CTS: New tires and late race pass propels Carson Hocevar to Worldwide Express 250 victory at Richmond Raceway

After just about an hour delay due to weather and lightning around the Richmond Raceway the Worldwide Express 250 would get underway with Ty Majeski starting from the pole over Corey Heim who was seeking the 2023 Craftsman Truck Series regular season championship.

Majeski would get the jump early on clearing away from Heim with teammate Rhodes following in his tire track to send Heim back to the third spot. Rhodes would continue to chase Majeski but to no avail as the leader would continue to pull away.

While closing in on halfway through the first stage a near miss with Tannery Gray whose truck would just shut off while in the sixth position. Gray, however, would get the truck refired but not before losing several positions.  

Stage one would continue green to the end with Majeski leading all the laps in the stage over Rhodes, Heim, Eckes and Crafton to round out the top-five. Majeski would also power through the field working traffic to put 20 trucks a lap down in the process.

While working lap 89, Heim running in the second position would clinch the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular season championship over Zane Smith who would struggle in the first stage and end up a lap down to start the second stage.

““Yeah, it really means a lot. With TRICON Garage and Toyota Racing, we’ve come such a long way from the beginning of the year. I really felt like we had a lot of progress to make in the first four or five weeks and we’ve really been improving ever since.” Said Heim

“We’ve been about the most consistent these last two or three months. If we can carry that into the Playoffs, we will be tough to beat.” Continued Heim

Stage two would pick up where the first stage left off with Majeski opening up a wide lead over the rest of the field with Heim trying to chase down the leader. Majeski at one point would be more than four seconds in front of the field and closing in to start lapping the rear of the field once again.

Caution would fly for the second time of the night when Dean Thompson while racing with Deegan would go for a spin off turn two. This would help Zane Smith who was running in the 17th spot to get the free pass and get back on the lead lap.

On the restart the lead would change hands for the first time of the night when Corey Heim would use the inside line to take control over Majeski. As Heim would clear for the lead Majeski and Rhodes would battle it out for the second spot just as the third caution of the night would come out for Justin Carroll spinning in turn three.

Hailie Deegan while battling with Friesen for the 18th spot would get the free pass by just mere inches.

Heim on the restart would once again go head-to-head with Majeski for the lead before Majeski would bail out allowing Rhodes to close in and get around to take control of the race for the first time of the night.

As Rhodes would take over the lead, Majeski would gather it back up and work on Heim for several laps before finally getting around for the second spot. Rhodes would hang onto the lead for five laps before a resurging Majeski would once again take back the lead for the second time of the night.

When stage two would end it would once again be Majeski taking home the stage win over Rhodes, Heim, Eckes and Hocevar.

During the pit stops under caution race leader Ty Majeski would speed on pit road sending him to the rear of the field on the restart.

With the green flag once again in the air Carson Hocevar who started at the rear of the field with a flat tire under the pace laps would take control of the race lead with 100 to go over Rhodes.

While Majeski would be sent to the rear for speeding under the caution on pit road it wouldn’t take long for the No. 98 machine to work himself back inside the top-5 within 40 laps of the restart while staying within a few seconds of the race leader.

Majeski would continue to cut through the field making his way all the way up to the second spot cutting into the lead of Hocevar. But with just 40 laps to go, Hocevar would bail off and hit pit road for tires and fuel on the No. 42 machine handing the lead once again to Ty Majeski.

With pit stops completed Majeski would gamble saying out as Hocevar would once again start working through the field more than 17 seconds down and closing within six seconds with 10 laps to go. Hocevar would continue to close as laps would tick down, finally catching up with Majeski with four laps to go.

Hocevar would drive away for his third win of the season over Majeski who would end up over two seconds back to finish second followed by Zane Smith, Garcia, and Mills to round out the top-five finishers.

“We didn’t come here to run second; I knew we had to do something different and new tires prevailed.’’ Said Hocevar

Finishing out the regular season Corey Heim, Ty Majeski, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Carson Hocevar, Nick Sanchez, Matt DiBenedetto and Matt Crafton would move on to the playoffs for the 2023 NASCAR Truck Series Championship.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will take a two week break before starting their playoffs at Lucas Oil Raceway on August 11th at 9 p.m. ET on FS1.