Chandler Smith wins Bristol cutoff race in wild mode
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers headed to Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday, September 16 for the final cutoff race of the Round of 10. Sheldon Creed dominated most of all 200 laps, but Chandler Smith took the lead. during the last reboot and delivered an end of storybook.
Creed started on pole and led the entire race, winning all three stages. Carson Hocevar and other drivers challenged him at times, but none could overtake GMS Racing’s No.2 Chevrolet Camaro. However, the situation changed after the final warning. The drivers lined up for a five-lap shootout with Creed on the outside and Smith next to him. GMS Racing’s No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado had a great launch, but Smith continued to fight in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra before finally taking the lead.
Creed lost his position after his rear tire fell. He slid down the track before losing control as Smith and John Hunter Nemechek advanced and fought for the lead. They hit trucks a few times before Smith’s rookie jumped to the front of the pack and claimed his first-ever Truck Series victory.
With three races completed, there are now eight drivers who advance to the playoffs. Creed is still the seed after winning two races while Smith is the second seed. Nemechek, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar, Ben Rhodes and Zane Smith round out the list. Todd Gilliland and Austin Hill didn’t move forward.
2 qualifying drivers treated with delay problems
10 Truck Series drivers have embarked on the Bristol race with the aim of reaching the next round of the playoffs. However, several remained in danger of elimination. Zane and Chandler both entered the race below the cut line while Rhodes and Hill had minor cushions.
Hill and Zane struggled in the last segment, which hampered their chances of racking up points and advancing to the playoffs. Hill received a pit-road speeding penalty during the Stage 2 break while Zane’s crew received a penalty for throwing in a can of gasoline. Both drivers had to retreat to the back of the field and fight their way while the rest of the playoff drivers remain in the top 10.
The problems continued for Zane as he made his way through the field. He damaged GMS Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet Silverado after hitting the rear of Jennifer Jo Cobb’s No. 10 Chevrolet. However, he managed to dodge a race-ending collision and advanced to the round of eight with a two-point advantage.
Hill, on the other hand, fell below the cut line with just 11 laps remaining in the Truck Series race. He had enough points to advance to the Round of Eight, but escaped out of a corner. No.16 hit Josh Berry’s No.25, causing Hill to spin violently into the inside wall. It bounced off the safer barrier and crashed into Hailie Deegan’s # 1 Ford F-150. The incident also brought together Austin Wayne Self, Lawless Alan and Derek Kraus.
Both drivers avoided injury and were able to exit their vehicle on their own. However, Hill saw his championship hopes come to an abrupt end. “It all depends on me. I messed up, ”the Truck Series driver said over the radio, by writer “Jayski” Dustin Albino.
2 eliminatory drivers won during the race
Zane and Hill both had frustrating nights at Bristol Motor Speedway, but two of their peers had more success ahead of the black and white checkered flag. Stewart Friesen and three-time champion Matt Crafton both clinched their places in the round of eight during the race.
Crafton took first place after finishing the first two stages third and 10th respectively. He entered the race 35 points above the cut line and added enough in the first two legs to clinch. He then finished the day seventh overall.
Friesen, meanwhile, entered the race 33 points above the cut line after finishing fourth and third in the first two playoff races. He then took seventh place in the first two stages to rack up enough points and clinch his own place in the round of eight before finishing fourth overall.
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