John Hunter Nemechek gets first NCWTS win of 2022, closer to No. 1 seed
DARLINGTON, S.C. — John Hunter Nemechek finally earned a victory in the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season as he won from the pole in Friday night’s Dead-On Tools 200 at Darlington Raceway.
Nemechek led 69 laps as he kicked off the race by leading 30 of the first 39 laps and bookended it with leading 39 of the last 43 laps. He took the lead from Christian Eckes on Lap 123 and held off several challenges, including from Stage Two winner Carson Hocevar.
Hocevar finished second after leading eight laps en route to holding off Ross Chastain for a win in Stage Two. Hocevar now has three second-place finishes including two in a row at Bristol Dirt and Friday at Darlington.
Grant Enfinger moved into a presumptive playoff position after finishing third Friday. Enfinger earned two 4th-place finishes in the stages which helped move him to 9th in the regular-season points — with a 35-point advantage — after being 11th, nine points out. He led only one lap Friday.
Enfinger took the spot from Matt Crafton, who ended the race in fifth after being ninth and seventh at the end of Stages One and Two, respectively. However, Crafton’s truck was found to be too low in post-race inspection and Crafton was disqualified.
The disqualification dropped Matt Crafton from 10th in the regular-season points, 13 points ahead of Tanner Gray for a playoff spot – to 13th, 24 points behind Gray for a playoff spot.
Tanner Gray finished 33rd after being involved in a multi-track accident in turn 3 on Lap 98. Gray earned four points in Stage One and holds a playoff spot by 21 points. He has yet to fall out of a playoff spot after seven races this season.
The playoff points and seeding in the table below are determined by what it would look like if the regular season ended today.
|Position||Driver||Playoff Points||Base Points||Points for Regular-Season Points Position||Points for Race Wins||Stage Wins|
|1||Ben Rhodes||2020||2000||15 (1st)||5 (Bristol Dirt)||5 (Bristol Dirt – Stages 1 & 2, Martinsville –Stage 2, Las Vegas – Stages 1 & 2)|
|2||Zane Smith||2019||2000||6 (5th)||10 (Daytona, COTA)||3 (Martinsville Stage 1, COTA – Stages 1 & 2)|
|3||John Hunter Nemechek||2018||2000||10 (2nd)||5 (Darlington)||3 (Atlanta – Stage 2, Daytona – Stages 1 & 2)|
|4||Chandler Smith||2013||2000||8 (3rd)||5 (Las Vegas)|
|5||Stewart Friesen||2008||2000||7 (4th)||1 (Atlanta – Stage 1)|
|6||Carson Hocevar||2006||2000||5 (6th)||1 (Darlington – Stage 2)|
|7||Ty Majeski||2004||2000||4 (7th)|
|8||Christian Eckes||2003||2000||3 (8th)|
|9||Grant Enfinger||2002||2000||2 (9th)|
|10||Tanner Gray||2001||2000||1 (10th)|
|Regular Season Points Position||Driver||Points||Pts Behind Leader||Pts Behind (-)/Ahead (+) for a playoff spot or # of Wins|
|1||Ben Rhodes||284||1 win|
|2||John Hunter Nemechek||254||-30||1 win|
|3||Chandler Smith||252||-32||1 win|
|5||Zane Smith||241||-43||2 wins|
|17||Austin Wayne Self||112||-172||-76|
The next race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the May 14 Wise Power 200 at Kansas Speedway (8 p.m. ET; TV: FS1; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
None of the series regulars earned any playoff points in last May’s race as Kyle Busch swept both stages and won.
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