Do THAT! Ryan Preece Wins the Rackley Roofing 200

The Camping World Truck Series headed to the Music City of Nashville for a visit to Nashville Superspeedway for 150 laps of action. Ryan Preece put the David Gilliland Racing #17 truck on the pole – his first career pole in the Truck Series. Zane Smith joined him on the front row, followed by Carson Hocevar and Corey Heim on row two.

With only three races remaining until the playoffs, and no cup series regulars allowed in the field for any of them, several drivers on either side of the playoff cut line hoped to secure a win to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Coming into the race, Matt Crafton held the 10th and final playoff spot, followed by Derek Kraus (-27), Matt DiBenedetto (-43), Tanner Gray (-50), and Tyler Ankrum (-53).

Ultimately though, none of those hopefuls were able to secure a win, as it was part-timer Ryan Preece who would come away with the win. It marks the fifth straight time that a non-series regular has won a Truck Series race. The win is also equal parts important and vindicating for Preece. After being wrecked while battling for the lead in his most recent race at Charlotte, this win – his first of the year – makes it clear that he is taking full advantage of the opportunity he has been given by SHR and their partner teams to put his promising career back together.

The playoff cut line looks similar to how it did prior to the race, with Crafton holding on to the 10th spot, followed by Derek Kraus (-29), and Tyler Ankrum (-50). Matt DiBenedetto (-62), and Tanner Gray (-70) both lost significant ground due to incidents, and will almost certainly need a win to get in. DiBenedetto in particular had been fighting near the top-5 late in the race before a large wreck. The final two regular season races are at Mid-Ohio and Pocono

Notably, while much of the top-10 was populated by the usual suspects, 18-year old Max Gutierrez – making only his second career Truck Series start for AM Racing – came home with a very impressive 8th place finish.

As it happened:

On the drop of the green flag, Tanner Gray – who as said above is hovering around the playoff cut line – had to immediately come down pit road after suffering a penalty for illegally adding fuel. Meanwhile, Zane Smith jumped out to the lead ahead of Preece and Hocevar.

On lap 7, Jack Wood was spun by Matt Crafton in a pretty ugly move, making heavy contact with the wall and bringing out the first caution of the day. Once the race went back green, Smith retained the lead over Preece.

On lap 21, the #30 truck of Camden Murphy – making his first start of the year for On Point Motorsports – made heavy contact with the outside wall, bringing out the second caution. He would drive away from the wreck, but be forced to retire from the race due to the damage.

The action cooled off from that point, and the race ran green to the stage break with Zane Smith leading every lap to collect the win.

Stage 1 Results:

  1. Zane Smith
  2. Ryan Preece
  3. Corey Heim
  4. Stewart Friesen
  5. Chandler Smith
  6. Carson Hocevar
  7. Derek Kraus
  8. Ty Majeski
  9. Matt DiBenedetto
  10. Christian Eckes

Stage break pit stops saw Ty Majeski win the race off pit road following a two tire stop, followed by Smith and Preece. Interestingly, a pit crew member for Jesse Little ran after a loose tire that was rolling across pit road, coming dangerously close to being hit by the approaching truck of Majeski. Little was sent to the rear of the field as a result.

The race went back green, with Zane Smith regaining the lead almost immediately with Ryan Preece in tow as Majeski faded quickly to sixth on two tires.

On lap 60, Tanner Gray blew a right front tire and made heavy contact with the outside wall in turn four, with the race remaining green despite the contact.

On lap 70, John Hunter Nemechek was spun on the back stretch by Carson Hocevar after trying to throw an ill-advised block on the hard charging #42 truck. Nemechek managed to avoid making contact with the wall, but the caution still flew as the #4 truck spun through the grass on the backstretch.

The race went back green with 22 to go in stage two, with Ryan Preece jumping to the lead this time around. The stage went green the rest of the way, with Preece using the clean air to his advantage, running away from Zane Smith to secure the stage win.

Stage 2 Results:

  1. Ryan Preece
  2. Zane Smith
  3. Corey Heim
  4. Christian Eckes
  5. Stewart Friesen
  6. Derek Kraus
  7. Ben Rhodes
  8. Ty Majeski
  9. Todd Bodine
  10. Grant Enfinger

Stage break pit stops saw Parker Kligerman pick up 19 spots on a two tire stop to win the race off pit road, followed by Ryan Preece. Pit stops also saw John Hunter Nemechek lose a lap due to an axel change, and saw Chandler Smith penalized for removing equipment from the pit box.

When the green flag was put back out, Kligerman’s strategy call proved problematic for many trucks in the outside lane, as the field was stacked up behind the slower #75 truck. Included in the melee was Zane Smith – who had dominated much of the race – as he was squeezed into the outside wall on the back stretch, fading back to fifth. Meanwhile, Ryan Preece sorted out to the lead and began to drive away.

With 32 to go, two-time Truck Series champion Todd Bodine – making his 799th career start in NASCAR – spun through the infield grass to bring out a caution. Only trucks further back in the field chose to pit under the caution.

The green flag waved again with 26 laps to go. Ben Rhodes and Chandler Smith were both forced off track. Meanwhile up front, Christian Eckes and Ryan Preece battled hard side by side for the lead for two pals before Preece was able to pull ahead.

With 23 to go, Ty Majeski forced it four wide into turn three while battling inside the top-10, wiping out Matt DiBenedetto, Corey Heim, and Grant Enfinger in the process. Chandler Smith was also involved, spinning to avoid the carnage. Majeski escaped with no damage, while the three trucks wrecked by his move – two of which are hovering right around the playoff cut line – had top-10 runs ended.

Immediately on the green flag coming back out, Hailie Deegan wrecked hard from inside the top-15 after being spun by Max Gutierrez.

The green flag waved again with 10 to go, with Ryan Preece jumping to the lead followed by Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar. With two to go, Smith and Hocevar closed the lead all the way down to just a few truck lengths, with Smith diving into turn one on the final lap coming just feet from Preece’s bumper, but Preece managed to stymie the move, and hold on to the win – the second Truck Series win of his career, and the second consecutive win for David Gilliland Racing.

Final Results:

  1. Ryan Preece
  2. Zane Smith
  3. Carson Hocevar
  4. Ty Majeski
  5. Stewart Friesen
  6. Christian Eckes
  7. Tyler Ankrum
  8. Max Gutierrez
  9. John Hunter Nemechek
  10. Matt Crafton
  11. Derek Kraus
  12. Ben Rhodes
  13. Chase Purdy
  14. Dean Thompson
  15. Chandler Smith
  16. Colby Howard
  17. Kris Wright
  18. Blaine Perkins
  19. Jesse Little
  20. Parker Kligerman
  21. Kaden Honeycutt
  22. Stefan Parsons
  23. Timmy Hill
  24. Lawless Alan
  25. Spencer Boyd
  26. Nick Leitz
  27. Todd Bodine
  28. Hailie Deegan
  29. Chris Hacker
  30. Tanner Gray
  31. Matt DiBenedetto
  32. Grant Enfinger
  33. Corey Heim
  34. Camden Murphy
  35. Jack Wood
  36. Chase Janes

Image credit: Patrick Vallely (@Puffadda on 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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