Overtime restarts have become the main theme for the truck series heading into Friday’s race at Darlington Raceway. Last week at Kansas Speedway, Kyle Busch, who also won the Cup Series race the next day, won on an overtime restart over Ross Chastain.
Also, the last truck series race at Darlington saw an overtime restart as the two drivers dominating the race, Sheldon Creed and Brett Moffitt, were shuffled back due to pit stops to get fresher tires, allowing Ben Rhodes and Derek Kraus to battle for the win. It was Rhodes who came away with his first victory since July 2018 at Kentucky Speedway.
John Hunter Nemechek starts on the pole at Darlington. Among all playoff-eligible drivers in the truck series, it has been Nemechek who has dominated the competition the most. He has double the amount of stage wins (6) as the other two drivers to win a stage in the truck series this season (3). He also has the most top-five finishes (5) and has led the most laps (273).
He and Rhodes each have two wins and six top-10 finishes this season. Rhodes will look to go back-to-back at Darlington with his third victory of 2021 while starting fourth.
Austin Hill, last season’s regular-season champion, will start second. He comes into this race with three top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes, but has only led one lap this season.
Zane Smith, who was among the four championship drivers last season, starts third, looking to get back on track after a rough start to the 2021 season. He has zero top-five finishes and crashed out of the Daytona Road Course.
Todd Gilliland and Johnny Sauter will start fifth and sixth. Both have two top-five finishes on the season as Sauter looks to make it back to the playoffs after missing the cut in 2020 behind Gilliland.
Stewart Friesen and Chandler Smith will start seventh and eighth. Despite their age difference (19 years), each have posted similar results with a top-five finish, two top-10 finishes and a DNF.
Matt Crafton and Hailie Deegan round out the top 10. Crafton, the 2019 truck series champion, has one top-five finish and three top-10 finishes while Deegan has zero top-10 finishes in 2021. She scored her season-best finish at Kansas last weekend with a 13th-place run.
Coverage for the LiftKits4Less.com 200 at Darlington Raceway will begin at 7:30 p.m. EST. The stages run through laps 45, 90 and 147 with a competition caution on lap 15. You can catch the race on Fox Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network.
Pit stall assignments:
Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2021/05/04/goodyear-fast-facts-darlington-4/