KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Austin Hill dominated the longest green-flag run all the way to the checkered flag to win the opening race of the first NASCAR Truck Series doubleheader at Kansas Speedway on Friday night.
Brett Moffitt won the opening stage before finishing second, nearly three seconds behind the winner. Grant Enfinger was third, reigning series champ Matt Crafton came across fourth and Derek Kraus finished fifth.
Kraus was skipping his high school graduation in Wisconsin to run this weekend.
Hill had been in the top 10 in all but one race this season but had yet to reach victory lane — his best finish had been second at Pocono and Atlanta. But after winning Stage 2 at Kansas Speedway and briefly jockeying around the lead, Hill cruised away over the final 30 laps in his No. 16 Toyota for his fifth career Truck Series win.
It was 90 degrees at the green flag and the race ended just as the sun was setting behind the empty grandstands, which meant little relief for drivers. In fact, the sun made things even more challenging by casting parts of the track in shadow, creating some areas that were slick and others where there was plenty of grip.
The shadows won’t be a problem on Saturday. The heat will be still with the green flag dropping at 12:30 p.m. CT.
Moffitt, who won his first stage of the season last week at Texas, took the lead after a caution for a spin involving Robby Lyons and went on to win the opening stage Friday night. Hill hadn’t won a playoff point before taking Stage 2.
The start of the race was a disaster for Tyler Ankrum, who came into the night two spots ahead of the playoff cut-off line in eighth place. He had a tire going down and came to the pits, then had to make another stop when the problem persisted a moment later. He finally went to the garage area to have a brake problem fixed.
Defending race winner Ross Chastain, who is running primarily in the Xfinity Series, was up front when he had a right rear flat late in the race. Travis Pastrana will take Chastain’s place in the No. 40 for the Trucks race on Saturday.
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