BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Johnny Sauter took the lead when John Hunter Nemechek slowed because of late fuel pump issues, then held off Stewart Friesen on Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway for his fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season.
The 40-year-old Sauter wrapped up the series regular-season title by starting the race on the 0.533 oval, and went on to break a tie with Brett Moffitt for the series victory lead heading into the playoffs. Sauter won a week after losing the lead to Moffitt on the final lap at Michigan.
Friesen finished 0.236 back. Nemechek, the winner of the first two stages, ended up third. Parker Kligerman was fourth, followed by Todd Gilliland, Justin Haley, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Noah Gragson and Grand Enfinger.
Sauter, Friesen, Moffitt, Gragson, Haley, Rhodes, Enfinger, Crafton and Christopher Bell will race for the season championship during the playoffs, starting next week at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
Sauter has 21 career Truck victories and won the 2016 season championship.