Zane Smith sweeps, spins and surprisingly wins NCWTS Xpel 225 at COTA
AUSTIN, TEXAS – Zane Smith earned a surprise win during the second overtime of Saturday (March 26)’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Xpel 225 at Circuit of the Americas.
Smith led three times for 11 laps – including at the end of the first and second stages he won Saturday – and earned his 5th career NCWTS win.
In Stage 3, Smith spun but recovered to restart 6th on Lap 44 for the second overtime.
Smith moved up to 4th and was behind Alex Bowman when locked up the brakes and bumped into Stewart Friesen who made contact with leader Kyle Busch in Turn 11.
Smith snuck by and pulled away to his second NCWTS win of 2022 by 3.5 seconds over John Hunter Nemechek, who finished 2nd.
The rest of the top 10 are as follows: Kyle Busch, Ben Rhodes, Chandler Smith, Christian Eckes, Tyler Ankrum, Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen and Grant Enfinger.
Ankrum (7th), Hocevar (8th), Enfinger (10th), Lawless Alan (11th) and Kris Wright (15th) finished in the Top 20 and earned their best finish of the NCWTS season.
Brad Perez finished 20th in his NCWTS debut, driving the No. 43 Toyota. Perez serves as the tire specialist for Rackley-WAR Racing and is a Mazda MX-5 Cup regular.
There were 8 cautions for 12 laps, including the end of Stages 1 and 2 on Laps 14 and 28, respectively.
Dean Thompson was stopped on track on Lap 16, Matt Crafton was stuck in the turn 19 sand after he was spun by Chase Purdy on Lap 22, Hailie Deegan was stopped in turn 8 on Lap 31, Matt DiBenedetto was stopped with transmission issues on Lap 35, Matt Jaskol was stopped on track in turn 2 on Lap 41 and Kaz Grala was stuck in the turn 6 gravel trap after spinning with Colby Howard on Lap 44.
Austin Wayne Self finished 27th, one lap down after earning the free pass on Caution Nos. 1 through 4. Logan Bearden fell out of the race due to fuel pump issues with 4 laps to go and finished 28th after earning the free pass on Cautions No. 5, 7 and 8.
There were 10 lead changes among 6 drivers: Kyle Busch (3 times for 31 laps), Zane Smith (3 times for 11 laps), Alex Bowman (1 lap), Parker Kligerman (1 lap), Chandler Smith (1 lap) and John Hunter Nemechek (1 lap).
The next race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is April 7 at Martinsville Speedway.
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