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NASCAR Truck Series: 5 Takeaways from Texas Motor Speedway

Credit: FORT WORTH, TEXAS - APRIL 01: Carson Hocevar, driver of the #42 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 01, 2023 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

We saw a wild race at Texas Motor Speedway, where the three best trucks wrecked out on the last lap and gave us a first-time winner in Carson Hocevar.

Dean Thompson was taken to a local hospital after a scary wreck at the start-finish line on lap 146:

A scary wreck occurred on lap 146 during the Speedy Cash 250, involving the numbers #5, #14, #20, and #46 Trucks. Dean Thompson in the #5 Tundra for TRICON got loose off turn four and went into the wall. He bounced off and brushed a passing truck, spinning him. Matt Mills in the #20 Silverado hit the passenger side of the #5. Trey Hutchins hit the still spinning #5 truck right in the left front fender. Armani Williams lost control of his truck trying to avoid the three wrecking trucks, hitting the wall and coming to a stop with the other trucks.

Safety crews got to the four drivers quickly but Thompson got out of his truck and immediately sat down on the track. Thompson was later shown on the broadcast, being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher. Mills and Hutchins were taken to the infield care center and released but Thompson was taken to an area hospital and later released. Dean, who had recently deleted Twitter, took to the app to give an update on his condition. He will undergo more tests ahead of the Bristol Dirt Race. This was a scary accident, and we must remember that racing is dangerous, be mindful of the risks, and be thankful that we have safety innovations that allow our drivers to climb out of wrecked racecars.

Carson Hocevar earns first career win at Texas:

In 2022, Carson Hocevar was the biggest what-if story of the Truck Series. He finished second at Bristol Dirt, Darlington, and Kansas. He was making a pass for the lead at Charlotte when he lost control and spun. Everyone was wondering when Carson Hocevar would score win number one. Well, the wait has ended, Carson was leading on the last lap when the caution flag was waived on the second overtime restart.

He had a fast truck, as he qualified fifth overall. Carson was sitting in fourth, when the #2, #19, and #38 trucks collected going into turn 1. Hocevar made contact with the rear bumper of the #2, but it is up for debate whether he was already wrecking or if the #42 dumped him. Carson in his post-race said that this win belonged to Sanchez, but it did not take away from his celebrating. He embraced his mom, who joined him along with team members on the track. Big win for Carson and the #42 Team, they were fast at Bristol Dirt last year, let’s see what some momentum will do for that team.

Leaders wreck into turn 1 on the last lap:

Almost overshadowing Carson Hocevar’s win was the massive wreck between the three fastest trucks of the race. Nick SanchezChristian Eckes, and Zane Smith collided into the turn 1 wall after Sanchez got loose going into one. Sanchez was dominating the day, leading on the first overtime restart. Lawless Alan spun restarting the overtime process for a second time. Sanchez led the first lap of the restart but was side-by-side with Zane Smith. The two trucks touched, moving the left side tires barely into the grass. This was enough to get Sanchez loose and slowed him down, where Hocevar bumped the tailgate. Sanchez lost control and shot up the track, into the #38 who collected the #19 of Eckes.

Smith and Eckes kept their wounded trucks running enough to take the checkered flag, finishing 14th and 15th. Sanchez’s truck was done for the day, he was in the middle and took damage to the rear and nose of his truck. It is up for debate whether Hocevar should have checked up and not made contact with the #2. Would Sanchez have saved his truck and still won the race, or would Smith or Eckes battle for the win? Lots of scenarios could have played out, but glad all drivers involved are okay.

Nick Sanchez’s dominant day goes up in smoke:

In his most dominant performance to date, Nick Sanchez had a career day at Texas Motor Speedway. He put his #2 Silverado on the pole, a tenth faster than second place. The #2 truck lead almost all day, winning both stages. Nick was somehow able to keep the #38 of Zane Smith in his rearview. Smith had one of the fastest trucks all day, he earned the fastest lap award for his lap 127. When the last lap crash with the #38 and #19 occurred, Nick had earned 2 playoff points and 41 regular season points. He now sits 9th in the points, moving up three positions from the last race at Circuit of the America’s. A statement weekend for Nick and the REV Racing team, a win is coming for this team.

Hailie Deegan and others score top-ten finishes at Texas:

In the chaos of the last lap wreck, many drivers made it through to score top-ten finishes. Chase Purdy made it through the smoke to finish second, the best finish in his truck career. Jake Garcia finished fifth, his first top-ten for MHR Racing. Hailie Deegan got sixth place, her first top-ten of the season. Ryan Vargas for On Point Motorsports finished 8th, his best finish in the Truck Series. Kyle Busch Motorsports had both trucks inside the top ten, and Thorsport put three of their four in the top ten. Great day for the young drivers in Texas.

The Truck Series is heading to Bristol for the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt on Saturday, April 8th.

Featured Image Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images


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