BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada — Recap by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images photo —
After it looked like no driver would have an answer for Canadian Alex Tagliani in his home country, 19-year-old Erik Jones found the speed to contend — and ultimately defeat — the road course veteran at his own game.
Though Tagliani beat Jones to the line on a restart with two laps to go in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Jones did not give in and powered out ahead of the pack down the stretch, taking his sixth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory and first on a road course in the end.
Beating two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton to the finish line by 1.666 seconds, Jones’ second win of the 2015 season propelled him into the NCWTS points lead as well.
“It’s awesome, especially winning with Tagliani here,” Jones said after scoring Kyle Busch Motorsports its 44th career win as a team. “This is a good piece. We built it last year and improved on it this year. I’m pretty happy to get this KBM Toyota Tundra in victory lane. It’s just an awesome day.”
In a race that saw five cautions and a 22-lap green flag run in the center of the day, it was polesitter Tagliani who dominated the early proceedings, leading the first six laps from the pole before an early round of green flag pit stops — as well as two cautions prior to lap 20 — shuffled the deck.
Tagliani’s Canadian countryman, Cameron Hayley, tried to use a one-stop pit strategy early on to outsmart the competition — and led 13 laps in the process — but he too, would fall by the wayside after contact with both Jones and Tagliani forced him into a pit stop at lap 28. By that point, JR Motorsports young gun Cole Custer had worked his way around Tagliani for the top spot and began to establish himself as the top contender in the closing laps.
A caution with 20 laps to go, after Brandon Jones had a right front suspension failure that sent him into the turn two wall, set up a series of chaotic restarts in the closing laps. Custer held Jones at bay before Matt Tifft stalled on course to bring out the fourth caution of the day with 15 laps to go and set up the race defining restart.
That was when Custer spun the tires entering turn one with 12 laps to go, handing the lead to Jones, and then overdrove turn two on the next lap battling with Tagliani and looped his Chevrolet Silverado — ending his chances for victory after leading 22 laps overall on the day.
That handed over the battle for the lead to Jones and Tagliani, and though the Canadian chased Jones all the way to the end, a transmission problem coming down the backstretch on the final lap relegated him to fifth and kept him from avenging a second-place loss in the NASCAR XFINITY Series event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier in the month.
“On the back straightaway as soon as I went to third gear it shredded,” Tagliani said. “I put it in fourth but it was too low in RPM and the guys went by us. It’s unfortunate for the Cooper Standard boys. They gave me a great truck today and I’m disappointed I couldn’t bring them another win.”
Crafton, Ben Kennedy, rookie Daniel Hemric and Tagliani rounded out the top five.
Johnny Sauter finished sixth ahead of Hayley, who rebounded for seventh after a pit stop for fresh tires late in the race. Spencer Gallagher followed that duo, with John Hunter Nemechek and Custer both rallying for top 10 efforts as well. Nemechek cut down a tire with eight laps to go but made it to pit road without bringing out the caution flag.
Crafton’s second-place finish to Jones kept him second in the championship standings, but Jones leaped from third to first in the points after Tyler Reddick crashed with Gray Gaulding to bring out the final caution. Jones holds a three-point margin with eight races remaining, whiel Reddick falls to third, 15 points back of the lead.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series now takes some time off before returning to action on Sept. 18 at Chicagoland Speedway.
RESULTS: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series; Chevrolet Silverado 250; Canadian Tire Motorsport Park; August 30, 2015
- Erik Jones
- Matt Crafton
- Ben Kennedy
- Daniel Hemric
- Alex Tagliani
- Johnny Sauter
- Cameron Hayley
- Spencer Gallagher
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Cole Custer
- Gray Gaulding
- Brian Wong
- T.J. Bell
- Mason Mingus
- Ray Black Jr.
- Jordan Anderson
- Tyler Young
- Korbin Forrister
- Tyler Reddick
- Jennifer Jo Cobb
- Norm Benning
- Timothy Peters
- Matt Tifft
- Travis Kvapil
- John Wes Townley
- Brandon Jones
- Daniel Brown
- B.J. McLeod
- Justin Jennings
- Josh Reaume
- Ryan Ellis
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s. He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: firstname.lastname@example.org