NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Review: Lucas Oil 150




Deep in the desert of Arizona, there was a championship feel in the air as NASCAR's three National touring series all crowned a new champion.  This championship weekend started off with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck series.  This was really the only true "night" race of the weekend, which added a special intensity to the championship race.  It proved to be Grant Enfinger vs. GMS in the championship hunt.  Zane Smith, Brett Moffitt, and Sheldon Creed, all GMS drivers, joined Enfinger as contenders for the title.  Who would prevail and become the 2020 Truck series champion?

The race started out with Enfinger, with his championship competitors in toe, leading the field to green.  By the end of the first lap, Enfinger was already at the bottom of the championship 4.  Zane Smith got out to an early lead over his two GMS championship competitors.  Smith held on to lead the majority of the laps in Stage 1 and win the stage.  However, no points were awarded to any of the championship drivers during the stages.  Creed, Moffitt, Enfinger, Crafton, Rhodes, Ankrum, Eckes, Friesen, and Kraus finished stage 1 behind Smith in the Top 10.

Sheldon Creed got ahead of his GMS teammate and took an early lead in Stage 2, but it was Brett Moffitt who took the lead and did not let go.  Ben Rhodes was the first driver to get up and break the Championship 4's stranglehold on the Top 4 spots.  Rhodes made it past his teammate, Enfinger, and had almost made it past Sheldon Creed for 3rd when Stage 2 ended. Brett Moffitt went on to win Stage 2 with Z. Smith, Creed, Rhodes, Enfinger, Friesen, Ankrum, Lessard, Eckes, and Mayer all earning a Top 10 in the stage.  

Brett Moffitt was on the fast track to continue his dominance throughout the final stage.  Carson Hocevar brought out the caution at lap 103 after spinning into the wall coming off Turn 2.  This allowed Grant Enfinger, who had not been a threat all night, to get off pit cycle and take 4 fresh tires.  Grant Enfinger slowly started to gain spots, but it wasn't nearly enough to catch Brett Moffitt.  Moffitt pulled out to nearly a 5 second lead over the field.  It appeared to be Moffitt's championship for the taking.  Unfortunately, Moffitt's worst nightmare came true as the caution came out with 3 laps to go, forcing NASCAR overtime.  Moffitt, in the lead, and Enfinger, having no sets of tires left, had no choice but to stay our.  For Creed and Zane Smith, the opportunity arose for them to take tires.  Zane Smith opted to take 4 tires while Sheldon Creed took 2.  The final restart was about as chaotic as it could get without causing another caution.  Moffitt and Enfinger's older tires just could not hold on to the lead.  Sheldon Creed came charging to the front with Smith right behind him.  Sheldon Creed pulled away from Smith and went on to grab the win and the championship.  It was Creed's 5th win of the season, a series best.  This is Sheldon Creed's first championship in only his second full-time season in the Truck Series.  Z. Smith, C. Smith, Eckes, Lessard, Friesen, Rhodes, Ankrum, Gilliland, and Moffitt all finished the season with a Top 10 finish.  Enfinger (13th) was the only Championship 4 driver to finish outside the Top 10.  This race was a great start to championship weekend in the desert.  Congratulations to Sheldon Creed for capturing his first NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series championship.