Sheldon Creed won a dramatic race at Darlington that saw multiple wrecks and cautions.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck series was back racing at Darlington for the Liftkits4less.com 200. Nemechek started the race on pole position with Austin Hill alongside him. Completing the second row were Zane Smith and Ben Rhodes in third and fourth position respectively. You can see the full starting line-up here.
Things kicked of with a 45-lap long stage 1, with a competition caution scheduled for lap 15. Green flag went off at 7:43 ET. Nemechek led off the start on pole, with Austin Hill placing behind him by turn 2. Leader Nemechek had a close call with Norm Benning as he was caught behind him. Nemechek dropped to third, with Austin Hill capitalizing on the situation and taking the lead of the race. Ben Rhodes placed second.
Norm Benning was later black flagged on lap 13 for not making it to the minimum speed, given one chance to fix the situation.
On lap 14, the number 04 of Cory Roper had issues as he made contact with the outside wall, damaging his truck. The green flag conditions continued for an additional lap, as the competition caution went out on lap 15. The caution conditions were extended because the truck of Cory Roper needed to be towed off pit road.
Racing resumed on lap 22. Ryan Truex led off the restart but Ben Rhodes managed to quickly take the lead. Caution was once again out on lap 26 as Codie Rohrbaugh and Kris Wright made contact in turn 2, both sustaining heavy damage and retiring from the race. During this caution only Spencer Boyd and Erik Darnell pitted.
Green flag conditions resumed on lap 13 but were quickly called off by caution, as truck 52 of Stewart Friesen went for a spin, with Parker Kligerman just narrowly avoiding him. Jeniffer Jo Cobb got the free pass.
Green flag racing resumed with 9 laps to go on stage 1. Todd Gilliland led off the restart with Ben Rhodes second on the inside. Rhodes later started to fall behind to 5th place. Nemechek was running second and Zane Smith third. The car 19 of Derek Kraus was having issues, being off the pace through turns 1 and 2, then going into the pits.
Stage 1 concluded and it was Todd Gilliland taking the win of it. John Hunter Nemechek finished in second place and Zane Smith third.
Stage 1 top finishers:
|2||4||John Hunter Nemechek|
The 45-lap long stage 2 went green at 8:31 ET. Gilliland led off the start but John Hunter Nemechek overtook him on the inside of turn 2, getting away from him cleanly. Zane Smith and Sheldon Creed were running 3rd and 4th respectively. Corey Heim, who was making his NASCAR debut, was running inside the top 10 in the 7th position, ahead of Matt Crafton.
Norm Benning retired from the race on lap 64 for failing to maintain the minimum required speed.
On lap 72 Carson Hocevar got up to 5th place with Corey Heim in 6th behind. Creed dropped to 7th, Hill was running 8th, and Smith 9th. Tanner Gray filled the last spot of the top 10. Bayley Currey had issues with a tire down, being forced to pit, however, green flag conditions stayed on track.
Caution was out on lap 80 as the truck 23 of Chase Purdy. He made contact with the truck of Akinori Ogata trying to slide up front and crashed with the outside wall of turn 4 as he spun. He retired from the race as a result from heavy damage. Ben Rhodes pitted while the pit road was closed, having to restart from the back of the pack. Pit road was open a lap later and all leaders pitted, with Nemechek winning the race off pit road.
Green flag conditions returned with 2 laps to go in stage 2. Timmy Hill led the pack with Tanner Gray second on the outside. Nemechek was quick to grab second place, and then re-gain the lead later on in the lap.
The stage 2 victory was for John Hunter Nemechek, with Corey Heim and Carson Hocevar in second and third place respectively.
Stage 2 top finishers:
|1||4||John Hunter Nemechek|
The final stage of the night kicked things off at 9:06 ET. John Hunter Nemechek led off the green flag with Corey Heim and Carson Hocevar keeping their places behind. Hill climbed up to fifth and Crafton behind him on sixth.
Eirk Darnell made contact with the outside wall on lap 97, but green flag conditions continued on track.
Caution was out on lap 102 as Timothy Peters spun in turn 4. The free pass was for Akinori Ogata.
Green flag racing resumed with 41 laps to go. Nemechek and Heim battled it out for the lead in the early stages of the restart but Nemechek got ahead. Heim then was overtaken by Austin Hill with 39 laps to go. Carson Hocevar was running 4th.
Caution was out once again with 37 laps to go as Tanner Gray spun and crashed with the outside wall, then getting collected by Timmy Hill and Akinora Ogata. Both Gray and Ogata retired from the race and walked away from their vehicles. Hill was able to continue. Jennifer Jo Cobb got the free pass.
Green flag conditions resumed with 30 laps to go. I didn’t last long as there was a big wreck coming into turn one, causing a red flag.
Nemechek and Heim get into each other after contact from behind, causing the big one for the night.
Zane Smith, Austin Hill, Corey Heim, John Hunter Nemechek, Spencer Davis, Tyler Ankrum, Timothy Peters, BJ McLeod, Chandler Smith, David Gilliland, Matt Crafton, Derek Kraus, Grant Enfinger, Ryan Truex, Hailie Deegan, Dawson Cram, Ryan Reed and Todd Gilliland were all involved in the wreck.
The red flag was lifted later on and the pack did several laps under caution as the race officials worked on fluids that spilled on track.
“It’s been a little bit if a shit show every restart that we’ve had.”Stewart Friesen – After the big crash and before the restart
Green flag racing resumed with 17 laps to go. Ben Rhodes led off the restart with Stewart Friesen and Johnny Sauter in 2nd and 3rd respectively, The caution was out later on in the same lap as Kligerman lost a front tire and got collected by Friesen. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage; Kligerman was out of the car as Friesen returned to the pits.
Friesen radio after the incident: “You can’t race these f*cking kids.”
Green flag conditions restarted with 8 laps to go. Sheldon Creed restarted on the inside with Rhodes leading on the outside. Johnny Sauter was third and Carson Hocevar fourth. Creed the overtook Rhodes for the lead. The caution was then out once again as Danny Bohn spun around.
The race restarted once again with two laps to go. Sheldon Creed led off the restart but got overtaken by Ben Rhodes. The caution was out with one to go under white flag conditions, and Creed was ahead, meaning he takes the victory of the race. Ben Rhodes finished second and Carson Hocevar third.
Race top 10 finishers:
|8||4||John Hunter Nemechek|
|9||22||Austin Wayne Self|