Defending series champ Sauter wins Truck race at Chicagoland

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) Johnny Sauter won the NASCAR Truck Series race Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway and heads into the playoffs trying to win his second straight series championship.

Ben Rhodes took the final spot in the playoffs on a tiebreaker over Ryan Truex. Christopher Bell finished third and won the regular-season championship.

The field is set next week for the playoff opener at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Cup drivers with more than five years full-time experience were already restricted to 10 races in the Xfinity Series and seven races in the Truck Series. Veterans also are prohibited from competing in the regular-season finale and all playoff races.

John Hunter Nemechek, Matt Crafton, Austin Cindric, Kaz Grala and Chase Briscoe aso are in the field.

More AP Auto Racing: