“Abraham Lincoln” gives command to start NASCAR Trucks race (VIDEO)

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It’s been quite the bizarre week in NASCAR: Race manipulation tactics, massive penalties, and as of Friday afternoon, the inclusion of Jeff Gordon as a 13th driver to the Chase – a decision that has been met with either delight or disdain depending on your point of view.

So of course, it was only fitting that Abraham Lincoln dropped in to add even more surrealism to the proceedings at Chicagoland Speedway. Tonight’s EnjoyIllinois.com 225 for the Camping World Truck Series got underway after the command to start engines was given by Honest Abe himself.

Okay, okay, it wasn’t the real Lincoln. NASCAR CEO Brian France may have the authority to put Gordon in the Chase, but even he can’t bring America’s 16th President back from the Great Beyond.

But considering all of the madness that has ensued since last Saturday, having “Lincoln” telling the NASCAR Truck corps to start their engines seemed to put a proper period on it all. At least until the next controversy breaks.

As for the race itself, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski – both stepping away momentarily from their Sprint Cup duties – had a terrific late-race duel in the closing laps before Busch was able to score the win. Ryan Blaney was third, followed by points leader Matt Crafton in fourth, and Ty Dillon in fifth.

Video credit goes to “tireballmedia” on YouTube.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup