By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- His truck intact and headed in a straight line as most of the rest of the lead-lap trucks wrecked behind him, Johnny Sauter crossed the finish line first in the Fred's 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Behind Sauter was chaos.
Coming to the checkered flag with a huge run through the tri-oval, Jeb Burton spun off the bumper of Miguel Paludo and flashed up the track into the Toyota of Kyle Busch, who was pushing Dakoda Armstrong toward the finish.
Paludo's truck flipped over and slid on its roof down the frontstretch, spraying sparks as the metal scraped the asphalt. In the aftermath of the melee, Kyle Busch sat dazed, the wind knocked out of him, with his back against the concrete wall in the tri-oval.
Sauter was the clear winner, having escaped the last-lap crash to win for the third time this season and the ninth time in his career.
When NASCAR sorted out the rest of the finishing order, David Starr took second place, followed by Ross Chastain, Parker Kligerman, Armstrong and Timmy Hill.
Off the final corner, series leader Matt Crafton was pushing Sauter, Busch was shoving Armstrong, Kligerman was pushing Chastain, and they appeared ready to settle the issue between themselves.
Then Paludo and Burton entered the fray, and tried to force their way through the trucks ahead of them.
Paludo and Burton, however, ran out of room, and everyone else but Sauter ran out of luck.
Crafton, who finished ninth after spinning short of the stripe, expanded his series lead to 57 points over 14th-place finisher Ty Dillon.