NASCAR Trucks title rivals Crafton, Blaney start up front in tonight’s season finale

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Ryan Blaney will have a slight advantage at the drop of the green flag for tonight’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Blaney, down 25 points to Matt Crafton (pictured, right), will start on the front row alongside pole sitter Kyle Larson for the Ford Ecoboost 200.

“I hope our race truck’s a lot better than our qualifying truck,” Blaney told Fox Sports. “I didn’t think our qualifying lap was very good, and I was kind of surprised when we ended up second.

“But I know we’ve got a better race truck from practice yesterday, and I think we have that to look forward to. I think it holds on pretty decent, so hopefully, it’ll act the same way tonight.

“We practiced yesterday during the heat of the day, so that throws a variable in it. But hopefully, it’ll be good when it cools off tonight.”

However, Crafton won’t be far behind him; he’ll be starting sixth, on the outside of Row 3.

A finish of 21st or better in tonight’s race will give Crafton his second consecutive Truck Series title and the distinction of being the first back-to-back champion in series history.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Crafton said. “I think we have a very good Menards Toyota Tundra. It was good in the long run yesterday [in practice], and that’s all we worked on, just our race trim. Didn’t do any qualifying runs.

“The first two [qualifying rounds], I was pretty satisfied with it. Then [in the final round], I think I just got a little bit too close to the 19 [Ross Chastain] and I got a little bit tight. But, all in all, I think it’s gonna race just fine.”

Chastain and Tyler Reddick will start in Row 2, followed by Kyle Busch and Matt Crafton in Row 3. Ty Dillon and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace are in Row 4, and Jeb Burton and Bryan Silas go off from Row 5.

Busch is seeking to win the Truck Series’ owner’s championship for the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team. He leads Crafton’s No. 88 ThorSport Racing team by 18 points for that title and can clinch it with a 14th-place finish.

Green flag for tonight’s 134-lap event is scheduled to fall shortly after 8 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Homestead – Starting Lineup

Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.