With just three races left in the 2020 Truck Series season, Texas Motor Speedway was the site for race No. 2 in the Round of 8 Playoffs.
Sheldon Creed won in an overtime restart after fending off a hard-charging Austin Hill late in the going. Creed had one of the dominate trucks throughout the race, winning Stage 1, before taking the lead once again inside 15 to go and claiming the third victory of his career.
“Two trucks locked in for the organization, that’s awesome and hopefully we can get the other two (Zane Smith and Tyler Ankrum) or at least one more next weekend,” Creed said. “Hard racing today. Man, it’s crazy. We’ve just been working for this all year, and I feel like I’ve improved so much and put so much work into this. Man, going to Martinsville stress-free is so nice.”
Stage 1: Lap 1 – Lap 35
The first stage was relatively calm until two laps to go. The No. 49 of Timothy Viens brought out the first accident of the day when Viens hit the Turn 4 wall. With the caution coming out so late in the stage, NASCAR officials decided to end the stage under yellow, which gave Creed the stage victory. Austin Hill, Moffitt, Rhodes, Crafton, Chandler Smith, Eckes, Zane Smith, Enfinger, and Gilliland completed the Top 10.
Stage 2: Lap 40 – Lap 71
After the restart for Stage 2, the No. 40 Niece Motorsports truck of Ryan Truex was penalized for a restart violation. Truex would later be out of the race due to a broken trackbar.
A few moments later on Lap 42, the No. 68 of Clay Greenfield had hard contact with the Turn 2 wall following an incident with the No. 56 of Tyler Hill. One more caution would fly on Lap 53 when the No. 02 of Tate Fogleman crashed off the exit of Turn 4.
The restart came on Lap 57 with playoff driver Matt Crafton passing Creed for the lead on Lap 65. Crafton hung onto the top spot and won the second stage over Creed. Rhodes, Zane Smith, Kraus, Chandler Smith, Eckes, Austin Hill, Enfinger, and Moffitt wrapped up the Top 10.
Stage 3: Lap 77 – Lap 152
The third and final stage had the most incidents of the afternoon with six cautions during the last stage.
The first of those yellows occurred at Lap 93 as the No. 98 of Grant Enfinger was in a must-win situation going into Martinsville. The No. 98 ended up blowing up with smoke down the backstretch creating the fifth yellow of the day.
As the race wore down, tempers started to heat up between drivers, especially Ben Rhodes and Chandler Smith who were involved in incidents. First, on Lap 107, Rhodes blocked Gilliland’s strong run going into Turns 1 and 2 causing Gilliland to crash hard in the Turn 2 wall. Then later in the race on Lap 146, the Kentucky native intentionally turned the No. 18 of Christian Eckes on the frontstretch creating the second to last yellow of the race.
Meanwhile, Chandler Smith was involved in an accident with the No. 15 of Tanner Gray at Lap 118. Smith’s day went from bad to worse when the left-rear tire fell off the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra machine following a pit stop for repairs.
When the yellow flew for the Rhodes and Eckes accident, it brought out the 11th overtime restart in Texas Motor Speedway Truck Series history.
The late-race yellow would necessitate a restart on Lap 151, past the scheduled distance of 147 laps.
Nonetheless, Sheldon Creed was able to punch his Championship 4 ticket by holding off Austin Hill for the victory and joining his GMS Racing teammate Brett Moffitt at Phoenix.
There were 10 cautions for 49 laps and 14 lead changes among six different drivers.
Creed led eight times for 131 laps en route to victory and picked up six playoff points.
Official Results following the SpeedyCash.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
- Sheldon Creed, won Stage 1, led 131 laps, Advanced Championship 4
- Austin Hill (Playoff driver), led one lap
- Zane Smith (Playoff driver)
- Raphael Lessard
- Brett Moffitt (Playoff driver), Already advanced to Championship 4
- Matt Crafton (Playoff driver), won Stage 2, led 13 laps
- Austin Wayne Self
- Dylan Lupton
- Derek Kraus, led two laps
- Tanner Gray
- Tyler Hill
- Chase Purdy
- Jordan Anderson
- Spencer Boyd
- James Buescher
- Tyler Ankrum (Playoff driver)
- Danny Bohn
- Dawson Cram
- Josh Bilicki, OUT, Crash
- Ben Rhodes, led one lap, 1 lap down
- Chandler Smith, 1 lap down
- Ray Ciccarelli, 1 lap down
- Johnny Sauter, 2 laps down
- Jennifer Jo Cobb, 3 laps down
- Christian Eckes, OUT, Crash
- Norm Benning, 9 laps down
- Josh Reaume, OUT, Brakes
- Stewart Friesen, OUT, Crash
- Trevor Bayne, OUT, Engine
- Natalie Decker, OUT, Vibration
- Todd Gilliland, OUT, Crash
- Grant Enfinger, OUT, Engine
- Tate Fogleman, OUT, Crash
- Ryan Truex, OUT, Suspension
- Clay Greenfield, OUT, Crash
- Trey Hutchens, OUT, Ignition
- Tim Viens, OUT, Crash
Up Next: The NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series will continue their playoff schedule with the last race in the Round of 8 at Martinsville Speedway Friday night, Oct. 30th, live on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio.