What a way to kick off the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs.
From the beginning to the end, Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Indianapolis Raceway Park was nothing short of spectacular, putting on a fantastic show in the series’ first event at the 0.686-mile oval in over a decade.
After an action-packed 207 laps of racing, it was Grant Enfinger who was able to snatch the lead away from John Hunter Nemechek on a NASCAR Overtime restart to secure his victory of the season and the seventh of his NASCAR Truck Series career.
Having taken the lead of the race from Ty Majeski with 11 laps to go, Enfinger’s journey to the victory got cloudier when a caution was displayed with eight laps to go, for an accident involving Colby Howard and Carson Hocevar.
Under that caution, Enfinger’s new crew chief Jeff Hensley elected to bring the No. 23 Chevrolet Silverado down pit road for fresh tires, leaving him to restart outside the top-10 on a restart with two laps to go.
However, things weren’t looking very good for the Fairhope, Alabama-native to get to victory lane, making his way up into fourth-place, when contact between the top-two sent Taylor Gray spinning, drawing the 10th and final caution of the event.
The caution allowed Enfinger to choose the bottom lane for NASCAR Overtime, setting himself up to dart to the inside of Zane Smith and John Hunter Nemechek in turn three coming to the white flag, taking the lead, and securing the victory.
Ben Rhodes – who much like Enfinger was able to make massive gains on brand-new tires – finished in the runner-up position, his first top-five result since winning at Bristol earlier this season.
Zane Smith recovered from an objectively horrible race, which saw him collect significant damage from multiple incidents to finish in third place, extending his advantage over the cutline.
Stewart Friesen crossed the start-finish line in fourth place, with Corey Heim rounding out the top-five finishers. Tyler Ankrum picked up a season-high sixth-place result for Hattori Racing Enterprises after running inside the top-10 all night.
On debut for Halmar Friesen Racing, Layne Riggs rebounded from being one lap down after the race’s first stage to finish in seventh place, the best result for the No. 62 Toyota Tundra.
Ty Majeski – who led 71 laps and looked poised to finish inside the top-three prior to the Lap 192 yellow – finished in eighth, while playoff contenders Matt Crafton and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top-10.
Christian Eckes finished the race in 16th, after struggling to find any significant speed from a third-place starting spot. Chandler Smith recorded an 18th-place finish, after being involved in an incident with Zane Smith prior to the end of stage two.
Carson Hocevar was the lowest finishing driver in the Playoffs, recording a 21st-place result after being the cause of the Lap 192 caution flag with Colby Howard.
Exiting IRP, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Richmond Raceway for the second of three races in the ‘Round of 10’. ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton and Christian Eckes both sit seven points outside the cutline, which is held by Carson Hocevar.