Over the last handful of years, we’ve seen first-hand that road course racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series tends to provide a great deal of chaos, especially in the late stages of the event, with many young and inexperienced drivers
Saturday’s XPEL 225 at Circuit of The Americas started out looking to break that trend, in what was a seemingly calm event, until the final stage that is, where multiple restarts broke out, including a pair of NASCAR Overtime restarts.
Following the race’s final restart, Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman, and Stewart Friesen had all broken away from the pack to battle for the win amongst themselves, with Busch’s No. 51 holding the lead, as it had throughout the majority of the race.
While battling for second, Friesen and Bowman both made a deep lunge into turn 11, pushing the issue in the tight left-hander to force a three-wide situation for the victory. All three trucks made significant contact on corner exit, allowing Zane Smith to sneak through and take the lead.
Smith – the winner of the race’s two stages — was then able to pull away from the drivers behind him, winning the event by 3.529-seconds over John Hunter Nemechek, who was able to sneak into second place.
Saturday’s event at Circuit of The Americas is the fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory for Zane Smith, and his second this season with Front Row Motorsports, who also captured the inaugural victory at the 3.41-mile facility with Todd Gilliland.
After getting punted for the victory, Kyle Busch recovered to finish in third-place, with Ben Rhodes and Chandler Smith rounding out the top-five. Christian Eckes, Tyler Ankrum, Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top-10.
Alex Bowman, who suffered the most severe damage from the late-race contact, would finish 25th after being tossed around the 3.41-mile road course over the last two circuits.
The race featured an incredible eight caution flags, most of which were either for incidents or vehicles stopped on the track. Interestingly enough, Austin Wayne Self and Logan Bearden – teammates for AM Racing — claimed all of the seven free passes handed out in the race.