NASCAR Truck Series: 5 Takeaways from Homestead-Miami

Ty Majeski poses with the trophy after his victory in the 2022 Baptist Health 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Ty Majeski brings home another win in the Round of 8 and three drivers join him to race for a championship in Phoenix. 

The penultimate race for the Truck Series saw a tight points battle for the two drivers around the cutoff line and Ty Majeski earning his second career win just one race after he earned his first at Bristol. One point separated Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen towards the final laps of the race, with Rhodes getting some help from his teammate Matt Crafton to secure the fourth and final spot for Phoenix.

1. High Line Troubles

The high line is the fastest line around Homestead-Miami with its 20 degrees of banking, allowing drivers to stay on the throttle more than the bottom 18 degrees of banking. This advantage comes with a greater risk, as hitting the wall can easily damage the fenders and quarter panels of your truck and cause tire rubs. We saw the wall bite and end the playoff hopes of both John Hunter Nemechek and Grant Enfinger on Saturday. Enfinger bounced back from tire issues to finish a respectable 14th, while Nemechek suffered dearly, finishing 35th and last.

2. Nemechek versus the Round of 8

John Hunter Nemechek has a solid resume for his age. With 13 Truck Series wins, two Xfinity Series wins, and three Cup Series Top 10 finishes, he is a respected driver in the series. One thing not on his resume? A championship in the Truck Series. In 2021, He won five races and was the clear favorite to win the title, until the Round of 8 cutoff race at Martinsville, where a wreck with Austin Wayne Self nearly took him out of the playoffs.

He would survive and be able to race for a championship in Phoenix but would finish seventh in the race and third in the standings for 2021. This year, a brush with the wall ends his playoff hopes, finishing fifth overall. Will Nemechek ever win the Truck Series title? With Kyle Busch Motorsports moving to Chevrolet, Nemechek does not have a ride or does and just has not announced his plans for 2023, but a Truck Series title will not be in his future.

3. Ty Majeski, Championship Favorite?

In his first full-time season, Ty Majeski earned his first win at Bristol and two races later, his second. Ty Majeski had never run at Bristol or Homestead before this season and has been fast throughout the playoffs. Excluding Talladega, Majeski has not run outside the top five since Gateway in June. Is Majeski a championship favorite? He has picked up the pace throughout the playoff and Toyotas have been bad fast all year. Interestingly, Majeski raced at Phoenix in 2019 with Niece Motorsports, his first Truck Series where he started and finished 11th.

4. Toyota wins the Manufacturer’s Title

Toyota has been dominant both last season and this season, with this year’s 12 wins being bested by 2021’s 15 wins and the driver’s title. Chandler Smith has been the dominant driver with three wins this year, and Kyle Busch Motorsport has a collective eight wins. But with Smith going to Xfinity with Kaulig Racing and KBM moving to Chevrolet, Toyota is poised for a big reset next season. David Gilliland Racing has announced a switch to Toyota, but will be losing the speed KBM has had over previous seasons.

5. Championship 4 Set for Phoenix

With his two wins, Majeski has locked himself into the Phoenix race back at Bristol. Zane Smith is second in the points and Chandler Smith is third. Ben Rhodes was tied with Friesen for fourth during the race. He had some help from Matt Crafton, his Thorsport teammate, gaining a position to earn one point, breaking the tie, and finishing sixth. That move locked Rhodes into the championship race in Phoenix. He will be running for a second consecutive title and the three other drivers their first. Chandler Smith won last year’s Phoenix race, with Rhodes taking the championship.

Featured Image Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images