The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series began their playoff run to Southern Florida this past weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as it continues to be the most exciting series of 2018.
With the track known for its controversial finishes and top moments in the series for the past five years, it didn’t disappoint this year with another exciting finish.
Here are four takeaways from the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at CTMP.
- Another Exciting Ending – In the past prior to the 2018 race, there have been several exciting finishes to the end of the races at CTMP. In 2013, it was Chase Elliott who made contact with Ty Dillon in the last corner of the race and went on to win. The next year, saw Ryan Blaney edge German Quiroga to the line in a clean finish. In 2016, John Hunter Nemechek won the race after bouncing and taking Cole Custer off the track, and into the wall, ending with Custer tackling Nemechek after the race. In 2017, Austin Cindric did a bump and run, spinning Kaz Grala out to win the race and lock himself into the Playoffs. This year was no exception. On the last lap, Noah Gragson accidentally took out his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Todd Gilliland for the race win but was unable to successfully complete the maneuver, which saw a thrilling ending to the end of the race. The two teammates were able to recover but were relegated to ninth and 11th in the official results, after almost having a 1-2 finish.
- Justin Haley Breaks Through – The No. 24 GMS Racing driver was able to break through after all the mess on the final lap to lock himself into the Round of 6. It was Haley’s second win of his career and the first since Gateway in the summer. Haley can breathe a little easier with not having to worry about Las Vegas and the wildcard race at Talladega to end the round. He continues to be quietly consistent this year and it would not be a surprise if he ends up being in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami in Southern Florida. GMS Racing continues to be the team to beat for the championship, whether it will be Haley or Johnny Sauter.
- Timothy Peters Gets A For Effort- After Red Horse Racing shut down a few years ago, it left veteran Timothy Peters without a ride. Since then he has competed part-time in the series driving for multiple teams. When the news broke prior to the race weekend that Dalton Sargeant and his team had parted ways this would have seen Spencer Gallagher replace Sargeant to drive at CTMP. However, Gallagher had a shoulder injury and wasn’t able to compete in the race. This gave Peters the opportunity to step in but it almost didn’t happen either. His passport was expired so he had to get it renewed and did not leave for Canada until Friday morning. Peters made the trip and qualified fifth, finished eighth in both stages, led two laps and wound up finishing fourth for his second top-10 of the 2018 season and scored his 124th career top-10 finish. It was his best finish in the top five since Charlotte of last year, where Peters finished fifth. It will be interesting to see if this opportunity will allow Peters to get more chances in the Truck Series and potentially end up full time again. Only time will tell.
- Alex Tagliani Scores Top-10 Finish – Lost in all the excitement from Sunday’s race and finish could very well be, Alex Tagliani who piloted the No. 12 of Young’s Motorsports. He had a quiet race, but is normally found inside the top-10 or competing for race wins at road courses, when the right opportunity comes along. Tagliani, who regularly competes in the NASCAR Pinty Series in Canada, earned his second career top-10 finish in the Truck Series in his fourth start. He didn’t earn any stage points in either stage, but nonetheless, Tagliani continues to impress at road courses in whatever equipment he races.
The Truck Series now takes two weeks off before continuing their Round of 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night September 14.