If there is one thing that NASCAR is notorious for, it is multi-car pile-ups. At race tracks like Talladega, such massive wrecks are almost inevitable. Apparently, the NASCAR Truck Series drivers found that out the hard way.
On lap 13 of the Chevrolet Silverado 250, there was a massive wreck involving several trucks. One of the biggest losers in the carnage was Zane Smith. Admittedly, the primary culprit for the domino effect was Sheldon Creed. Creed briefly lost control of his truck but managed to save it.
However, he ended up backing up the entire field, leading to a concertina effect. The #24 car of Johnny Sauter tangled with the #13 of Chase Purdy and the #21 of Smith. Before long, more and more cars spun out of control.
The wreck eliminated at least 11 trucks and brought out a red flag. As a result, a fuming Zane Smith had practically resigned himself to a fate of missing the playoffs.
So one could only imagine his genuine surprise and glee when he still squeezed into the NASCAR playoffs. Owing to the track’s unpredictable nature, he never thought that his 29-point advantage would still be intact.
Of course, he still had to suffer through 80 laps to see if he could still keep his championship hopes alive. In the end, some more chaos ensured that Smith found himself in the Round of 8 by a mere 11 points. All in all, it was a good day in the office for the GMS Racing team, as all four drivers advanced to the next round.
However, joy for some turned to despair for other drivers, namely Todd Gilliland and Christian Eckes. When the checkered flag dropped at Talladega, they were the two drivers eliminated from the playoff race. Truthfully, Eckes was doing just fine, until his hard work got unraveled by a speeding penalty on pit road.
That hiccup put him at the back of the field and with a mountain to climb. As a result, he failed to make the top 10 by the end of stage two, so he was in a more vulnerable spot, towards the finish.