William Byron Dominates Final Stage, Snags the Win at Martinsville

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series headed to Martinsville Speedway for some Thursday night short track racing. Nasty weather was over the area most of the day, and unfortunately led to truck qualifying being cancelled, and the field being set by rules. Three drivers (Blaine Perkins, Justin Carroll, and Jake Garcia) were sent home as a result.

A few non-regulars were scattered throughout the field this week – Cup Series stars Kyle Busch, and William Byron made appearances, as did a number of drivers making their series debuts: Blake Lothian, Kaden Honeycutt, Dillon Steuer, and Chase Janes all ran their first career national series races.

When it was all said and done, the series regulars were no match for William Byron, who took the lead after the second stage break, and never looked back as he dominated the final stage, never yielding the lead. It was his eighth career Truck Series win in what was only his second start in the series since 2016. It also marked the first Truck Series win for Spire Motorsports, and only their second NASCAR National Series win after Justin Haley won the rain shortened Daytona race in 2019.

As a non-series regular won the race, the Truck Series playoff picture was not notably altered by this weeks action – Zane Smith maintained the top spot, and has two wins to boot, while Chandler Smith is the lone other driver locked in with a win. Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen, and John Hunter Nemechek make up the rest of the top-five in points following the race.

As it happened:

Lap 1: Zane Smith and Kyle Busch made up the front row. Smith jumped out to the lead at the drop of the green.

Lap 8: Kris Wright spun out of turn four and collected Jack Wood, leading to the first caution. Both trucks were able to drive away, but Wood in particular suffered significant front end damage.

Lap 14: The race resumes, but the caution flies almost immediately as Dean Thompson’s truck slowed to a stop.

Lap 33: Johnny Sauter and Hailie Deegan get together, with Deegan developing a fairly severe tire rub.

Lap 37: Caution flies again as Spencer Boyd slows to a stop on track – a huge break for Deegan who was nursing her damaged truck. Several trucks would pit under caution, including Kyle Busch.

Lap 50: Stage one results:

1) Zane Smith
2) Stewart Friesen
3) Ben Rhodes
4) John Hunter Nemechek
5) Grant Enfinger
6) Christian Eckes
7) Derek Kraus
8) Tanner Gray
9) Chase Purdy
10) Tyler Ankrum

Lap 61: Green flag. Zane Smith and many other leaders pitted during the stage break, allowing Ben Rhodes to inherit the lead – he is followed by Kyle Busch, Carson Hocevar, Christian Eckes, and Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 70: Caution comes out as Spencer Boyd slows to a stop on track for the second time – nearly causing a massive incident with Ty Majeski and Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 79: Lawless Alan spins after contact with Blake Lothian, bringing out another caution. William Byron and Kyle Busch – among other competitive trucks – pit under caution. Race leader Ben Rhodes still has not pitted.

Lap 101: Stage two results:

1) Ben Rhodes
2) Christian Eckes
3) Carson Hocevar
4) Zane Smith
5) John Hunter Nemechek
6) Ty Majeski
7) Matt DiBenedetto
8) Parker Kligerman
9) Grant Enfinger
10) Taylor Gray

Lap 108: Green flag flies. William Byron inherits the lead, but the caution flies almost immediately as Kayden Honeycutt spins following three-wide contact with Austin Wayne Self.

Lap 123: Caution flies as Dillon Steuer – making his series debut – suffers a heavy crash.

Lap 133: Caution is out again as Stewart Friesen – who was running seventh – makes contact with Christian Eckes (who was aggressively pushing into the corner by Ben Rhodes) and spins in turn four, though not suffering serious damage.

Lap 138: William Byron continues leading as the green flag is restored.

Lap 156: Caution flies as Jesse Little spins on the backstretch following contact with Tate Fogleman. Bret Holmes, Kris Wright, and Austin Wayne Self also sustained damage in the fray. Stage one winner Zane Smith pits under the caution in a strategy move.

Lap 180: William Byron continues to lead, holding a 1.2 second lead over Johnny Sauter and Kyle Busch.

Lap 200: William Byron maintained his lead over Johnny Sauter, and secured the win!

Final Running Order:

  1. William Byron
  2. Johnny Sauter
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. John Hunter Nemechek
  5. Ben Rhodes
  6. Chandler Smith
  7. Matt Crafton
  8. Grant Enfinger
  9. Zane Smith
  10. Tyler Ankrum
  11. Ty Majeski
  12. Christian Eckes
  13. Stewart Friesen
  14. Derek Kraus
  15. Matt DiBenedetto
  16. Parker Kligerman
  17. Carson Hocevar
  18. Colby Howard
  19. Hailie Deegan
  20. Lawless Alan
  21. Tanner Gray
  22. Tate Fogleman
  23. Tyler Hill
  24. Bret Holmes (-1)
  25. Chase Janes (-1)
  26. Tanner Gray (-2)
  27. Jesse Little (-2)
  28. Blake Lothian (-2)
  29. Chase Purdy (-3)
  30. Kris Wright (-5)
  31. Austin Wayne Self (-43)
  32. Dillon Steuer (-78)
  33. Spencer Boyd (-81)
  34. Kaden Honeycutt (-93)
  35. Jack Wood (-174)
  36. Dean Thompson (-187)

Photo Credit: Hendrick Motorsports Twitter

Published by Walker Skeeter

Walker is a 4th year climatology PhD candidate at the University of Delaware. Despite being a climate scientist, Walker has been a NASCAR fan for over 20 years! His favorite drivers are Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick, and Alex Bowman in cup, and AJ Allmendinger, Tommy Joe Martins, and Ryan Vargas in Xfinity. Outside of racing, he enjoys talking about (and studying) the weather, watching Baltimore sports, and playing video games.

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