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ThorSport Racing finds Gateway to trouble

ST LOUIS — Almost anything that could’ve gone wrong for ThorSport Racing did go wrong Saturday at Gateway.

Ty Majeski led 55 laps and had two runner-up stage finishes. However, Ben Rhodes had the best finish – seventh – while the other ThorSport drivers finished the race from the garage or pit road.

The entrance to the turns was the biggest problem for the Rhodes’ teammates. On lap 68, Conner Jones smacked the turn two wall after diving into the corner too deep under Matt DiBenedetto.

Jones finished 33rd, just ahead of teammate Hailie Deegan in 32nd.

On lap 88, Deegan wrecked in turn 3 after a bump from Nick Sanchez. She spun to the inside of the track, drifted back up and slammed the outside wall.

Gateway was Deegan’s third DNF and fourth straight finish of 20th or worse.

With six laps to go in the 160-lap race, Ty Majeski restarted on the front row to the inside of Zane Smith. Majeski had new tires and seized on it by diving to the inside of Smith entering turn 3.

However, Majeski dove in too hard. He slid into Smith and each of them wrecked into the outside wall in turn 3.

The wreck took Majeski out, pushing him to 30th and his first DNF of 2023.

Adding salt to the wound, a left-front wheel issue knocked teammate Matt Crafton pitted out of a top-10 spot just before overtime.

Crafton’s team found his left-front tire came loose and busted the studs out, knocking him back to a 25th-place finish, two laps down.

Rhodes is virtually locked into the playoffs on wins. Thanks to their points position, Majeski (+113) and Crafton (+21) are currently in a playoff spot. However, Deegan is 107 points out of a playoff spot and is in a must-win situation with four races until the playoffs begin.

The NASCAR Craftsmaan Truck Series heads to Nashville Superspeedway next for the June 23 Rackley Roofing 200 (9 p.m. ET; Broadcast: FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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