Wednesday, Nov 29

CWTS: Zane Smith wins wild United Rentals 200 at Martinsville to lock himself into the Championship

It was a quiet stage one until three laps to go when Cory Roper would turn it up and around turn four ended the stage under caution. Todd Gilliland got the jump on pole sitter John Hunter Nemechek on the opening corners of the stage and never looked back leading all 50 laps in the stage.

Nemechek would end the stage in third after Creed followed in Gilliland tire tracks but the two bumped and banged their way through the stage.

The stage wasn’t without wounds to the trucks of Deegan and Reuse who both cut tires down sending them to pit road and the trucks of Howard and Purdy who went behind the wall with mechanical issues. In Purdy's case it would be a terminal rear gear issue in the truck.

A quick caution would come back out with Jack Wood spinning all by himself down in turn two just as Gilliland was once again starting to close in on the rear of the field and continue his pursuit of putting trucks down a lap.

During the quick sprint from the restart Zane Smith became one of the first drivers of the day to experience braking issues here at the half-mile bullring that’s hard on the braking system. Berry, who had been on pit road prior to the caution, returned once again for the team to work on the power steering system in that truck that had gone away just as the field had gone back to green.

After a small pile up on the front the green flag went back in the air for a quick five lap sprint with Gilliland once again well in control over Nemechek to win the second stage of the day.

With 70 laps to go Austin Wayne Self hooked the No. 4 machine of Nemechek who had been running up front all day but with pit cycles and a tire issue was stuck back in the rear of the field. This would send Nemechek hard up into the wall and after attempting to get the truck refired Nemechek day would end.

“I don’t know. He shouldn’t be out here if he’s just going to hook someone in the right rear and turn them in the fence. NASCAR should definitely look at that. It’s Playoff contention. You’ve got to have respect and he doesn’t. It is what it is. Hopefully we make it to the final four and we definitely will have something for them in Phoenix.” Said Nemechek

Back-to-back cautions would see Hacker, Karam, Kligerman and Sauter each spinning to bring out an additional three cautions of the day as aggression levels began to rise in the closing laps.

However, it would be Todd Gilliland in the sequence taking back the lead over Zane Smith who is in a much win situation to move onto Phoenix.

With 10 to go Crafton, another contender tangled with teammate Grant Enfinger sending him into Heim spinning down in turn four to bring out the 12th caution of the day.

As five to go went in the air from the flag stand Crafton dive bombed to get back in position and contention to get back to Phoenix just as Cram and Heim got together on the front at the start finish line to bring out the 13th caution of the day setting up NASCAR OT with Gilliland on the point over Zane Smith.

As the flag was in the air chaos ensued with Gilliland being turned at the line with Zane Smith and Stewart Friesen three wide wadding up about a half dozen trucks and when the smoke cleared Zane Smith who was in a must win situation would take the checkered flag joining Rhodes, Crafton and Nemechek as the Championship Four in Phoenix. Creed, Friesen, C. Smith and Hocevar would fail to advance.

The 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season will conclude at Phoenix Raceway next Friday, November 5th at 8 pm. ET.


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