BOWMANVILLE, Ontario — John Nemechek raced Cole Custer door-to-door through the grass as their trucks barreled to the finish line at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The rough racing to the checkered flag required a lengthy review by NASCAR before Nemechek was declared the winner Sunday.
Custer was furious with the way he was raced and used a leaping tackle to knock Nemechek to the ground as Nemechek waited at the flagstand to be named the winner.
After, Nemechek said he raced Custer clean to the finish.
“We didn’t wreck him for the win. Rubbin’ is racin’,” Nemechek said. “If I had been in the same spot, he would have done the same thing to me to get a win. You have to do everything you can to get a win here.”
Custer, who needed the win to make the truck series’ version of the playoffs, felt Nemechek was dirty.
“We had a really fast truck. We got taken out,” Custer said. “He hit me going into the second-to-last corner, and he hit me again. I don’t know what else to do. But that’s how it is, I guess.”
It was Nemechek’s second series win of the season, while Custer is still seeking his first victory of the year. Custer is too far behind in points to make the playoffs without a victory. Only one race remains before the eight-driver Chase field is Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Custer started from the pole and led 39 of the 66 laps. He only gave when he made a green-flag pit stop, and that allowed Nemechek to cycle into the lead.
But Custer got it back on a late restart and held Nemechek off two more times before the final lap in overtime.
Nemechek hit Custer once, then a second time before the two trucks raced into the grass. They slid across the finish line with Nemechek just slightly ahead.
Daniel Hemric, Matt Crafton and Christopher Bell rounded out the top-five finishers at the road course.