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DAVISON: Nemechek the Truck Series winner at Charlotte

Concord, NC, May 28/21 (by John Davison): John Hunter Nemechek ‘won the lottery’ with his victory in the NC Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The win brings his career total to nine wins, and added the Triple Truck Challenge bonus of $50,000 to his night's winnings. Nemechek had to overcome damage from a practice incident (and more damage from crash debris off the Sauter crash during the race) plus beating Carson Hocevar to the checkered flag by 0.419 second. Ben Rhodes finished third, with Stewart Friesen and Todd Gilliland filling out the top five.

A rainstorm in the afternoon cancelled the scheduled qualifying session so the starting lineup was based on the series' standings, with Todd Gilliland and Sheldon Creed occupying the front row. Creed grabbed the lead almost immediately on the start and dominated the first stage to take maximum points at the end of the first 30 laps.

A flat tire on Brett Holmes' truck caused him to spin, collecting Tanner Gray, causing the first incident caution of the race. John Hunter Nemechek led at the restart but Creed and Gilliland got together, collecting an innocent Chase Purdy to cause a caution immediately on the restart. This caution led to a two-lap dash to the end of the second stage. Creed was unable to continue, dropping him out of the race.Austin Hill briefly headed the pack on the restart but fell back with Zane Smith taking the stage bonus for the second stage.

The biggest incident of the race came on lap 114 when Trey Hutchens suffered a problem and slowed, trying to get to the pits. Drew Dollar dropped down on the track to avoid him and Johnny Sauter, unable to see the almost stopped truck, dodged right to pass Dollar, smashing into the left-rear of Hutchens', basically ripping the entire side off his car and smashing the back of Hutchens'. Sauter's truck had to be lifted onto a tilt-bed truck to remove it but the drivers were essentially uninjured.

Nemechek took the lead at the restart and went on to take the win of the NC Education Lottery 200 over Hocevar, followed by Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen and Todd Gilliland.

"I think we only ran 10 laps in practice, so hats off to all my guys. Eric Phillips (crew chief), all of my guys that work on this thing, everyone at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports),” said Nemechek. “Just so thankful, so blessed to be in this spot. How about this crowd? It’s awesome to have all of you back.”

The next Camping World Truck Series race will be held at Texas World Speedway in two week’s time on Saturday, June 12.

• Click HERE for the Race Results

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