FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – John Hunter Nemechek won his second consecutive NASCAR truck race, leading the final 22 laps and finishing more than 3.3 seconds ahead of reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott on a hot Saturday in Texas .
Nemechek, already leader of the series, took his fourth win of the season and the tenth of his career one day after his 24th birthday. He was in the lead five times and led 64 of the 147 laps in a lunchtime race with a track temperature of 130.
“I have the feeling that we made a statement all year round,” said Nemechek, who also won the last truck race in Phoenix two weeks ago.
With four races remaining before the series playoffs began, Nemechek stayed ahead of Ben Rhodes, whose 27th place was his worst result of the season. He had finished all but one race in the top 10, the lowest ever being a 16th in Atlanta.
Elliott led 45 laps and finished second in his first truck race on the 1 1/2 mile Texas course where he will attempt to win his second straight All-Star race on Sunday night.
It was the fifth straight win this season on 1 1/2 mile tracks for Kyle Busch Motorsports, including Nemechek’s last two races in the No. 4 Toyota, plus a Las Vegas win and owner Kyle Busch’s wins in Atlanta and Kansas. Nemechek started from pole on the basis of metric qualifying as there was no practice or qualifying in Texas.
Cup rider Ross Chastain finished third, followed by Grant Enfinger, Austin Hill, Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, Todd Gilliland, Tyler Ankrum and Tanner Gray.
Sheldon Creed, who started the day fourth on points and is already in the playoffs, landed last in the 36 truck field. Creed won in Texas last October but finished on Saturday after getting too high on the track twice in the traction mix in the first 20 laps. Creed first broke loose on lap six when his # 2 truck hit the outside wall, then had another incident on turn 2 on lap 20 that ended his day.
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