By Nick Lewis
Sheldon Creed held off Austin Hill coming off of Turn 4 to get the checkered flag and caution after an intense last 30 laps of racing in Sunday’s (Oct. 25th) SpeedyCash.com 400.
On the final restart, Creed and Hill battled side-by-side with Brett Moffit in third. Coming to two laps to go, Moffit gave his teammate Creed a shove to allow him to clear Hill and eventually get him the win.
The win is Creed’s fourth win of the year and it gives him a guaranteed spot to race for a championship in Phoenix in two weeks. He joins his teammate Brett Moffit as one of the four racing for a championship.
“I don’t know what happened there the last 10 laps, I got really tight like a light switch,” said Creed. “I went from being really good to really tight. The left front quartered a little bit and I feel like I was in trouble there. That last restart thank God I had a teammate there and I was able to get clear.”
After a second-place finish, Austin Hill has yet to clinch a spot in the Championship 4, but has a 27-point cushion over Matt Crafton who sits in fifth in points. Although Hill has a points cushion, he isn’t safe from the dangers of Martinsville. The race at Texas was filled with carnage and could fuel retaliation at the short track in Virginia.
Drivers occasionally retaliate at Martinsville Speedway which can also get other drivers caught up in a mess that they didn’t create. Hill said his strategy for Martinsville is going to be as cautious as possible without giving up positions on the track.
“I don’t think you can ever be comfortable when you’re going into a place like Martinsville,” said Hill. “It’s just one of those places where anything can happen, you can very easily get caught up in someone else’s mess. That’s one thing that happened to us last year, we were minding our own business running in the top 5 for most of the day and next thing you know they’re wrecking up front.”
There were some playoff drivers who didn’t have the day they were hoping for. The 98 of Grant Enfinger finished in the Top-10 in both stages before having an engine issue which caused him to go to the garage and ended his day.
The other playoff driver who had issues during the race was Ben Rhodes. Rhodes was involved in contact with Christian Eckes with two laps to go in which Rhodes hooked Eckes’ right rear, causing him to hit headfirst into the outside wall before spinning into the infield.
After repairing his truck Rhodes made contact on the last lap with the 00 of Josh Bilicki wrecking both trucks. After their issues, Enfinger, and Rhodes join Tyler Ankrum in needing a win at Martinsville Speedway.
The points standings after the race at Texas are, Creed and Moffitt advance, Hill +27, Zane Smith +12, Crafton -12, Enfinger -42, Rhodes -45, and Ankrum -79.
Finishing behind Creed was Hill, Zane Smith, Raphael Lessard, Brett Moffit, Matt Crafton, Austin Wayne Welf, Dylan Lupton, Derek Kraus, and Tanner Gray. Next weekend the Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series travels to Martinsville Speedway for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200.
The event will mark the series’ first race under the nights at the half-mile racetrack.
The race will on FS1 starting at 8 pm EST.