John Hunter Nemechek won the Drivin For Lineman 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. It was his first win of the 2017 season and the fourth of his career.
Thirty-five laps made up stages 1 and 2, while 90 laps made up the final stage.
Chase Briscoe and John Hunter Nemechek made up the front row in qualifying late in the afternoon.
After Stage 1 got underway, Nemechek set an obliterating pace and went on to win the first stage, while Briscoe finished second. Varying pit strategies already came into play, with Nemechek taking four tires when Briscoe only took two tires and won the race off pit road. Todd Gilliland was hit with an uncontrolled tire penalty.
Stage 2 began on lap 43, with Briscoe and Matt Crafton on the front row. It was a battle of track position, as Briscoe got out in front and never looked back. He would go on to win Stage 2 and pick up 10 championship playoff bonus points. More strategies once again took place, as Christopher Bell won the race off pit road by taking two tires, while Nemechek came out fifth.
Stage 3 was set on lap 77, with Bell and Ryan Truex for the top spots. The race was clean and green, trouble free until Gilliland broke a transmission for the second time of the year, and ended up not finishing the race. Pit stops started to begin with 33 laps to go with Ben Rhodes the first one on pit road. Bell pitted with 30 laps to go and took four tires, Crafton with 29 and the leader Briscoe with 27 laps to go by taking fuel only.
A miscommunication by the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing car cost Briscoe a few seconds on pit road and eventually the win. After the pit stops, Crafton went on by and took the lead with 25 laps to go. Bell was coming, going to second with 13 laps to go. However, a caution came out on the same lap for Josh Reaume for stalling on pit road. Chase Briscoe was the only truck among the leaders to come down pit road and take four tires.
The race was would set up a restart with eight laps to go. Crafton on old tires was able to remain the leader until six laps to go when John Hunter Nemechek took the lead. Nemechek held off Crafton to win his first race of the season.
Nemechek led three times for 46 laps.
There were only five leaders among nine lead changes, with three cautions for 17 laps.
Next up is the Iowa Speedway Friday night June 23 for the Iowa 200.