The 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale was decided in Homestead-Miami tonight. It was the site where the 22-year-old, Christopher Bell, won his first ever championship, with five wins this season for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Meanwhile, Chase Briscoe collected his first ever Truck Series win for Brad Keselowski Racing.
Chase Briscoe and Ben Rhodes started on the pole after qualifying early Friday afternoon. The stages were broken into 40/80/134 laps.
The first stage was run cleanly without any problems. It was apparent that Christopher Bell had the truck to beat, as he wound up winning Stage 1 easily. Austin Cindric finished sixth, Matt Crafton seventh and Johnny Sauter eighth.
Stage 2 began on Lap 48, where this time it was Rhodes who had the dominant truck for about 35 laps. This was enough for him to win the second stage, with the Championship 4 contenders finishing second, fifth, sixth and eighth. It was a clean and green Stage 2 without any incidents, similar to Stage 1.
The final stage went back underway on Lap 88 and was run to the finish without any yellow flags. Rhodes led for about five laps until he had to pit with issues, which then gave the lead back to Chase Briscoe. From there, Briscoe was able to hold on and win his first ever career series win.
As soon as Briscoe took the checkered flag, Christopher Bell followed closely and finished second, which was enough to win the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship.
“Such an awesome night to go out on top to cap off the season,” Briscoe said. “For it to be our last race at Brad Keselowski Racing, it was an awesome way to send Brad (Keselowski) out. Hopefully, he (Brad Keselowski) gets a championship on Sunday.”
Briscoe led four times for 81 laps and placed second, and third, in the first two stages, respectively. This was Brad Keselowski Racing’s 11th win in 305 starts and Briscoe’s first in 23 starts.
For Christopher Bell’s 2017 season, he ended with five wins, 15 top fives and 21 top-10 finishes, with 875 laps led. His second-place finish at Homestead was also good enough for him to earn KBM the fifth consecutive owner’s championship.
“He’s the best boss you could have,” Bell said. “It’s something that, I’m just really thankful for the opportunity to be here. I remember the first time, I went to Kyle Busch Motorsports, I was so star struck by him whenever I was driving late models for him, to be around him and to win a championship for him. I’m just speechless.”
Johnny Sauter finished third, Austin Cindric fourth and Matt Crafton sixth to round out the Championship 4.
There were two cautions for 12 laps during the race and six lead changes among three drivers.
The season starts all over again in 2018 at Daytona International Speedway Friday night on February 16, where a new crop of drivers and the same veterans will be competing for the championship all season long.