Driver scores first win of 2015 Camping World Truck Series season RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings MADISON, Ill. -- Cole Custer took advantage of a five-lap shootout at Gateway Motorsports Park to score his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in Saturday night's American Ethanol presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren. When race leader Tyler Reddick missed his second shift of the night on the final restart, Custer attacked and cleared the field to cruise to a 0.871-second triumph over Spencer Gallagher . It was the 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver's first win of the year and second for JR Motorsports , which won last month at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Kasey Kahne . "I was just trying to tell myself 'no excuses,'" said Custer, who won in his third start of the year. "I think we were a little bit better than the 19 (Reddick). We struggled a little bit all day. I don't know, I'm just tired. I gotta thank Haas Automation, Gene Haas, Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller), Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) for giving me this opportunity and Hendrick engines, the pit crew for coming out. "We put everything together, we didn't have the best truck, but we ran a great race." After Matt Crafton and Erik Jones , who had the two strongest trucks of the night, endured problems late in the race, the revolving door opened with Custer answering. For Gallagher, late-race strategy played into his hands -- which ultimately led to his second career top-five finish. "(We) didn't have the speed in our No. 23 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet that we wanted all day, but we started 14th, so pretty far back there and a track where track position is such a huge deal, that was kind of a cloud hanging over our head to begin with. My GMS Racing guys played the game right all night. We were able to hold off Sauter at the end there. I told my crew chief, better be lucky than good sometimes, I'll take it." Mother Nature played her hand early at Gateway , cancelling qualifying after a brief, but heavy shower a few minutes into round one of knockout qualifying. The field was set per the rule book, putting Erik Jones on the pole after turning the fastest lap in practice earlier in the day. Quickly, the track dried, but the start of the eighth race of the season was delayed nearly two hours after a heavy shower soaked the 1.25-mile oval shortly before pre-race ceremonies. Drivers were called to their trucks at 9:25 p.m. CST, with the command to fire engines less than 10 minutes later. From the start, Jones kept the lead and held the point until the first caution waved on Lap 53 for a two-truck accident in Turn 1. Matt Crafton won the race off pit road ahead of Erik Jones , Matt Tifft , Johnny Sauter and Tyler Reddick . Racing resumed, but Crafton's lead would be short-lived as Jones, a NASCAR Next alum, made the pass on the outside and retook the lead from the defending series champion. Despite being chased by Crafton, Jones kept the lead until the second yellow flag waved on Lap 80 for debris. While Jones elected to pit, Crafton stayed out, while Tyler Reddick , Johnny Sauter , Brandon Jones and Austin Theriault played strategy and took two tires. Jones was the first truck that elected for four tires and exited pit road sixth. Crafton held the lead through Lap 91 when Tifft crashed in Turn 1. Under the third caution of the race, Crafton pitted, handing the lead to his ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter with Custer second. Restarting with 64 laps to go, Sauter found himself unable to hold off Custer, who ventured out to a half-second lead by Lap 100. Ten laps later, Custer had company in the form of Jones, who made the pass to reclaim the lead on Lap 112. Six laps later, a stalled truck brought out another yellow, sending the lead lap trucks to pit road for service. A flawless stop by Crafton's team sent him back to the top ahead of Spencer Gallagher , who took two tires. Jones exited third, followed by Ray Black Jr . with no tires, and Reddick. On the restart, Crafton was able to stay ahead, but Jones, hungry for his first win of the season, was quickly closing. Ultimately, Jones spun on the frontstretch 17 laps from the finish while trying to pass a lapped truck. With Jones out of the mix, Crafton found Reddick, Custer and John Hunter Nemechek looking to deny him of his fourth win of 2015. The green flag resumed with 10 laps remaining and Reddick wasted no time making his move and surging to the lead. Crafton's strong night would take a dramatic turn after Nemechek broke loose in Turn 3 and sent the No. 88 Toyota hard into the outside wall, yielding the sixth caution of the night. Custer jumped out to the lead on the final restart and cruised the rest of the way to Victory Lane. Behind Custer and Gallagher, Sauter, Nemechek and Cameron Hayley rounded out the top five, while Timothy Peters , Ben Kennedy , Reddick, Daniel Hemric and Austin Theriault comprised the top-10. "I always knew that we had trucks capable