Saturday, Oct 23

GMS Racing NCWTS Talladega Superspeedway Recap

GMS Racing NCWTS Talladega Superspeedway Recap NK Photography Photo

Sheldon Creed, No. 2 LiftKits4Less Chevrolet Silverado

START: 9th    

FINISH: 12th

POINTS: 4th

- Sheldon Creed raced into Talladega Superspeedway five points below the cutline in the Round of 8, looking to pad his points total with stage points and a good finish.

- Creed lined up in the ninth position to start the race, staying conservative and finishing Stage one in the eighth position. A great pit stop at the end of the stage vaulted the pink No. 2 Silverado towards the front of the pack, and he was able to take control of the outside line with teammate Zane Smith en route to a win in Stage two. Sheldon battled for the lead for the remainder of the race, but had two close calls where wrecks happened directly in front of him.

- When the race leader blocked Creed out of turn four on lap 76, contact resulted in a multi-truck pileup, but the No. 2 Chevy marched onward with minimal front end damage. Coming to the white flag, Creed was in position to contend for the win by pushing teammate Chase Purdy, but the caution came out once again, prompting a green-white-checkered finish. On the final lap after the restart, Creed was involved in a mult-truck crash in turn four, resulting in a twelfth place finish after leading six laps.

#Back2Back: Sheldon Creed, despite being collected in the last lap mayhem, was able to move up one spot in points, holding fourth place in the championship standings. As the Round of 8 moves to Martinsville Speedway for the final race of the penultimate round, Creed sits five above the cutline. The reigning champion needs to hold steady in order to compete for a second championship in Phoenix.

Quote: "Man, we had a really good race going for us today. It felt great working with my teammate there and winning Stage two, I felt that we had a really fast truck. We had some close calls and almost had a shot at winning it, but I just got shuffled out and didn't have a way of avoiding the last lap crash. I'm glad that we were able to make up some good points heading into Martinsville, but I'm certainly not going to be breathing easy over these next few weeks. We know what we have to do to move on and I'm confident that I have the team behind me to advance to Phoenix and contend for the championship."

 

Zane Smith, No. 21 Hamsters USA Chevrolet Silverado

START: 10th

FINISH: 33rd

POINTS: 8th

- Like his teammate Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith entered Talladega on the outside looking in nineteen points below the cutline. The No. 21 team needed to race as aggressively as possible to inch closer to their nearest competition in the points standings.

- Smith had the best starting spot of all GMS Racing teammates, initially rolling off from the eighth position. The twenty two-year-old was unable to tally any stage points in Stage one, finishing eleventh, but a quick pit stop positioned Smith to the front. Zane was able to work with Creed and finish third in Stage two, gaining valuable stage points.

- The No. 21 Hamsters USA Silverado showed speed throughout the day, and was a strong leader on the outside lane, but was wiped out in "the big one" on lap 57, immediately ending the team's race. Smith took several hard hits, but was released from the care center with no injuries. The results sheet will credit Zane with a 33rd place finish, definitely not what he or the team had hoped for.

#21in21: Due to the crash and poor finishing result from Talladega, Zane Smith is in a must-win situation as the trucks approach the second to last race of the season at Martinsville Speedway. The sophomore driver's season has been a difficult one, plagued with bad luck and misfortune. He looks to rally back and prove that the No. 21 GMS Racing team deserves to fight for a championship in Phoenix.

Quote: "That's just the nature of a restrictor plate race in the Playoffs. From my view, it looked like the No. 38 was just pushing a little too hard, but I don't know. It's not his fault, it's not really anyone's fault, but that's just how it goes. Unfortunately we just had the bad end of the stick there, I'm not sure what I could have done differently. Honestly we had a really good race going there, I felt like having a great teammate behind me helped us control that front row, but it just didn't end up working out there."

 

Chase Purdy, No. 23 Bama Buggies Chevrolet Silverado

START: 15th

FINISH: 9th

POINTS: 19th

- Chase Purdy returned to his home track of Talladega with some momentum on his side, as the rookie was the highest finishing GMS Racing driver last race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Always a fan of Talladega, but never able to finish a race at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Purdy was hungry for a win.

