Ross Chastain survives chaotic finish to win in Charlotte
Carson Hocevar appeared en route to his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory Friday night, May 28, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but fellow Motorsports niece Ross Chastain snuck in for the win in his #41 Chevrolet. Worldwide Express in a wild last- pass turn.
He only led four laps.
The win was Chastain’s fourth in the Truck Series and his first since 2019 at Pocono Raceway. He also became the eighth different driver to visit victory lane this season.
“Carson Hocevar and that No. 42 team dominated tonight,” Chastain said after the race. “Al Niece (team owner) gave us trucks to go out and fight for the win. I hate Carson so much. If I had chosen the bot lane like him, I would have done the same. You he’s just having a bad time and I would have given him the boost he needed to win.
“I’m so proud of Carson. I just want to say it over and over again. I love it. We learn together and we lose together. I’m ready to smash (a watermelon)!”
Grant Finallyger, John Hunter Nemechek, Christian Eckes and Zane Smith rounded out the top five.
The victory that could have been
Hocevar led 57 of 143 laps but was involved in two separate incidents in the first overtime session which ultimately ended his chances of winning. Coming out of Turn 2, Hocevar made contact with Ryan Preece, ramming the #17 RaceChoice.com Ford into the wall. Moments later, Hocevar washed the trail and ran into Preece again. However, this time Hocevar wasn’t so lucky as he turned his truck around and hit the outside wall. Preece also suffered further damage and finished 11th. Hocevar, who took responsibility for the incident, finished 16th.
The leaders get rid of each other!!! pic.twitter.com/9v6rMjF1rj
— NASCAR Camping World Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) May 28, 2022
“A stupid move by myself,” Hocevar said. “I tried too hard. I feel like a crying sister.
However, Preece, a former full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver, had no sympathy for Hocevar.
“All the kids watching right now who want to get to that level…don’t do that. Race with respect.”
A very frustrated Ryan Preece after the late crash with Carson Hocevar in Charlotte: pic.twitter.com/w9WaYI4a8l
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 28, 2022
Hocevar pushed back on the comments and refrained from using full-fledged profanity.
Hocevar pushes back against Preece’s claim that he makes a lot of mistakes. He says he crashed once this year, in Vegas, and it was de Preece behind him. pic.twitter.com/JpPo6KnRXz
— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverRA) May 28, 2022
Hocevar did, however, receive support from at least one pilot. Erik Jones, who currently competes in the NASCAR Cup Series driving the famous No. 43 Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet, came to the defense of the young driver.
I have a stomach ache for Hocevar. You want to see him go home with this one!
— Erik Jones (@Erik_Jones) May 28, 2022
Mr. Consistency has scored his third top three finish in his last four races. That would be Finallyger, who is closing in on his first victory since 2020 driving the #23 Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing.
“Man, we had a good push, and I’m glad I was able to push my mate Ross Chastain to victory,” he said. “I wish I could have made it, but I think even if we had another round to catch him, [it would have been tough to pass him]. So in my book he owes us one, but man, I’m proud of those guys at GMS Racing, everyone on that Chevy Champion Power Equipment worked hard. They’ve been kicked in the teeth quite a bit this year, but man, they’ve worked so hard.
“I’ve never put so much effort into a vehicle I’ve driven in my entire life, and I’m so proud of it. We are getting there and we will have something to gain from [World Wide Technology Raceway at] Bridge.”
On the final lap, Nemechek fought his way to the lead, but couldn’t hold off Dernierger and Chastain. Nevertheless, Nemechek extended their lead by three points.
Eckes also got a taste of the lead on the penultimate lap, but he too couldn’t save the point.
The 57 laps led by Hocevar was a career high for the 19-year-old.
The top 10 was completed by Tanner Gray, Kyle Busch, Chandler Smith, Stewart Friesen and Ben Rhodes.
Zane Smith, who led the second most laps with 52, held off Ty Majeski to win stage one, and Rhodes won stage two on bail.
Both Austin Wayne Self and Hailie Deegan started from the back of the field due to unapproved adjustments. Self finished 25th and Deegan came home 27th.
33 of the 35 pilots in the field are from the United States, but two are from outside the home of the brave. Friesen of Canada was ninth, and Max Gutierrez of Mexico rode his No. 37 Toughbuilt/Distributed Ledger Chevrolet to a 26th-place finish on his series debut.
Brennan Poole had driveshaft issues and finished the race last after retiring after 38 competitive laps.
On Lap 54, Tate Fogleman exited Turn 4 to pull out the first natural warning of the race. On the ensuing restart, rookie Jack Wood and Matt Mills collided to knock out a caution on lap 59, which gave Rhodes a stage win.
On lap 133, Jesse Little and Tyler Ankrum crashed into turn 3 to send the race into extra time, which then led to the incident between Hocevar and Preece.
No. 9 – Blaine Perkins
No. 24 – Jack Wood
No. 40 – Dean Thompson
No. 45 – Lawless Alan
Number of rookies in the race: 4
Number of rookies in the top 10: 0
Race rookie: Alan (22nd)
Nemechek (383 points) continues to lead Rhodes (-7). We have a new driver in third place; after a P5 result, Zane Smith took the bronze position (-25) followed by Chandler Smith (-29) and winner Texas Friesen (-33).
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