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Justin Haley Wins as Todd Gilliland Runs Dry at Texas

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Saturday, November 3, 2018

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Justin Haley wins at Texas to advance to the Championship 4
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Todd Gilliland's heartbreak was serendipity for Justin Haley, who staked out his place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 race with a stunning victory Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

Gilliland was half a lap away from collecting his first series win in the Jag Metals 350 when his No. 4 Toyota sputtered on the backstretch and ran out of fuel. Haley, who was 1.3 seconds back on the white-flag lap, surged past Gilliland and crossed the finish line 8.133 seconds ahead of runner-up Ben Rhodes.

With his third victory of the season and his second in the Playoffs, Haley joined GMS Racing teammate Johnny Sauter for a chance to win the series title in the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That leaves two spots available to the remaining six competitors.

"That was amazing," the 19-year-old Haley said in Victory Lane. "I thought we had it lost there. I didn't quite maximize my pit road (on the final green-flag stop)... This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. To get two Chevrolets—me and Johnny—back to back to Miami, that's what we want.

"We've got a 50-percent chance of winning it."

Gilliland took on one can of fuel when he came to pit road on Lap 115 of 147, and his team calculated—erroneously, as it turned out—that he had enough gas to go to Lap 150. Haley stopped under green seven laps later and was five seconds behind Gilliland when the pit sequence cycled out.

Haley gradually gained ground over the final 25 laps but would have run out of time had Gilliland not run out of fuel.

"I didn't know we were close on fuel at all," said Gilliland, who hit the wall in qualifying and had to start from the rear of the field after his team made unapproved adjustments to the truck. "It's horrible. I'm incredibly disappointed. I still feel like we could have been faster if I hadn't wrecked during qualifying.

"So many things... we win and lose as a team. But I'm super proud to be in that position, to be fighting for wins every now and then. I feel like we're on the verge of being a competitor week-in and week-out. I think we're getting there every week, and that's what I'm really proud of, but at the same time, it really hurts."

Justin Haley (24) crosses the finish line at Texas
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Gilliland rolled across the stripe in fourth place behind playoff driver Brett Moffitt, who holds third in the Playoff standings behind Sauter (last week's winner at Martinsville) and Haley.

After a change in gear rules, Moffitt was running the crate NT-1 engine for the first time, in lieu of a Mark Cronquist-built Toyota engine.

"It's different," Moffitt said. "I wouldn't say good, bad or either, but it's certainly different... We lost a lot of track position, and it doesn't matter what you have under the hood here at Texas, you're not going to make up that many spots.

"We just have to execute a better race and move forward. It certainly helps to run good, but when you're in the Playoffs like this, you have to get back to Victory Lane."

Noah Gragson, who finished 10th, is the fourth in the Playoff standings, 18 points ahead of Grant Enfinger, who ran out of fuel on the final lap and finished 12th, and 23 ahead of two-time series champion Matt Crafton, who ran ninth.

Austin Hill scored a career-best fifth-place finish in his 49th NCWTS start.

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 6 24 Justin Haley (P)Fraternal Order Of Eagles Chevrolet 147 33 58 Running
2 16 41 Ben Rhodes The Carolina Nut Co. Ford 147 2 38 Running
3 4 16 Brett Moffitt (P) AISIN GROUP Toyota 147 0 45 Running
4 12 4 Todd Gilliland # JBL/SiriusXM Toyota 147 60 36 Running
5 15 2 Austin Hill ENNIS Steel Industries Inc. Chevrolet 147 0 41 Running
6 8 51 Harrison Burton DEX Imaging Toyota 147 0 31 Running
7 10 97 Jesse Little Skuttle-Tight Ford 147 0 30 Running
8 3 52 Stewart Friesen We Build America Chevrolet 147 12 37 Running
9 14 88 Matt Crafton (P) Ideal Door/Menards Ford 147 0 41 Running
10 2 18 Noah Gragson (P) Safelite AutoGlass Toyota 147 2 32 Running
11 1 21 Johnny Sauter (P) ISM Connect Chevrolet 147 1 26 Running
12 13 98 Grant Enfinger (P)Protect The Harvest Ford 146 0 36 Running
13 17 13 Myatt Snider # Century Container Ford 146 35 34 Running
14 9 25 Tyler Dippel America F1rst Chevrolet 146 0 27 Running
15 22 35 Brennan Poole Inspectra Thermal Solutions Toyota 146 0 25 Running
16 21 22 Austin Wayne SelfSorghum: The Smart Choice Chevrolet 145 0 21 Running
17 26 9 Codie Rohrbaugh Grant County Mulch Ford 145 0 20 Running
18 18 8 Joe Nemechek TwkrEnrgy/RomcoEqpmntCmpny Chevrolet 145 0 20 Running
19 28 45 Justin Fontaine #ProMATIC Automation Chevrolet 145 0 18 Running
20 27 49 Reed Sorenson SobrietyNation Chevrolet 143 0 17 Running
21 29 20 Tanner Thorson Go Share Chevrolet 143 0 16 Running
22 31 15 Mike Harmon VIPRacingExperience.com Chevrolet 138 0 0 Running
23 25 83 Bayley Currey United Automotive Chevrolet 134 0 14 Suspension
24 30 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Driven2Honor.org Chevrolet 134 0 13 Running
25 7 2 Sheldon Creed AM Ortega/United Rentals Chevrolet 133 2 21 Running
26 19 38 Ross Chastain MG Machinery LLC Chevrolet 112 0 0 Electrical
27 24 12 Tyler Young 4P Energy Services Chevrolet 40 0 10 Accident
28 23 4 Cory RoperPreferred Industrial Contractors Inc. Ford 40 0 9 Accident
29 32 3 Jordan AndersonBommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet 30 0 8Overheating
30 5 17 David GillilandCrslyBrnds/FrntlnEntrprs/DGRCRSLY Toyota14 0 7 Accident
31 11 87 Timmy Hill DAB/Fleetwing Chevrolet 5 0 0 Rear Gear
32 20 54 Bo LeMastus # Crosley Brands/DGR-CROSLEY Toyota 2 0 5 Accident



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