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John Hunter Nemechek gets first NCWTS win of 2022, closer to No. 1 seed

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – MAY 06: John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Toyota, celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Dead on Tools 200 at Darlington Raceway on May 06, 2022 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

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.

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – MAY 06: Carson Hocevar, driver of the #42 Premier Security Solutions Chevrolet, sits in his truck during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Dead on Tools 200 at Darlington Raceway on May 06, 2022 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

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.

PositionDriverPlayoff PointsBase PointsPoints for Regular-Season Points PositionPoints for Race WinsStage Wins
1Ben Rhodes2020200015 (1st)5 (Bristol Dirt)5 (Bristol Dirt – Stages 1 & 2, Martinsville –Stage 2, Las Vegas – Stages 1 & 2)
2Zane Smith201920006 (5th)10 (Daytona, COTA)3 (Martinsville Stage 1, COTA – Stages 1 & 2)
3John Hunter Nemechek2018200010 (2nd)5 (Darlington)3 (Atlanta – Stage 2, Daytona – Stages 1 & 2)
4Chandler Smith201320008 (3rd)5 (Las Vegas)
5Stewart Friesen200820007 (4th)1 (Atlanta – Stage 1)
6Carson Hocevar200620005 (6th)1 (Darlington – Stage 2)
7Ty Majeski200420004 (7th)
8Christian Eckes200320003 (8th)
9Grant Enfinger200220002 (9th)
10Tanner Gray200120001 (10th)
Below is the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular-season standings after Race No. 7, the Dead-On Tools at Darlington
Regular Season Points PositionDriverPointsPts Behind LeaderPts Behind (-)/Ahead (+) for a playoff spot or # of Wins
1Ben Rhodes2841 win
2John Hunter Nemechek254-301 win
3Chandler Smith252-321 win
4Stewart Friesen242-42+75
5Zane Smith241-432 wins
6Carson Hocevar223-61+56
7Ty Majeski221-63+54
8Christian Eckes219-65+52
9Grant Enfinger202-82+35
10Tanner Gray188-96+21
11Parker Kligerman171-113ineligible
12Tyler Ankrum167-117-21
13Matt Crafton164-120-24
14Derek Kraus159-125-29
15Matt DiBenedetto137-147-51
16Timmy Hill128-156-60
17Austin Wayne Self112-172-76
18Chase Purdy104-180-84
19Lawless Alan102-182-86
20Ryan Preece100-184ineligible

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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