Ryan Preece makes late charge for Truck Series debut victory at Nashville

For the first time since 2011, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returned to Nashville Superspeedway. And for the first time in his career, Ryan Preece made a late-race pass on Grant Enfinger with six laps to go to take home the victory in his Truck Series debut.

“Chad (Johnston, Crew chief on the No. 17), he did an awesome job calling the race, great adjustments, awesome car with DGR-Crosley,” Preece said to Fox Sports 1 about his victory. “This Ford F-150 was pretty stout. Thank you to Kevin Harvick, KHI Management, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Buildings for stepping up for allowing me to come out here and do this. This is why I love to race, I love winning.”

Preece‘s teammate, Todd Gilliland rebounded to finish second after starting at the back due to a pre-race violation.

“It stings not to get that last spot, especially because I was under the 17 (Preece) and got too loose, but that‘s racing,” Gilliland said, after the race.

Enfinger finished in third place after leading 39 laps.

“It was fun running with him,” he said. “It was extremely tough racing out there. We had a good truck, just not enough to hold of those [fresher] tires at the end.”

Zane Smith, Friesen, Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, Ty Majeski, Austin Hill and Nemechek rounded out the Top 10.

Qualifying was held earlier in the day and we saw the No. 19 of Derek Kraus qualify on the pole. Meanwhile, the No. 4 of John Hunter Nemechek’s qualifying time was disallowed as he went backward after spinning during his initial attempt and he was forced to start in the rear.

Stage 1 was caution-free while Kraus led all 40 laps to score his second career stage win. Austin Hill, Chandler Smith, Grant Enfinger, Jack Wood, Preece, Zane Smith, Johnny Sauter, William Byron and Tyler Ankrum were the Top 10 finishers.

The first yellow of the night flew in the second stage on Lap 79 when the engine of Byron’s No. 27 expired. During the caution, there were a couple of drivers who made a pit stop. Unfortunately, two drivers were penalized. Todd Gilliland received a penalty for a commitment line violation and Josh Berry was penalized for an uncontrolled tire.

As Stage 2 ended on Lap 95, Chandler Smith scored his first stage win of the season. Zane Smith, Kraus, Sauter, Crafton, Rhodes, Wood, Gray, Enfinger and Preece completed the Top 10. Under the stage break, Sauter was penalized for speeding and Tanner Gray was penalized for an uncontrolled tire. Both drivers had to start from the rear of the field for the final stage. Enfinger and Stewart Friesen stayed out and assumed the lead to play a different strategy.

The final stage began with 42 laps to go and saw intense battles and two yellows flew with 46 to go for Sauter who spun after contact with Gray. The final yellow flag was thrown with 39 to go for Stage 1 winner Kraus who spun off the front bumper of Josh Berry on the backstretch.

Following the restart with 33 to go, Enfinger stretched the lead while trying to save fuel at the same time. However, the battle for the lead heated up with Todd Gilliland and Ryan Preece with 13 to go. Enfinger kept Preece at bay for a couple more laps until Preece made the move with six to go and took the lead and went on to win NASCAR’s first race back at Nashville Superspeedway.

There were eight lead changes among six different leaders and five cautions for 29 laps. Preece led twice for eight laps en route to victory.

Playoff leaderboard with three races to go until the Playoffs start:
  1. John Hunter Nemechek, 4 wins, 28 playoff points
  2. Ben Rhodes, 2 wins, 11 playoff points
  3. Todd Gilliland, 1 win, 7 playoff points
  4. Sheldon Creed, 1 win, 6 playoff points
  5. Austin Hill, +146
  6. Zane Smith, +108
  7. Matt Crafton, +73
  8. Stewart Friesen, +53
  9. Carson Hocevar, +30
  10. Chandler Smith, +15
    Below the cut line
  11. Johnny Sauter, -15
  12. Austin Wayne Self, -41
  13. Tyler Ankrum, -48
  14. Derek Kraus, -61
Official Results following the Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway:
  1. Ryan Preece, led eight laps
  2. Todd Gilliland
  3. Grant Enfinger, 39 laps
  4. Zane Smith
  5. Stewart Friesen, led five laps
  6. Matt Crafton
  7. Ben Rhodes
  8. Ty Majeski
  9. Austin Hill, led two laps
  10. John Hunter Nemechek
  11. Jack Wood
  12. Johnny Sauter
  13. Chandler Smith, won Stage 2, led 48 laps
  14. Sheldon Creed
  15. Chase Purdy
  16. Carson Hocevar
  17. Parker Kligerman
  18. Tanner Gray
  19. Josh Berry
  20. Tate Fogleman
  21. Hailie Deegan
  22. Ross Chastain
  23. Tyler Ankrum
  24. Drew Dollar
  25. Spencer Davis
  26. Ryan Truex
  27. Austin Wayne Self
  28. Dawson Cram
  29. Timmy Hill
  30. Danny Bohn, 1 lap down
  31. Cory Roper, 2 laps down
  32. Kris Wright, 2 laps down
  33. Trey Hutchens III, 4 laps down
  34. Lawless Alan, 8 laps down
  35. Derek Kraus, won Stage 1, led 48 laps, OUT, Crash
  36. William Byron, OUT, Engine

Up Next: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will head to the northeast for the CRC Brakleen 150 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 26, live at 12 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and MRN Radio.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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