By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
It wasn’t a spin and win, but Justin Haley did recover from a spin to score his third-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series top-five finish. Haley, who missed the first two races of the 2017 season because of his age, held his own and ran impressively well with the seasoned veterans and young rookies alike.
Haley ran inside the top-10 throughout the Jag Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway, despite not finishing either stage inside the top-10. The race changed on lap 59 when Haley’s GMS Racing teammate, Johnny Sauter, the eventual race winner, clipped his No. 24 Zeality Chevrolet Silverado in turns one and two. Haley drifted through the corner, putting up a blinding cloud of smoke for Sauter. Somehow, both drivers avoided further contact and damage. A fresh set of Goodyear tires on his truck and Haley was good to go.
Haley constantly was battling in and around the lead group. He fought hard with Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe, and Sauter throughout the race. After the spin, he had to climb back up through the field, slicing through the narrow racing groove. A final round of green flag pit stops ultimately left Haley in fifth.
Haley even earned some praise from NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin on Twitter,
— Mark Martin (@markmartin) November 4, 2017
On his way to a fifth-place finish, Haley led 25 laps around the 1.5-mile track, the most in a single Truck race in his young career. The track position came after he started on the pole for the first time in his career. This not only was Haley’s third career top-five finish, but also his 11th top-10 finish.
Now the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion will look towards Phoenix and Homestead as he continues to attempt to spoil the party and earn his first career Truck Series victory.