The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series headed to Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 12, to kick off a packed race weekend. The early portions featured several wrecks and sent multiple trucks to the garage early. John Hunter Nemechek dealt with some speed issues early, but he recovered and put on a dominant performance during the final stage to capture his fourth win of the year.
The final stage of the Truck Series race featured a fascinating battle between a rising star and a Cup Series champion. Nemechek started behind Chase Elliott, who was making his first Truck Series start of the year. Elliott held the advantage for the majority of the stage while Nemechek used superior speed to catch up before some issues surfaced. He ultimately lost second place to Ross Chastain with roughly 50 laps remaining.
Despite falling behind his fellow driver, Nemechek was able to recapture the lead as green flag pit stops began. Elliott and other drivers headed to the pits while the driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra took advantage of the clear air. He continued turning in fast laps, building up his advantage over other drivers. Once Nemechek finally headed to pit road for fuel, he was able to get back on the track as the leader once again.
Stages 1 & 2 Ended Under Caution After Late Wrecks
Prior to the green flag, guest analysts Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano predicted handling issues due to the PJ1 traction compound and the hot temperatures. They were correct in their assessments considering that the first two stages featured multiple incidents and ended under caution.
Defending Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed was the first driver to head to the infield care center after two separate incidents. He lost grip after hitting the traction compound and slammed violently into the wall. The collision severely damaged the rear of the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado and sent Creed to the pits for repairs. He ultimately returned for more laps but spun once again and slammed into the wall, destroying the truck for good.
The incidents continued during the first two stages. Ray Ciccarelli brought out the caution flag with three laps remaining in Stage 1, giving Nemechek the win as the yellow flag waved. Drew Dollar and Stewart Friesen both spun and slammed into the wall in separate incidents, ending their days early.
Dollar’s collision with the wall, in particular, brought out the caution flag with two laps remaining in Stage 2. Zane Smith had the lead at the time, so he captured the win and the playoff point.
A Late Issue Ruined Hailie Deegan’s Day
The driver of the No. 1 Ford Performance Ford F-150, Hailie Deegan entered Saturday’s race with an opportunity to post another top-15 finish at a 1.5-mile oval. She performed well during Stages 1 and 2, racing near the top 10. However, a promising day came to an end during the final stage.
The FS1 cameras showed Deegan on pit road with her crew standing idle. The commentators did not know why no one moved but theorized that something had happened. Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass later provided context and said that Deegan had pitted outside the box, resulting in a penalty. She had to head down pit road and wait for a full lap.
Instead of contending for a top-10 finish, Deegan ended the day 25th overall. She entered the race below the playoff cutoff line and hoping for a strong performance to rack up points. However, the penalty further hurt her playoff chances.
Deegan now has limited opportunities to get above the playoff cutoff line. There are four regular-season races remaining in the Truck Series before the chase for the championship trophy officially begins.