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Contact with the leaders in a second overtime attempt propelled Carson Hocevar to his first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday (April 1).
Nick Sanchez led 168 of 172 laps in the race but contact with Zane Smith caused him to get loose and clipped by Hocevar, taking out Smith and Christian Eckes in the wreck and giving Hocevar the win. All three walked away from the accident.
Chase Purdy finished second, Stewart Friesen third, Ty Majeski fourth and Jake Garcia completed the top five. Hailie Deegan finished sixth, Corey Heim finished seventh, Ryan Vargas, Jack Wood and Ben Rhodes, who was a lap down towards the end of the race, finished in the top ten.
“All the times we were the fastest car and this team don’t win, and they deserve to win.” Hocevar said in victory lane “We didn’t deserve to win today, we were just in the right spot at the right time.”
Sanchez and Wood led the field to the green flag for the 167-lap race. Sanchez grabbed the lead as Chad Chastain brought out the first caution in turn 2 after spinning and hitting the wall. Chastain would do it a second time on lap 21 bringing out the second caution.
Sanchez led all but one of the 35 laps before the competition caution waved. Because this is a stand-alone event for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, non-competitive pit stops took place. The green flag came back out on lap 36 with Sanchez and Eckes on the front row.
Sanchez continued to dominate despite, Rhodes making a late charge at the end of stage one. Sanchez held of the former truck series champion to win the stage.
Stage two started with Sanchez and Rhodes on the front row. Rhodes led a lap before Sanchez drove deep into turn one to grab the lead. However, a caution for Lawless Alan spinning on the backstretch brought out the fifth caution on lap 78. At the same time, Majeski hit the wall out of turn four.
Eckes and Rhodes stayed within one or two seconds of the lead but could not catch Sanchez as he scored the sweep in both stages. Leading 120 of 123 laps at the end of stage two.
Sanchez led the field to the green flag in stage three. This time he had Smith and Rhodes to compete with. Smith passed Sanchez entering turn one, however Sanchez was able to grab the lead back exiting turn two. On the next lap, Wood brought out the caution for the seventh time driving through the grass on the frontstretch.
The green came back out with 25 laps to go. The eighth caution and red flag came out for a vicious accident with Dean Thompson hit the wall off of turn four, Thompson was stopped sideways on track, when he was hit by Matt Mills and Armani Williams. Trey Hutchins was also involved in the incident.
After the 15-minute red flag, the restart came with less then 20 laps to go, and the battle continued between Sanchez and Smith. The ninth caution waved with 12 laps to go, setting up a restart with less than ten laps to go.
The 10th caution led to NASCAR overtime. In the second overtime, Sanchez got loose after contact with Smith, Hocevar clipped the rear of Sanchez turning him into Smith and Eckes. Hocevar took the checkered flag under caution to win.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will be in action next Saturday (April 8) at the Bristol Motor Speedway. You can watch the race at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
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