Sheldon Creed wins Gateway Truck race slowed by power outage

Defending NASCAR Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed opened the playoffs with a win at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Sheldon Creed wins Gateway Truck race slowed by power outage

It was a dominant showing for Creed, who won all stages and led 142 of 163 laps on his way to the race win.

But it wasn't easy. Creed appeared to be cruising to the race win in the closing laps until a late-race yellow for a spin by Tanner Gray set up a two-lap dash to the checkered flag in overtime.

Creed chose the top, while Matt Crafton took the bottom for the final restart. It paid off for Creed as he again moved ahead of the pack.

At the white flag, Taylor Gray and Ryan Truex got together but the race remained green as Creed secured the checkered flag and his place in the second round of the playoffs.

Crafton would take second, Ben Rhodes third, Stewart Friesen fourth and Johnny Sauter fifth. Chase Purdy and Hailie Deegan both scored career-best results in sixth and seventh, respectively. 

Carson Hocevar, Austin Wayne Self and Jack Wood rounded out the top-ten.

“My guys put together such a good truck,” said Creed in Victory Lane. “We’ve been working really hard all year. Obviously we haven’t had the speed at times and I’ve made mistakes at times (too).

“We’ve taken everything we learned this year and just applied it. This Toyota has been really fast. They gave us a hot rod today and I couldn’t be happier ...I love late-race restarts. I didn’t want it, but when it came out, I was just thinking it’s all good and just executive.”

The defending champion then opened up about his recent off-track struggles as he works to secure a ride for the 2022 season, saying: “I’ve had such a stressful month trying to find out what I’m going to do next year. so many mixed emotions on what I’m going to do or if I’ll even have a ride, so the biggest thing to do is keep winning and get ourselves in that final four.”

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Stage 1

Creed led the way from the very start, controlling the early portion of the race.

The first caution of the race for playoff driver Chandler Smith, who went behind the wall with a hub issue.

On the following restart, Zane Smith was able to pass Creed for the race lead. The caution flag then flew once again, this time for a spin by Cory Roper.

Creed then fought back on the next restart, but was unable to retake the lead. Another KBM truck then found trouble with Derek Griffith crashing in his Truck Series debut.

This time, Creed was more successful as he moved back ahead of Smith in the closing laps of the first stage. Friesen followed suit, as did Rhodes. Smith slipped to fourth with Ty Majeski rounding out the top-five.

Todd Gilliland, Crafton, Austin Hill, John Hunter Nemechek and Derek Kraus filled out the rest of the top-ten.

Stage 2

The beginning of the second stage was fairly uneventful with Creed firmly in control.

But then the lights went out. On Lap 61, a power outage took out some of the lighting around the speedway, forcing a red flag.

Track General Manager Chris Blair said that a fire in Fairmont City took out a transformer, causing the outage. After blowing out the backup generator, the track eventually hooked up another generator and the lights returned.

 

After a stoppage that lasted for nearly an hour, the race was finally back underway with Creed still leading the way.

As the second stage rolled on, Z. Smith found himself limping his truck to pit road with a mechanical issue. He would become the second playoff driver of the night to go behind the wall, explaining later that the transmission was ‘busted.’ 

Creed would take yet another stage win, finishing ahead of Rhodes, Crafton, Nemechek, Friesen, Majeski, Kraus, Ankrum, Eckes and A. Hill.

Stage 3

The final stage quickly devolved into chaos. As Creed once again skipped away, Nemechek’s truck momentarily shut off. The result was a massive crash that eliminated or wounded the trucks of several playoff drivers.

Among those involved: Nemechek, Gilliland, A. Hill, Majeski, Ankrum, Jake Griffin, Hocevar, Christian Eckes, C. Smith.

Majeski spoke on the incident after being released from the infield care center: “All I really saw was the No. 4 (Nemechek) check up and then everyone tried to miss him. Took out a lot of good trucks and that was really disappointing. Just a shame, really disappointed.”

