Craftsman Truck Series Championship Pushed Into 4th Overtime As Jesse Love’s Ambitions Jeopardize Ty Majeski & Matt Crafton

Published 11/04/2023, 1:27 AM EDT

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NASCAR might run out of yellow flags for the Lucas Oil 150. Not one, not two, but three consecutive overtime restarts would perhaps be the biggest headline of the Grand Finale of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Phoenix Raceway. Wait, make it four as Ty Majeski just got sent right into the safety barrier.

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There were a total of 12 cautions for 77 laps, which included 7 in the final stage. The four overtime restarts, extended the length of the 150-lap-long race by 29 laps. Needless to say, just one word would occur to the mind of any NASCAR fan, if asked to describe Friday night’s race. And it is chaos.

A contact between Jesse Love and Ty Majeski resulted in a sorry day for Matt Crafton

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The incident took place on the triple overtime restart. ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski was in the second row. He pushed Chase Purdy’s #4 Chevy to the front but then spun after a hit from Jesse Love. Majeski then went straight for the inside wall and rammed into it. This instigated a ripple effect, in which both Tyler Hill and Matt Crafton were caught up. Even Zane Smith received further damages after spinning in double overtime.

 

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Ben Rhodes held on to the championship lead, despite being 5th in the order. Grant Enfinger reminded 14th and Corey Heim, 19th. Unlike Crafton and Majeski, Jesse Love had two important takeaways from the 1-mile tri-oval raceway in Arizona, near Phoenix. Love was the top Toyota finisher and with that, he earned his career-best fourth-place finish in only his 3rd Truck Series start.

According to the Speedway Digest, Love felt like despite his bad start, he was able to rebound from it later in the race. The 18-year-old Toyota Tundra pilot admitted, “I fought a little bit of a loose truck, but not bad overall. I was losing spots on restarts and I finally was able to figure out what I needed to do better. I kind of figured out the bottom in (turns) one and two better and once I did that I thought I could maintain on restarts and kind of pickoff trucks one at a time. “

He also revealed that he did whatever he could do to help his Tricon Garage teammate Corey Heim win the race. “It’s upsetting that the 11 (Corey Heim) didn’t win the championship,” he said, “I was doing all I could to help him. Just some things don’t always go your way. It’s an okay finish. Just left a little bit on the table and thought we had a shot to win. Just some of those green-white-checkered restarts, I thought we were ahead of the 99 (Ben Rhodes) and they scored the 99 ahead of us so I think if that didn’t happen we’d have a fighting shot.”

Corey Heim shed light on his tussle with Carson Hocevar

The regular-season winner passed Carson Hocevar for fifth place with 31 laps left in the 150-lap race, putting himself in the lead, even though briefly. Hocevar repeatedly struck Heim’s back end, causing the #11 to spin out and collide with Stewart Friesen’s #52 Toyota. To make things worse, Heim did not overlook the issue and perhaps chose to get his revenge instead of the Championship trophy.

When the Lucas Oil 150 was nearing its conclusion, NASCAR raised the yellow flag. And that was because Heim struck Hocevar this time. Only three circuits remained when Heim noticed Hocevar approaching him from behind. Swerving to the right, Heim sent the #42 into the outside safety barrier. Although Carson Hocevar felt like what Heim did was justified, the latter did not stop at the on-track brawl.

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He said, “I passed him clean and then he hit me two or three times, and then finally he had enough fun just kind of hitting me and then he wrecked me. It is what it is.”

“Every guy on Sunday is going to see that and understand that they’re going to be racing against him like that. I’m not too worried about it. I don’t gotta race him anymore so I don’t have to deal with it too much. It’s kind of expected. He’s been racing me like that since he was five years old,” he added.

Denny Hamlin reflected on this saying, “This is what happens when there’s no rules, no officiating. You get a product like this. ‘The show’ has taken over US Motorsports and why it’s hard to take seriously.” It looks like Heim is happy about the fact the Hocevar is moving up to the Cup Series but in a roundabout way. Maybe it was Hocevar’s fault, after all. What are your thoughts on this?

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Veteran Spotter for Brad Keselowski Confused About Ty Majeski’s Decision That Could Cost Him a Championship

 

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Written by:

Soumyadeep Saha

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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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