The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series kicked off NASCAR Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway as well as the “Triple Truck Challenge.” Whoever wins the next three races at Darlington, Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas and Charlotte Motor Speedway, they get a $50,000 bonus with one race win, a $200,000 for two wins and a $500,000 bonus for winning all three.
After a crash-filled race with 12 cautions, Sheldon Creed worked his way up through the field after starting 15th to win his first race in 2021.
The race began with a three-way battle for first place as all three drivers in Ben Rhodes, Austin Hill and John Hunter Nemechek battled for the lead. Hill passed Nemechek for the lead on lap 8 and held on heading into competition caution as Rhodes ran directly behind him.
After the competition caution, other wrecks caused constant shuffling on restarts. Todd Gilliland pushed his way toward the front row after strong pit stops and restarts. He held off Nemechek to win stage 1, his first of 2021.
Nemechek dominated stage two, led nearly every lap and finished the job, winning his seventh stage of the season. During a pit stop under caution, Rhodes pitted when pit lane was closed, forcing him to restart at the end of the stage at the rear. Corey Heim, who drove the No. 51 Kyle Busch drives in his truck series appearances, finished a close-second to complete stage 2.
Nemechek continued to dominate until crashing on the restart with 30 laps to go in the race. On the restart, Nemechek and Heim collided, causing a wreck that caused many cars to suffer damage and a red flag. Nemechek, Hill, Heim, Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger among others were caught up in the wreck.
Rhodes and Creed worked their way to the front row through several cautions and with two laps to go, the two battled for the win. Creed got the jump on Rhodes, pulling away for his first victory of the 2021 season. Creed started 15th and worked his way into the top 10 throughout the race before winning late at Darlington. He wins a $50,000 bonus via the “Triple Truck Challenge.”
Rhodes finishes second after a chaotic race that saw him get pushed back to the rear earlier, notching his fourth top-five finish of the season. Carson Hocevar finished third to pick up his second top-five finish in 2021.
Crafton and Johnny Sauter finished fourth and fifth. This is their second and third top-five finish of the season. Enfinger notched a sixth-place finish after getting caught up in the big wreck in the final stage.
Timmy Hill finished seventh, his first top-10 finish since the Daytona Road Course back in February.
Nemechek rebounded from his big crash to finish eighth, his seventh top-10 finish in eight races this year.
Austin Wayne Self and Jordan Anderson rounded out the top 10. This is Self’s second top-10 finish of 2021 and Anderson’s second top-10 finish of 2021 (Daytona oval opener).
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return in two weeks for the Toyota Tundra 225 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on May 22.