of winning," Custer said. "We just had to put everything together for a race." The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action next Friday, June 19, at Iowa Speedway for the American Ethanol 200 with coverage on FOX Sports 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Practice leader Erik Jones will start on the pole in tonight's race RELATED: Full starting lineup " Practice speeds from Gateway Keystone Light Pole Qualifying got underway at Gateway Motorsports Park , but four minutes into the 20-minute opening round, a downpour put a hold on the session at the 1.25-mile track before ultimately washing out the three rounds of knockout qualifying. Since qualifying did not resume, NASCAR set the starting grid based on practice speeds, per the rule book. That puts Erik Jones on the pole position since he topped the lone practice session with a fast lap of 136.766 mph. Jones was also the fastest among the 16 drivers that made a lap during the opening round qualifying before the rain moved in, clocking a lap of 136.087 mph. Second-fastest in practice was JR Motorsports' Cole Custer (136.591 mph), who will start on the front row with Jones. Rounding out the top five from their top speeds in practice are ThorSport Racing's Matt Crafton (136.579 mph) and Johnny Sauter (136.285 mph), and GMS Racing's Brandon Jones (136.240 mph), respectively. Custer won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award for this race last year, an event that was ultimately won by Darrell Wallace Jr . There is no Air Titan at the track but there are jet dryers at work to dry the Illinois facility. The American Ethanol Presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren is the eighth race on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule for 2015. The 160-lap, 200 mile event is set for 8:30 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1 as well as MRN and SiriusXM. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where your favorite driver will pit (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1) RELATED: Full starting lineup The pit stall assignments are out for Saturday night's American Ethanol presents the Drivin for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) and Erik Jones got his pick of pit stalls at Gateway Motorsports Park . Jones, who earned the pole position based on his practice speed after qualifying was rained out, chose the pit stall closest to the exit of pit road. He has an opening in front of him when he goes to leave pit road. Cole Custer (starting second), Johnny Sauter (starting fourth), Brandon Jones (starting fifth), Tyler Reddick (starting sixth), Austin Theriault (starting 10th), John Hunter Nemechek (starting 12th) and Tyler Young (starting 17th) all have openings in front of them on pit road. Timothy Peters chose the first pit stall closest to the entrance of pit road. The Gateway race is the eighth race of the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Erik Jones starts on the front row with Cole Custer RELATED: Full starting lineup A quick downpour at Gateway Motorsports Park covered the track with rain, delaying the start of the American Ethanol Presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you Ameren. The green flag was set to drop at 8:43 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM. There was racing on Saturday night as the action got underway at 10:44 p.m. ET after a delay of approximately two hours and one minute. The race is scheduled to go 160 laps and 200 miles. Johnny Sauter told FOX Sports 1 that he didn't anticipate the rain changing the track much from all the rain. "I don't think this race track is going to change a whole lot from what we had in practice even though we've had a couple rain showers. I really don't I don't know how much rubber could really be put on there in a two-hour period." Rookie Daniel Hemric told FS1 that with the track losing all the rubber that "everybody is in the same boat now." Rain washed out qualifying just minutes into the three-round knockout style format at the 1.25-mile track. Only 16 drivers made a lap and after qualifying was canceled, the starting lineup was set by practice speeds, per the NASCAR rule book. In the series' lone practice session earlier in the day, Erik Jones topped the charts, followed by Cole Custer , Matt Crafton , Sauter and Brandon Jones . Custer won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award for this race last year, which was won by Darrell Wallace Jr . There is no Air Titan at the track but jet dryers got to work to dry the track as quickly as possible. The Gateway race is the eighth race of the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. Crafton holds the points lead over Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Cole Custer takes advantage of a missed shift by Tyler Reddick on the final restart of the Drivin' For Linemen 200 to capture his first NCWTS victory at Gateway Motorsports Park .
From rain strategy to the return of Rowdy to Victory Lane, check out the best moments from the race weekend in Michigan International Speedway and Gateway Motorsports Park .
