The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returned to Richmond Raceway last night for the second race in their first Playoff round. Ty Majeski in the #66 started on pole alongside the #18 of Chandler Smith. Most of the top ten in qualifying were playoff trucks, beside the #62 of Layne Riggs, the #61 of Chase Purdy, and the #25 of Matt DiBenedetto. The playoff drivers outside the top ten were the #42 of Carson Hocevar (twelfth), the #99 of Ben Rhodes and the #88 of Matt Crafton (fourteenth and fifteenth respectively.)
The opening laps saw Majeski battle C. Smith closely with Stewart Friesen in the #52 trailing close behind. Though the racing at the start was close, Majeski soon pulled away. For much of this opening stint, the race became more of a far-spread precession, minus a pass or two every couple of laps. As cars began getting lapped, it became easier for some of the lead trucks to pass each other, one of which was the #4 of John Hunter Nemechek who made his way up to second place. Majeski then took the stage win by a great margin.
Chandler Smith got a great jump on the restart over his teammate, Nemechek. Not much changed after the stage break concerning the lead cars, other than Grant Enfinger in the #23 being up in third and Majeski going down to fourth. Nothing much happened during this stage, and Chandler Smith won it by another large margin.
C. Smith once again pulled away from the rest of the pack, but not nearly to the extent he did in Stage Two. The gap to Nemechek behind remained a consistent few seconds, until Smith ran into the back of the lapped car of Layne Riggs, slowing him down tremendously. Smith went to the inside of Riggs at turn one, and it looked as if Nemechek had a chance to take the lead since he went to the outside of Riggs. Smith’s truck handled better through turn one, however, allowing him to hold on to the lead and open it up once again. After a few laps had passed, Carson Hocevar in the #42 was being lapped. As this happened, he attempted to pass the #33 of Nick Leitz. Hocevar seemed to brake too deep, making the truck tight to the point where it virtually went straight, colliding with Leitz and sending him into the wall. This brought out the first caution for a crash of the night.
Chandler Smith had another good restart, pulling ahead once again. For a moment it seemed like pole sitter Ty Majeski could challenge Nemechek for second, but Nemechek retained his position. Smith pulled away without a serious threat for the lead during this final stint, and eventually came to the checkered flag and won at Richmond, locking himself into the Round of 8.
John Hunter Nemechek piloted his #4 to a solid second place, ahead of pole sitter Ty Majeski in the #66 and last race’s winner Grant Enfinger in the #23. Corey Heim secured a solid top five in the #51, with Taylor Gray in the #17 right behind. Teammates Matt Crafton in the #88 and Christian Eckes in the #98 finished seventh and eighth respectively, with the #38 of Zane Smith and #42 of Carson Hocevar rounding out the top ten.
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