Creed Takes New Tires to Race and Season Crowns

(PHOENIX, AZ - NOV 6, 2020 - RIS) Sheldon Creed led only twice and for only 27 laps in winning the season-ending Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series race and the year's championship.

Grant Enfinger led the field to start the green flag, but was in fourth place at the end of the first lap as it looked like no two trucks took the same line on the track. After three laps, the order was Zane Smith, Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt, Enfinger and Christian Eckes, with Enfinger reporting that the truck was tight early in the run.

Smith went on to lead the entire first stage, with the top five consisting of the four Playoffs trucks, plus Matt Crafton at the green and white checkered flag.

Creed and Moffitt took the lead at the restart, with Ben Rhodes third, Zane Smith fourth and Christian Eckes fifth as Enfinger missed the entry into turn one on the restart and dropped back to sixth.

Creed and Moffitt battled for the lead with Moffitt not able to complete a pass, then eventually dropping back a few lengths but well ahead of third place Smith. Moffitt eventually took the lead from Creed, taking the Stage Two "win" with Creed dropping to third behind Zane Smith but ahead of Ben Rhodes and Enfinger.

Leaving the pits, Moffitt headed Smith, Creed and Enfinger as the leaders briefly went three-wide with Rhodes sweeping into third ahead of Enfinger.

Carson Hocevar brought out the first non-stage ending caution of the race when he slammed into the wall outside of Turn Two. The teen from Michigan had his night ended with heavy damage to the No. 42 Chevy but walked to the emergency trucks to ride to the track's medical center.

Moffitt held the restart lead with Creed, Smith and Rhodes trailing, Rhodes taking third from Smith and trying to challenge Creed for second and with 20 laps left, Moffitt led Creed, followed by Rhodes, Smith and Enfinger as Smith passed Enfinger for a brief spell then Enfinger found some speed and moved around Rhodes for third.

Enfinger passed Creed for second place but Creed dove almost to the inside wall to shorten the track and retake the position. With ten laps to run, Moffitt headed Enfinger by over four seconds with Creed a further second and a half back, then Rhodes within striking distance.

The entire race got scrambled when Dawson Cram spun after contact with another truck, causing a caution with three laps to run and initiating a green-white-checker overtime finish. reed pitted for four tires and an adjustment to the chassis, followed by Zane Smith who also took on four new tires. 

Chandler Smith dove to the inside and into the lead with creed taking the lead approaching the white flag as Smith tried again but fell short, Creed winning the race and the 2020 championship on the strength of the late pit stop for tires.

"We've got nothing to lose" said Creed about his radio chat when deciding to pit for the new tires in that last caution. "We've worked so hard for this," said Creed, crediting his crew for the wins and championship.

"We finally hit the setup right and can't make a call," said Moffitt. "Definitely not the year we wanted," he concluded.

"Nothing hurts more than being the first loser" said Zane Smith after the race, in spite of winning the Rookie of the Year award.

Grant Enfinger commented "before that [lasddt restart] Hensley made a good call to just get off sequence. We just couldn't go on a short run. We had good speed on a long run, but just couldn't pass after that, so we got off sequence. That worked. Hensley was leaning towards tires at the end. I was leaning against it just to do something different, and we ended up staying out. That cost us," he said. "It just is what it is. We didn't have quite the short run speed to legitimately contend tonight, but, man, a great season by these guys. I'm gonna try not to be too sad leaving here because it's been a great year. It's just unfortunate the way it turned out tonight.

" Hensley made a good call earlier on in that deal to get off sequence because we just couldn't fire off. We had good long run speed, but once we'd cycle five laps or so we were a lot better than those guys, but it was really hard to pass. So we got off sequence and that worked. Then at the end those guys took tires and we didn't. I was voting to stay out and Hensley was kind of voting to come in and I talked him into staying out and that cost us a shot. Anyway, we'll try not to hold our head too low leaving here. It's been a great year. I'm proud of these guys, it just didn't work out tonight."

