Darlington Raceway marked race No. 15 of the 2020 Truck Series season. The race certainly had some storylines, both going into and coming out of the event.
It looked as though GMS Racing was once again going to dominate with drivers Sheldon Creed and Brett Moffitt. But a late yellow and a pit stop took these two drivers out of contention for the win. After that, Ben Rhodes found an opportunity after staying out to assume the race lead. Eventually, the Kentucky native brought home the No. 99 Ford to victory lane, giving ThorSport Racing their second win of the year.
While Rhodes enjoyed victory lane once again after a two-year drought. There was somewhat of a Roush reunion with drivers Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, and David Ragan all returning to the cockpit for their one-off start. Biffle finished the highest of the bunch with a 19th place effort.
However, there were some other interesting stories that you may have missed. We’ll analyze them in this week’s Four Takeaways following the Truck Series race at Darlington.
- Matt Noyce Gains First Win – After 49 starts in the Truck Series, crew chief Matt Noyce finally picked himself up a victory with assistance from Rhodes. The first time Noyce and Rhodes worked with each other was at Daytona last year. Since then, the duo has enjoyed some success, scoring solid finishes. Their first second-place finish together came at Martinsville last year. Before Sunday afternoon, the duo had three second-place finishes. Now that Rhodes has a win in the bank and is locked in the Playoffs, we will have to see if the driver and crew chief combination can continue to work well together and advance through the rounds.
- Kyle Busch Motorsports Sees Successful Day – Both Kyle Busch Motorsports drivers. Christian Eckes and Raphael Lessard, had quiet outings finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, in the running order. At times, it looked as though the Canadian Lessard was going to have a chance to win and potentially finish ahead of his teammate Eckes. He ran as high as third in some portions of the race but after the checkers flew, it was Eckes who placed one spot higher than Lessard after the 152-lap event. Nonetheless, it was a good outing for the KBM team, especially for Eckes, as he was able to clinch a playoff spot due to his result on Sunday.
- Timmy Hill Scores Top 10 Finish – Timmy Hill, in his dad’s inspired throwback No. 56 machine, enjoyed his third career top-10 outing following the Darlington race. It’s rare these days to see a small team finish inside the top 10 while competing against the larger teams. But Hill continues to work hard with limited resources and brought home a ninth-place finish after leading two laps. The top 10 result marked his first since Martinsville of last year, where he finished fifth. His other top 10 finish came seven years ago at Talladega, where Hill claimed sixth place.
- Johnny Sauter in a Must-Win Situation – The Darlington return for veteran Johnny Sauter wasn’t one to remember. Engines woes made it a forgettable race for the Wisconsin native as he was unable to finish and was credited with 31st place. Now, with just one race to go before the Playoffs start, Sauter, like many others outside the 10th position, is in a must-win situation in order to be a part of the playoff grid. Though only one driver can win you have to make it into the Playoffs to contend.