Finally! Zane Smith Wins NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship in Overtime
Complete Lucas Oil 150 results: Smith earns first Truck Series title after finishing second the past two seasons.
- Zane Smith held off defending champion Ben Rhodes by .236 seconds at the end of a wild final two laps of Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150,
- For the final restart, Smith chose to line up behind fellow Championship 4 qualifier Rhodes, rather than to his outside.
- From that position, Zane Smith was able to edge ahead of eventual third-place finisher Chandler Smith.
NASCAR can only hope its Xfinity Series and Cup Series championship races are as gut-wrenching, unpredictable, and suspenseful as Friday night’s season-ending Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix Raceway.
Ford driver and pole-winner Zane Smith dominated much of the Lucas Oil 150 (extended to 154 laps), leading five times for 77 laps and winning Stages 1 and 2. But a late-race caution from Hailie Deegan ate away his comfortable lead, and he restarted 11th with 11 laps remaining.
“I wasn’t gonna let it go down like that,” Smith, the 23-year Californian, said afterward. “I knew when I came out 11th that I’ve been in way uglier times before. I was either going to wreck or come home with the championship trophy, and we got the big one. There was no other option.”
With another late-race caution for Ty Majeski’s crash sent the race into a three-lap overtime, third-running Smith fought his way past leader and defending champion Ben Rhodes and second-running Chandler Smith to win by 0.236 seconds. It was his fourth victory of the season for Front Row Motorsports and the seventh of his career, which has seen him finish 2nd, 2nd, and now 1st in final points.
Rhodes was second, then Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, Grant Enfinger, Cory Heim, Tanner Gray, Kaden Honeycutt, and Carson Hocevar. After running among the top-10 and contending until the final laps, Majeski crashed out to a 20th-place finish.
Zane Smith takes the checkers on Friday night in Arizona.
Sean GardnerGetty Images
Friday night’s Championship 4 race was the last under the sponsorship and support of Camping World. Beginning at Daytona Beach next February, the third-tier NASCAR series will be sponsored by Craftsman, an early sponsor of the trucks.
The series began in 1995 as the NASCAR Super Truck Series. It was renamed the Craftsman Truck Series from 1996-2008, the Camping World Truck Series from 2009-2018, and again 2021 and this year. It was renamed the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019 and the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in 2020.
Among its championship owners: Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Davis, Jack Roush, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Duke Thorson, and this year’s championship owner, Bob Jenkins. Among its championship drivers: Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday Jr., Greg Biffle, Todd Bodine, Johnny Benson Jr., Matt Crafton, Jack Sprague, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, and Christopher Bell.
Kyle Busch Motorsports News
Two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch has named the new driver lineup for his Camping World Truck Series team that is moving from Toyota to Chevrolet next year. The change is in keeping with his Cup Series move from Toyota-based Joe Gibbs Racing to Chevrolet-based Richard Childress Racing.
Chase Purdy will run the full schedule in the No. 4 Chevy Silverado and Jack Wood will share the No. 51 truck with Busch and a rotating roster of Cup, Xfinity Series, and Truck Series drivers. Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has even been mentioned as perhaps part of KBM’s new Chevy lineup.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race
28th Annual Lucas Oil 150
1. (1) Zane Smith (P), Ford, 154.
2. (6) Ben Rhodes (P), Toyota, 154.
3. (12) Chandler Smith (P), Toyota, 154.
4. (10) John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, 154.
5. (5) Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 154.
6. (13) Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 154.
7. (3) Corey Heim #, Toyota, 154.
8. (4) Tanner Gray, Ford, 154.
9. (15) Kaden Honeycutt, Toyota, 154.
10. (22) Carson Hocevar, Chevrolet, 154.
11. (23) Derek Kraus, Chevrolet, 154.
12. (9) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 154.
13. (2) Layne Riggs, Toyota, 154.
14. (24) Tyler Ankrum, Toyota, 154.
15. (20) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 154.
16. (17) Jake Garcia, Chevrolet, 154.
17. (21) Taylor Gray, Ford, 154.
18. (32) Lawless Alan #, Chevrolet, 154.
19. (19) Chase Purdy, Toyota, 154.
20. (8) Ty Majeski (P), Toyota, 154.
21. (26) Dean Thompson #, Chevrolet, 154.
22. (11) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, 153.
23. (31) Tyler Hill, Toyota, 152.
24. (30) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 152.
25. (25) Blaine Perkins #, Chevrolet, 152.
26. (28) Chris Hacker, Toyota, 152.
27. (29) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 152.
28. (27) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 152.
29. (16) Jack Wood #, Chevrolet, 151.
30. (7) Christian Eckes, Toyota, 151.
31. (14) Hailie Deegan, Ford, Accident, 133.
32. (18) Rajah Caruth, Chevrolet, Accident, 106.
33. (33) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, Too Slow, 63.
34. (34) Keith McGee, Chevrolet, DVP, 15.
35. (35) Armani Williams, Chevrolet, Accident, 6.
(Bold: Championship 4 Contenders)
Average Speed of Race Winner: 89.003 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 43 Mins, 49 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.236 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 7 for 41 laps.
Lead Changes: 15 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: Z. Smith (P) 1;L. Riggs 2-6;Z. Smith (P) 7-48;J. Nemechek 49;C. Heim # 50-54;J. Nemechek 55-86;Z. Smith (P) 87-93;J. Nemechek 94-97;C. Smith (P) 98-105;J. Nemechek 106-111;Z. Smith (P) 112-136;J. Nemechek 137;S. Friesen 138-143;B. Rhodes (P) 144-151;C. Smith (P) 152;Z. Smith (P) 153-154.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Zane Smith (P) 5 times for 77 laps; John Hunter Nemechek 5 times for 44 laps; Chandler Smith (P) 2 times for 9 laps; Ben Rhodes (P) 1 time for 8 laps; Stewart Friesen 1 time for 6 laps; Layne Riggs 1 time for 5 laps; Corey Heim # 1 time for 5 laps.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 38,51,52,4,88,99,23,18,98,62
Stage #2 Top Ten: 38,4,18,51,66,88,23,52,17,99