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GMS Racing NCWTS Bristol Motor Speedway II Recap

Sheldon Creed, No. 2 LiftKits4Less Chevrolet Silverado

START: 1st
FINISH: 19th
POINTS: 2nd

  • Having locked himself into the Round of 8 with two victories to open the Playoffs, Sheldon Creed raced into Bristol looking to grow his bonus points total with additional stage wins and a fourth win of the season.
  • Creed started on pole with his No. 2 Lift Kits 4 Less Silverado and ran away with the early lead, dominating and winning Stage 1 in Thunder Valley. Crew Chief Jeff Stankiewicz elected to keep Creed out on track for Stage 2, in which he led every single lap to win the stage.
  • It appeared as if Creed was able to cruise to his fourth win of the season, leading 189 laps of 200, but with five laps to go, contact from the No. 18 truck sent him to the wall, eventually cutting down a tire and forcing Sheldon to limp home with a disappointing 19th place finish. A heartbreaking loss, but thankfully the finish did not affect his Playoffs picture.

Back2Back: Sheldon Creed is moving on to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, a round that will feature Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Martinsville Speedway. After the points reset, Creed finds himself sitting second in the standings, 20 points above the cutline heading into Las Vegas.

Quote: “I knew I was going to get hit at some point, but it hurts nonetheless. We’ve had three really fast trucks to open up the Playoffs and and it’s been really fun to go out there and dominate races. I’m having a lot of fun right now and I’m looking forward to heading to Vegas and setting our team up to make it to Phoenix.”

Zane Smith, No. 21 Karl Chevrolet Chevrolet Silverado

START: 9th
FINISH: 8th
POINTS: 4th

  • Zane Smith had to fight his hardest under the lights in Tennessee, as the 22-year-old approached the final race of the Round of 10 below the cutline. Smith needed to rally back and earn as many points as possible, as he entered five points out with his No. 21 Karl Chevrolet Silverado.
  • Smith passed numerous trucks to gain valuable points with a fourth place finish in Stage 1, and backed it up with a fourth place finish in Stage 2 after staying out with teammate Sheldon Creed. These stage finishes were crucial to Smith’s points tally at the end of the night.
  • In a chaotic turn of events, NASCAR officials handed the No. 21 team a safety violation penalty during his pit stop at the end of Stage 2. This would force Smith into a corner where he would have to scratch and claw his way back through the field in order to advance. Zane was able to fight his way up through the field, narrowly advancing by two points.

21in21: Zane Smith enters the Round of 8 reseeded fourth in the championship standings. Though admittedly this first round was not the team’s best, don’t ever count out a group of fighters. Smith and the No. 21 team look to make a statement during the Round of 8 opener in Las Vegas, the track that is close to his hometown of Huntington Beach, CA.

Quote: “What a tough night having to go to the back. I wish I could have been up there to help my teammate, because man I hate it when other teammates do stuff like that. I can’t wait till we finally have one of these races without a penalty, it should be a whole lot easier.”

Chase Purdy, No. 23 Bama Buggies Chevrolet Silverado

START: 19th
FINISH: 30th
POINTS: 19th

  • Chase Purdy was in his comfort zone at Bristol Motor Speedway as he returned to a much-anticipated short track. The rookie had competed on the half-mile in previous seasons with NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Super Late Model competition, but Thursday night was his first start with a truck on the pavement at the facility.
  • Purdy stayed consistent in Stage 1 and Stage 2, both starting and finishing in the 19th position. As the race continued to play out however, the No. 23 Bama Buggies Silverado began to move up the leaderboard. A few key adjustments in the pits vaulted Purdy up inside the Top 15, where he began to gain more track position during the final stage of the race.
  • Just as it appeared that all was going right for Chase, he was collected in a crash with multiple trucks on lap 155. The sustained damage was enough to end Purdy’s night early, knocking him down to a disappointing 30th place finish.

Quote: “I thought we had a really fast truck tonight. We started off pretty loose, but Jeff Hensley made some great adjustments to tighten our truck up. We started to make our way through the field and I thought we were able to contend for a Top 10 run, but got involved with a mess on the front stretch and hated to see our night end like that. Onto Las Vegas.”

Doug Coby, No. 24 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet Silverado

START: 30th
FINISH: 12th

  • Doug Coby made his long-awaited NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway driving the GMS Racing No. 24 Mayhew Tools Silverado. This marked Coby’s first NASCAR National Series start as a twenty year veteran of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
  • Due to the qualifying metric, Coby started all the way down in 30th at the Last Great Colosseum. With no previous laps in a truck before Thursday night, Doug knew that he needed to adapt quickly. Stage 1 scored the No. 24 in 29th as he learned the vehicle characteristics, but by the time Stage 2 rolled around it was evident that he was confident in his equipment, moving up to 20th.
  • Remarkable wreck avoidance on lap 155 kept Coby in the game, and from that point it was game on. The veteran put his previous Bristol experience to the test and began to pick his way through the Top 15 one truck at a time. At the end of the night, Coby was able to come home with a 12th place finish, very respectable for the Northeasterner’s first ever attempt in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Quote: “All of the people at GMS Racing, from top to bottom, were awesome to work with. It’s great exposure for Mayhew Tools and myself, as we are a team. The biggest thing was completing all 200 laps and getting the experience, doing the pit stops, and not getting sucked into a wreck. I think we had a truck that could have competed in the top-five or the top-10, if we were there. With the flow of the race, with all of the cautions, and a few mistakes on restarts… any time we lost spots, we were able to make them back up.”

Tyler Ankrum, No. 26 LiUNA! Chevrolet Silverado

START: 18th
FINISH: 32nd
POINTS: 14th

  • Tyler Ankrum looked to turn his luck around at Bristol Motor Speedway after the No. 26 LiUNA! team experienced two disappointing finishes in a row at Gateway and Darlington. Heading into Bristol, Crew Chief Charles Denike knew how to prepare a fast truck, as he was the defending race winner with the GMS Racing No. 24 team last season.
  • Ankrum’s speed was clearly shown early on, as he drove all the way from 18th to finish ninth in Stage 1. In Stage 2, The No. 26 continued to surprise many, as he pulled off an impressive second place finish. Without a doubt, Ankrum was running his best race of the season on an oval.
  • Just as it appeared that Ankrum would have a legitimate shot at contending for the race win, a costly speeding penalty heading into the final stage of the race dropped him back in the pack. On the ensuing restart, Ankrum was involved with a heavy crash, ending his night immediately. What looked to be a fairytale night resulted in a heartbreaking 32nd place finish.

Quote: “What an unfortunate way to end our night. We had a great truck with lots of speed, but that speeding penalty on pit road put us in the back where we shouldn’t have been. It sucks that we weren’t able to get a good finish after our awesome night, but we will race it out in Las Vegas.”

ABOUT GMS RACING:

GMS Racing competes full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with drivers Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, Tyler Ankrum, Chase Purdy and Jack Wood. The team also competes in the ARCA Menards Series with Daniel Dye. Since the team began in 2014, GMS Racing won the 2016 and 2020 Camping World Trucks Championship, the 2015 ARCA Menards Series championship as well as the 2019 & 2020 ARCA East championship. GMS has grown to occupy several buildings located in Statesville, N.C. The campus also includes operations for GMS Fabrication. More information can be found at https://gmsracing.net

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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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