Reigning NASCAR Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed picked up his first win of the 2021 season thanks to avoiding a multitude of wrecks in the final 35 laps.
Creed led the way on a restart with two of 147 laps remaining and quickly powered out to a sizeable lead. After taking the white flag, a caution was displayed – the fifth in the final 35 laps – when Hailee Deegan wrecked on the frontstretch.
The caution ensured Creed’s victory at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, which also came with a $50,000 bonus as part of the Triple Truck Challenge. Should Creed win the next two races at Circuit of the Americas and Charlotte, he will collect an additional $500,000.
The win is the sixth of Creed’s career and locks him into the series playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Creed got in position to challenge for the win after avoiding getting caught up in a massive 17-truck pileup on a restart on Lap 118. He took the lead for the first time on Lap 140 and led only seven laps in the race.
“It feels great,” Creed said after the race. “We didn’t have the best truck, that’s for sure. I was really tight and then I was wrecking loose. I was just doing everything I could. I was really aggressive on restarts and I’m sure I didn’t make any friends tonight but that’s what it takes.
“I’ve just tried to stay focused. We’ve been struggling. We’ve been getting better trucks the last couple weeks and all I ask for is something I can race with.
“I won an extra 50k tonight so – whooooo!”
Ben Rhodes finished second, Carson Hocevar finished a career-best third, Matt Crafton was fourth and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top-five.
Completing the top-10 were Johnny Sauter, Timmy Hill, John Hunter Nemechek, Austin Wayne Self and Jordan Anderson.