Motorsports

Ross Chastain wins Charlotte Truck race in dramatic finish

Hocevar appeared headed toward his first career victory Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway – leading 57 of 143 laps – but wrecked with Ryan Preece racing for the lead in the first overtime.

The wreck left Chastain the leader on the restart of the second overtime. Chastain, however lost the lead to Christian Eckes on the next-to-last lap.

On the final lap, John Hunter Nemechek nudged into the lead but Grant Enfinger pushed Chastain back to the lead and the win by 0.102 seconds over Grant Enfinger.

The win is the fourth in series for Chastain and first since 2019.

 

“Carson Hocevar and that No. 42 team dominated tonight. Al Niece (team owner) has given us trucks to come out and fight for wins,” Chastain said. “I hate it so much for Carson. If I had chosen the bottom (lane) like he did, I would have done the same thing. You’re just in a bad spot and I would have given him the push he needed to win.

“I’m so proud of Carson. I just want to say that over and over. I love him. We learn together and we lose together. I’m ready to bust (a watermelon)!”

Nemechek finished third, Eckes fourth and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Tanner Gray, Kyle Busch, Chandler Smith, Stewart Friesen and Ben Rhodes.

Hocevar took responsibility for the incident with Preece.

“A dumbass move by myself,” Hocevar said. “I tried too hard. I feel like a sis crying.”

Preece offered no sympathy for Hocevar.

“All you kids watching right now wanting to get to this level … don’t do that,” Preece said of move by Hocevar. “Race with respect.”

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, only a handful of trucks pit including the leader Rhodes, which moved Eckes into the lead. Derek Kraus was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart on Lap 66, Eckes was followed by Preece, Hocevar and Nemechek.

Preece powered around Eckes coming off Turn 4 after the restart to take the lead for the first time.

On Lap 72, Hocevar went to the outside of Preece and came away with the lead.

With 40 laps remaining, Hocevar had built a 4.3-second lead over Preece with Nemechek in third.

Chandler Smith on Lap 95 was the first driver to hit pit road for a green-flag pit stop to get new tires and enough fuel to make it to the finish.

Chastain followed on Lap 97 and Rhodes on Lap 98. Much more of the field came down pit road on Lap 100.

Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 107, Hocevar returned to the lead followed by Preece, Chastain, Nemechek and Eckes.

With 10 laps remaining, Hocevar had built his lead over Preece to more than six seconds as Chastain ran third, 9 seconds behind the leader.

On Lap 133, Jesse Little and Tyler Ankrum wrecked in Turn 3 to bring out a caution and send the race into a two-lap overtime.

Hocevar led the way into overtime, followed by Preece, Nemechek, Chastain and Eckes.

Hocevar and Preece wrecked in Turn 3 racing for the lead after the restart, handing the lead to Chastain and sending the race into a second overtime.

 

Chastain lined up in the lead followed by Eckes, Nemechek, Enfinger and Busch.

Stage 2

Rhodes claimed the Stage 2 win under caution as he grabbed the lead on restart with two laps to go and just before Matt Mills wrecked in Turn 1.

 

Eckes was second, Preece third, Hocevar fourth and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all the lead-lap trucks elected to pit with Zane Smith the first off pit road.

Busch had a crew member over the wall too soon and had to restart the race from the rear of the field. Friesen was penalized for speeding and also had to start in the rear.

On the restart on Lap 37, Zane Smith led the way followed by Ty Majeski, Preece, Hocevar and Eckes.

With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Zane Smith maintained a small advantage over Majeski with Preece still in third.

On Lap 53, Tate Fogleman spun off Turn 4 to bring out a caution. Most of the lead-lap trucks pit with Preece the first off pit road.

Kraus stayed out and inherited the lead. On the restart on Lap 58, Kraus was followed by Rhodes, Timmy Hill and Preece.

Stage 1

Zane Smith held off Majeski to take the Stage 1 win, his fifth stage win of the 2022 season.

Preece was third, Hocevar was fourth and Chastain rounded out the top-five.

Majeski started on the pole and led the first lap but Busch moved ahead on Lap 2 only to see Zane Smith grab the lead at the line.

Majeski moved back into the lead on Lap 9 only to see Zane Smith reclaim it again on Lap 10.

With 15 laps remaining, Zane Smith maintained about a half-second lead over Majeski, with Busch in third.

Austin Wayne Self and Hailie Deegan both had to start the race from the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments made to their respective trucks.


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