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Racing: Boyd gets 1st career Trucks win at Talledega
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Racing: Boyd gets 1st career Trucks win at Talledega

Spencer Boyd was named winner of the Truck Series race Saturday after Johnny Sauter was stripped of the victory for forcing a driver below the out-of-bounds line at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Sauter had blocked his way around the 2.66-mile superspeedway for the final two-lap overtime shootout. His defensive driving included forcing Riley Herbst below the yellow line right before he crossed the finish line. That put the finish under review; NASCAR had to determine if Sauter’s move was illegal.

Sauter didn’t wait for a ruling, doing a victory celebration on the frontstretch and collecting the checkered flag, while Boyd waited outside his truck on pit road. A crew member told Boyd he had just won his first career race.

“You dream of winning races, four years ago I was selling cars with my dad for Hendrick Automotive,” said Boyd, who added that he put together the sponsorship to run Saturday’s race only in the last two weeks. “You never know what’s going to happen here. Sitting there second, was going to be happy. Then one of my crew guys said, ‘You won!’”

The previous best finish for the 23-year-old was fourth in the season-opening race at Daytona. His celebration was harried, too, because Boyd was scheduled to qualify for the Cup race immediately after the completion of the Truck Series race.

Sauter learned the win had been taken away as he was driving toward victory lane. He was eliminated from the playoffs in the last truck race when his engine failed.

“Ain’t the first win NASCAR has taken from me,” said Sauter, who added that the block on Herbst was his only move. “I didn’t block his advance or anything. Just hate it for my guys.”

Playoff driver Ross Chastain caused an 11-truck crash when he failed at throwing a block as the leader with six laps remaining. He cut across traffic and was spun, creating enough carnage that the race was stopped for the second time for lengthy cleanups.

The stoppage of 16 minutes, 31 seconds did nothing to calm the drivers for the final push. Gus Dean sent the race into overtime when he crashed with two laps remaining, setting up Sauter’s failed winning bid.

Todd Gilliland finished second and was followed by Herbst, Brett Moffitt, Stewart Friesen and Austin Hill. Sauter was dropped to 14th in the final finishing order.

FORMULA 1: With the Suzuka circuit shuttered on Saturday because of the approaching typhoon, the Japanese Grand Prix was in a holding pattern with drivers forced to spend the day at their hotels.

Organizers canceled Saturday’s qualifying session with Typhoon Hagibis set to hit Japan’s main island on Saturday and Sunday. Plans are for the Formula One race to be run as scheduled on Sunday at 2 p.m. local time with qualifying earlier in the day. Hagibis, which could dump amounts of rain not seen since a deadly typhoon in 1958, is expected to make landfall on the Pacific coast of central or eastern Japan on Saturday evening.

“We got an unexpected day off on Saturday but I’m sure the team will keep me busy,” Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said after leading Friday’s final practice. “But we’ll be digging into the data and make the most out of it.”

If qualifying goes ahead on Sunday it will mean a busy day for the drivers but it’s not unprecedented. Qualifying at Suzuka was moved to Sunday morning as a result of bad weather in 2004 and 2010. If qualifying is canceled, race stewards can use the classification from the second practice for the grid positions.


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