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Bell Trucks To 2017 Championship

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 18 2017

Christopher Bell won the 2017 Truck Series championship with a second-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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Chase Briscoe won Friday night’s season-ending Camping World Truck Series race but Christopher Bell won the big prize as he collected the 2017 NASCAR championship by finishing second at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Briscoe passed Ben Rhodes for the lead on Lap 96 of 134 on Friday night and pulled away to beat Bell to the finish line by 2.887 seconds.

Bell gave Kyle Busch Motorsports its second title in three years under a format where the highest finisher among four eligible drivers – in this case Bell, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and Austin Cindric – is crowned champion.

Sauter, who won the championship a year ago, finished third.

“To be able to do this for all of the guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports and to win the championship for a team that deserves the championship, words just can’t describe my feelings right now,” said Bell, who scored a series-high five victories this season.

“To run as good as we have, week in and week out, and not just this year … This whole organization, this whole team has been good for so many years. You just don’t want to be the guy that lets them down, and I’m glad I didn’t let them down tonight.”

Briscoe also won the 2017 Rookie of the Year award. His victory Friday was the first of his career.

“This is a long time coming,” said Briscoe. “So proud of all these guys. To know that they’re not going to have a job next year, and we continued to bring really good trucks even though we were outside the playoffs, such a testament to how good these Brad Keselowski guys are.

“I know two years ago I was sleeping on couches, and now to be a winner in NASCAR. I wish we were in the final four. I felt like we could have been, but that’s part of the circumstances.”

By virtue of his third-place finish, Sauter was runner-up for the championship. Cindric, Briscoe’s teammate at BKR, ran fifth, one position ahead of Crafton, a two-time series champion.

Sauter had finished fourth in the series for three consecutive years before winning the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs last season. He also finished second – by just six points to Austin Dillon – in 2011.

“One spot too short, I guess,” Sauter said. “We had a great year and we get to do it again next year, so I look forward to that.”

Bell started 2017 with a victory in the Chili Bowl Nationals for midget cars, a title the Oklahoma native has coveted since childhood. He ends the year as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, a perfect bookend to a banner year for the 22-year-old prodigy.

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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Ford EcoBoost 200

Homestead-Miami Speedway

Homestead, Florida

Friday, November 17, 2017

  1. (1) Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 134.
  2. (13) Christopher Bell (P), Toyota, 134.
  3. (11) Johnny Sauter (P), Chevrolet, 134.
  4. (6) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 134.
  5. (3) Austin Cindric # (P), Ford, 134.
  6. (8) Matt Crafton (P), Toyota, 134.
  7. (9) Stewart Friesen #, Chevrolet, 134.
  8. (4) Grant Enfinger #, Toyota, 134.
  9. (7) Justin Haley #, Chevrolet, 134.
  10. (17) Timothy Peters, Chevrolet, 134.
  11. (15) Regan Smith, Ford, 134.
  12. (12) Myatt Snider, Toyota, 134.
  13. (10) Kaz Grala #, Chevrolet, 133.
  14. (16) Cody Coughlin #, Toyota, 133.
  15. (14) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 133.
  16. (20) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, 132.
  17. (18) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 131.
  18. (5) Noah Gragson #, Toyota, 131.
  19. (2) Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 130.
  20. (19) Dalton Sargeant, Chevrolet, 129.
  21. (22) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 128.
  22. (26) Josh Reaume, Chevrolet, 126.
  23. (24) Wendell Chavous #, Chevrolet, 125.
  24. (23) Robby Lyons(i), Chevrolet, 125.
  25. (27) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 119.
  26. (21) Chris Windom, Chevrolet, Electrical, 71.
  27. (25) Camden Murphy, Chevrolet, Suspension, 9.
  28. (30) Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, Engine, 8.
  29. (28) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Electrical, 7.
  30. (29) Mike Senica, Chevrolet, Parked, 4.
  31. (32) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, Electrical, 0.
  32. (31) Ray Ciccarelli, Chevrolet, Engine, 0.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  135.556 mph.

Time of Race:  01 Hrs, 28 Mins, 58 Secs. Margin of Victory:  2.887 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  2 for 12 laps.

Lead Changes:  6 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   C. Briscoe # 1-33; C. Bell (P) 34-43; C. Briscoe # 44-48; B. Rhodes 49-83; C. Briscoe # 84-87; B. Rhodes 88-95; C. Briscoe # 96-134.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  C. Briscoe # 4 times for 81 laps; B. Rhodes 2 times for 43 laps; C. Bell (P) 1 time for 10 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 4,29,98,27,16,19,88,21,24,02

Stage #2 Top Ten: 27,4,29,16,21,19,02,88,18,24

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 18 2017
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