Race Weekend Central

Ben Rhodes Surges to Charlotte Win

The first two stages of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 belonged to Carson Hocevar and Corey Heim on Friday (May 26) night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The final stage, however, belonged to Ben Rhodes, who got his first win of the 2023 season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and his first since last year at the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track.

Rhodes, who moved to the front following an exchange of pit stops early in the final stage, took full advantage of the chance, holding on to the lead coming away from a restart with 25 laps to go to get the win after starting 19th.

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Rhodes’ win came with Heim and Hocevar finishing second and fourth after both dominated the first two stages. Dean Thompson was a factor near the front most of the night, finishing third for his first career top five with Grant Enfinger wrapping up the top five.

Completing the top 10 were Christian Eckes, Ty Majeski, Matt DiBenedetto, Nick Sanchez and Taylor Gray.

The field chased Heim and Hocevar early on. Heim won the first stage with Hocevar in second. Roles reversed in the second stage with Hocevar getting the top spot by multiple seconds in front of Heim, wrapping up a quiet first two stages of the night that saw four lead changes among three leaders. The first on-track caution would not come until inside 60 to go, when Armani Williams took a long slide after contact with the wall, coming to a stop around the pit road entry.

The incident brought the field down pit road where Chase Purdy was among the drivers aiming to break the stranglehold of Heim and Hocevar on the field as he jumped 15 spots to the lead by taking on fuel only. The call backfired, with Purdy dropping outside the top 10 in a matter of laps.

The exchange was unkind to the race leaders, too. Hocevar lost two spots with Heim surrendered multiple positions due to a problem on the right rear.

It wasn’t the end of the yellow flag for the night, as with 44 laps to go when Zane Smith got loose coming through turn 4 toward the quad-oval, making contact with the truck of Hailie Deegan, who had moved inside the top five during the round of yellow-flag pit stops to start the stage.

Charlotte Truck Results

The Truck Series field next heads to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway for the Toyota 200. That race will take place on Saturday, June 3 at 1:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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