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NASCAR Truck: Ben Rhodes wins at Darlington

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 06: Ben Rhodes, driver of the #99 Tenda Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after wining the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series South Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Darlington Raceway on September 06, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

The COVID-19-related shuffling of the 2020 NASCAR schedule put the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway for the first time since 2011 on Sunday. When the checkered flag waved after an overtime restart in the South Carolina Education Lottery 200, Louisville, Ky., native Ben Rhodes broke a 48-race winless streak on a rescheduled Kentucky Derby weekend to claim his first win of the 2020 Truck Series season and third of his Truck Series career.

“Gosh, that was such a tough win,” Rhodes said. “We weren‘t the best truck all day. I was actually really disappointed when the caution flag came out, because I thought fourth-place is a good finish for us; we‘ll get in the playoffs. But I‘m not letting this checkered flag go. It‘s been a long time coming.”

GMS Racing teammates Sheldon Creed and Brett Moffitt combined to lead most of the race before a Josh Reaume incident in the final two laps of the 147-lap scheduled distance put Sunday’s race under its seventh and final caution. Creed was leading at the time of caution, but he gave up the lead to pit. Moffitt and most of the other frontrunners, including Moffitt and Austin Hill, also pitted.

Creed was first off pit road, but he was caught speeding in the pits, taking him out of contention for the win. Hill, meanwhile, restarted 11th and got up to third in the two green-flag laps remaining before the checkered flag. 

“If more would have come (to pit road) it would have helped out the situation,” Creed said. “Man, that one hurts.”

Moffitt wound up with a 10th-place finish.

Derek Kraus, who, like Rhodes, stayed out during the final caution, got by Rhodes on the final restart to take a brief lead, but before the white flag, Rhodes, retook the lead. Kraus took runner-up honors for a career-best finish.

Rhodes’ ThorSport Racing teammate Grant Enfinger finished fourth, and Christian Eckes rounded out the top-five.

Moffitt and Creed started the race on the front row, Moffitt as the pole sitter. Creed took the lead from his teammate on the initial start. But after Timmy Hill stayed out during a lap-20 competition caution to inherit the lead, Moffitt, who beat Creed out of the pits during the yellow flag, took the lead on the restart and took the stage-one win at lap 45.

Creed was the winner of the second stage that ended at lap 90 after taking the lead from Moffitt on the restart that followed the conclusion of the first stage.

Moffitt was back up front after getting off pit road first after the second stage, but he lost that lead to Creed on a restart with 18 laps remaining. Hill also got by Moffitt on that restart for the second position.

“Capitalized on that last restart and got to the lead, and I knew if I was to the lead I was really good for 15-20 laps. And I feel like track position was really important,” Creed said.

Raphael Lessard finished sixth, Todd Gilliland was seventh, and Stewart Friesen eighth. Timmy Hill finished ninth after being the only driver other than Creed of Moffitt to lead laps before the final caution. Hill led two laps under yellow.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the South Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Darlington Raceway:

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Posted by on September 6, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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