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Sheldon Creed captures NASCAR Truck Series title; Zane Smith places second

Sheldon Creed stands next to the season champion's trophy after winning the NASCAR Truck Series race at Phoenix.
Sheldon Creed stands next to the season champion’s trophy after winning the NASCAR Truck Series race at Phoenix on Friday night.
(Associated Press)

Sheldon Creed gambled on new tires for a two-lap overtime and snatched the NASCAR Truck Series championship away from teammate Brett Moffitt.

Moffitt was cruising to his second title in three years when a spin brought out a caution Friday night at Phoenix Raceway. Creed was one of 14 drivers to pit for fresh tires, restarted eighth and figured he would watch Moffitt win the title for the team.

But Moffitt was a sitting duck as the leader on four old tires. He was passed immediately on the restart and faded all the way to 10th as the field cruised past.

Creed dashed to the lead right before taking the white flag and led the final overtime lap for the first Truck Series championship of his career.

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“I pride myself on my restarts. We just needed a good restart right there,” Creed said. “I just went as hard as I could.”

GMR Racing had Creed, Moffitt and rookie Zane Smith, a 21-year-old Huntington Beach native, all in the four-driver finale, and Creed helped Chevrolet open championship weekend with its first trophy. Smith led 48 laps and finished the race second. After being locked out of the Cup Series championship round since 2016, Chevy has strong contenders this year in all three of NASCAR’s national series. Chase Elliott races Sunday for the Cup.

Zane Smith, 21, will attempt to become the second rookie to win the Gander RV & Outdoors truck series points championship Friday at Phoenix Raceway.

The race was atypically clean for the rowdy Truck Series, which has been a demolition derby during the playoffs. But the finale was trouble-free until Dawson Cram was spun to bring out the late caution and force extra laps.

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Creed, an X-Games gold medalist and two-time Stadium Super Trucks Series champion, won for a Truck Series-best fifth time.

Moffitt at least twice in his postrace comments was critical of race strategy and not pitting before overtime, a pointed shot at crew chief Chad Norris. Moffitt led a race-high 78 laps and finished 10th.

“I don’t have much good to say. We finally hit the setup right and can’t call a race to save our lives,” Moffitt fumed.

Grant Enfinger finished 13th in a Ford for ThorSport Racing. He was the only driver in the final four not representing GMR. ThorSport and GMR field a combined nine trucks in series where young drivers are trying to launch a national-level NASCAR career.


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