|Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images|
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series made the annual trip to Canada to open up their 2018 Playoffs at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Despite missing the 2018 Playoffs, Todd Gilliland seemed almost destined to win his first career truck series race Sunday at CTMP. Taking the lead on Lap 53 from Johnny Sauter, it was smooth sailing for Gilliland, until a late race caution set up a thrilling NASCAR Overtime battle with his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate and Playoff driver Noah Gragson. Gragson, who won both previous stages, dove to pass Gilliland in the final turn.
In similar shades to the move made by Chase Elliott in the 2013 race, the contact sent both Gragson and Gilliland spinning. The two trucks blocked the racetrack, causing a massive pile up coming to the checkered flag. The ensuing carnage allowed fellow Playoff driver Justin Haley to sneak through the wreckage and win the Chevrolet Silverado 250.
The 19-year-old driver from Winamac, Indiana lead only a single lap all race long and it proved to be the most important one. With this victory, Haley claims his second checkered flag of the 2018 season.
"We were just in the right place at the right time" said Haley celebrating in Victory Lane. "I can’t thank everyone at GMS Racing enough; it was a truly blessed day."
Haley also becomes the sixth different winner in as many races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and scores GMS Racing’s first win at the historic 2.459-mile road course.
A visibly dejected Gilliland expressed his anger towards his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate following the contact in Turn 10.
"I should have never let him get to me," Gilliland said. "We should have given him the inside. We had the fastest truck and we didn’t win again."
Gragson took immediate responsibility for the contact in the final corner, apologizing profusely to his teammate.
"That was on me," said Gragson. "I was racing for the win."
"I apologize to Todd, the No. 4 team and everyone at KBM. I was expecting a little more room on the bottom and we made contact. Again I want to apologize to everyone on that 4 team, that was on me."
Following the intense finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Haley locks himself into the Round of 6 continuing his hunt for the 2018 NASCAR Camping Truck Series championship. The Round of 6 begins October 27 at Martinsville Speedway.
"This is what we came to do," Haley added. "This is road course racing and now we are really looking forward to Vegas. Mission accomplished."
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action Friday, September 14 for the second race in the Playoffs, the World of Westgate 200 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
|1||8||24||Justin Haley (P)||Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet||65||2||56||Running|
|2||7||8||John Hunter Nemechek||D.A.B. Constructors Inc. Chevrolet||65||0||0||Running|
|3||17||16||Brett Moffitt (P)||Don Valley North Toyota Toyota||65||0||48||Running|
|4||5||25||Timothy Peters||Allegiant Chevrolet||65||2||39||Running|
|5||4||88||Matt Crafton (P)||Ideal Door/Menards Ford||65||0||44||Running|
|6||6||21||Johnny Sauter (P)||ISM Connect Chevrolet||65||9||39||Running|
|7||16||52||Stewart Friesen (P)||We Build America Chevrolet||65||0||35||Running|
|8||9||2||Austin Hill||Young's Building Systems/Randco Chevrolet||65||0||29||Running|
|9||2||18||Noah Gragson (P)||Safelite AutoGlass Toyota||65||35||48||Running|
|10||10||12||Alex Tagliani||RONA Chevrolet||65||0||27||Running|
|11||15||4||Todd Gilliland||Frontline Toyota||65||11||26||Running|
|12||13||49||DJ Kennington||APC Auto Parts Chevrolet||65||0||26||Running|
|13||14||51||Harrison Burton||Hunt Brothers Pizza/Fields Toyota||65||0||24||Running|
|14||1||41||Ben Rhodes (P)||FEI World Equestrian Games Ford||65||6||32||Running|
|15||12||2||Cody Coughlin||JEGS.com Chevrolet||65||0||22||Running|
|16||22||3||Jordan Anderson||KnightFire Protection/Bommarito.com Chevrolet||65||0||21||Running|
|17||11||98||Grant Enfinger (P)||Champion Power Equipment/Curb Records Ford||65||0||24||Running|
|18||20||45||Justin Fontaine||ProMATIC Automation/Superior Essex Chevrolet||65||0||19||Running|
|19||3||13||Myatt Snider||The Carolina Nut Co. Ford||65||0||19||Running|
|20||25||6||Norm Benning||H&H Transport Chevrolet||65||0||17||Running|
|21||18||22||Austin Wayne Self||GO TEXAN Chevrolet||65||0||16||Running|
|22||21||54||Bo LeMastus||Crosley Brands/DGR-Crosley Toyota||64||0||15||Running|
|23||27||33||Jason White||Powder Ventures Excavations Chevrolet||63||0||14||Running|
|24||23||15||Wendell Chavous||Sobriety Nation Chevrolet||63||0||13||Running|
|25||31||34||Jesse Iwuji||Zulu Audio/Silk Title & Escrow Chevrolet||63||0||12||Running|
|26||30||0||Justin Kunz||Liqui-Moly Chevrolet||62||0||11||Running|
|27||24||97||Roger Reuse||WCIparts.com Chevrolet||35||0||10||Vibration|
|28||28||50||Ray Ciccarelli||VIPracingexperience.com Chevrolet||34||0||9||Vibration|
|29||26||10||Jennifer Jo Cobb||Driven2Honor Chevrolet||32||0||8||Oil Line|
|30||19||20||Max Tullman||Zoomi Chevrolet||29||0||0||Transmission|
|31||32||74||Mike Harmon||Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet||7||0||0||Brakes|
|32||29||87||Joe Nemechek||D.A.B. Constructors Inc. Chevrolet||2||0||5||Brakes|