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Wreck-filled NASCAR Truck race at Talladega ends with last-lap pass

Photo: Jeff Ames/TRE

LINCOLN, ALA. — Brett Moffitt left Talladega Superspeedway the most unscathed Saturday as he claimed an overtime win in the Love’s RV Stop 250.

Moffitt led 22 of 99 laps and claimed his 13th career Truck Series victory. He earned his first Truck win after hanging Christian Eckes out to dry in turn one.

Eckes finished 19th. He led eight of the final 16 laps, including at the white flag.

TOP-10 FINISHERS: Moffitt, Ben Rhodes (Playoffs), Dean Thompson, Chandler Smith, Corey Heim (Playoffs), Daniel Dye, Nick Sanchez (Playoffs; led 25 laps), Hailie Deegan, Parker Kligerman (led 10 laps), Lawless Alan

Photo: Jeff Ames/TRE

Playoff driver Carson Hocevar finished 11th after getting in a wreck on lap 93. That wreck involved Grant Enfinger and took out fellow playoff driver Ty Majeski, who finished 13th and 21st respectively.

The wreck also involved Greg Van Alst who hit the outside wall head-on. Medics evaluated him at the track then sent him to the hospital for further evaluation.

The chaos blended with plenty of drama, including for defending champion Zane Smith who finished 32nd and was out of contention all day.

During his first pit stop on lap 22, Smith hit the brakes and instantly spun around. His truck hit his tire carrier, Charles Plank.

Thanks to some quick thinking, Plank walked away from the incident.

Worse yet, Smith’s transmission then began slipping. Smith took his truck to the garage on lap 30 and spent 43 laps there as his team replaced the clutch.

“Once I saw it burnt up, I knew that I was going to be in a must-win situation,” Smith said.

Back on track, the only caution for incident in the first two stages was on lap 51. Entering turn three, Stewart Friesen, David Gilliland and Tyler Ankrum wrecked.

Friesen exited his truck but sat down immediately. Medics took him to the infield care center, then took him to the hospital for further evaluation.

STAGE ONE TOP-10: Nick Sanchez, Carson Hocevar, Corey Heim, Ty Majeski, Bret Holmes, Colby Howard, Parker Kligerman, Tanner Gray, David Gilliland, Dean Thompson

STAGE TWO TOP-10: Kligerman, Sanchez, Hocevar, Majeski, Ben Rhodes, Tan. Gray, Holmes, Taylor Gray, Thompson, Heim

Cautions bred cautions as:

  • Tyler Ankrum, Taylor Gray and Matt Crafton wrecked with playoff drivers Grant Enfinger and Ty Majeski, lap 52 on the backstretch
  • Enfinger slid into Bayley Currey, who wrecked with Tyler Hill, lap 60 on the backstretch. Currey and Hill wrecked out

The field ran green for 13 laps until a bizarre incident for air getting under Jack Wood’s hood and peeling it up exiting turn two on lap 73.

Photo: Jeff Ames/TRE

On the subsequent restart, Chase Purdy, Wood’s Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate who led 11 laps, had an issue where his truck randomly shut off.

That dropped Purdy to the rear – and into the path of a wreck on lap 86 that took him out of the race.

On lap 93, Nick Sanchez went to make a move on Matt Crafton with a little bit of room beneath him entering the tri-oval.

Crafton and Sanchez made contact, setting off a big wreck.

After the race, Crafton reportedly walked up to Sanchez and punched him in the face, leaving him bloodied.

NASCAR is looking into the incident. Sanchez indicated the punch may have broken his nose.

After the lap 93 wreck, Christian Eckes was ready to punch his ticket to the Championship Four with an overtime win.

Then, Brett Moffitt got a big push on the outside lane. Eckes went to block Moffitt but Moffitt bumped Eckes out of the way, cratering a good finish.

Moffitt earned a big win in a so far one-off deal with Front Row Motorsports.

“This reminds me of the good ol’ days and I want to get back to doing this more,” Moffitt said.

Brett Moffitt reportedly doesn’t have any plans set for 2024. Front Row Motorsports hasn’t confirmed a driver for its No. 38 truck in 2024

Eckes lost 20 points and is now +9 points to the cutline. The points are now as follows going into the Round of 8 cutoff October 21 at Homestead-Miami:

  1. Corey Heim (IN – Bristol win)
  2. Carson Hocevar +23 points
  3. Christian Eckes +9
  4. Nick Sanchez +3
  5. Grant Enfinger -3
  6. Ben Rhodes -5
  7. Ty Majeski -19
  8. Zane Smith -36

While Zane Smith is last, he is the most recent driver to win the Round of 8 cutoff race and advance to the Championship Four.

In 2021, Smith won the cutoff race at Martinsville Speedway and finished second in the championship the following weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

Ty Majeski is the defending winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race goes green just after 12 p.m. ET (Broadcast: FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90)


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