Win number three for Carson Hocevar, Majeski dominates but finishes second, and more. Here are five takeaways from the Truck Series at Richmond.
Carson Hocevar gets his third win of the season
When Carson Hocevar won his first race at Texas, it may have seemed like a fluke win due to the massive wreck at the white flag.
But then he held off Zane Smith and Nick Sanchez at Nashville. Now he has impressed us yet again, running down the #98 and passing with three laps to go.
Carson put the #42 Silverado in the seventeenth position in qualifying and was outside the top ten at the end of stage one.
The #42 turned the page in the second stage, getting fifth at the green and white checkered. He would lead from lap 150 to 209, surrendering to Majeski, who had the dominant truck.
When Majeski’s tires had reached their limit and his pace slowed down, Hocevar turned up his pace.
With three to go, Hocevar made the pass on Majeski, and drove to his third win of the year, the most wins of any driver in the Craftsman Truck Series.
In a press release from Niece Motorsports, Hocevar expressed how special it was to win his sponsors race, and how important the momentum is in winning the last race of the regular season.
I think we need to start mentioning Hocevar’s name when we discuss who has a shot at the championship in Phoenix. Impressive win for the 20-year-old driver from Michigan.
You think he's excited?
Hint: He's excited! pic.twitter.com/Dfw0KhNiEg
— NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) July 30, 2023
Ty Majeski dominates the race and finishes a disappointing second
Ty Majeski locked himself into the playoffs on points alone. His average starting position this season is 6.3 and his average finishing position is 11.o, and his only DNF was at Gateway.
He qualified on pole for the race with a 22.689-second lap. He won both stages, overcame a pit road speed penalty, and led 168 laps. But he did not lead the most important lap, the last one.
Majeski and the #98 team elected to stay on the track when others, like Hocevar, decided to pit. It was gonna be close, as Majeski would have to manage his tires if he wanted to maintain the lead.
He held on until lap 247, with three to go when Hocevar on fresher tires got around him. He was so close to getting that first win of 2023.
Corey Heim, your Truck Series Regular Season Champ
In his first full-time season, Corey Heim won the Truck Series regular season championship.
At Richmond, he qualified second behind Majeski. He finish third in both stages and finished sixth at the checkered flag.
With his crowning as regular season champion, he earns 10 additional playoff points, which will help him progress through the playoffs.
REGULAR SEASON TITLE SECURED! 🔒 pic.twitter.com/IGNQROjINI
— TRICON (@TRICONGarage) July 30, 2023
Crafton in, Friesen out
The battle for tenth in points came down to the last race of the regular season, between veteran drivers Matt Crafton and Stewart Friesen.
Leaving Pocono, the two drivers were separated by only nine points, and a stage win for either of them could have bounced the other out.
In qualifying, Crafton won the battle for highest qualifier out of the two, putting the #88 F-150 in the eighth starting position, while Friesen qualified 23rd.
Crafton earned stage points in both stages, earning nine points to pad his lead over the Friesen.
At the end of the race, Friesen finished 27th while Crafton finished seventh. Crafton would be locked into the Truck Series playoffs, while Friesen will not race for a championship.
Truck Series Playoffs have begun
Now that we have ended the regular season, it is time to race for the Truck Series championship.
The playoffs consist of seven races, starting at Indianapolis Raceway Park and ending at Phoenix. The ten drivers who will be racing for a championship are:
- Corey Heim
- Zane Smith
- Carson Hocevar
- Christian Eckes
- Grant Enfinger
- Ty Majeski
- Ben Rhodes
- Nick Sanchez
- Matt DiBenedetto
- Matt Crafton
The races in the playoffs are broken down into rounds, with two drivers eliminated after round one, four eliminated after round two, and the final four racing for a championship at Phoenix.
The rounds are:
- Round One:
- Indianapolis Raceway Park, August 11th
- Milwaukee Mile, August 27th
- Kansas Speedway, September 8th
- Round Two:
- Bristol Motor Speedway, September 14th
- Talladega Superspeedway, September 30th
- Homestead-Miami Speedway, October 21st
- Final Round:
- Phoenix Raceway, November 3rd