NASCAR: Matt Crafton, Cole Custer top Truck Practice 2 and 3 at Loudon

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After Erik Jones bumped him off the top of the time sheets in the first Camping World Truck Series practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, defending series champion Matt Crafton (pictured) went to P1 late in the second practice and stayed there.

Crafton was fastest in Practice 2 with a lap of 132.347 mph in his No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra – beating the best from Cameron Hayley (131.433 mph), Gray Gaulding (131.180 mph), Joey Coulter (131.044 mph), and Timothy Peters (130.815). Jones was ninth-fastest (130.385 mph).

With Saturday’s UNOH 175 on the horizon, Crafton leads ThorSport teammate Johnny Sauter by a slim margin of five points in this year’s standings. Crafton has never won at New Hampshire, but said this week he was looking forward to taking it on again.

“It’s been two years since the Trucks have raced there, but I’ve had some good runs there in the past; we even got our first pole there in 2005,” Crafton said. “To me the biggest challenge at Loudon is the track itself. It’s tough to run side-by-side because there is really only one preferred groove.

“The challenge is to stay patient and not get caught up in a wreck trying to make something happen.”

Final Truck Series practice took place a mere half-hour after Practice 2 ended, and it was led by 16-year-old Cole Custer and his lap of 133.226 mph.

Following him was Ryan Blaney (-16 points behind Crafton in the championship) in second at 133.007 mph, with Jones in third (132.924 mph), Darrell Wallace Jr. in fourth, and Tyler Reddick in fifth. Crafton was ninth in the final session.

Qualifying takes place tomorrow morning at shortly after 10 a.m. ET, with the aforementioned UNOH 175 going down later in the afternoon around 1 p.m. ET.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”