The Camping World Truck Series kicked off the weekend of racing on Friday, May 28, with the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. The trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway featured multiple caution flags, but one NASCAR driver turned in another strong performance. John Hunter Nemechek led 71 of the 134 laps and locked up his third win of the season.
The Kyle Busch Motorsports star entered the weekend with a stranglehold on the points lead and a secure spot in the playoffs. He solidified his spot atop the leaderboard with another strong performance, and he helped KBM achieve an important goal. The team won its fourth straight race on a 1.5-mile oval, a list that includes Nemechek’s victory at Las Vegas and Kyle Busch’s wins at Atlanta and Kansas.
“Hats off to all my guys, (crew chief) Eric Phillips, all my guys, everyone who works on this thing — everyone at KBM, the chassis shop, the fab shop… [owner] Kyle [Busch] for this opportunity,” Nemechek said after the race, per NASCAR. “I’m so blessed to be in this spot. Hopefully, we can have some fun and celebrate tonight.”
Nemechek Held off a Relative Newcomer to Win the Race
In order to take care of business and win his third race of the season, Nemechek had to hold off a new challenger in Truck Series rookie Carson Hocevar. The 18-year-old made a late charge with 10 laps remaining in the race, but he could not overtake Nemechek in the final 10 laps.
The KBM driver was well on his way to Victory Lane with 19 laps remaining, but a late wreck brought out the caution flag and gave Hocevar another opportunity. Trey Hutchens III’s No. 14 slowed down on Turn 4, forcing Drew Dollar to make a quick move to avoid an incident. Johnny Sauter, on the other hand, did not see Hutchens and collided with the truck. The incident sent both drivers to the garage and made the others line up for a final sprint to the green flag.
Following the nine caution laps, Hocevar hit the gas and fought for the win. He pulled within .419 seconds of Nemechek but could not get any closer. The KBM driver’s speed and experience proved to be the defining factor.
Hocevar is currently in the midst of his first full-time season after previously making nine starts in the Truck Series. He races for Niece Motorsports and has three total top-five finishes through the first 10 races. He finished fifth at Daytona International Speedway and third at Darlington Raceway, but Friday’s second-place outing served as a career-best.
Nemechek Walked Away With Bonus Money
The win at Charlotte extended Nemechek’s points lead over Ben Rhodes by 44, but it also provided some bonus money. The KBM driver won the final Triple Truck Challenge presented by Womply. He earned $50,000 for winning the race and capped off the night in style.
The Triple Truck Challenge kicked off at Darlington Raceway with Sheldon Creed taking the checkered flag. The defending 2020 Truck Series champion earned the $50,000 bonus after holding off Rhodes and Hocevar to notch his first win of the season.
The challenge continued at Circuit of the Americas, a race that Todd Gilliland won. He outraced Kaz Grala and pole-winner Tyler Ankrum during the first-ever trip to Austin while locking up a spot in the playoffs in the process. Though his win ensured that no driver would earn the $500,000 prize for sweeping all three races.
The packed weekend at Charlotte continues on Saturday with two races. The Xfinity Series drivers will take center stage, starting at 1 p.m. ET on FS1. The ARCA Menards Series will then cap off the day with a race at 7 p.m. ET (FS1). The Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series race will take over Sunday evening and provide 400 laps of racing action on Fox.