Ty Dillon wins NASCAR Trucks race at Texas

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Ty Dillon brought home the 100th victory for Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 across the three major NASCAR national series, leading 130 of 147 laps to take tonight’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

After being caught in controversy one week ago at Martinsville Speedway with RCR Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick, Dillon was able to claim his second win of the season and the third of his NASCAR Trucks career. He dispatched Ryan Blaney on Lap 117 for the lead and never relinquished it for the remainder of the race.

Dillon, Johnny Sauter, Ron Hornaday Jr., Brendan Gaughan and Justin Lofton made up the Top 5, while Darrell Wallace Jr. followed up his historic win at Martinsville with a seventh-place finish.

Sprint Cup regulars Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch were expected to have a say in the outcome, but neither of them did. Keselowski brought out an early yellow after contact with another truck and lost a lap before finishing 21st. As for Busch, he wound up 28th after engine problems sidelined him.

Matt Crafton continued his march toward the NASCAR Trucks title with a 10th-place result. He now holds a 46-point edge over James Buescher (finished sixth) and can technically clinch the championship at the next race in Phoenix if that gap grows to at least 49 points.

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”