Dominant trucks hand Enfinger Gateway victory in late wreck

MADISON, Ill. — It was Zane Smith’s race to lose.

He stayed out to take the lead in the final 30 laps of the Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway. Even with four new tires, Grant Enfinger wasn’t eating into his lead. Smith’s car was just too strong on medium to long runs.

But then Lawless Alan threw a monkey wrench into the runaway operation with a spin with 10 laps to go.

Now it’s anyone’s race.

With six to go, Ty Majeski powers off Turn 2 and pulls inside of Smith.

Even down the backstretch.

Even entering Turn 3.

Disaster.

“Low air pressures and we had the splitter bent, got into Turn 3 obviously trying to get ahead of the No. 38, hit the splitter, had to check up, and went up the racetrack,” Majeski said. “Obviously when you go up the racetrack, his side took the air from mine, and I went around and wrecked us both.”

As a result, Enfinger passed underneath the wreck to retake the lead and drove onto victory.

“I don’t know if we were just on the limit right there on the end, but I think Ty just did what I did last year to Zane,” Enfinger said.

Smith spoke to Majeski after the race, both to see if someone got into him and just what his plan was.

“I saw an interview earlier where at this track he has more experience here than any others,” he said. “He still races like it’s his first time here. We see time and time again that the guy on the bottom has to be a little conservative, and that’s why the leaders always choose the top.”

Ultimately, it doesn’t hurt either Smith or Majeski, points-wise. Majeski leaves Gateway second, one point behind Corey Heim (who missed Saturday’s race with an illness). Meanwhile, Smith remains fourth, with two wins to book his ticket to the playoffs.

It doesn’t ease the heartbreaking loss for Smith, however.

“I mean, I kind of did it to myself staying in this series,” he said. “It is pretty unbelievable how scary some of these guys are. We’ve just had, now, four bad weeks – some self-inflicted, but our day obviously snowballed once we get around some of these guys. It’s just frustrating.”

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

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2023, I'm on my eighth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Your Name" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."

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