Having won the first race of the ‘Round of 8’ at Bristol, Ty Majeski didn’t need to win Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway to even have a shot at the championship in Phoenix.
That didn’t deter Majeski from doing exactly that, though, grabbing his second victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and allowing him to earn the maximum amount of momentum heading into what could be a career-defining race.
Leading a race-high 67 of 134 laps, Majeski didn’t even secure the lead for the first time in Saturday’s Baptist Health 200 until a restart that began the race’s final stage. From there, the Seymour, Wisconsin native didn’t have much of a challenge.
By the conclusion of the race, Majeski had extended his margin to more than 4.5 seconds over runner-up Zane Smith, who was only able to stick with Majeski throughout the opening laps of the race’s final run.
With his second-place run, Zane Smith secured his third consecutive berth into the ‘Championship Four’, as he looks to break the streak of runner-up points finishes from the last two seasons with GMS Racing.
Finishing in third – a whopping 13.327 seconds behind the leader – was Stewart Friesen, who showed potentially race-winning speed in the final run of the event, but couldn’t overcome the massive deficit to the lead.
Despite another stellar finish, Friesen came up just short in his bid to secure a championship in the NASCAR Truck Series, missing out by just one point to defending series champion Ben Rhodes, who was able to advance by holding onto a sixth-place result.
Ryan Preece and Corey Heim, both competing in entries eligible for the Owner’s Championship in the NASCAR Truck Series, finished fourth and fifth place, but their top-fice results weren’t enough to advance into the final four on the Owner’s Points side.
Ben Rhodes secured a sixth-place finish, while ThorSport teammates Christian Eckes and Matt Crafton finished seventh and eighth, which ultimately ended up being the difference maker for Rhodes’ chance to defend his title.
Parker Kligerman concluded a stellar part-time season with Henderson Motorsports with another top-10 result in ninth, while Chandler Smith secured a top-10 finish, scoring enough points to be in the ‘Championship 4’.
The 134-lap event didn’t feature a single caution for an on-track incident, with 35 of the 36 trucks that started the event running at the conclusion of the event. However, there was one NASCAR Playoff driver who ran into major trouble.
John Hunter Nemechek’s bid for a Championship Four berth was pretty much over before the race’s first stage was even complete, after he got into the outside wall on multiple occasions, forcing him to pit for a flat right-front.
Nemechek finished 35th, six laps behind the leader, which ultimately proved to be the damning factor for the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, who will not contend for a championship this season.
Only one race remains for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season, that being the season-finale event at Phoenix Raceway, two weeks from now, where Ty Majeski, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, and Chandler Smith will compete for the title.