William Byron Wins Homestead, Johnny Sauter Claims First Championship

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series comes to Homestead Miami Speedway for their championship race the Ford Ecoboost 200. An eventful race at Phoenix last week saw championship favourite William Byron eliminated from the chase after blowing an engine with less than 10 laps to go. Ben Kennedy was also eliminated. That now leaves four. The championship four. Consisting of 3 series veterans, Timothy Peters, Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton and 1 rookie that being Christopher Bell. William Byron started on pole and was looking to seek redemption with Cole Custer to his outside. Matt Crafton had the best qualifying effort with a 4th place finish, followed by Christopher Bell in 8th, Timothy Peters in 13th and Johnny Sauter with the worst starting position at 19th.

William Byron Wins Homestead, Johnny Sauter Claims First Championship

William Byron got off to the early lead, he was challenged by Cup Series regular Kyle Larson. The pair battled for the majority of the race with Larson leading a race high of 76 laps. Matt Crafton has his turn at the lead, going on to lead 10 laps. Tyler Reddick who announced earlier in the week that he will be joining Chip Ganassi Racing‘s Xfinity program next year, lead near the end of the race for a total of 16 laps. On lap 49, Ryan Truex experienced an engine failure spilling oil onto the racetrack. Thankfully, everyone was able to avoid the oil but Truex was done for the day. But in the end William Byron got the redemption he set out for leading 31 laps en route to his 7th win of 2016.With his 3rd place finish, Johnny Sauter was finally able to claim the elusive Championship he had set out so many years to claim.

The top 5 from the Ford Ecoboost 200:

  1. #9 Liberty University Toyota- William Byron
  2. #29 Cooper Standard Ford- Tyler Reddick
  3. #21 Allegiant Airlines Chevy- Johnny Sauter (Champion)
  4. #24 DC Solar Chevy- Kyle Larson
  5. #19 DrawTite Ford- Daniel Hemric

Other notable finishers include Matt Crafton, Christopher Bell and Timothy Peters finishing seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. Noah Gragson came home fifteenth in his second NASCAR start. Jessie Little and Brady Boswell capped off solid days by finishing eighteenth and nineteenth. Ben Rhodes had a day to forget finishing 20th, and Ryan Truex blew and engine and came home in thirty-second.

Final Chase Standings:

  1. #21 GMS Racing Chevy- Johnny Sauter 4030
  2. #88 Thorsport Toyota- Matt Crafton 4026
  3. #4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota- Christopher Bell 4025
  4. #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota- Timothy Peters 4024

Final Thoughts

This season has been a season ups and downs. Spectacular finishes and crashes, first time winners and the prevail of series veterans. Rookie William Byron dominated with 7 wins but ultimately fell victim to new chase system. This season was a season with spectacular finishes, most notably the finish of the Chevy Silverado 250 with Cole Custer and John Hunter Nemechek crashing in the grass coming to the finish. Spectacular crashes like Christopher Bell’s rollover at Daytona. Old faces leaving, in order to make room for the new stars. This season we say good bye to William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Hemric, and say hello to the new stars like Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton and Austin Cindric. In the end it was Johnny Sauter finally hoisting the seemingly elusive Championship trophy.

The Camping World Truck Series’ 2017 season will kick off February 24th for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
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