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Zane Smith takes top NCWTS playoff seed from Chandler Smith at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VA. – Zane Smith retook the No. 1 seed for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs after Thursday (April 7)’s Blue Emu 200 at Martinsville Speedway.

Zane Smith finished 9th after picking up a playoff point and 10 points for winning stage one, earning seven points for a fourth-place finish in stage two and overcoming a penalty in stage three.

Smith’s top-10 finish moved him from fourth to third in the regular-season points, which puts him in position to earn one more point for the playoffs.

Ben Rhodes earned a fifth-place finish after picking up 18 stage points for finishing third in stage one and earning a playoff point for winning stage two. The only hiccup came on Lap 134 when Rhodes had a run-in with teammate Christian Eckes, where Stewart Friesen subsequently spun in turn four.

Rhodes’s top-5 finish moved him from second in the regular season points to the lead, over Chandler Smith – and into position to earn 15 points for the playoffs, compared to 10 for being 2nd in the regular season points as he was after COTA.

Chandler Smith finished sixth but failed to earn stage points. Smith entered Martinsville with 20 playoff points – 5 for his Las Vegas win and 15 to be earned for the regular-season points lead – and the No. 1 seed. However, he left in the No. 3 seed with 15 playoff points – 5 for the Las Vegas win and 10 to be earned for now being second in points.

NOTE: Playoff points for a driver’s regular season points position are only accrued at the end of the regular season

E.g., Zane Smith wouldn’t earn eight playoff points for being third in points now – he would earn those points if he was third at the end of the regular season.

The playoff points and seeding in the table below are determined by what it would look like if the regular season ended today.

Playoff SeedDriverPlayoff Points TotalBase PointsRegular Season Points PositionRace Wins (5/Win)Stage Wins (1/Stage)
1Zane Smith202120008 for 3rd10/Daytona and COTA3 (COTA stages 1, 2; Martinsville – stage 1)
2Ben Rhodes2018200015 for 1st03 (Las Vegas stages 1, 2; Martinsville – stage 2)
3Chandler Smith2015200010 for 2nd5/Las Vegas
4John Hunter Nemechek200920006 for 5th03 (Daytona – stages 1 and 2, Atlanta – stage 1
5Stewart Friesen200820007 for 4th01 (Atlanta stage 1)
6Christian Eckes200520005 for 6th00
7Tanner Gray200420004 for 7th00
8Ty Majeski200320003 for 8th00
9Matt Crafton200220002 for 9th00
10Tyler Ankrum200120001 for 10th00

Matt Crafton moved ahead of Derek Kraus for the No. 10 seed after making up a two-point deficit in the regular season points at Martinsville.

Despite Crafton earning any stage points, while Kraus earned four stage points, Kraus finished 14th while Crafton finished seventh and moved to one point ahead of Kraus.

PLAYOFF PICTURE (bold denotes virtually locked into the playoffs)
1. Ben Rhodes 205 points
2. Chandler Smith -4 points to Rhodes (1 win)
3. Zane Smith -21 (2 wins)
4. Stewart Friesen -25; +49 points to 11th-place Derek Kraus
T-5. John Hunter Nemechek -44, +30
T-5. Christian Eckes -44, +30
7. Tanner Gray -47, +27
8. Ty Majeski -52, +22
T-9. Matt Crafton -73, +1
T-9. Tyler Ankrum -73 to Rhodes, +1 to Kraus
11. Derek Kraus -1 to Crafton, Ankrum
12. Carson Hocevar -2
13. Grant Enfinger -7
14. Matt DiBenedetto -25
15. Austin Wayne Self -32
16. Timmy Hill -40
17. Kris Wright -49
18. Tate Fogleman -52
19. Lawless Alan -55
T-19. Chase Purdy -55

The next race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is Saturday, April 16 for the Pinty’s Dirt Truck Race at dirt Bristol Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET; TV: FS1; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

In the inaugural NCWTS Bristol dirt race, Martin Truex Jr. swept both stages and won the race – shutting all series regulars out of playoff points.

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