Cale Gale battled the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota of Kyle Busch on a green-white-checker restart in the Ford EcoBoost 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night and inched the nose of his No. 33 Eddie Sharp Racing Chevrolet in front of that of the No. 18 to claim his first-career win.
"I can tell you right now, coming out of turn four, that's not my racing style," Gale said of the contact he made with Busch on the final lap en route to win. The emotional victor went on to explain that he didn't know when he'd have the same kind of opportunity (to win) again, so he had to take advantage of it.
I can tell you right now, coming out of turn four, that's not my racing style.
Busch was relegated to the runner-up spot after leading much of the race.
"It just doesn't matter," a dejected Busch said of the physicality of his late-race duel with Gale.
Joey Coulter finished third in the No. 22 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
Parker Kligerman started his No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota on the pole and led the first five laps before he was passed by the No. 30 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet of Nelson Piquet Jr. on lap six.
Piquet remained up front for a while, until Busch beat him off pit road during a caution that came out for debris on lap 35 to restart in the top spot. Busch held on to the lead until he was passed by another Turner Motorsports Truck, the No. 4 Chevrolet of Kyle Larson on lap 51.
Despite only running his fourth-career Truck Series race, Larson was able to stay up front until the race field cycled through green-flag pit stops with about 48 laps to go in the race's scheduled 134-lap distance. Larson cycled back to the lead, but lost the top spot when the yellow flag waved for the third time in the race with about 30 laps to go.
Johnny Sauter got off pit road first by taking only two tires on his No. 13 ThorSport Racing Toyota. When the race went back to green, Busch moved into the lead by getting by Sauter as Larson lost several positions.
"It's tough that I got into a point contender there, but I'm racing for a win, too," Larson said of the incident. "I don't know if it was my fault. It was just hard racing."
Dillon wound up finishing the race 25th and dropping to fourth in the season-ending points standings. After beginning the race third in points, he lost that spot to RCR teammate Coulter. Buescher claimed the series championship after finishing the race 13th.
"I hate it had to come down to us hitting the wall," Dillon said.
The Larson-Dillon incident resulted in a brief red flag for track cleanup and then a green-white-checker sprint to the finish. Busch and Gale lined up on the front row for the two-lap dash to the win. The two raced side-by-side for the lead in the final laps, making contact several times. As the two came out of turn four and drove toward the checkered flag, Gale was able to pull out ahead just far enough to take the win by 0.014 seconds. It was a close enough finish that Gale didn't know for sure that he'd won until he received the word from his team on the radio.
Sauter was sixth, Parker Kligerman was seventh in the No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota, and Timothy Peters held on to finish second in points with an eighth-place finish in the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota. Justin Lofton was ninth in the No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing Chevrolet and Ross Chastain was 10th in the No. 08 SS Green Light Racing Toyota.