Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 99 Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing, drove away from the field after the white flag in overtime to win the South Carolina Education Lottery 200, which was the first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Darlington Raceway (Darlington) in nine years.
“That was such a tough win,” said Rhodes. “We weren’t the best truck all day. I was actually really disappointed when the (final) caution came out because I thought fourth place is a good finish for us, we’ll get in the playoffs. But I’m not letting this checkered flag go. It’s been a long time coming.”
A crash involving David Ragan in the No. 17 Ford F-150 for DGR-Crossley, Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing and Josh Reaume in the No. 00 Toyota Tundra for Reaume Brothers Racing with two laps remaining, set up an overtime finish for the South Carolina Education Lottery 200 trophy. Race leader Sheldon Creed, driver of the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing, decided to pit along with other drivers while the No. 99 team chose to stay out.
To download a post-race images of Ben Rhodes celebration, click here.
Rhodes led the field to the green-white-checkered overtime restart, but spun his tires in the outside line, and rookie Derek Kraus, driver of the No. 19 Toyota Tundra for McAnally Hilgemann Racing, got by him. Kraus got loose off of turn 2, opening the door for Rhodes to get back past him on the outside down the backstretch. That would be Rhodes’ winning move as he drove away for the victory. Rhodes’ victory was his third win in 112 Gander Trucks races and first win since 2018. It was his tenth top-10 finish in 2020. It was Crew Chief Matt Noyce’s first career victory.
Kraus finished his day in second for his first top-10 finish in his first Gander Trucks race at Darlington, and ninth top-10 finish in 2020. Kraus was also the highest-finishing rookie.
“(Crew Chief) Kevin (Bellicourt) up on top of the box made a really good call at the end and I got a good restart and did everything I needed to do, and off of (Turn) 2 got really loose,” said Kraus.
Austin Hill, driver of the No. 16 Toyota Tundra for Hattori Racing, rallied for third after pitting for tires following the late-race caution. Hill leads the Gander Trucks point standings by 38 points over Brett Moffitt, driver of the No 23 Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing.
Grant Enfinger, driver of the No. 98 Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing, took home fourth followed by Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports, to round out the top-5.
Creed led a race-high 82 laps, but a pit-road speeding penalty ended his chances of victory when the team elected to pit during the final caution of the race. Creed took the green-checkered flag to win Stage 2 and Moffitt won Stage 1. As with most races since NASCAR’s return, the event was held without practice or qualifying.
The Gander Trucks will conclude their regular season with a return to Richmond Raceway for the first time since 2005 in the ToyotaCare 250 on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 8:00 p.m. (ET).
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 annually hosting the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series on Labor Day Weekend. 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 Cook Out Southern 500®. For more information about Darlington Raceway, visit darlingtonraceway.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 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series and three international 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, Americrown Service 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’).