During the final restart on Lap 111, ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes managed to secure the lead from Carson Hocevar and pulled away to win the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, getting his first win of 2023 and snapping a 27-race winless streak.
The 2021 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion gave Ford its first Truck Series win at Charlotte.
Rhodes became the ninth different winner in 11 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races and took home a bonus of $50,000 for winning the first of three events in the Triple Truck Challenge – a program that provides the opportunity to win $500,000 for a driver who can sweep all three participating races.
In addition to the Triple Truck Challenge bonus, the 26-year-old Kentucky native has officially earned a spot in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs for the sixth-time in his career (2023, ‘22, ’21, ’20, ’18, ’17).
TRICON Garage’s Corey Heim, who led the most laps with 49, finished in second after winning the opening stage. Heim continued his string of strong results, collecting his fourth top five and ninth top 10 in 11 races. Finishing in third was TRICON teammate Dean Thompson. The driver of the No. 5 Toyota Tundra PRD recorded his best-career CRAFTSMAN Truck Series finish.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Custom Hot Wheels and Matchbox Cars For Sale - The Coldnose Garage on Etsy
Next Race: Toyota 200
The Date: Saturday, June 3
The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $738,514
TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (160 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 35),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 70), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 160)
Triple Truck Challenge continues at World Wide Technology Raceway
The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series is returning to World Wide Technology Raceway this weekend for the 23rd running of the Toyota 200 and the second race of the Triple Truck Challenge (Saturday, June 3, at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Located in Madison, Illinois just outside of St. Louis, World Wide Technology Raceway was originally built in 1985 as a road course and was named St. Louis International Raceway Park. In 1996, the road course was demolished and transformed into the 1.25-mile oval and accompanying drag strip that are well-known today.
The inaugural NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at the 1.25-mile track was held on September 19, 1998 – a race won by Rick Carelli, driving a Chevrolet for Marshal Chesrown.
The 22 previous races at World Wide Technology Raceway have produced 13 different pole winners along with 20 different race winners. Greg Biffle (1998, 2000) and Ted Musgrave (2001, 2005) lead the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series in poles with two each.
Additionally, Sheldon Creed (2020, 2021) and Ted Musgrave (2001, 2005) lead the series in wins at World Wide Technology Raceway with two each. TRICON Garage’s Corey Heim, who won last year’s Toyota 200, is the only previous winner entered this weekend.
Practice and qualifying for the Toyota 200 will begin Friday, June 2 at 6:00 p.m. ET on FS1.
Six competitors locked into NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs
With five races left in the regular season, here’s a look at the current CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoff standings:
Six drivers have locked themselves into the 2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs by virtue of wins this season – Zane Smith (Daytona, COTA), Christian Eckes (Atlanta, Darlington), Carson Hocevar (Texas), Corey Heim (Martinsville), Grant Enfinger (Kansas), and most recently, Ben Rhodes (Charlotte).
Currently in on Points:
Two drivers have built up a points cushion of 35 points or more over the Playoff cutoff following Charlotte – Ty Majeski (119 points above the Playoff cutoff) and Matt Crafton (+35).
Seven points above the cutoff and ranked ninth in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoff outlook is TRICON Garage’s Tanner Gray. Following Gray is Rackley W.A.R’s Matt DiBenedetto, just one point above the cutoff.
Outside Looking In:
Another ten drivers sit outside the Playoff position but still have plenty of time to race their way into the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs.
Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen is 11th in Playoff standings, one point behind Matt DiBenedetto in 10th. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Nick Sanchez sits 11 points off the final Playoff position in 12th.
Following Friesen and Sanchez is Chase Purdy (-36 points back from Playoff cutoff), Jake Garcia (-48), Tyler Ankrum (-63), Hailie Deegan (-75), Rajah Caruth (-81), Colby Howard (-99), Daniel Dye (-100), and Dean Thompson (-102).
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.
Carson Hocevar to make NASCAR Cup Series debut at Gateway – CRAFTSMAN Truck Series driver Carson Hocevar is set to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway. Hocevar will drive the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet in Sunday’s event in place of Corey Lajoie.
“Carson has proven to be more than capable, and he’s done a great job in our No. 77 Premier Security Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “This is a win for everyone involved.”
Jesse Love to make CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut – Two-time ARCA Menards Series West Champion, Jesse Love, will make his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut in the No. 1 TRICON Garage Toyota Tundra TRD at World Wide Technology Raceway. Love has won the last three ARCA Menard Series races this season (Talladega, Kansas, and Charlotte).
“A lot of time, sweat, and tears have gone into this opportunity and I’m looking forward to capitalizing on it,” said Love. “I think Gateway will be a great place to get started, so June 3 can’t come fast enough.”