Playoff driver Todd Gilliland called the race-ending wreck “gut-wrenching” as he was unable to continue, finishing 29th.

After the front stretch cleanup, the race went back green with 40 laps to go.

 
Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 2 United States Sheldon Creed Chevrolet 163 2:09'56.276     142
2 88 United States Matt Crafton Toyota 163 2:09'56.568 0.292 0.292  
3 99 United States Ben Rhodes Toyota 163 2:09'56.905 0.629 0.337  
4 52 United States Stewart Friesen Toyota 163 2:09'57.478 1.202 0.573  
5 13 United States Johnny Sauter Toyota 163 2:09'57.764 1.488 0.286  
6 23 United States Chase Purdy Chevrolet 163 2:09'58.708 2.432 0.944  
7 1 United States Hailie Deegan Ford 163 2:09'59.157 2.881 0.449  
8 42 Carson Hocevar Chevrolet 163 2:09'59.698 3.422 0.541  
9 22 United States Austin Wayne Self Chevrolet 163 2:09'59.911 3.635 0.213  
10 24 Jack Wood Chevrolet 163 2:10'00.015 3.739 0.104  
11 56 Tyler Hill Chevrolet 163 2:10'00.893 4.617 0.878  
12 17 Taylor Gray Ford 163 2:10'02.709 6.433 1.816  
13 40 United States Ryan Truex Chevrolet 162 2:09'24.468 1 Lap 1 Lap  
14 12 Tate Fogleman Chevrolet 162 2:10'00.501 1 Lap 36.033  
15 25 Josh Berry Chevrolet 162 2:10'02.512 1 Lap 2.011  
16 20 United States Spencer Boyd Chevrolet 161 2:10'01.609 2 Laps 1 Lap  
17 04 Cory Roper Ford 161 2:10'01.907 2 Laps 0.298  
18 02 United States Kris Wright Chevrolet 161 2:10'02.159 2 Laps 0.252  
19 15 United States Tanner Gray Ford 161 2:10'07.558 2 Laps 5.399  
20 19 United States Derek Kraus Toyota 160 2:10'08.830 3 Laps 1 Lap  
21 33 United States Armani Williams Toyota 159 2:10'08.504 4 Laps 1 Lap  
22 4 United States John Hunter Nemechek Toyota 158 2:10'09.798 5 Laps 1 Lap  
23 16 United States Austin Hill Toyota 157 2:10'08.393 6 Laps 1 Lap 2
24 49 United States Roger Reuse Ford 157 2:10'14.746 6 Laps 6.353  
25 9 United States Grant Enfinger Chevrolet 154 2:10'07.311 9 Laps 3 Laps  
26 51 Derek Griffith Toyota 150 2:10'03.944 13 Laps 4 Laps  
27 34 Chris Hacker Toyota 140 2:10'20.066 23 Laps 10 Laps  
28 18 Chandler Smith Toyota 123 2:10'07.484 40 Laps 17 Laps  
29 38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 120 1:42'51.808 43 Laps 3 Laps  
30 41 Dawson Cram Chevrolet 117 1:37'16.997 46 Laps 3 Laps  
31 98 United States Christian Eckes Toyota 113 1:30'54.468 50 Laps 4 Laps  
32 26 United States Tyler Ankrum Chevrolet 112 1:29'26.072 51 Laps 1 Lap  
33 66 United States Ty Majeski Toyota 112 1:29'26.134 51 Laps 0.062  
34 45 United States Jake Griffin Chevrolet 112 1:29'28.648 51 Laps 2.514  
35 21 Zane Smith Chevrolet 99 1:21'30.824 64 Laps 13 Laps 19
36 30 Danny Bohn Toyota 94 1:29'43.248 69 Laps 5 Laps  
37 3 United States Jordan Anderson Chevrolet 68 1:13'54.971 95 Laps 26 Laps  
38 10 United States Jennifer Jo Cobb Ford 28 33'32.332 135 Laps 40 Laps  
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