LEBANON, TENNESSEE - JUNE 24: Ryan Preece, driver of the #17 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning  the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 24, 2022 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Ryan Preece celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Ryan Preece Goes Back-To-Back At Nashville

Ryan Preece successfully defended his 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win at Nashville Superspeedway Friday night, holding off late charges from Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith.

Preece, who started from the pole in the the No. 17 Ford for David Gilliland Racing, secured the win in a 10-lap shootout end the race. He had more than a second lead with about three laps to go before Smith pounced and began pressuring him for the lead.

Preece, whose win at Nashville last year was the first Truck win of his career, led 75 of 150 laps Friday night, including the final 49 circuits of the 1.33-mile track.

“I never like it to be that close,” Preece told Fox Sports 1. “We got a second guitar, I might have to start a band!”

As for why Smith and Hocevar were able to get back to Preece’s bumper in the last few laps, Preece blamed “old tires.”

“Heat cycles, they’re chattering, they’re kind of doing everything,” Preece said. “The biggest thing I had was clean air and to put as much dirty air on him as possible. I wasn’t going to give it up.”

Preece’s win is also the second in a row for David Gilliland Racing after Todd Gilliland won last weekend’s race on dirt at Knoxville Raceway.

The top five was completed by Ty Majeski and Stewart Friesen.

Max Gutierrez, making his second career Truck Series starts, finished eighth. Friday night’s race was the first part of a double header for the driver, who will fly to Mexico to take part in a NASCAR Mexico series race on Sunday.

The first caution of the race came on Lap 8 when Jack Wood wrecked in Turn 4 after contact with Matt Crafton. Crafton tagged the left rear of Wood’s No. 24 truck, sending him around and into the outside wall.

“I think he just got in there too hard,” Wood told Fox Sports. “Matt’s a good guy, I don’t think he meant to do it on purpose.”

The yellow flag returned on Lap 20 for a single-truck incident involving Camden Murphy. Murphy was making his first career Truck Series start.

Zane Smith, who took the lead from pole-sitter Ryan Preece on the first lap, led every lap of the first stage to take the stage win.

Preece was second and Corey Heim was third.

Majeski was first off pit road after his team went with two tires instead of four. Smith was second. But when the race resumed on Lap 54, Smith easily retook the lead as Majeski fell out of the top five.

On Lap 60, Tanner Gray cut down his right-front tire and hit the outside wall. There was no caution as Gray made it back to pit road.

The next caution came on Lap 69 when John Hunter Nemechek attempted to block Hocevar as they exited Turn 2, only for Hocevar to tag his left rear and send Nemechek sliding through a section of grass. Nemechek finished ninth.

On the Lap 74 restart, Preece took the lead with help from a push by Christian Eckes. Preece would lead the rest of the way in the stage, taking the stage win on Lap 95 over Smith.

The race was slowed with 31 laps to go when Todd Bodine spun through the frontstretch grass.

On the ensuing restart with 26 laps to go, Preece would need two laps to secure the lead over Eckes. But moments after Preece put the No. 17 out front, a three-truck incident occurred in Turn 3 involving Heim, Matt DiBenedetto and Grant Enfinger.

The wreck happened after they were four-wide entering the turn, with Majeski the fourth truck in the bottom lane. It was Majeski who initiated the four-wide moment, causing DiBenedetto to be pinched into Heim.

“Four wide at Nashville probably isn’t going to work most of the time,” Enfinger told Fox Sports 1

Said DiBenedetto: “I have no tolerance for pure stupidity.”

The race restarted with 16 to go, but the green flag was only out for seconds before it was replaced by the yellow for a Hailie Deegan crash in Turn 1 after she was turned from behind by Max Gutierrez.

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