By Nick Lewis
Austin Hill won the World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and has punched his ticket to the Round of 6 for the Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series Playoffs.
Hill took the lead on the final restart and led the final 35 laps despite Sheldon Creed’s attempt to chase him down. Creed got within four-tenths of a second of Hill and scraped the wall during his attempt to catch Hill. The No. 16 truck started off too loose and had to battle all night to make adjustments on pit road as well as on the track.
“We had to fight through a lot of adversity today,” said Hill. “We didn’t start the race where we wanted to after having a bad race at Bristol. Track position was huge today, when you were back in the pack it was really hard to pass.”
Creed dominated the first two stages leading almost all the laps in both stages. He was not the only Chevy that was hanging out towards the front, GMS teammates Brett Moffitt and Zane Smith spent much of Stage 2 chasing their teammate.
Creed’s truck consistently pulled away when it got clean air and when he was back in traffic, he always found his way back to the front.
“I feel like the guys made really good adjustments from when we were here in the spring I was really loose,” said Creed. “Tonight, I was perfect at times and then I would get tight or loose. The guys did a really good job on the truck to be able to do that.”
For most of the playoff contenders, the night did not have major setbacks but for Ben Rhodes and his No. 99 team it was a long night. On lap 17 Rhodes reported that his truck was lacking power and on lap 20 reported that he had no power. It appeared that Rhodes truck had no issues when running under green but was struggling while under yellow.
Rhodes found more trouble when he got stacked up behind Todd Gilliland who got loose in turn two. Rhodes then moved up the track trying to split Gilliland and another truck. He then spun out and backed the truck into the wall after not being able to get it stopped.
Rhodes would go multiple laps down to repair the damage.
Finishing after Hill was Creed, Stewart Friesen, Tanner Gray, Chandler Smith, Grant Enfinger, Zane Smith, Christian Eckes, Matt Crafton, and Tyler Ankrum rounding out the Top 10.
Playoff contenders finishing outside the Top 10 are Todd Gilliland in 14th, Brett Moffitt in 15th, and Ben Rhodes finishing 23rd two laps down. Going into Talladega Christian Eckes holds onto the 8th spot in the playoff standings over Ben Rhodes (-8) and Todd Gilliland (-19).
The Gander RV & Outdoor Truck series travels to Talladega Super Speedway for the Talladega 250 on October 3 at 1 p.m. EST on FS1.