JR Motorsports driver scored first 21 Means 21 Pole Award there in 2014 LONG POND, Pa. -- Rewind the clock back to a year ago: Cole Custer had made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts that resulted in two top-15 finishes. In his third race, the NASCAR Next product really turned heads at Gateway Motorsports Park , site of Saturday night's American Ethanol presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Custer scored his first 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the event last year as well as his first top-10 finish (a sixth-place result) in a NASCAR national series event. "I'm really looking forward to it just because we were so fast there last year," Custer told NASCAR.com at Pocono Raceway , where he ran in the Pocono ARCA 200 last weekend. "I think we are going to bring a real great truck and we are going to have a lot of speed. We are really looking forward to that one. We have it circled on our calendar." The 17-year-old California native ran a nine-race slate last year with Haas Racing Development. That includes a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last fall, where he led 148 of 175 laps en route to becoming the youngest winner in NASCAR national series history. This season, Custer is helping to build the foundation for the truck operation at JR Motorsports , the Dale Earnhardt Jr .-owned racing team. "It's such a great organization," he said. "It's one of the top ones in NASCAR. It definitely helps us on the truck side trying to bring fast race cars to the track." Gateway will be the third of 10 planned races Custer will run for JRM this season, and part of a stretch that sees him run three races (Dover, Gateway and Iowa) in four weeks. Custer is not of age to run at tracks under 1.25-miles per the NASCAR rulebook. "You got to be good in (Turn) 1," Custer said of what he considers a key at Gateway . "You got to get your car turning. You are probably not going to be able to be perfect in both ends because the corners are different. Just being able to turn through Turn 1 and then being a little on the loose side in Turns 3 and 4. It's different a tricky track." To fill the gaps in his schedule, Custer is running a handful of ARCA events as well as some NASCAR K&N Pro Series races this summer. Moving between different series and cars is a bit of an adjustment for the young driver. "It's a little bit difficult," Custer said. "It usually takes you about half a practice session or so to get used to the different cars. Once you get used to it, it's just like anything else with driving. I think it makes you a better driver just from getting different feels and everything." That track time in other series could pay off big for Custer when the Truck Series hits Iowa for his fourth start of the season on June 19 for the American Ethanol 200 (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Custer finished eighth in the Truck Series race there last year. "I'm looking forward to Iowa, too, just because I won there in the past (2013) in the K&N Pro Series. I really like that track and I feel like we were pretty good there last year. We weren't dominant, but I feel like we got a real good package this year and I think we are going to be strong there." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Keep tabs on this weekend's national series activity The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to Michigan International Speedway this week while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has a stand-alone event at Gateway Motorsports Park . Here's more info on how you can follow along all weekend. RACES Sprint Cup Series : Quicken Loans 400 (Sunday, June 14, 1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) XFINITY Series : Great Clips 250 benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America (Saturday, June 13, 1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) Camping World Truck Series: American Ethanol Presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren (Saturday, June 13, 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) WEEKEND SCHEDULE Click here for on-track times, press conferences, leaderboards and GarageCam. RACE DAY • NSCS leaderboard • NXS leaderboard • NCWTS leaderboard • NSCS Lap-by-Lap • NXS Lap-by-Lap • NCWTS Lap-by-Lap • NSCS live standings PRODUCTS • RaceBuddy: Live in-car coverage with 10 HD views. Up to eight in-car cameras for Cup races, and four for XFINITY races. • RaceView: Watch virtual video of cars on track and listen to the scanner. • RaceView Mobile: On your phone? Try RaceView here. • Scanner: In-car audio only. • Mobile Apps: Follow the leaderboards live from your device. FANTASY • NASCAR Fantasy Live: Set your lineups, check your progress • Streak to the Finish: Play in all three national series LIVE INTERVIEWS PressPass: Watch exclusive post-race interviews. Stay tuned to NASCAR.com throughout the weekend for the latest news.
