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

Supercross: Tomac, Roczen square off in Arlington; Webb gives chase

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The Monster Energy Supercross championship battle remains tight after Eli Tomac took the lead from Ken Roczen just last week at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Now the series heads to Arlington, Texas, and the AT&T Stadium for Round 8. (Watch on NBCSN or stream live.)

Tomac’s third win of the 2020 season and Roczen’s third-place finish at Tampa gives Tomac a four-point advantage in what is essentially a wide-open title fight with three races on tap in Arlington.

And while it is still much too early to call this a two-man battle, Cooper Webb is 11 points back with Justin Barcia 20 points out and Adam Cianciarulo 27 points in arrears – and all three cannot afford to lose any ground this week.

Tomac has the momentum. He allowed the field to get a jump after finishing seventh at Anaheim in the season opener, but finished fourth or better in the remaining events.

Roczen also got off to a slow start in Anaheim 1 with a sixth-place finish. He seemed to have a firm grasp on the red plate with four consecutive podium finishes until he slipped to sixth for a second time at San Diego.

Webb is coming into his own with three consecutive podiums in the last three events. If not for a 12th at St. Louis, he would be in immediate contention for the red plate.

This week is the second Triple Crown race of the season and Roczen hopes he has the same success as he did at Glendale. He won all three Mains that weekend and easily walked away with the overall victory. Tomac finished 2-2-3 for second overall. It is going to be imperative that a rider takes the early lead.

Blake Baggett qualified for last week’s Main, but chose to sit it out after experiencing sever muscle spasms. He will ride in Arlington.

Henry Miller will return to riding at Arlington after breaking a scapula in Australia.

Subscribe to the Supercross Pass for complete qualification and race coverage of the 2020 season.

For the third time in his career, Shane McElrath started the season with a victory. He won the season-opener in 2017 and 2018 in the West division at Anaheim, but failed to lock down a 250 title. His seventh career win moved him to 25th on the chart, however, with Travis Pastrana, Trey Canard, and a host of others.

Chase Sexton got his title hunt off to a strong start last week as well. He finished second to earn his 10th podium in 19 starts, but he will be hungry for a win. Despite the fact that he won last year’s 250 West championship, he has only one race victory to his credit.

Last week, Jeremy Martin looked like he had not been off his bike for more than a year. Returning from a 2018 injury, Martin snagged a podium finish in his first race back.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 1 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN

Last Week:

Eli Tomac beat Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen in the 450 class.
Shane McElrath beat Chase Sexton and Jeremy Martin in the 250 class.

Last Dallas race (February, 2019):

Cooper Webb beat Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner beat Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Eli Tomac (155)
Ken Roczen (151)
Cooper Webb (144)
Justin Barcia (135)
Adam Cianciarulo (128)

250 West:
Dylan Ferrandis (135)
Justin Cooper (128)
Austin Forkner (122)
Brandon Hartranft (110)
Alex Martin (98)

250 East:
Shane McElrath (26)
Chase Sexton (23)
Jeremy Martin (21)
Garrett Marchbanks (19)
Jordon Smith (18)

Wins

450

(3) Eli Tomac (Anaheim 2, Oakland and Tampa)
(2) Ken Roczen (St. Louis and Glendale)
(1) Justin Barcia (Anaheim 1)
(1) Cooper Webb (San Diego)

250 West

(3) Dylan Ferrandis (Anaheim 2, Oakland, and San Diego)
(2) Austin Forkner (St. Louis and Glendale)
(1) Justin Cooper (Anaheim 1)

250 East

(1) Shane McElrath (Tampa)

Top-5s

450

(6) Eli Tomac
(6) Cooper Webb
(5) Jason Anderson
(5) Ken Roczen
(5) Justin Barcia
(3) Adam Cianciarulo
(2) Zach Osborne
(2) Blake Baggett
(1) Justin Hill

250 West

(5) Dylan Ferrandis
(5) Austin Forkner
(5) Justin Cooper
(4) Michael Mosiman
(4) Brandon Hartranft
(3) Alex Martin
(1) Christian Craig
(1) Jett Lawrence
(1) Jacob Hayes
(1) Luke Clout

250 East

(1) Shane McElrath
(1) Chase Sexton
(1) Jeremy Martin
(1) Garrett Marchbanks
(1) Jordon Smith

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