TALLADEGA, Ala – The start of the final stage of Saturday’s Sugarlands Sugar 250 at the Talladega Superspeedway didn’t go very well for four of the six NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series playoff drivers.
Ross Chastain crashed on Lap 87. He’d be the only one out of the race but his crash helped another fellow playoff driver though.
See, prior to Chastain’s mistake with seven laps remaining in regulation, Stewart Friesen, Brett Moffitt and Tyler Ankrum were all penalized for incidents on track.
On Lap 53, both Moffitt and Friesen were penalized for locking bumpers around the 2.66-mile Alabama oval. Moffitt, was pushing Friesen, but the penalty was highly debatable. They didn’t lock bumpers as long as a penalty should merit.
Nevertheless, it was a penalty as they both would fall to 25th and 26th respectively after what seemed like a very costly penalty.
Then, shortly after, the final pit stops would take place which saw Ankrum being caught speeding on Lap 67. He’d fall a lap down after having to serve his penalty.
Friesen, would also be caught speeding himself and he too would be lapped as a result of that. With no drafting help, Moffitt would lose a lap in the process.
Heading to the closing laps, all three were a lap down and outside the top 20. Then, the cautions started falling. In the end, all wound up in the top seven of the final finishing order.
On Lap 81, Anthony Alfredo spun to bring out the fifth caution of the day. Moffitt, would get the free pass.
On Lap 87, Chastain crashed and gave Friesen his lap back.
On Lap 92, Gus Dean crashed and gave Ankrum his lap back.
All capitalized. Moffitt, would finish fourth for his fourth top five in his last five starts on the season and fifth straight top 10.
Friesen, would rebound to finish fifth in his No. 52 Chevrolet for his fifth top eight in his last six starts. Both are the top two in the points standings now.
Ankrum, would finish seventh for his best result since a runner-up at Pocono at the end of July.
It was a great ending for them as it appeared they’d all be in some trouble with just eight laps remaining. Now, they’re all still in the hunt.