In a Nutshell: Chase Elliott took the checkered flag ahead of Chad Hackenbracht under caution to win Sunday afternoon’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Elliott took the lead in the final turn after spinning then-leader Ty Dillon to score his first career Truck Series win. Miguel Paludo, Darrell Wallace, Jr. and Ron Hornaday, Jr. rounded out the top 5.
Who Should Have Won: Chase Elliott. Elliott had a strong truck on Sunday afternoon and spent just three laps before racing to the top spot. With multiple drivers on varying pit strategies, the driver of the No. 94 Chevrolet dropped back as far as 15th through the mid point of the race, however he managed to work his way back into position to challenge Dillon for the lead. While it took dumping the leader to take the win, there’s little doubt that Elliott had a strong enough truck to complete that pass cleanly on the way to victory lane.
Did you miss the race? In this section of Tracking the Trucks, you’ll find the major storylines that went on all in one place.
Elliott Wrecks Dillon to Win
In what you can only describe as an exciting couple of laps to close out the Truck Series inaugural visit to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott shared an impressive battle to the checkered flag on Sunday afternoon. But the victory wasn’t without controversy. Elliott dove deep into turn 10 on the white flag lap and sent Dillon spinning into the tire barrier, bringing out the fifth and final caution of the afternoon. In victory lane, Elliott explained what happened between the two drivers.
“We only have so many shots to win these things. I really hate to win them like that, I really do,” Elliott said. “That’s not how I race and that’s never been how I’ve raced before. I had a shot. I was up next to Ty and I knew he was going to try and chop me off. I tried to make up the difference. … Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get to victory lane.”
An emotional Ty Dillon was not at all pleased with the race winner’s move.
“He just doesn’t have any respect,” Dillon said of Elliott. “It was going to be an awesome points day for us, and I was racing hard, but man, you don’t just go through the grass and wreck somebody. Killed our truck. Killed our day. It’s just, here’s the point: You gotta be smarter than that when you run these races. You gotta earn respect”
Honestly, you can’t blame Ty Dillon for being upset. After all, he nearly had the race won despite his concerns that he was running out of gas with just two laps remaining. I may be in the minority when I say this, but I’m not all that impressed with a driver that has to dump a fellow competitor to get to victory lane. Say what you will about it—there’s nothing better than a little bump and run to loosen up the competition—it creates excitement. But to flat out dump someone, knowing full well what you were doing is a little disheartening. With all of that said, it will be quite interesting to see what happens between the pair if they find themselves racing together next Sunday at Iowa Speedway…
Papis, Skeen Tangle; Papis Gets Slapped
As the laps wound down Sunday afternoon, the action picked up and drivers were much more aggressive than they had been the entire day. Max Papis and Mike Skeen, who made his first career start, were no different. With Ty Dillon sitting against the tires on the final turn, Skeen’s truck went careening into the same tires a little further back in turn 10, clearly spinning off of Papis’ front bumper. It wasn’t the first time to two had made contact on the track, but it was the one that ended with both trucks significantly damaged.
Following quite a bit of gestures between both drivers on the cool down lap, things heated up once the pair got back to pit road. One of Skeen’s crew members immediately went after Papis on pit road, only to be taken down by a trio of NTS Motorsports team members, but it didn’t end there. Following his post-race interview explaining what happened, Skeen’s girlfriend approached Papis yelling and proceeded to slap him across the face."
According to ESPN’s Marty Smith, Skeen’s girlfriend slapped Papis hard enough to dislocate his jaw and leave his ears ringing long afterward.
“This crazy lady comes shouting at me, and I had no idea, didn’t even understand her, she just started shouting,” Papis said four hours after the altercation at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “And all the sudden, she took a full hand — and she slapped me so hard. I’m not kidding. My jaw got dislocated and my left ear is still ringing, big time.”
After being slapped, Papis looked stunned but didn’t react.
“What do you do? You don’t hit a lady. I was in disbelief. Complete disbelief,” he continued. “If she would’ve closed her hand it would have been a bad punch, because she hit me so freaking hard. I went to [Skeen] and said, ‘I guess we know who’s the man in the family here, because the guy didn’t even have the [guts] to talk.’”
Papis went on to say that he did approach Truck Series director Chad Little
“It needs to stay between the drivers,” Papis said. “I think NASCAR should do something about it. I don’t even like that [Skeen’s] team member pulled me out of the truck, much less this lady slapping me. Drivers can have arguments with each other — but it shouldn’t affect what other people do.”
Where do I start here? Clearly, Mike Skeen’s girlfriend was far from pleased with Papis, however after watching several replays, including the one from Papis’ in-truck camera, it’s clear to see that it was Skeen that drove across the nose of the No. 14 truck. So in other words, Skeen spun himself off of Papis’ front bumper. But if you put the blame for the wreck aside, it’s simply asinine for Skeen’s girlfriend to have gotten involved. Papis and Skeen should have settled the matter between themselves, regardless of how they handled it. Shame on the girlfriend for getting involved… no matter how angry she was after the checkered flag flew.
