Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
In a caution-filled race at Texas Motor Speedway, Sheldon Creed dominated on the restarts, winning in overtime to clinch a spot in the championship race at Phoenix.
Creed started on the pole and Brett Moffitt pushed him to the early advantage. Austin Hill and Chandler Smith ran second and third in the opening laps of the race.
Moffitt ran third ahead of Smith. With five laps to go in stage one, Ben Rhodes past Smith for fourth and Crafton past Smith for fifth one lap later. With three laps left in stage one, a caution was brought out, ending the stage under yellow. Creed picked up the stage win, his 10th of the season. On pit road, Zane Smith moved up into sixth place after a strong stop.
Creed had another strong restart, taking the lead to start stage two but he was closely followed by Rhodes. A caution came out four laps into the stage and the fluid from Clay Greenfield’s truck brought out the red flag.
Creed once again started in the lead but Matt Crafton ran right behind him, running second before another caution was brought out with 18 laps left in stage two.
Creed continued to restart well, winning the battle over Crafton for the lead. However, Crafton would track him down with six laps to go in stage two. The two would continue to battle as Crafton barely held off Creed to win stage two, his first stage win of 2020.
Creed took the lead back on the restart to begin the final stage followed by Crafton, Christian Eckes and Rhodes.
With about 50 laps to go in the final stage, Grant Enfinger had engine issues, bringing out another caution flag and it ended his day early. Enfinger is now in must-win territory next week at Martinsville.
Creed had another strong restart, took the lead over Derek Kraus, who restarted at the front as he did not take tires on the restart. Another caution was brought out as Rhodes turned Todd Gilliland with 42 laps to go.
Creed restarted in the lead two more times as he had to do it again after Chandler Smith brought out the caution. However, Creed was losing momentum as with 22 laps to go, Stewart Friesen took the lead, closely followed by Johnny Sauter.
With 17 laps left, Sauter and Friesen made heavy contact, wrecking each other out of the leaderboard.
Creed restarted in the lead but Rhodes was hot on his trail. Hill surged to take the lead right as the caution came out. Eckes was turned by Rhodes, prompting an overtime restart.
On the overtime restart, Creed held off Hill to pick up the win, punching his ticket to the championship race at Phoenix.
Playoff driver results:
Sheldon Creed- 1st
Austin Hill- 2nd
Zane Smith- 3rd
Brett Moffitt- 5th
Matt Crafton- 6th
Tyler Ankrum- 16th
Ben Rhodes- 20th
Grant Enfinger- 32nd
The truck series will head to Martinsville Speedway Friday for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 in the final race in the round of 8.