After pulling away from the field on an overtime restart, Kyle Larson became the first driver to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race at revitalized North Wilkesboro in 27 years and the third different winner in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series at the legendary track; joining Mike Bliss (1995) and Mark Martin (1996).
Originally not scheduled to race, Larson piloted the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet in place of Alex Bowman. Larson dominated the race, leading 138 of the 252 laps and winning stage two.
A late caution set up the final pit stop of the race, forcing teams to delve into pit strategies. Bubba Wallace and Ty Majeski both chose to take two tires, while Larson took four. While Wallace held the lead on the restart with 24 laps to go, the No. 7 Chevrolet marched its way to the front with only 13 laps left.
With another caution sending the field into overtime, Larson was able to drive away from the pack with ease on the restart and sealed the deal. The victory was his third in 15 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races and Spire Motorsports’ second victory.
ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski finished second and snapped a streak of back-to-back finishes of 25th or worse. Following Majeski, Rackley W.A.R’s Matt DiBenedetto finished a season-best third.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Next Race: North Carolina Education Lottery 200
The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Date: Friday, May 27
The Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $767,542
TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)
2023 Triple Truck Challenge kicks off at Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Triple Truck Challenge was introduced in 2019 as a three-race program that provides drivers in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series an opportunity to win up to $500,000 in bonus money.
A $50,000 bonus will be awarded to the race winner of any one of the three events. If a driver wins two of the three races, they pocket an additional $150,000. Win all three races and they collect half a million dollars.
After a one-year absence, Charlotte Motor Speedway returns to the Triple Truck Challenge rotation for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (Friday, May 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Following Charlotte Motor Speedway, “The Trip” continues at World Wide Technology Raceway (June 3) before closing out on June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway.
Since its inception in 2019, no driver has been able to win all three races in one season to collect the $500,000 bonus.
|2019 Season||2020 Season|
|Track||TTC Winner||Track||TTC Winner|
|Gateway||Ross Chastain||Daytona Road||Sheldon Creed|
|Iowa||Brett Moffitt||Dover||Zane Smith|
|Texas||Greg Biffle||Gateway||Sheldon Creed|
|2021 Season||2022 Season|
|Track||TTC Winner||Track||TTC Winner|
|Darlington||Sheldon Creed||Gateway||Corey Heim|
|COTA||Todd Gilliland||Nashville||Ryan Preece|
|Charlotte||John H. Nemechek||Mid-Ohio||Parker Kligerman|
Practice and qualifying for the North Carolina Education Lottery will begin Friday, May 6 at 1:35 p.m. ET on FS1.
CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers to watch: The Beast of the Southeast edition
Charlotte Motor Speedway will be the fifth different 1.5-mile track the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series has visited this season; joining Las Vegas, Atlanta, Texas, and Kansas.
“The Beast of the Southeast” has hosted the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series 20 times with the inaugural event on May 16, 2003 – a race won by Ted Musgrave, driving a Dodge for truck owner Jim Smith.
The 20 previous CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at the 1.5-mile track have produced 11 different pole winners and 11 different race winners. Cup Series regular and Kyle Busch Motorsports owner/driver Kyle Busch leads the series in wins with eight victories (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019). Kyle Busch Motorsports has won an impressive seven out of the last 13 races and are still on the hunt for their 100th NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series win.
As the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series stars prepare to take on Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, there are two drivers in the past few years who have consistently been at the front of the field.
Defending NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion Zane Smith has three top 10s in just three starts at the 1.5-mile track. During his Charlotte Motor Speedway debut in 2020, Smith led 15 laps and recorded his series-best finish (third). Last year, the driver of the No. 38 Ford finished fifth after leading 52 laps.
In six starts, GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger has three top 10s (2017, 2018, 2022). Last year, Enfinger recorded his series-best finish at the track (second). In his other three starts, the Alabama native has finished just outside of the top 10.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.
David Gilliland to drive for TRICON Garage in Charlotte – TRICON Garage team owner David Gilliland will return to the driver’s seat at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Gilliland last raced in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series in 2021 making three starts at Daytona International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Darlington Raceway. This weekend will mark the veteran’s third career CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at Charlotte.
Zane Smith to make Charlotte Motor Speedway debut in NASCAR Cup Series – The 2022 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Champion Zane Smith will be the only full-time Truck Series driver competing this weekend in the Cup Series. He will pilot the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford on Sunday. Smith has made five previous career starts in the NASCAR Cup Series.