The fastest truck won Friday’s Dead On Tools 200 at Darlington Raceway, but not without much ado between the green flag and the checkers.
Pole winner John Hunter Nemechek fought through 10 cautions, an extra pit stop to tighten a loose wheel and a overtime restart to post his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season, holding off hard-luck Carson Hocevar by .552 seconds in the two-lap shootout to the finish.
“Just a huge shoutout to all the guys that work on this No. 4 KBM Toyota Tundra,” Nemechek said after spinning his truck like a dervish in a celebratory burnout on the frontstretch.
“I thought we gave it away early, honestly, and we were able to rebound and battle back. I learned a lot tonight. I was finally able to bring home the first win of the year.”
To download images from John Hunter Nemechek’s victory in the Dead On Tools 200, click here.
Runner-up last fall at Darlington in a race he thought he should have won, Nemechek led a race-high 69 laps in triumphing for the first time at the Lady in Black and the 12th time in his career. In winning the pole earlier in the day, he was .432 seconds faster than second-place qualifier Ty Majeski.
Clearly, Nemechek had the speed, but his victory was by no means assured after he brought his truck to pit road under caution for a second time on Lap 61 to remedy a loose left-front wheel. That left Nemechek 26th for a restart on Lap 63, but by the end of Stage 2 on Lap 90 he had climbed back to fifth in the running order.
On Lap 123, he passed Christian Eckes for the lead and held it the rest of the way, through the two final cautions and the overtime.
Hocevar was the victor in Stage 2—the first stage win of his career—but he lost ground on pit road under caution for the stage break and ultimately recovered to restart side-by-side with Nemechek in the overtime.
Nemechek had the advantage of the outside lane for the final two laps and pulled away to win by the half-second margin.
“A lot of emotions,” said Hocevar, who ran a close second to Ben Rhodes in the previous race on Bristol Dirt. “I was freaking out for a second. I had an electrical issue, and every once in a while it would stumble, and it flat out shut off in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2 coming to the white (flag)…
“The 4 truck (Nemechek) was really good. I was hoping I maybe could have got him. I would have done a lot into (Turns) 3 and 4. I was better than him in 1 and 2. He was better than me in 3 and 4, but I could have done a lot—just like every race car driver, right? But close once again. Hopefully, we’ll be one spot better next week.”
Grant Enfinger was third, followed by Majeski, Stage 1 winner Parker Kilgerman, Ryan Preece, Zane Smith and Tyler Ankrum.
Fifty-eight-year-old Todd Bodine, making his 796th NASCAR national series start en route to 800, came home ninth, posting his first top 10 since 2012, followed by Matt DiBenedetto in 10th.
–NASCAR Wire Service
2022 NASCAR Season
The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR continues with the Mahindra ROXOR 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. and Goodyear 400 NASCAR Cup Series race on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8 at 3:30 p.m.
The Tradition Continues at Darlington Raceway with the Labor Day Race Weekend on Sept. 3-4, featuring the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 Xfinity Series race on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 3:00 p.m. and start of the Cup Series Playoffs in the 73rd running of the crown jewel Cook Out Southern 500® over Labor Day weekend on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 6:00 p.m.
NASCAR tickets are available for purchase via phone at 866-459-7223 or online at darlingtonraceway.com.
About Darlington Raceway
Darlington Raceway, nicknamed The Lady in Black and the track Too Tough To Tame, is home to the award-winning Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR and annually hosts two NASCAR Cup Series race weekends, along with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and/or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Opening in 1950, Darlington Raceway is “A NASCAR Tradition” and NASCAR’s original superspeedway with its famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval, challenging the sports best in one of the most iconic NASCAR races, the Southern 500®. For more information about Darlington Raceway, visit darlingtonraceway.com.
About Dead On Tools
Dead On Tools: A collision of serious tool using professionals and a lifestyle lived out loud. Dead On Tools sets the highest standard for precision tools and work gear products in the industry today, representing innovation and quality that was born from actual users in the trade. Dead On Tools is headquartered in the Midwest and distributes professional tools and work gear products throughout North America. For more information, visit deadontools.com.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).