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In a Nutshell: Zane Smith scored his second win in the last three races Friday evening at Dover International Speedway. The rookie made a near-perfect restart with three laps remaining to hold off veterans Matt Crafton and Brett Moffitt en route to his fourth top 10 in the last five races.
— NASCAR Camping World Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) August 22, 2020
— Zane Smith (@zanesmith77) August 22, 2020
Stewart Friesen Scores Back-to-Back Top 10s
For the first time in a season that’s best characterized as dismal, Stewart Friesen posted back-to-back top-10 finishes with a ninth-place run at Dover, despite a late-race spin that brought out the final yellow with just seven laps remaining.
— NASCAR Camping World Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) August 21, 2020
Because there were so few trucks on the lead lap, Friesen was able to restart 10th with three laps to go.
“It was solid. We unloaded probably better than we did all year, and ran in the top 10,” Friesen said. “It was just a tough track position deal, but the Halmar Tundra was good. It was crazy there at the end. It looked like some oil got laid down, and I spun in it.
“It’s a tough caliber of teams this year. There are 20 guys that can win every week, so back-to-back top-10s, we will take it and keep building the notebook.”
For Friesen, it’s some much-needed momentum in a season that his seen the No. 52 team struggle in almost every way you could imagine. Heading into World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway next weekend, Friesen looks to capitalize on that momentum at a track where he led 20 laps and finished third last season.
“We have some good notes. Obviously, everything is a little bit different this year than in years past. We will just keep trying to build that notebook and use some of our experience there. The shifting in (turns) one and two is unique for Gateway, so I got that down pretty good last year and was able to utilize that a little better than I did in years past. Looking forward to it.”
Friesen will need a win to make this year’s playoff field as he’s currently 97 points outside the cut line with just three races remaining.
- Crafton’s runner-up finish marked his sixth top five in the last seven races, including a win at Kansas Speedway last month. It’s quite the turnaround for the No. 88 team that posted just a single top five in the first six races of the year (fourth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway). The defending champion is quickly making a case for why he’ll be one to watch during the playoffs, though a lack of playoff points to carry through the final seven races (he has just five from the Kansas win) will work against Crafton down the stretch.
- Zane Smith’s victory on Friday at Dover scored him a $50,000 bonus in the second race of the Triple Truck Challenge. That also means the $300,000 bonus for winning all three races in the challenge is off the table. If he or Sheldon Creed can win at World Wide Technology Raceway next weekend, they’ll earn an additional $50,000 bonus.
- Derek Kraus led his first laps in the Truck Series Friday at Dover en route to a 10th-place finish. Utilizing the slower truck of Dawson Cram, Kraus passed Chandler Smith for the lead near the end of stage two and held the top spot for nine laps before giving it up to eventual winner Zane Smith.
— NASCAR Camping World Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) August 21, 2020
- Following a 28th-place run on the Daytona International Speedway road course that saw him spin multiple times, Carson Hocevar posted a career-best 12th-place finish at Dover. It was just his fourth Truck Series start and his second of the 2020 season.
- After winning the ARCA Menards East Series race earlier in the day, Sam Mayer made his first 2020 Truck Series start. With just three previous series starts under his belt, Mayer quietly posted a career-best 15th-place finish.
- The depth of the Truck Series fields is starting to show the longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Cory Roper and Codie Rohrbaugh ran the first 12 races of the season but were left sidelined due to funding. Additionally, On Point Motorsports, which had Brennan Poole behind the wheel for 11 races and added Danny Bohn to finish out the year, skipped Dover to prepare for next weekend’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
Today's field of 35 trucks is the fewest amount since the Truck Series returned at Charlotte in late May.
— Dustin Albino (el-bee-no) (@DustinAlbino) August 21, 2020
2020 Rookie of the Year Candidates
Tate Fogleman – No. 02 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet
Raphael Lessard – No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota
Spencer Davis – No. 11 Spencer Davis Motorsports Toyota
Zane Smith – No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet
Tanner Gray – No. 15 DGR-Crosley Ford
Christian Eckes – No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota
Derek Kraus – No. 19 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Toyota
Ty Majeski – No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet
Number of Rookies in Race: 8
Number of Rookies finishing in the Top 10: 2; Zane Smith, finished first; Derek Kraus, finished 10th
Rookie of the Race: Smith
Fun day at @MonsterMile! Finished 2nd in stage two lost some track position and ended up 10th. Another solid top-10!
— Derek Kraus (@derek9kraus) August 22, 2020
— Christian Eckes (@christianeckes) August 21, 2020
Up and down day. @mark_rette made some good calls on the box, ran top 5 for a while and had a lap car cost us stage points on stage 2. During the stage 2 end we developed motor issues, came down pit road and checked it all out, limped home to p16(?). @TeamSDM11 has speed. No luck
— Spencer Davis (@SpencerDavis_29) August 22, 2020
Tough race tonight – P19! We had some trouble with the grip and a penalty in the pits. We’ll keep digging and come back even stronger. Next race: @WWTRaceway ?? Many thanks to @canac_ca for the support! pic.twitter.com/m3CJoIG12t
— Raphaël Lessard (@raphael_lessard) August 22, 2020
Points Update: Zane Smith moved up a position to second in the standings and gained ground on Austin Hill, whose point lead shrank to 41 markers. Moffitt dropped to third, followed by Eckes, who moved up one spot to fourth. Rhodes rounds out the top five.
Creed remains sixth, followed by ThorSport Racing teammates Crafton and Grant Enfinger. Tyler Ankrum and Gilliland round out the top 10, though neither one is secure in their spot about the playoff cut line. Ankrum holds a nine-point advantage over 11th-place Kraus, while Gilliland’s cushion is just four markers with three races remaining to set the playoff field.
Series-regular winners this season (locked into 2020 playoffs): Enfinger (Daytona, Atlanta), Creed (Kentucky, Daytona road course), Hill (Kansas 1), Crafton (Kansas 2), Zane Smith (Michigan, Dover)
Up Next: The Truck Series heads to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway for the third and final race in the Triple Truck Challenge. Coverage for the WWT Raceway 200 presented by CK Power begins at 12 p.m. ET, Sunday, Aug. 30 on FOX Sports 1; the race can also be heard on your local MRN affiliate or SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.
About the author
Content Director Beth heads up management of our 30-person staff, acting as Tom’s main assistant with technology and personnel while working as Frontstretch’s Truck Series expert. The author of Truckin’ Thursdays and the coordinator of the site’s pre and post-race coverage, she also runs a periodic charity column that spotlights when NASCAR gives back. A childhood transplant to Texas, Beth is a 15-year writing veteran who has contributed content to BRANDT and Athlon Sports, among other outlets.