Timothy ‘Iceman’ Peters stays cool, earns hot GWC win at ‘Dega

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Timothy Peters was like an Iceman in Saturday’s Fred’s 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Rather than get all hot and worried about all the trucks behind him, Peters coolly went out and drove his race, holding on to earn the green-white-checker victory.

“It was exciting,” Peters told Fox Sports. “It feels good to come back to a superspeedway and get back into victory lane.

“We were good all day today. … This is such a great effort.”

It was Peters’ first win of the season and extends a streak where he has at least one win now in each of the last six seasons.

“Man, we really needed this,” crew chief Marcus Richmond told Fox Sports. “This Red Horse Tundra has been really good. It was good at Daytona.

“We had our ups and downs this year. We felt like we had fast trucks. This whole team has been awesome and stuck together. (The team owners) didn’t give up on us. This is awesome.”

Tayler Malsam finished second, followed by Spencer Gallagher, rookie pole-sitter Tyler Reddick and Ryan Blaney.

Blaney looked like he might steal the win away from Peters but lost the draft and faded in the last half-lap.

Erik Jones finished sixth, followed by Chris Fontaine, John Wes Townley, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Joe Nemechek.

Points leader Matt Crafton finished 14th but lost just two points in the championship standings. He was leading Johnny Sauter by 19 points coming into the race; he now leads Blaney by 17 points unofficially.

Several drivers’ championship hopes took a big hit.

Sauter suffered engine failure, the first time a ThorSport Racing truck has experienced such a malady in more than two years.

The incident was caused when a bolt went through the radiator of Sauter’s truck.

Sauter dropped from second to fourth place and goes from 19 points to 36 points in arrears to Crafton.

“Just another kick in the [butt], I guess,” Sauter told Fox Sports. “It didn’t feel like it blew up. It’s weird. The water temperature didn’t show anything and it just kind of stayed.

“They said it probably just pushed it out so fast it didn’t have an opportunity to reflect anything.

“Whatever. The championship’s over. From here on out, we can just race like hell.”

German Quiroga Jr. also took a big hit – in more than one way. Quiroga triggered a four-truck wreck on Lap 12, ending his day and dropping from sixth to seventh in the points.

Quiroga came into the race 85 points behind Crafton; he’s now 100 points back.

Others involved in the wreck were Mason Mingus, Ron Hornaday Jr., and Ryan Sieg.

On the ensuing caution, as Crafton was leaving his pit stall, he ran into the side of Bryan Silas. Crafton’s truck sustained damage to the right front of his truck, prompting him to pit again for his team to pull out the damaged sheet metal.

Then with about 40 laps to go, Crafton was penalized by NASCAR, along with Joe Nemechek, for tandem drafting.

Crafton claimed he had nothing to do with it, since Nemechek was the one pushing him, but NASCAR officials didn’t see it that way and penalized both drivers with pass-through penalties.

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‘One and Only’ Kyle Larson wins Outlaws opener at Knoxville Raceway

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Paul Arch/World of Outlaws
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The magic of dirt racing wins for Kyle Larson continued Thursday night at Knoxville Raceway, where he scored his third consecutive World of Outlaws victory at the famed half-mile track to open “The One and Only.”

After starting 10th, Larson sliced through the field and passed pole-sitter Logan Schuchart to lead the final eight laps in the No. 57 of car owner Paul Silva.

“Just an awesome race,” Larson said after earning $10,000 for his second consecutive NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory (after winning at Pevely, Missouri, last Saturday), his sixth Outlaws victory this season and 14th of his career.

LARSON ON NASCAR‘I’d love an opportunity if it came’

“I was able to track Logan down and hit the bottom really well in (turns) 1 and 2 and got a run on him.  It felt like I needed to take advantage of that before we got to heavier traffic and slid him and felt some contact. So, glad to see him not in the wall or anything like that. Just, hard work there. Heartbeat is up again.”

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Kyle Larson scored his sixth World of Outlaws victory Thursday (Trent Gower/World of Outlaws).

It was the fourth Knoxville victory this year for Larson, who swept a World of Outlaws doubleheader weekend June 12-13 at the Sprint Car Captial of the World. He has more than 30 victories this year in sprint cars and midgets.

The One and Only continues Friday night with another $10,000 feature race that will set the starting lineup for Saturday’s Brownells Capitani Classic, which pays $50,000 to win.

The event is the Outlaws’ richest purse of 2020 and subs in for the annual Knoxville Nationals, which was canceled for COVID-19 concerns. Larson, a two-time Knoxville Nationals runner-up, has said winning The One and Only would be on the same as Knoxville’s signature event because of its tough three-day format.

Through the first of three nights, Schuchart and Larson are tied for second in The One and Only points standings, which factor in qualifying, heats, dash and feature races. Aaron Reutzel, an All Star Circuit of Champions stalwart who finished third Thursday, leads with 430 points.

A crash in Thursday’s 25-lap feature eliminated past Outlaws champions Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz after Cory Eliason spun in front of Sweet in Turn 1 to start the wreck, which also collected Sweet’s teammate, James McFadden. Sweet and Schatz finished outside the top 20, which moved Schuchart into the points lead for the 2020 season.

Schuchart still seemed slightly miffed after finishing second to Larson.

“As the race went on, I felt like I wasn’t hitting my marks as good,” he said. “I would have liked to of had a little bit better of a race with Kyle there. I wish his slide job was a little better there, but he’s got a reputation to live up to. That’s where you let other people make the rules and maybe we’ll get him next time.”


RESULTS

NOS Energy Drink Feature (25 Laps) – 1. 57-Kyle Larson [10]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [1]; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 4. 2-Carson Macedo [24]; 5. 41-David Gravel [6]; 6. 21-Brian Brown [7]; 7. 71-Spencer Bayston [3]; 8. 18-Gio Scelzi [15]; 9. 12N-Joey Saldana [5]; 10. 5-Ian Madsen [19]; 11. 17A-Austin McCarl [21]; 12. 1A-Jacob Allen [11]; 13. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [16]; 14. 7S-Jason Sides [20]; 15. 24-Rico Abreu [22]; 16. 4-Terry McCarl [13]; 17. 2KS-Brooke Tatnell [18]; 18. O9-Matt Juhl [23]; 19. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [25]; 20. 83-Daryn Pittman [9]; 21. 11K-Kraig Kinser [17]; 22. 15-Donny Schatz [8]; 23. 26-Cory Eliason [4]; 24. 49-Brad Sweet [12]; 25. 9-James McFadden [14]; Lap Leaders: Logan Schuchart 1-17, Kyle Larson 18-25; KSE Hard Charger Award: 2-Carson Macedo[+20]

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Kyle Larson celebrated with his family and team after the first night of The One and Only (Trent Gower/World of Outlaws).