Zane Smith wins crash-filled OT restart at Michigan

After a wreck at the lead on the final overtime restart involving Grant Enfinger, Austin Hill and John Hunter Nemechek, rookie Zane Smith would find his way to the lead to score his first career victory in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

It was a chaotic race with a record 11 cautions at Michigan International Speedway. Many drivers were making pushes to secure a spot in the playoffs or maintain their place in them.

Before the race, Johnny Sauter suffered a pre-race penalty, docking 10 points from his overall total. He entered this race 63 points below the playoff cutline.

The start of the race saw Brett Moffitt take an early lead, holding off surges from Ben Rhodes and Sheldon Creed. With seven laps left in stage one, Christian Eckes, who was running in the top 10, spun on the backstretch, bringing out the caution. This caused drivers at the playoff cutline such as Todd Gilliland and Sauter to pit.

On the restart, Moffitt would hold his advantage, picking up the stage win, his third of the season after the stage ended under caution.

At the start of stage two, those who pitted during the Eckes caution stayed out in between the stages to restart in the lead. Parker Kligerman and Raphael Lessard led the pack for the first few laps of stage two. This was until Lessard suffered a tire rub and Sauter passed Kligerman for the lead. Moffitt worked his way through the pack up to second behind Sauter. Sauter would hold on to win stage two, his first stage win of the season.

At the start of the final stage, Austin Hill took the lead on the restart. On lap 50, Eckes turned Stewart Friesen, taking out Matt Crafton and Ryan Truex. After a quick restart, Ben Rhodes turned Chandler Smith, taking out Smith and damaging Rhodes’ car.

After many pit stops, John Hunter Nemechek and Sauter battled with Grant Enfinger for the lead with Enfinger coming out on top. They would continue to battle after another caution with Enfinger holding the slim advantage. They would continue to battle until lap 84 where Sauter collided with Enfinger, causing him to spin out, bringing out another caution.

After two more cautions, Enfinger, Creed and Nemechek restarted as the front three drivers for the overtime restart, then the second one after another caution.

On the second overtime restart, there were three separate incidents, but NASCAR did not bring out the caution, which allowed Smith to score the victory at Michigan.

Eckes finishes second for the second time in three races. Tanner Gray improved on his best career finish from Kansas as he finished third Friday evening. Tyler Ankrum and Gilliland would round out the top five.

Moffitt finished sixth. Raphael Lessard scored his first top-10 finish of 2020 with a seventh-place run. Derek Kraus finished eighth for his third straight top-10 finish. Kligerman finished ninth, and David Gravel, in his first career start in the truck series, rounded out the top 10.

The truck series returns to action Sunday, Aug. 16 at the Daytona road course.

Race results:

Driver points:

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