The final race in the Round of 8 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series took place Saturday afternoon in Talladega, Alabama and as always, it proved once again anything is possible and nothing is over until the checkered flag falls.
This was the case for Timothy Peters who earned his third win at Talladega Superspeedway after an incident with leader Noah Gragson on the last lap.
“We had a great run,” Peters told MRN Radio. “You know, at the end, it’s pretty much game on and everyone for themselves. We’re good with all of our teammates. I messed up on that initial start and let that 88 (Matt Crafton) hang me out, but we made up for it at the end. I hate it that the big one was started, but you know, I couldn’t see the replay very good a minute ago on TV. Block or whatever, you’re going for the win.”
“Without Mike Beam giving me that call, I wouldn’t even be here,” he told MRN Radio. So thank you to him, Maury Gallagher, Spencer Gallagher, the whole 25 team for working their butts off and I’m just glad to be a part of it. The plane ride home is going to be really nice. ”
David Gilliland and Spencer Gallagher set the front row in qualifying late Friday afternoon.
The first stage was 20 laps and it went green without any incidents. Playoff driver and Las Vegas winner, Grant Enfinger, took the checkered flag in the first stage. There were some issues on pit road, however, as David Gilliland was penalized for pitting outside the box and given a one lap penalty. The No. 16 of Brett Moffitt was penalized for an uncontrolled tire.
Stage 2 took place on lap 25-lap 40. Like the first stage, there were no incidents until Moffitt and Austin Hill had damage in the remaining laps. This time, David’s son, Todd Gilliland, won Stage 2.
The third and final stage began on Lap 45 with 48 to go and it saw several incidents all the way to the checkered flag. It started on Lap 48 when Tanner Thorson spun on the backstretch to bring out a caution.
Then the expected big one was seen with 35 to go. The No. 47 of Chris Fontaine was clipped by the No. 24 of Justin Haley, which saw Fontaine go back up the track and several others were involved including John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Justin Fontaine, Bo LeMastus, Parker Kligerman, Matt Crafton, and Johnny Sauter. During the pit stops, Enfinger was penalized for removing equipment (a gas can).
After a red flag, the restart came with 31 laps to go. Austin Hill was penalized for passing Jennifer Jo Cobb underneath the yellow line. Enfinger took the lead with 22 to go. As laps were winding down, playoff hopeful, Moffitt had a flat right rear and had to make a pit stop.
With 12 to go, Todd Gilliland was spun and hit the inside wall after contact with Enfinger.
This saw the race resume with six to go. Gragson was out front trying to hold off the field for his first win since Kansas in May. However, too many trucks had good runs and there was aggressive pushing. On the last lap, Gragson was turned by eventual race winner Timothy Peters. Gragson’s truck got air and others started wrecking as well.
NASCAR had no choice but to throw the caution. Peters was in the right spot at the right time to take home his 11th career win, his third at Talladega.
It was his last race of the season in the No. 25 GMS Racing Chevy.
“Everyone was wanting to win, wanting to block,” Peters told MRN Radio. “I’m wanting to win too. This was my last go around of the three-race stint. At the end of the day, I was going for it.”
Johnny Sauter, Brett Moffitt, Noah Gragson, Grant Enfinger, Justin Haley, and Matt Crafton all move on to the Round of 6 that begins at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, Oct. 27.
Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen were eliminated from competing for the championship.