Unofficial Results, Lucas Oil 150, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Phoenix Raceway

Fin, Str, Driver, Trk, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 3, *Sheldon Creed (P), No. 2 Chevy Accessories/Trench Shoring Chevrolet, 156, 2, 3, 2, 27, 5, 40, Running
2) 2, Zane Smith # (P), No. 21 MRC Construction Chevrolet, 156, 1, 2, 1, 48, 1, 35, Running
3) 21, Chandler Smith, No. 51 JBL Toyota, 156, , , , , , 34, Running
4) 7, Christian Eckes #, No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, 156, 8, 9, , , , 38, Running
5) 13, Raphael Lessard #, No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota, 156, , 8, , , , 35, Running
6) 9, Stewart Friesen, No. 52 Halmar Racing To Beat Hunger Toyota, 156, 9, 6, , , , 38, Running
7) 6, Ben Rhodes, No. 99 Tenda Heal Ford, 156, 6, 4, 1, 1, , 42, Running
8) 10, Tyler Ankrum, No. 26 LiUNA! Chevrolet, 156, 7, 7, , , , 37, Running
9) 22, Todd Gilliland, No. 38 Frontline Enterprises Inc Ford, 156, , , , , , 28, Running
10) 4, Brett Moffitt (P), No. 23 Plan B Sales Chevrolet, 156, 3, 1, 2, 78, 1, 27, Running
11) 16, Johnny Sauter, No. 13 Vivitar Ford, 156, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 17, Austin Hill, No. 16 United Rentals Toyota, 156, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 1, Grant Enfinger (P), No. 98 Champion/Curb Records Ford, 156, 4, 5, 2, 2, , 24, Running
14) 5, Matt Crafton, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Ford, 156, 5, , , , , 29, Running
15) 23, Tanner Gray #, No. 15 Ford Performance Ford, 156, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 32, Dylan Lupton, No. 17 Crosley Ford, 156, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 15, Sam Mayer, No. 24 Armour Guard Chevrolet, 156, , 10, , , , 21, Running
18) 12, Trevor Bayne, No. 45 AirPower Foundation Chevrolet, 156, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 28, Tate Fogleman #, No. 02 Solid Rock Carriers Chevrolet, 156, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 14, Austin Wayne Self, No. 22 GO TEXAN/AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet, 156, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 25, Ryan Truex, No. 40 Marquis Chevrolet, 155, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 20, Jordan Anderson, No. 3 Bommarito.com/Lucas Oil Chevrolet, 154, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 27, Spencer Davis #, No. 11 Polar Bear Coolers Toyota, 154, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 8, Derek Kraus #, No. 19 Gates Hydraulics/NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota, 153, 10, , , , , 14, Running
25) 26, Tyler Hill, No. 56 HairClub Chevrolet, 153, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 11, Danny Bohn, No. 30 North American Motor Car/Blue Buffalo Toyota, 153, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 18, Spencer Boyd, No. 20 HairClub Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 24, Dawson Cram, No. 41 Magnum Contracting Inc Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 33, Robby Lyons(i), No. 97 SunWest Construction Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 0, Running
30) 29, Akinori Ogata, No. 33 Shinano Pneumatic Tools Toyota, 150, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 30, Jennifer Jo Cobb, No. 10 Fastener Supply Company Chevrolet, 147, , , , , , 6, Running
32) 19, Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Scott's/GMPartsNow Chevrolet, 103, , , , , , 5, Accident
33) 31, Josh Reaume, No. 00 LEVRACK Chevrolet, 44, , , , , , 5, Brakes
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series (#) Rookie, (*) Season Champion

Time: 1 hr, 34 min, 1 sec
Race Length: 156 laps, 156 miles

Average Speed: 99.557 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.617 sec

Stage 1 Top 10: 21, 2, 23, 98, 88, 99, 26, 18, 52, 19

Stage 2 Top 10: 23, 21, 2, 99, 98, 52, 26, 4, 18, 24

Comments: Sheldon Creed won the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway, his fifth victory in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

Caution Flags: 4 for 28 laps;
Laps: 47-53 (Stage 1 Conclusion [51]);
92-98 (Stage 2 Conclusion [22]);
105-112 (No. 42 Incident Turn 2 [17]);
149-154 (No. 41 Incident Turn 3 [02]).

Lead Changes: 8 among 5 drivers;
Z. Smith # (P) 1-48;
G. Enfinger (P) 49;
S. Creed (P) 50-74;
B. Moffitt (P) 75-93;
B. Rhodes 94;
B. Moffitt (P) 95-153;
G. Enfinger (P) 154;
S. Creed (P) 155-156.

Cometic Gasket Pole Award: Grant Enfinger, No. 98 

Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Sheldon Creed, No. 2

Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Christian Eckes, No. 18 

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2020, Issue 11, Posted 10:55 PM, 11.06.2020