After taking the lead on lap 124, Carson Hocevar drove away from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series field in the late stages of the Baptist Health Care Center 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to earn his fourth win of the season.
The No. 42 Niece Motorsports driver finished 2.705 seconds ahead of Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith.
“It was everything I had. I am not sure what happened there on the final stop or what. We just got wicked, wicked tight and I don’t know why. We had zero front grip and I just couldn’t do anything to defend the 42 there. It is just a bummer. I felt like we had a pretty good day, we just didn’t quite have enough,” Smith said.
ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes finished third — which was enough to lock the No. 99 into the Championship 4.
“I was just trying to hold on all day long. I was trying to hang on from the drop of the green flag,” Rhodes said. “The good news is that Phoenix we have a really good track record. We finished second last year, second in the championship, a championship the year before. I should be celebrating right now. We have a chance to go for a championship and today was an absolute blessing to finish the way it was. I didn’t see that coming.”
TRICON Garage’s Corey Heim and GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger completed the top five in Saturday’s 134-lap race.
“Really, I thought we had them covered today. We swept the first two stages and were kind of put-putting around waiting for the third stage, and all of a sudden, it went out like a light switch. We’ll look everything over, it’s kind of undiagnosed for us,” said Heim, who led 57 laps and won the first two stages.
Bayley Currey, Stewart Friesen, Matt Crafton, Rajah Caruth and Ty Majeski rounded out the top 10.
Hocevar, Heim, Enfinger and Rhodes will appear at the season finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway. Christian Eckes, Majeski, Smith and Nick Sanchez were eliminated during the Round of 8 cutoff race.
For the 11th time in Truck Series history, Chevrolet clinched the Manufacturer Championship. Five drivers from five different Chevrolet teams have driven to victory lane this season, earning a combined 13 wins with 22 races complete.
“Winning the Manufacturer Championship title is a tremendous accomplishment for everyone involved in Chevrolet’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program,” said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Program Manager for the NASCAR Truck Series. “The dedicated and focused effort among Chevrolet’s teams, engineers and technical partners throughout the season have resulted in this prestigious title.”