- Purdy started in the fifteenth position and showed speed at the start of the race, working with teammates to finish twelfth in Stage one. A strategy call by crew chief Jeff Hensley brought the No. 23 Bama Buggies Chevrolet down pit road before the end of Stage two, resulting in a 33rd place finish, but positioned Purdy as the leader to start the final stage of the race.

- Purdy led four laps out front and proved to be a strong contender towards the end of the race, riding in third place until two laps to go. A heroic move for the lead down the backstretch had thousands of local fans on their feet, cheering wildly as the local boy raced to the white flag. Coming out of turn four, Purdy went to block the inside line to hold the lead, but was barely tapped, sending the No. 23 driver spinning through the infield. Down, but not out, the rookie fought his way to an impressive ninth place finish on the final restart, notching his third career Top 10 finish in the Camping World Truck Series.

Quote: "Certainly an eventful day, I was trying to get ride along the bottom and stay out of trouble to keep our nose clean and be there at the end. I think we did a really good job at that besides two mistakes I made on pit road, but we overcame them and were in a great spot towards the end. It's just Talladega, I hesitated too much and was late on the block, and we ended up wrecked. We still finished ninth, so all-in-all a pretty good day, but man what a heartbreaking way to lose what could have been my first win."

 

Jack Wood, No. 24 Azalea Gynecology Chevrolet Silverado

START: 24th

FINISH: 40th

POINTS: 30th

- Jack Wood welcomed new sponsor Azalea Gynecology on his No. 24 Silverado for his first NCWTS superspeedway race, aiming to learn drafting techniques from his GMS Racing teammates and stay out of trouble.

- Early on, Wood's team noticed a problem with his pink No. 24, possibly noting the loss of a cylinder. Jack stayed out until the first caution of the race on lap twenty, but was lapped by the field resulting in a 37th place finish in Stage one.

- Wood brought the truck to the attention of the crew on pit road under caution, where the Azalea Chevrolet was found to have suffered a catastrophic push rod failure. Just 23 laps into the Chevrolet Silverado 250, Jack Wood was forced behind the wall with an early exit, resulting in a very disappointing 40th place finish.

Quote: "Man, that was disappointing. I feel like our truck handled pretty good early on, and I was just getting settled in with the pack when things were starting to get sketchy up front. As soon as I got out of the draft, our engine started falling on its face and we ended up breaking a push rod. It's a tough deal to end our race early with a mechanical failure, but we still have two races this year to head out on a high note. We've had some back luck fall our way recently, but I'm looking forward to regrouping before next season."

 

Tyler Ankrum, No. 26 LiUNA! Chevrolet Silverado

START: 27th

FINISH: 28th

POINTS: 15th

- Tyler Ankrum looked for redemption at Talladega after a string of misfortune in recent weeks resulted in poor finishes. The No. 26 LiUNA! driver was eager to turn his season around with a solid finish in the 250-mile race in which he started deep in the pack.

- Beginning the race, Ankrum held onto the lead pack and began to work his way up through the field, passing numerous trucks in the process. Towards the end of Stage one, the transmission on the No. 26 Silverado popped out of fourth gear, prompting Tyler to manually hold the shifter in fourth gear en route to a 24th place finish. The crew gave him a bungee cord to hold the shifter in place for Stage two, where he rode it out to finish 27th.

- With the problem fixed, Ankrum worked his way back into contention at the beginning of the final stage of the race, but was collected in "the big one" along with Playoffs contending teammate Zane Smith among many others. The crew attempted to fix most of the damage, but ultimately the LiUNA! Chevy was not fast enough to continue on, resulting in an early exit scored by a 28th place finish.

Quote: "I had a pretty fast truck that was great with straight line speed. We were biding our time running in the back, but had nowhere to go and got taken out, putting an end to our day. We were hoping to stay out of all of the mess just to finish a superspeedway race, but it wasn't meant to be. We will go onto Martinsville and continue to work hard as we grow closer to the end of our season."

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