Ryan Preece wins Truck race in NASCAR's return to Nashville
Ryan Preece made the most of his first start in the NASCAR Truck Series, winning in NASCAR’s return to Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway.
Preece, driving the No. 17 Ford for David Gilliland Racing, passed Grant Enfinger with seven of 150 laps remaining and held off Todd Gilliland to win Friday’s night’s Rackley Roofing 200 – NASCAR’s first race at the track in a decade.
The win is just Preece’s third in NASCAR national series competition. He won Xfinity Series races in 2017 and 2018.
“This truck was just awesome – hats off to this team,” Preece said. “Just great, great (pit) calls all night. This is awesome.
“I knew I was aggressive and I pulled some big blocks but that’s what it took to get here today in Victory Lane. I’m super-proud of everybody with this team and of this opportunity.
“You don’t get them very often, so you have to capitalize.”
Enfinger ended up third, Zane Smith fourth and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top-five.
Completing the top-10 were Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, Ty Majeski, Austin Hill and John Hunter Nemechek.
Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, most of the lead-lap trucks pit but Enfinger stayed out and inherited the lead.
Johnny Sauter was penalized for speeding on pit road and Tanner Gray was penalized for an uncontrolled tire so both had to restart from the rear of the field.
On the restart on Lap 104, Enfinger was followed by Friesen and Carson Hocevar, who was the first off pit road among those who pit.
Friesen grabbed the lead from Enfinger on the restart and Sauter got spun from Gray to bring out a caution.
On the restart on Lap 109, Friesen was followed by Enfinger, Preece, Hocevar and Parker Kligerman.
Enfinger quickly got around Friesen and reclaimed the lead after the restart only to see Derek Kraus get turned by Josh Berry on Lap 111 to bring out the fifth caution of the race.
The race returned to green on Lap 118 with Enfinger out front followed by Preece and Friesen.
Preece got by Enfinger briefly for the lead on the restart only to see Enfinger grab it right back on Lap 119.
With 20 laps to go, Enfinger held on to a small but stable lead over Preece with Zane Smith in third, more than 2 seconds behind the leader.
With 10 to go, Gilliland had moved into third and into a three-way battle for the lead with Enfinger and Preece.
With seven to go, Preece grabbed the lead back as Enfinger dropped to second.
Chandler Smith held on against a tough challenge from Zane Smith to take the Stage 2 win, his first stage victory of the 2021 season.
Kraus was third, Sauter fourth and Crafton rounded out the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, the lead-lap trucks pit with Chandler Smith the first off pit road.
On the restart on Lap 54, Chandler Smith was followed by Austin Hill, Zane Smith, Jack Wood and Enfinger.
With 25 laps remaining in the stage, Chandler Smith remained out front with Zane Smith less than half a second behind. Enfinger ran third.
On Lap 78, NASCAR displayed a caution for fluid on the track after the No. 27 of William Byron appeared to have blown an engine.
Several trucks elected to pit but Chandler Smith remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 84.
Gilliland and Berry had to restart from the rear of the field – Gilliland for a commitment line violation and Berry for an uncontrolled tire.
With five laps to go, Chandler Smith held a small but stable lead over Zane Smith while Kraus had moved back to third.
Kraus dominated the first stage, leading all 45 laps and cruising to the stage win over Austin Hill – the first stage win of his career.
Chandler Smith was third, Enfinger fourth and Wood completed the top-five.
Kraus started on the pole and led the way early, building up a 1-second lead over Austin Hill after 15 laps.
With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Kraus had opened a 1.6-second lead over Austin Hill while Chandler Smith remained in third.
With five laps to go, Austin Hill had closed his deficit to Kraus to under a second.
Gilliland, Gray and Nemechek all started from the rear of the field – Gilliland and Gray for pre-qualifying inspection failures and Nemechek had his qualifying time disallowed.
|10||4||John Hunter Nemechek||Toyota||150||1:44'32.976||7.906||0.417|
|27||22||Austin Wayne Self||Chevrolet||150||1:44'54.403||29.333||2.682|
|30||30||Danny Bohn||Toyota||149||1:44'32.234||1 Lap||1 Lap|
|31||04||Cory Roper||Ford||148||1:44'25.745||2 Laps||1 Lap|
|32||02||Kris Wright||Chevrolet||148||1:44'31.376||2 Laps||5.631|
|33||14||Trey Hutchens||Chevrolet||146||1:44'55.796||4 Laps||2 Laps|
|34||34||Alan Lawless||Toyota||142||1:44'42.361||8 Laps||4 Laps|
|35||19||Derek Kraus||Toyota||110||1:18'20.788||40 Laps||32 Laps||48|
|36||27||William Byron||Chevrolet||78||48'42.324||72 Laps||32 Laps|
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