John Hunter Nemechek won his second consecutive NASCAR truck race, leading the final 22 laps and finishing more than 3.3 seconds ahead of reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott on a steamy Saturday in Texas.
Nemechek, already the series points leader, got his fourth victory this season and 10th in his career a day after his 24th birthday. He was in front five times to lead 64 of the 147 laps in a midday race with the track temperature in the 130s.
"I feel like we've been making a statement all year," said Nemechek, who also won at Phoenix in the previous truck race two weeks ago.
With four races left before the series playoffs begin, Nemechek remained ahead of Ben Rhodes, whose 27th-place finish was his worst of the season. He had finished in the top 10 all but one other race, the lowest previously a 16th at Atlanta.
Elliott led 45 laps to finish second in his first truck race at the 1 1/2-mile, high-banked Texas track where Sunday night he will try to win his second consecutive All-Star race.
It was the fifth consecutive win this season on 1 1/2-mile tracks for Kyle Busch Motorsports, including Nemechek's last two races in the No. 4 Toyota, plus a victory at Las Vegas, and owner Kyle Busch's wins at Atlanta and Kansas. Nemechek started on the pole based on metric qualifying since there was no practice or qualifying at Texas.
Cup driver Ross Chastain finished third, followed by Grant Enfinger, Austin Hill, Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, Todd Gilliland, Tyler Ankrum and Tanner Gray.
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Sheldon Creed, who began the day fourth in points and is already in the playoffs, finished last in the 36-truck field. Creed won at Texas last October but was was done Saturday after twice getting too high on the track into the traction compound in the first 20 laps. Creed first got loose on the sixth lap when his No. 2 truck struck the outside wall, then on the 20th lap had another incident in Turn 2 that ended his day.
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