Ty Majeski earned a dominating win as the Wisconsin-native led 67 of 134 laps and drove to his second victory in the last three events to hold momentum going into the Championship 4 in Phoenix. He will be joined by fellow Toyota drivers Ben Rhodes, who finished sixth, and Chandler Smith, who was scored in tenth. Rhodes, who is the reigning champion, is going into his second consecutive Championship 4, while Smith and Majeski are in their first championship battle.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Race 22 of 23 – 134 Laps, 201 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITION
1st, TY MAJESKI
2nd, Zane Smith*
3rd, STEWART FRIESEN
4th, Ryan Preece*
5th, COREY HEIM
6th, BEN RHODES
7th, CHRISTIAN ECKES
8th, MATT CRAFTON
9th, PARKER KLIGERMAN
10th, CHANDLER SMITH
11th, TYLER ANKRUM
16th, CHASE PURDY
20th, TIMMY HILL
24th, BRENNAN POOLE
27th, KADEN HONEYCUTT
29th, TYLER HILL
32nd, MASON MAGGIO
35th, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
TY MAJESKI, No. 66 Road Ranger Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How about that race today?
“We were just letting it all hang out there. This place is so much fun. This race track is just badass, so much fun to race on. Obviously, it makes it more fun when you have a truck like that. I’m so proud of Joe (Shear, Jr., crew chief), everybody at ThorSport – Duke, Rhonda, Allison (Thorson, team owners) to let us go and live our dreams. We all make a living racing and that is pretty dang cool. I love doing this. I’m so happy to be here and so proud to making the most of this opportunity.”
Did you have to do much on this truck?
“No, we didn’t make many changes on our Road Ranger Tundra at all. Just a little air pressure. This Tundra was really, really good off of the truck. We made minimal changes. Joe (Shear, Jr., crew chief) did a great job. This is cool. I can’t for much more momentum going into Phoenix chasing a championship. That is our goal. We are plenty capable of doing it. We proved it two of the last three races, and we are going to go give it our best shot.”
BEN RHODES, No. 99 Kubota Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 6th
What were the closing laps like for you as you battled for the final position to contend for the championship?
“Fighting with my teammate there for the last few laps and every spot matters. We got in by one point from what I understand. I’m just really, really happy that we had a good showing for this Kubota Toyota Tundra. The folks came out for this race, and they were able to stand on the pit box and see all of it. Really happy that they can have an intense race for them, give them some excitement, but man, I wish it was easier. Seemed harder than it should have. And just really glad I can defend the title. It’s been an up and down season and we aren’t the best at mile-and-a-halves, but we’ve made leaps and bounds here. We were able to get the first stage win and finish fifth in the second. Then when we had that bad pit stop and went back to 15th, I was sweating bullets like I knew I had a lot of work to do. I just didn’t know it was going to be that tough.”
What will it take for you to defend your championship?
“I think it’s going to be tough. I think Ty Majeski is going to be the guy to beat. Him and Joe Shear (crew chief) have it figured out on these smooth tracks. Phoenix I would categorize as a place that’s in their wheelhouse. So, we’re going to take some notes from them maybe and we’re going to work on our own program. We just have to be consistent, and we have to work on that. So far, so good. I’m thrilled with the last two races, and we’ve really turned everything around and made it back in.”
CHANDLER SMITH, No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 10th
What does it mean to know that you’ll get to compete for the championship in Phoenix?
“That’s what we’ve been working on since we had a cushion after Talladega. Just starting to work on Phoenix stuff. We did work on things for this race. We knew we had to have a solid truck and not just completely bank on pointing our way in and we wanted to come here and try to win. But we just missed it here today. But that being said, we are all focused on going to run for a championship and I’m happy for that. Just being here with my Safelite KBM group, this is awesome to have the opportunity to go and run for a championship. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to do this again in my career. So really, really thankful for the opportunity. Just super blessed right now and feeling humbled.”
Are you one of the favorites along with Ty Majeski for the championship?
“I’ll let that be up to you guys. I think we should be okay at Phoenix. We were good there last year, good the year before and the year before that. So, I feel that’s a track that I do like. I feel like we have a really good package there obviously with how we did last year. At the end of the day, we’re racing for a championship. We made it this far and there’s a lot for us to be proud of this season no matter how you look at it.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 GEARWRENCH Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 35th
What happened that took you out of contention to be able to make the final four to contend for the championship in Phoenix?
“Just made a mistake on my end. I got dirtied up behind the 52 (Stewart Friesen) early on in stage on and hit the fence and just trying to make up time and was pushing the issue probably a little too hard. Ultimately pushed it a little too hard, hit the fence again and had the right front go flat. Came in, pitted and ended up not clearing tires good enough and had another tire go down and had to pit again. Then had to play pit strategy and after that it was just damage control. It’s on me. It’s just frustrating for myself for sure to not advance to the final four, but still have a couple races left to go out and try to win.”