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Everything That Happened in the Truck Race at Nashville

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What’s Happening?

Tonight, Friday, June 28, 2024, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series kick off the race weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. It’s always a showdown when the trucks race under the lights on a Friday night and we didn’t expect this race to be any different. Who was fast and who was sluggish in Music City tonight? Let’s break it down.

  • Starting on the pole tonight was Stewart Friesen for the first time since 2019. Was he able to capture his first win of the season? Also drivers to spotlight were Gran Enfinger in the 9 truck, Christain Eckes in the 19 truck, and, as always, Corey Heim in the 11. A driver who was facing an uphill battle tonight was the driver of the number 2 Chevy, Nick Sanchez as he crashed in practice and was forced to go to a backup truck. He rolled off 33rd.
  • Making his return behind the wheel was FOX analyst Clint Bowyer. Bowyer rolled off from the 11th position and was behind the wheel of the number 7 Chevy Silverado for Spire Motorsports. There were a lot (on the broadcast and in the stands) rooting him on tonight.
  • Pretty universally, fans on X and other social media platforms believed this race to be “embarrassing”. Many fans compared it to the series lows of last year’s finale at Phoenix. Fans also noted how many commercials there were during the broadcast on FS2.

The Finish

When the final stage went green, Christain Eckes rocked out front with his teammate Daniel Dye in second. We were able to keep it green for about 15 or 20 laps until the seventh and final caution of the race flew with about 40 laps to go. The caution in question flew after the 66 of Connor Jones made contact with Jack Wood in the 91, spinning him around.

The race restarted with 32 laps to go and Christian Eckes again rocked out front once again. He never had to look back. As he pulled away, Corey Heim scratched and clawed his way into the top-3. Eventually he fell back to 4th, though, losing 3rd to Rajah Caruth. With no cautions to throw a wrench into this race, Christian Eckes went on to win uncontested. He led all 150 laps, the first driver to do so in the truck series since Timothy Peters did it in 2012.

With this win, Eckes earned a race maximum of 60 points and 7 playoff points. This was his third win on the year. Congratulations to the dominant Christian Eckes.

The Layout

Per Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, the layout of tonight’s Rackley Roofing 200 was as follows:

  • Stage 1: 45 Laps
  • Stage 2: 50 Laps
  • Stage 3: 55 Laps

All teams were given 4 sets of tires and the average fuel run was expected to be between 54 and 58 laps. Drivers to the rear were Nick Sanchez, Timmy Hill, Tanner Gray, Matt Mills, and Ty Dillon. Sanchez was forced to a backup truck. The other drivers made unapproved adjustments after qualifying.

Christian Eckes Wins Stage 1, Corey Heim Marches Towards The Front

The race tonight got off to a rocky start with the 21 truck spinning Dean Thompson on Lap 2. The race restarted and we were able to go a couple of more laps before the caution came out again for a single-truck incident involving Bret Holmes. During these two false starts, though, Christian Eckes was able to get by polesitter Stewart Friesen to capture the race lead.

The race restarted on Lap 15 and we got a good stretch of green flag racing until the end of the first stage. Christian Eckes when on to win the stage pretty handedly with Lane Riggs in second. Marching towards the front from the back, though, was Corey Heim who finished the stage in 3rd. Polesitter Stewart Friesen faded to finish 7th and Clint Boyer, in his return, finished the stage in 9th. This stage win awarded Eckes 10 points and a playoff point.

Following the stage, the field came down for pit stops. Christian Eckes won the race off pit road but Corey Heim improved one position up to 2nd.

Eckes Wins Stage 2

We didn’t even make it a lap before the caution flew to pause the second stage. This was for an incident which saw Ben Rhodes get into the back of Taylor Gray, sending him into the wall. This ended Gray’s night who, previous to tonight’s race, was 72 points above the playoff cutline. The race restarted on Lap 61 and a stack up caused yet another caution. The stack up started with the 18 of Tyler Ankrum. Chase Purdy got into the 18 and Clint Bowyer in the 7 got into him. The 77 and the 7 received quite a bit of damage but they were able to continue. The stack up caused Dawson Cram in the Faction 46 truck who went spinning in the grass from the back of the pack.

After a series of hiccups, much like the first stage, we got a decently long green flag run to the finish of the stage. While it looked like Corey Heim might have something for Christian Eckes in the beginning, the number 19 truck scooted away to sweep the stages. That means 10 more points for Eckes and another playoff point. Also looking strong in this stage was Rajah Caruth in the 71 who finished the stage in 3rd. Officially, the stage ended under caution. Stefan Parsons and Lane Riggs were battling hard for the 8th position when Riggs sent Parsons into the wall.

During pit stops, Eckes again won the race off pit road. However, Corey Heim fell all the way down to 7th trying to make sure his number 11 was full of fuel.

Around The Garage

Clint Boyer Makes His Return

Clint Bowyer returned to behind the wheel of a NASCAR stockcar (or truck) tonight for the first time since his retirement in 2020. He was all smiles ahead of today’s race, though he did show some concern for the heat.

Dean Thompson Gets Spun

Dean Thompson’s struggles continued tonight in Nashville and it only took 2 laps. The first incident of the night came when Mason Maggio in the number 21 truck got into the back of Thompson. This spun Thompson and a couple of other trucks were collected as well. Everyone was able to continue, thankfully, but they did receive some minor damage. You can watch the incident in the clip below.

Rhodes Sends Taylor Gray Into The Wall

On the restart to begin Stage 2, Ben Rhodes let his aggression get the best of him. He hit Taylor Gray’s number 17 Toyota Tundra hard which sent the Tricon truck around and into the wall. Luckily, no other trucks were collected in the incident. Relive the wreck in the clip below.

The Front “Jimmy Jacks Around” Causing a Stack up involving Clint Bowyer

A chain reaction sent Dawson Cram spinning in the grass. It started when the leaders failed to go, causing a stack up in the inside line which involved Chase Purdy and Clint Bowyer. Bowyer accused the leaders of “Jimmy Jacking around”. Watch the footage and listen to Bowyer’s commentary in the clip below.

From The Officials

Due to his roll in spinning Stefan Parsons, NASCAR made the decision to hold Lane Riggs for 2 laps, citing reckless driving.

In The Stands

Needless to say, this race was a snoozer and there were a couple of fans out there pointing it out. StalveyBeast48 and CarlosDemon666 both compared it to a boring F1 race.

Meanwhile, Jordan Dworaczyk enjoyed the green flag runs. He just hated the wrecking which seemed to kick off all of the stages. He must be a Christian Eckes fan.

Conclusion

That does it for our coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville. What do you make of this race, Daily Downforce readers? Are you a Christian Eckes fan who loved it? Did you think it was boring? What do you make of the constant wrecking? How do you think Clint Bowyer did? Let us know all of your thoughts and concerns by commenting on our social media platforms. Be sure to tune back in right here at DailyDownforce.com tomorrow (Saturday) at 5PM EST for our coverage of the Xfinity Race at Nashville Superspeedway!

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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