In a green-white-checkered-flag finish, Brian Scott passed NASCAR wunderkind Kyle Larson to win Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
The victory was Scott’s first of the season and second of his career, his first win coming at Dover in 2009. But Scott provided only half the drama.
James Buescher and Ty Dillon, the top two contenders for the series championship, both had major trouble, with Buescher blowing a right front tire and crashing hard into the Turn 4 wall less than three laps left.
Buescher finished 17th and Dillon 15th, to tighten the race for the title as the series heads for the season finale next Friday at Homestead. Buescher leads Timothy Peters by 11 points and Dillon by 12.
Larson trailed Scott to the finish line, followed by Joey Coulter and Peters. Ryan Blaney completed the top five.
Friday’s race went green for the first 36 laps before it took on the character of a demolition derby. Six cautions, which occupied 33 of the next 42 laps, saw a rash of competitive trucks damaged on the treacherous race track.
Jason White collected Todd Bodine’s Toyota on Lap 49. Parker Kligerman’s Toyota broke loose in traffic on Lap 54 and waylaid the truck of Matt Crafton. Polesitter Nelson Piquet Jr., Johnny Sauter, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Miguel Paludo were involved in a four-truck melee on Lap 65.
Cale Gale crashed on the frontstretch on Lap 73 to bring out caution No. 6. Divergent pit strategies put Ryan Truex in the lead before Justin Lofton overtook him as the race neared the 100-lap mark, but a caution on Lap 102 shuffled the running order for a restart on Lap 109, with Peters and Scott leading the field to green.
Larson dived to the inside to pass the top two trucks on the restart lap, but one circuit later, German Quiroga drove too hard into Turn 1, locked his brakes and wrecked the trucks of Brendan Gaughan and Dillon.
NASCAR stopped the race for 13 minutes, 10 seconds to facilitate track cleanup. Back under yellow, Dillon’s crew worked frantically to patch the damage to the No. 3 Chevrolet, keeping Dillon on the lead lap.
Larson held the top spot until Scott passed him on Lap 150 of 151.
1. Brian Scott
2. Kyle Larson
3. Joey Coulter
4. Timothy Peters
5. Ryan Blaney
6. Ryan Sieg
7. Cale Gale (R)
8. Nelson Piquet Jr.
9. Justin Lofton
10. Matt Merrell
1. James Buescher
2. Timothy Peters, -11
3. Ty Dillon (R), -12
4. Joey Coulter, -29
5. Parker Kligerman, -37
NASCAR Wire Service, photo courtesy of NASCARmedia.com
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