Sheldon Creed came from ninth place on a green-white-checker finish in Friday’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 to take a wild victory to secure the 2020 NGROTS championship.
“[I thought] That my teammate was going to win the championship and that we were going to run third,” Creed said of restarting ninth on the overtime finish.
Creed had just pitted on the caution before the restart for fresh tires, which gave him a massive advantage on fellow Playoff contenders Brett Moffitt and Grant Enfinger, who stayed on track with old tires and restarted ahead of him.
In less than two laps, Creed mowed them all down and took the win.
“Good truck on the short run, just way too loose there as we went on,” Creed explained. “Caution came out and me and Jeff were talking, and I’m like, ‘We’ve got nothing to lose, worse we can do is fourth here, let’s put tires on it.’ I pride myself on my restarts week in and week out and just nailed a restart there.”
Zane Smith, who had an incredible rookie campaign, came up just shy of a championship as he finished runner-up to his GMS Racing teammate Creed.
Chandler Smith finished third in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 truck and he was followed by teammates Christian Eckes and Raphael Lessard.
Stewart Friesen, Ben Rhodes, Tyler Ankrum, Todd Gilliland and Brett Moffitt rounded out the top-10 finishers on the night.
For Moffitt it was heartbreak, as he held a more than 2.5-second lead with just three laps left in the race. Then Dawson Cram went for a spin, brought out the caution, which gave Creed the chance to get some fresh tires and steal a championship.
What went through Moffitt’s mind when the caution came out?
“Basically, you’re screwed,” Moffitt seethed. “I don’t have much good to say. We finally hit the setup right, but can’t call a race to save our lives. It’s cost us multiple times this year, now it’s cost us a championship. Unfortunate, but thankful to all of our partners that have been with us all season long and everyone on this team for working hard, but it’s frustrating to lose them like that.”
Moffitt led a race-high 78 laps, and had the race not had that caution with three to go, he likely would have been a two-time Series champion.
Grant Enfinger, the fourth driver in the championship battle ended up 13th as he too was bogged down with old tires on the final restart.
Post-Race Stat Pack:
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