Race Weekend Central

Tracking the Trucks: Drivers Race Surprisingly Clean at Richmond

Despite a late-race desperation strategy call from the No. 98 team, Carson Hocevar passed Ty Majeski with four laps to go to win his third race of the season at Richmond Raceway.

Majeski had dominated the night, winning the pole, sweeping the stages, and leading a race-high 168 laps, but had to settle for second.

Meanwhile, the playoff field is set and the Rookie of the Year title has already been clinched.

The Top Truckers at Richmond Raceway

Winner: Carson Hocevar
Polesitter, Stage One and Two Winner, and Most Laps Led: Ty Majeski – 168 of 250 laps
Rookie of the Race: Jake Garcia

Top Storylines of the Race

  • Matt Mills made his first of two scheduled Truck starts behind the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 and came home and impressive fifth, a career-best. His previous best finish in the Truck Series was 15th. Mills will also compete with KBM at The Milwaukee Mile on Aug. 27.
  • Majeski’s second-place finish, while disheartening, could have been much worse, as a speeding penalty on pit road sent him to the rear of the field. In just 40 laps, he worked his way all the way up from 18th to second.
  • All 36 drivers were still running at the finish of the race. Josh Reaume, the driver who finished last, was only 11 laps behind Hocevar at the finish.
  • The race also only saw two cautions for incident. Dean Thompson spun on lap 119 and Justin Carroll spun on lap 142. Aside from those two incidents, plus the stage ends, the race was clean and green the whole way.

The Winning Move

Majeski’s penalty put him behind on strategy forcing his No. 98 team decided to stretch his tires and fuel to the end while Hocevar and others pitted between laps 195 and 215.

See also
Ty Majeski Dominates, Rebounds, Falls Short at Richmond

Unfortunately, Majeski was unable to hold off the fresher tires of Hocevar, with Hocevar making the pass with four laps to go to win his third race of the season.

Championship Rundown

The playoff field is set.

Corey Heim clinched the 2023 regular season championship, earning him an additional 15 playoff points to begin the playoffs. Meanwhile, Matt DiBenedetto, Nick Sanchez, and Matt Crafton locked up the final three playoff spots.

The first round of the Craftsman Truck Series playoffs looks like this.

  1. Corey Heim – 2030
  2. Zane Smith – 2022
  3. Carson Hocevar – 2021
  4. Christian Eckes – 2019
  5. Grant Enfinger – 2017
  6. Ty Majeski – 2014
  7. Ben Rhodes – 2013
  8. Nick Sanchez – 2005
  9. Matt Crafton – 2002
  10. Matt DiBenedetto – 2002

Rookie Report

One week after rookie Taylor Gray earned his career-best finish, another rookie in Garcia finished a career-high fourth, earning him Rookie of the Race.

However, Sanchez has clinched Rookie of the Year by virtue of being the only rookie to make the playoffs and is guaranteed to be the highest finishing rookie.

No. 02 – Will Rodgers (26th)
No. 1 – William Sawalich (10th)
No. 2 – Nick Sanchez (eighth)
No. 17 – Taylor Gray (14th)
No. 22 – Christian Rose (32nd)
No. 24 – Rajah Caruth (19th)
No. 30 – Ryan Vargas (30th)
No. 32 – Bret Holmes (29th)
No. 33 – Derek Lemke (33rd)
No. 35 – Jake Garcia (fourth)
No. 43 – Daniel Dye (21st)
No. 66 – Conner Jones (20th)
No. 90 – Justin Carroll (31st)

1 Thought About This Race

A clean race. How refreshing.

Respect and recklessness has been a glaring issue for the Truck Series throughout this season – as well as seasons past. To have a race that was clean (aside from two spins) is just what the series needed.

In NASCAR, fans are usually OK with a farce of a race as long as it’s once in a blue moon. In the Truck Series, every race seems to turn into a bloodbath, and more and more drivers have spoken out about it.

Richmond proved that the Truckers are more than capable of racing clean, and boy, did we need that reminder. The biggest issue for the Truck Series now is maintaining that composure, which will not be easy with the onset of the playoffs.

The next track where the series competes is Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, where the race devolved into madness last year. The rest of the schedule does not bode well for clean racing with tracks like Milwaukee, Martinsville Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway on the schedule.

The Truck Series is capable of respect. Maintaining that respect might be a different story.

Paint Scheme of the Race

Rajah Caruth has frequently adorned the colors of the Wendell Scott Foundation on his No. 24. This week, a partnership between the Wendell Scott Foundation and New College Institute resulted in a program called Camp Cultivation, a camp designed for high school students to expand their STEM knowledge.

See also
Uneventful Cut Line Drama Sets Truck Series Playoffs

Camp Cultivation was the primary sponsor for Caruth, and his typical blue-and-red No. 24 became bright and multicolored.

Talkin’ Truckers

Hocevar on the win:

“Should have been in victory lane tonight” – Majeski dejected with runner-up finish:

“Hopefully we can build off of this” – Garcia on his career night:

“This is the best night of my life” – Mills describes his elation with top-five finish:

DiBenedetto hopes for deep playoff run:

Where to Next?

How does that one song go? “Back home again in Indiana”?

The Truck Series has a week off and then begins its playoffs with a trip to Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Brownsburg, Ind. Grant Enfinger is the defending winner of the event.

Coverage for the TSport 200 begins Friday, Aug. 11 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

About the author

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. He is a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

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