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TC Daily Pit Stop: Texas, Richmond Produce Pair of First-Time Winners; Rain Interrupts Qualifying Plans at Richmond
TC Daily Pit Stop: Sunday, April 2nd, 2023
PHOTO CREDIT: Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images, Courtesy of NASCAR Media
Entering this year, Chandler Smith had some pretty enormous shoes to fill, replacing AJ Allmendinger as the full-time driver of the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro, in what had often been the leading entry for Kaulig Racing over the last two seasons.
Now, just seven races into Smith’s rookie campaign, we’ve already learned that the Talking Rock, Georgia-native is certainly no joke, capturing his first career victory in his 10th NASCAR Xfinity Series start.
The 20-year-old driver found himself in contention for the lead throughout the entirety of the event, leading a race-high 83 laps en route to the victory in the ToyoteCare 250 at Richmond Raceway.
Nemechek, who made a last-ditch effort to attempt a move to the outside of the Kaulig Racing driver, finished three-tenths behind Smith, coming one spot short of what would have been an incredible rebound.
Josh Berry came home in third-place, after having one of the best long-run cars in the field, though the continuous short runs hindered his attempt to win Saturday’s event. In fourth, Kaz Grala scored a much-needed top-five for Sam Hunt Racing.
Cole Custer rounded out the top five, scoring his best finish of the season, after a difficult start, and living in his teammate Riley Herbst’s shadow throughout most of the opening six events this season.
Photo Credit: Rick Lunkenheimer / TobyChristie.com
Carson Hocevar had been so close, so many times, to recording his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory, but until Saturday’s SpeedyCash.com 250 at Texas Motor Speedway he had been kept out of victory lane.
However, on the final lap of Saturday’s race, opportunity knocked and the 20-year-old racer answered the door.
Hocevar stealing the win was made possible when Nick Sanchez, the dominant driver of the day, got squirrely after a wicked side draft of Zane Smith for the race lead on the race’s final lap. The side draft sent Sanchez sideways, where the right side tires of the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado dipped into the fronstretch dirt and grass.
Sanchez would skid back in front of Hocevar, who stood in the gas. The two would make contact, which would send Sanchez careening into Smith in the outside lane. Christian Eckes would pile in as well, as Hocevar scooted away to victory.
While three of the top-four trucks crashed on the final lap, Chase Purdy was able to steer clear of the mayhem to score a career-best finish in second. Stewart Friesen snuck his way to third, Ty Majeski came home in fourth and Jake Garcia finished fifth in the race.
Photo Credit: Craig White | TobyChristie.com
Dean Thompson – the driver of the No. 5 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for TRICON Garage – will be transported to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center for further evaluation, after a vicious crash in the closing stages of Saturday’s NASCAR Truck Series event at Texas.
In a previous update, TRICON Garage stated that Thompson was awake and alert while being evaluated in the infield care center.
The four-truck accident occurred on lap 146 of Saturday’s SpeedyCash.com 250 at Texas Motor Speedway, and involved Thompson, along with Matt Mills, Armani Williams, and Trey Hutchens.
Thompson, who had spent more laps running inside the top five during Saturday’s event than he had in his entire Truck Series career prior, first got sideways in turns three and four, making contact with the outside wall and spinning down the track.
Wow. Carson Hocevar is a winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, capturing the victory in extremely dramatic fashion at Texas Motor Speedway.
Nick Sanchez and Zane Smith were the two drivers battling hard for the victory of Saturday’s SpeedyCash.com 250 at Texas, racing side-by-side throughout the first lap of the second NASCAR Overtime attempt.
However, things weren’t totally clean from that point forward, as Sanchez and Smith made some door contact at the start-finish line, sending the Miami, Florida native sideways and directly in front of Carson Hocevar.
With nowhere to go, Hocevar, driving for Niece Motorsports, then hooked the right-rear of the No. 2 Gainbridge Chevrolet Silverado, sending him hurdling towards the outside wall and into the path of Zane Smith and Christian Eckes, destroying three of the top-four trucks.
PHOTO CREDIT: Rick Lunkenheimer, TobyChristie.com
Tyler Hill and Hill Motorsports will not compete in Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Texas Motor Speedway, after sustaining extensive damage to the No. 56 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro in practice.
Scheduled to make his first NASCAR Truck Series start of the season, Hill was involved in a single-vehicle accident during the series’ sole practice session on Saturday, which occurred just hours before the start of the SpeedyCash.com 250.
The Port Tobacco, Maryland native was running at speed in turns one and two when his No. 56 MF1 Fantasy Racing Toyota Tundra broke loose at the corner exit, before snapping around and making significant contact with the outside wall.
Kaden Honeycutt and Roper Racing Team will not get the chance to take the green in Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Texas Motor Speedway, after destroying their truck in the series’ sole practice session.
Honeycutt, who is scheduled to compete in the opening six events for Roper Racing Team, says that his truck blew a right-front tire on his third lap of practice, which sent the Carquest-sponsored entry into the outside wall hard.
The damage to the No. 04 Ford F-150 was extensive, which ensured that the team wouldn’t be able to make the necessary repairs that would allow Honeycutt to take the green flag.
A native of Willow Park, Texas, Honeycutt – much like the Roper Racing Team organization – is based out of the Lone Star State, making Saturday’s trip home shorter, but ultimately more somber.
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