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GOTS: Hill takes playoff race, two contenders eliminated

(MRN) Austin Hill won Friday night’s World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the Round of 6 was set for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs.

Hill, on fresher tires, passed Ross Chastain with 12 laps to go and went on to win his third race of the season.

“When I saw the 45 (Chastain) in my sights, we were running close to lap times and I started changing my line a little bit,” Hill said. “We picked up two or three-tenths there changing my line. That was a big statement win. We drove by the 45 like he was sitting still and then just kept pulling. For a little bit – our truck was cutting in and out. I don’t know if fuel pressure was messing up or what. I was crossing my fingers every lap I came by after I took the lead.”

Chastain led a race-high 88 laps and won the opening two stages before settling for second.

Hill and Chastain will advance to the next round along with Brett Moffitt, Stewart Friesen, Matt Crafton and Tyler Ankrum.

Pole-sitter Christian Eckes, Sheldon Creed and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top five.

Brennan Poole, Moffitt, Ben Rhodes, Harrison Burton and Dylan Lupton completed the top 10. Moffitt had to come from the rear of the field after a flat tire in qualifying.

Ankrum, who was reporting power problems as the race wound down, finished 11th to take the sixth and final spot for the next round, just two points ahead of Johnny Sauter, who had made the Championship 4 the prior three seasons.

Friesen finished 19th, two laps down, after the team had to change the plug wires after the first stage.

Regular-season champion Grant Enfinger was eliminated from the playoffs when a mechanical issue took him out of the race six laps in.

“It’s just a shame our season hopes come down to quality control on a spec part that we have nothing to do with,” Enfinger said. “Just frustrating.”

Enfinger’s ThorSport Racing teammate Sauter missed advancing to the next round when he had an issue at the same time as his other teammate Crafton on Lap 40.

“I think we both just hit something on the racetrack and it took out the oil lines,” Crafton said.

After the reset, Moffitt leads Hill by 17 points with sixth-place Ankrum 29 behind.

For more, visit www.mrn.com.

Fin Str Trk Driver Make Laps Pts Status Laps Led
1 7 16 Austin Hill (P) Toyota 134 57 Running 29
2 2 45 Ross Chastain (P) Chevrolet 134 55 Running 88
3 1 51 Christian Eckes Toyota 134 39 Running 4
4 6 2 Sheldon Creed # Chevrolet 134 42 Running 0
5 3 4 Todd Gilliland Toyota 134 41 Running 0
6 18 30 Brennan Poole Toyota 134 41 Running 0
7 4 24 Brett Moffitt (P) Chevrolet 134 40 Running 12
8 13 99 Ben Rhodes Ford 134 36 Running 0
9 9 18 Harrison Burton # Toyota 134 31 Running 0
10 17 5 Dylan Lupton Toyota 134 27 Running 0

2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Standings

After Race 19: Las Vegas

Rank Driver Wins Top 5s Top 10s Poles Points -Leader Stage Wins Playoff Points
1 Brett Moffitt (P) 4 11 14 3 3034 0 4 34
2 Austin Hill (P) 3 6 11 2 3017 -17 0 17
3 Ross Chastain (P) 3 8 16 1 3016 -18 7 16
4 Stewart Friesen (P) 1 10 13 1 3014 -20 2 14
5 Matt Crafton (P) 0 6 15 2 3011 -23 3 11
6 Tyler Ankrum # (P) 1 3 7 0 3005 -29 0 5
7 Johnny Sauter (P) 1 3 8 0 2100 -934 3 9
8 Grant Enfinger (P) 0 8 14 2 2093 -941 4 19

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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