AVONDALE, Ariz. — Zane Smith, the title runner-up for the past two years, took the lead on an overtime restart and held off defending series champion Ben Rhodes to win the Camping World Truck Series race Friday and claim the series crown at Phoenix Raceway.
“Third time is a charm,” 23-year-old Zane Smith told FS1 after his fourth win of the season.
“I’ve wanted this moment for so long.”
Rhodes finished second. Chandler Smith placed third. Ty Majeski was 20th after crashing in the final laps.
MORE: Phoenix Truck Race Results
MORE: Truck Series Points After Phoenix
The race changed when Hailie Deegan pulled out the warning for an accident with 16 laps to go. This sent the field to pit road. Zane Smith was leading but was 10th after his pit stop. Two trucks failed to pit jump and four trucks only took two tires, including Rhodes.
The race went to extra time when Majeski crashed while battling Zane Smith for second place four laps short of the scheduled distance. Majeski was on the left rear of Zane Smith’s truck but lost control and slid down the track on the back stretch and hit the inside SAFER barrier.
Zane Smith started inside the second row for the final restart and passed Rhodes. Coming to the checkered flag, Rhodes ran into Zane Smith but couldn’t move him.
“It was just a two-on-four (tyre) story,” said Rhodes, who liked the pit call to take just two tires and gain track position. “I couldn’t get the jump I needed on the green. I didn’t have the grip… It was extremely difficult to hold them back.
Stage 1 winner: Zane Smith
Stage 2 winner: Zane Smith
Who had a good race: Kaden Honeycutt, starting his ninth series, finished a career-high ninth. … Tanner Gray finished eighth, only his second top 10 in the last 13 races. John Hunter Nemechek’s fourth-place finish ended a three-race streak without a top 10 finish.
Who had a bad race: Hailie Deegan’s late fall earned her a 31st place finish. It was the seventh time in the last eight races that it had failed to score a top 10. … Christian Eckes finished 30th, snapping a streak of five consecutive top 10 finishes.
Next: The season is over. The series resumes February 17, 2023 at Daytona International Speedway.