- Chase Elliott became the youngest driver to win in the Truck Series at the age of 17 years, nine months and four days. The prior record was held by Ryan Blaney, who won at Iowa Speedway last season at the age of 18 years, eight months and 15 days.
- Matt Crafton’s dream season continued at Mosport on Sunday. After starting 13th, Crafton ran outside the top 10 for much of the afternoon, but when the checkered flag flew and the dust settled, he headed out of Canada with a tenth-place finish. That run continues Crafton’s stretch of consecutive top-10 finishes, a count that now stands at 14.
- With everything that happened on the final lap Sunday afternoon, one story that Fox Sports 1 failed to cover with more than just a quick video was the post-race action between German Quiroga and James Buescher. Quiroga spun off of Ron Hornaday, Jr.‘s front bumper but assumed it was Buescher that sent him around. Clearly unhappy with the 15th-place finish he was credited with, Quiroga went after the defending champion while he was still in his truck and had to be held back by several NASCAR officials. It will be interesting to see what Quiroga has to say after he’s seen replays of the last-lap incident.
- With the Truck Series hitting a road course for the first time in 13 years, I approached Sunday afternoon’s race with quite a bit of excitement in hopes of what would come. Though I knew the excitement wouldn’t compare to the kind that Eldora brought in July, I was still hopeful. There were some decent side-by-side battles, however most of the race was spent in a single file line. But with that being said, the excitement actually was in the differing pit strategies and in the last few laps with Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott battling mightily for the win. I’m not completely convinced that road course racing is suited for the Truck Series, however I was impressed enough to ask NASCAR to continue to schedule the visit to Mosport—and perhaps even add one more road course. Can you imagine a companion weekend with the Cup Series at Watkins Glen?
Truck Rookie Report
2013 Rookie of the Year Candidates:
Ryan Blaney (No. 29)
Jeb Burton (No. 4)
Brennan Newberry (No. 14)
German Quiroga, Jr. (No. 77)
Ryan Truex (No. 30)
Darrell Wallace, Jr. (No. 54)
No. of Rookies in the Race: 11 (add Chase Elliott, Chad Hackenbracht, Mike Skeen, Martin Roy, Derek White and Alex Guenette)
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 3; Elliott, finished first; Hackenbracht, finished second; Wallace, Jr., finished fourth
Rookie of the Race: Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Note: Chase Elliott and Chad Hackenbracht are not declared for this year’s Rookie of the Year battle and as a result, are not eligible to win the Rookie of the Race award.
Each week we’ll take a look at the championship picture and find out which drivers were affected the most by the racing on track.
Biggest Winner: Though he didn’t gain any positions in the standings on Sunday afternoon, Matt Crafton walked away from one of the biggest wildcards that he and his No. 88 ThorSport team had circled on the schedule with a minimal hit. Having scored a tenth-place finish, thanks in part to several last-lap wrecks, Crafton lost just two points of his cushion over second-place James Buescher. With eight races remaining, the strength the No. 88 team continues to show has solidified Crafton as the driver to beat in this year’s championship battle. Assuming he can come out of Talladega in October mostly unscathed, it’s quite likely that Crafton will finally be able to celebrate a championship win in his 14th season in the Truck Series.
Biggest Loser: Rookie Jeb Burton has watched his deficit to leader Matt Crafton grow week after week, and Sunday was no exception. After starting 11th, Burton reported a loss of third gear on lap 18, forcing him to the garage area for a replacement transmission. When the driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet returned to the track 10 laps down, he was running lap times comparable to the top 5 trucks, but the damage had already been done. With no chance to gain ground on the competition, Burton was forced to settle for a 22nd-place finish, which dropped him to fourth in the championship standings, 65 markers behind Crafton.
Points Update: Matt Crafton maintained his position atop the standings again this week with his 14th top-10 finish in 14 races this year. He holds a 47 marker lead over James Buescher. Despite being wrecked out of the lead, Ty Dillon’s 17th-place result was still enough to move him up one spot to third. Jeb Burton, who dropped one spot, and Miguel Paludo, who jumped one position round out the top 5.
Timothy Peters dropped one position to sixth following an eighth-place finish, however he’s just two markers behind Paludo and seven behind Dillon in third. Ryan Blaney remains in seventh, followed by Brendan Gaughan. Darrell Wallace, Jr. jumped two spots on the strength of a career-best fourth-place result, and Johnny Sauter, who suffered yet another disappointing race, rounds out the top 10.
Up Next: The Camping World Truck Series heads to Iowa Speedway next Sunday afternoon for their second visit to the 0.875-mile oval. Last season, Ryan Blaney edged Ty Dillon by 0.168 seconds to score his first career victory in his third series start. The American Ethanol 200 Presented by Hy-Vee will be televised on live FOX Sports 1 beginning at 2:00 PM ET; it can also be heard on your local MRN affiliate or SiriusXM Channel 90.
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