NASCAR Race Weekend Central
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Austin Hill Capitalizes on Sheldon Creed’s Mistake, Wins Truck Race at Las Vegas

Frontstretch’s Truck Series content is presented by American Trucks

He may have not led the most laps or had the dominant truck, but Austin Hill is now a two-time winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

However, the World of Westgate 200 was as much about Hill’s victory as it was about Sheldon Creed‘s late-race collapse.

Creed’s No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet was out front most of the night, having won both stages and leading nearly three-quarters of the race.

However, on a restart with 37 laps to go following Jordan Anderson‘s engine failure, Creed fell outside of the top 10 from the lead in one corner after being caught napping. Creed’s dramatic fall was just what Hill needed. He was able to sprint away with the win.

“We didn’t have the best truck tonight by no means,” Hill told Fox Sports 1. “We had to fight a lot of adversity in stages 1 and 2. It wasn’t good at all. Scott [Zipadelli] and the guys kept working on it and got it better. The pit crew did a hell of a job on that last pit stop getting me in that position.”

Despite the poor restart, Creed made a valiant charge through the field, even catching the leader Hill. But after hitting the wall with 11 laps to go, Creed’s effort went sour. A disappointed Creed limped home to a runner-up finish.

Before the event even commenced, one driver was unable to take the green flag. Natalie Decker did not receive medical clearance to compete. With a replacement driver unable to be found, the No. 44 Niece Motorsports entry was awarded last place in the field of 36 trucks.

Ben Rhodes didn’t fare much better.

Rhodes, who is in the thick of the playoff battle, faced an unnerving and bizarre situation throughout the night. Under the lap 10 competition caution, Rhodes’s No. 99 truck began smoking. Although the team sent the Kentucky driver back out, the truck continued to smoke, but only at caution speed.

Although they were never able to fully diagnose the problem, the team raced on pins and needles nearly all night, concerned that Rhodes’ engine was slowly blowing up. Fortunately for Rhodes, it never did. Unfortunately for Rhodes, something else blew up.

While battling hard with Stewart Friesen and Todd Gilliland, Rhodes lost control exiting the second turn, spun, and backed his Ford into the wall. To make matters worse, the truck subsequently caught fire while sitting on pit road.

Rhodes finished 23rd. With Talladega Superspeedway looming on the horizon, Rhodes has his work cut out to advance to the next round of the postseason as he now sits six-point outside the cutline.

Behind Hill and Creed was Tanner Gray, Friesen and Chandler Smith rounded out the top five positions.

NASCAR 2020 World of Westgate 200 Results

The pickups will return to action at Talladega Superspeedway for the Chevrolet Silverado 250 on Saturday, Oct. 3. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 1:00 p.m. ET with TV coverage provided by Fox Sports 1.

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About Zach Gillispie

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It is safe to say that Zach Gillispie has been obsessed with race cars for nearly his entire life. After all, his childhood home was just a stone's throw away from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Since joining Fronstretch in 2018, Zach shares his passion for motorsports with the racing faithful around the country through his unique journalistic voice as one of the site's News Writers. He somehow does it all while juggling duties as a full-time college student, an entrepreneurial businessman and the News Director of a small market radio station.

2 comments

  1. Avatar

    I watched the first two stages, got bored and changed the channel to a EMS rescue show. I won’t say the race was awful, but it was not very engaging. It’s the first truck race I’ve watched all season, and probably the last.

    There were two cautions in the first 35 laps, one a completion caution, and one at the end of stage one. Really, Nascar?