Brian Scott pulls ahead after late restart to win Trucks Series race at PIR, tighten season standings.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS FS Arizona
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) --Brian Scott used a pass on a restart with two laps left to win a wreck-filled NASCAR Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night that tightened up the season championship.
James Buescher appeared to well on his way to padding his points lead, running in the top 10 late in the race, but slammed into the wall with three laps left to finish 17th. He's 11 points ahead of
Timothy Peters, who avoided the wrecks to finish fourth.
Ty Dillon, second in the points entering the race, couldn't avoid a crash with about 40 laps left and finished 15th, putting him 12 points behind Buescher.
That sets up what could be a wild finish in the season finale at Homestead next weekend.
Scott took advantage of the caution from Buescher's wreck, slipping past Kyle Larson on the restart and holding on over the final lap for his second career trucks victory -- first since 2009 at Dover. He is the 15th different winner this season, a trucks series record.
Scott drove Kyle Busch Motorsports' No. 18 Toyota, the truck that won the series' last race at the track in February 2011 with Busch at the well.
PIR was repaved and reconfigured after that, and they ran fast in qualifying, with Nelson Piquet Jr. earning the pole with a track-record 134.439 mph.
About 40 laps into the race, the track started to get slick and trucks started careening off the walls and each other, crashing six times in 40 laps -- four on consecutive restarts.
Parker Kligerman had his championship hopes dashed in one of wrecks, getting loose out of a corner and slamming into two other trucks. Third in the points heading into the race, he finished 27th.
Dillon got caught up later. He started 21st but moved up quickly, grabbing the lead after a string of crashes midway through the race.
Dillon's day took a bad turn when he was involved in a wreck with about 40 laps to go after
German Quiroga hit Brendan Gaughan from behind.
Gaughan was infuriated by the wreck, immediately climbing out of his car and reaching into Quiroga's window as he screamed at the Mexican driver, pulling his helmet back at one point before storming off.
Dillon managed to stay on the track and restarted 18th, but couldn't make up any ground until late.
That cleared the way for Buescher to build on his lead. He just couldn't hold on.
He overcame a pit mishap with about 100 laps left -- he slid into the wall in his stall -- to get back into the top 10.
Buescher just needed to avoid trouble to give himself a commanding lead but got a bad break with three laps to go. Running seventh, he had his right front tire go down, sending his No. 31 truck hard into the wall. His crew tried to repair the heavy damage to the right side of his car, but couldn't get it fixed before the race was over.
Peters took a gamble by taking four tires when everyone stayed out during a caution with 90 laps left and avoided all the wrecks, giving himself a shot at the title next weekend.