Race Weekend Central

Niece Motorsports Earns Double Top Five with Nashville Win

LEBANON, Tenn. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team owner Al Niece walked over to his racing trucks with the biggest smile on his face.

At a little less than 80 years old, Niece ran faster than anyone else to it.

When he got to the side of Bayley Currey‘s No. 41 Chevrolet Silverado, sitting on Nashville Superspeedway’s pit road, he pulled the 26-year-old into a headlock and slapped him the loudest high five. It was so loud, you could hear it over the roaring engine of Carson Hocevar who celebrated his second career Truck Series win Friday, June 23 on the 1.33-mile speedway’s frontstretch only feet away in his own Niece Motorsports truck.

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The two drivers and their car owner had plenty to celebrate. It was the first double top five for the Niece Motorsports organization since Daytona International Speedway in February 2021.

For Currey, it was only his second career top-five finish.

“It just shows that Atlanta [Motor Speedway] wasn’t a fluke,” Currey told Frontstretch. “And that we can build our momentum… I think it just shows our momentum and we’ll keep moving forward.”

Niece, who watched Currey talk to Frontstretch with a beaming grin on his face, recognized Currey’s drive to be successful.

“He wants it so bad,” Niece told Frontstretch. “He wants [to win] so, so bad.”

The two were stopped short mid-interview, however, as they were greeted by the loud and incoming No. 42 truck of Hocevar. Naturally, they immediately ran to his side and splashed water, high fived, then hooted and hollered into the 20-year-old’s cockpit.

Hocevar led 40 laps on the way to his second career Truck Series win. Likewise, it also marked his fifth consecutive top-five result – the longest such streak of his career. All of his 16 total career top fives came with Niece Motorsports and team owner Niece.

“Al’s my biggest supporter and my biggest critic at times,” Hocevar said. “That’s something I’ve appreciated and looked at him as a father figure.

“He believed in me at my low points, and we’ve finally experienced some highs.”

The triumph came after a late-race restart with only three laps to go. Hocevar, who didn’t pit on the last caution, had to hold off an oncoming number of trucks with fresh tires and fast trucks such as Zane Smith and Nick Sanchez.

Yet Hocevar didn’t falter, able to nail it on the restart and sail his way to a win.

For teammate Currey, though things got a little more difficult. You see, on the last caution, Currey did pit while running in fourth. When he came off pit road, he was relegated to seventh for the restart, just within reach of the lead and a possible upset win.

Alas, his new tires didn’t secure the victory, instead only gaining him two positions to finish fifth.

“I was going to try to zinger around there on the outside of turn 1 and 2,” Currey said. “But I didn’t really pan out… We put on those two tires hoping to maybe shake some stuff up.”

It was still a solid finish for the Texan, however. In a mass of uncertainty regarding the future of his career, Currey will take any solid result he can get in order to secure a full-time ride with Niece.

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“It’s just really come together this year,” Currey said. “With the WorldWide Express and everybody over there and Chevrolet really helping us out, too.

“Hopefully, if I keep having runs like this, they’ll keep me in it. I guess you got to stay on it and keep the momentum rolling and hopefully we can win one of these things before the year’s over.”

Currey is one of the newest drivers to join the vast Niece Motorsports lineup. Among those on that list, and perhaps the most prominent, is NASCAR Cup Series star Ross Chastain, who walked over to congratulate his friend Currey on pit road.

“I talk to Ross a lot,” Currey said. “I’ve known Ross for a while, I ran a lot of Cup races back in the day and that was back when Ross was in the Premium Motorsports No. 15. We started building our relationship there and [have] always been friends, and he always helps out… full-time Cup Series now, part time with the truck.”

Even among the stress of moving locations for Niece Motorsports, the team is returning to a form they have not seen since the days of a full-time Chastain, who earned three wins and a near championship in 2019.

With the arrival of Hocevar and a rising Currey, the future could be very bright once again for the Truck Series team.

Follow @PitLaneLT

About the author

Dalton Hopkins began writing for Frontstretch in April 2021. Currently, he is the lead writer for the weekly Thinkin' Out Loud column and one of our lead reporters. Beforehand, he wrote for IMSA shortly after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019. Simultaneously, he also serves as a First Lieutenant in the US Army.

Follow Dalton on Twitter @PitLaneLT

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