took the lead on lap 109, but a few laps later, he was caught speeding on pit road. As a result, Gilliland was back up front when the cycle of green-flag pit stops completed.

Friesen wound up eighth at the checkered flag.

Harrison Burton finished sixth, Jesse Little was seventh, Matt Crafton ninth, and Noah Gragson was 10th.

“I got back on pit stops when we took fuel only and couldn’t get the balance right in traffic,” Gragson said. “Just a tough night, no excuse. I’m going to work my ass off this week and next week and do whatever we have to do. This is unacceptable, and we just have to get out there in Phoenix, so we can get to Homestead.”

Sauter was the only playoff driver outside the top-10 at the checkered flag. He finished 11th after starting on the pole. He dropped back early in the race and made an unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire on lap 10 and went a lap down. He got back on the lead lap during a caution and was back inside the top-five through fuel strategy for the final restart of the race at the beginning of stage three. On older tires, though, he drifted back outside the top-10.

Below, is the complete finishing order for the JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway:

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Posted by on November 3, 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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