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NASCAR Truck: Raphael Lessard scores first win, playoff field trimmed

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 03: Raphael Lessard, driver of the #4 Canac Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Chevy Silverado 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 03, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

After NASCAR officials reviewed video of the final lap of the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Saturday, Raphael Lessard was credited with his first-career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series win in his 24th start in the series.

“That was awesome! First of all, I want to thank everyone back home, my team at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Canac came on board with us this year. Also, Mobil1, Toyota, TRD,” Lessard said. “This is amazing. I can’t believe it. It’s my second superspeedway race and my first Truck Series win here is amazing.”

Shot of NASCAR video footage from the moment the final caution of the race came in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 3, 2020 (photo from NASCAR via the official NASCAR Truck Series Twitter account).

Trevor Bayne finished second in his fourth-career Truck Series start. Bayne and Lessard were racing side-by-side for the win when the caution came out, ending the race, for a multi-truck incident that involved Stewart-Friesen and Austin Hill, among others.

“I don’t know who was behind me, but he gave me a heck of a push, and I can’t thank him enough, because he’s part of that win too,” Lessard said. “He pushed me as hard as he could, and I was just holding on for the ride. Then, the caution came out at the right time. I’m so happy. This was my first time doing a burnout from a race win, and I loved it. Hopefully, we can do it some more.”

Chandler Smith finished third, Ben Rhodes was fourth, and Codie Rohrbaugh rounded out the top-five.

Saturday’s race was the third race of the 2020 Truck Series playoffs, making it an elimination race. The playoff field was trimmed to eight drivers, from 10, with the elimination of Christian Eckes and Todd Gilliland.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE READJUSTED PLAYOFF POINTS STANDINGS

Eckes wound up with an 18th-place finish after his involvement in the last-lap crash.

“I just came up short,” Eckes said. “Sucks that we are not going to be able to move on to round two, but in the same aspect, my Safelite Toyota team tried hard. We did all we could. I’m sure we made some mistakes on the day like the pit road penalties and some other things, but we will move on to the last four races and give the playoff guys hell.”

Todd Gilliland’s engine blew on lap 48, resulting in a 28th-place finish.

Hill was the winner of the opening 20-lap stage. He and pole sitter Sheldon Creed swapped the lead back and forth in the opening laps before Hill took command of the position on lap five. Hill led nine laps before the first caution of the race came on lap 13 because of a Creed spin that resulted from contact from Hill.

Christian Eckes assumed the lead for a restart with two laps remaining in the first stage. Creed retook the lead on lap 19 before Hill took the stage win in a three-wide finish to the stage.

Derek Kraus claimed his first-career stage win at lap 40. After pitting during the first caution, he stayed out during the yellow flag at the end of the opening stage and ran up front for the rest of the second stage.

Brett Moffitt was first out of the pits after the second stage to lead laps early in the 54-lap final stage. Johnny Sauter took the lead on lap 55 and was up front when the a cycle of green-flag pit stops began inside the final 30 laps.

Jennifer Jo Cobb led laps by staying out longer, but Creed took the lead from her on lap 82 before she made her final pit stop. Friesen also led laps late in the race.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Jordan Anderson, Moffitt, Matt Crafton, Kaz Grala and Kraus.

Below, is the finishing order of the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Talladega Superspeedway:

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Posted by on October 4, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series,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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