Get on-track times for everything at Michigan and Gateway The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series will race at Michigan International Speedway , and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race at Gateway Motorsports Park this weekend. Check out the full schedule below. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp; All times are ET SUNDAY, JUNE 14: ON TRACK -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 (200 laps, 400 miles), FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 9:15 a.m.: Brad Keselowski and Dave Pericak -- 10 a.m.: Ryan Newman , Mark Dantonio and Bill Emerson -- 4:15 p.m.: Post NASCAR Sprint Cup race FRIDAY, JUNE 12: ON TRACK -- 11:30 a.m.-12:55 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 1-2 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FOX Sports 1 -- CANCELED, due to rain -- 2:20-3:55 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 4:15 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 ( Get results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 10:15 a.m.: Joey Logano -- 10:40 a.m.: Kyle Larson -- 1:45 p.m.: Jeff Gordon -- 2:15 p.m.: Clint Bowyer -- 2:30 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr . and Joe Garone -- 5:15 p.m.: Post NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying GARAGECAM (Watch live ) 11 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series 2 p.m. ET: XFINITY Series SATURDAY, JUNE 13: ON TRACK -- 9:30-10 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 10:15 a.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice ( Get results ) -- Noon-12:55 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 1:30 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America (125 laps, 250 miles), FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) -- 5:45 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, FOX Sports 2 -- CANCELED, due to rain ( Lineup ) -- 8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol Presents the Drivin for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren (160 laps, 200 miles), FOX Sports 1 ( Get results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 11:15 a.m.: Cole Whitt and Nate Burleson -- 3:15 p.m.: Post NASCAR XFINITY Series race
NASCAR executive reveals Air Titans will be at Chicagoland, Iowa RELATED: Potential rules package changes coming soon? The garage was buzzing last weekend with talk that the 2016 rules package could be put into play next month for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway , a notion that intrigued drivers. NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell reacted to that talk in a Monday interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive." "As we've said nothing is off the table, so we're continuing to talk to the race teams, the drivers, the owners and the tracks, particularly not just about '16, but what if anything could be done about '15," O'Donnell said. "A lot of those discussions are still ongoing, and if we're going to do something, obviously we've got to do it sooner than later because we never want to implement anything in the Chase. We'll continue to have dialogue and get to a decision either way. It all goes back to, how do we put the best racing on each and every weekend?" O'Donnell also indicated that the 2016 rules package may not be a one size fits all concept. "It's kind of a misnomer when you look at it, because at each track you are going to have a different tire, essentially a different gear, a lot of different things that go into it," O'Donnell said. "As we look ahead, I think we want to look more toward what specific track packages could we have. Not necessarily having 36 different ones, but are there some configurations that do change up for particular tracks? That's been a really interesting angle as we've talked to the teams and gotten some great feedback." Tech Talk: Could more qualifying changes be coming? The NASCAR executive also addressed the challenges faced in this past weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway . Wet weather led to multiple red flags and a race that was eventually called after 138 laps, 62 short of the scheduled 200. "The fans braved a lot of different circumstances at Michigan, again proving that we've got the most passionate fans in all of sports," O'Donnell said. "Gave it our best shot to continue to dry, but in the last one we had to evacuate the stands. There were still some pop-up showers in the area and working with the track, we made what we thought was the safest decision for the fans that were in attendance. Certainly would have liked to see it be a full race completed but again, really appreciate the fans sticking with us." O'Donnell also shed some light on what goes into deciding to call a race, and who is involved in the final decision. "We'll talk to obviously the weather experts in the area, but ultimately it's up to the track," O'Donnell said. "In this case, Roger Curtis (president of Michigan International Speedway ) and NASCAR work together. We judge it on how much time do we have left, daylight. You don't have lights in Michigan and more importantly, what does the weather look like? "It takes longer to dry a track as you get later in the afternoon with the weather circumstances. Once we had to evacuate the grandstands via the track, that put us in a really challenging situation. The fans had stuck it out for a long time and then when you looked at the radar and the possibility of continued lightning and rain, we thought it was the most prudent decision to make at that time to call it a day." Other notes from O'Donnell: • After a rain delay of more than two hours for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park , Air Titans will be at the stand-alone events at Chicagoland Speedway (for the NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Iowa Speedway (for the Truck Series) this weekend. Air Titans were not at Gateway this past weekend. "Ultimately we make them available, and it's a track call whether or not they want to have them in place," he said. "We learned some lessons at Gateway . I think you will see them both at Iowa and Chicago this weekend regardless. Going forward, I think you will see that change. The good news is we were able to get the race in, saw Cole Custer win. I think you'll see that change and we'll have them available regardless for the tracks. • The Sprint Cup Series is off this weekend, but O'Donnell is looking forward to both stand-alone races. "It's really important for us," he said. "I think it gives some drivers an opportunity to come into a race and really showcase their skills. You look at Chicago, I'm excited personally to see Ross Kenseth get out there, had a great weekend at Michigan with the ARCA race. I know Matt (Kenseth) is going to be a proud father watching him race. "Talking to Richard Childress this weekend, he thought we've got the most talent we've had in a long, long time coming up through the system. When you look at the XFINITY race in Chicago and the Truck race at Iowa, it puts both series on the big stage this weekend." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule