Statistically, it looked like a dominating NASCAR Truck win at Texas Motor Speedway for Sheldon Creed, but realistically it was so much more.
After Johnny Sauter and Stewart Friesen wrecked late in regulation racing for the lead, Creed then had to hold off Austin Hill in a wild two-lap overtime for the victory in Sunday’s SpeedyCash.com 400.
The win is Creed’s fourth of the 2020 season and this one guarantees him a chance to race for the series championship in two weeks at Phoenix.
Creed and Brett Moffitt have secured two of the four spots in this season’s Championship 4 with only next weekend’s race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway left to qualify.
Creed, 23, ended up leading 131 of the 152 laps but he saw multiple challengers for the win bearing down in the final 25 laps.
“What a learning day, honestly,” Creed said. “The runs today, there was so much grip, and we had such a good truck. The draft would keep them with me. We’ve been inconsistent here but we’ve always had speed.
“It was just an awesome job. I finally won in front of my mom and dad – they’re here today and we have some fans in the stands. We have two trucks locked in (the Championship 4) as an organization – that’s awesome.
“Hard racing today. It was crazy. We’ve been working for this all year. To go into Martinsville stress-free is so nice!”
Zane Smith finished third, Raphael Lessard fourth and Moffitt rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 were Matt Crafton, Austin Wayne Self, Dylan Lupton, Derek Kraus and Tanner Gray.
Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, the lead-lap trucks all pit with Crafton the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 78, Crafton was followed by Creed and Christian Eckes.
Creed quickly got around Crafton on the restart to retake the lead.
On Lap 92, Grant Enfinger blew an engine off Turn 2 to bring out a caution. The lead-lap trucks pit with Kraus the first off pit road with a gas-only stop.
On Lap 97, Creed wasted no time in reclaiming the lead as Eckes moved into the second spot and Crafton ran third.
Ben Rhodes got into Todd Gilliland racing for fifth-place on Lap 106 which sent Gilliland up the track and hard into the Turn 1 wall to bring out another caution.
Most lead-lap trucks remained on the track and Creed led the way on the restart on Lap 113.
Chandler Smith wrecked on Lap 118 after contact with Gray to bring out the seventh caution of the race. The race returned to green on Lap 123.
On Lap 126, Friesen powered around Creed and into the lead for the first time in the race and Sauter moved into second.
With 18 laps remaining, Sauter went to the inside of Friesen and went up the track and the two wrecked, taking each other out.
The accident allowed Creed to inherit the lead. During the caution, most drivers remained on the track and Creed led the way on the restart on Lap 136.
With 10 laps to go, Ben Rhodes had moved up to second to challenge Creed for the lead while Austin Hill ran third.
With two laps remaining, Hill got around Creed for the lead while Eckes got wrecked by Rhodes behind them to bring out a caution and send the race into overtime.
The lineup returned to the previous scoring loop, which left Creed back out front when the race resumed at the start of overtime. He was followed by Austin Hill and Moffitt.
Crafton passed Creed with six laps left and held on for the Stage 2 victory, his first stage win of the 2020 season.
Rhodes was third, Zane Smith fourth and Kraus completed the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all lead-lap trucks pit with Creed the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 41, Creed was followed by Austin Hill and Moffitt.
On Lap 43, Clay Greenfield wrecked off Turn 2 to being out a caution. The race was red-flagged for nearly six minutes to clean the track of fluid and debris.
The race returned to green on Lap 49 with Creed leading the way followed by Rhodes.
By Lap 50, Crafton had moved into the second position as Rhodes dropped to third.
Tate Fogleman spun and back his truck into the wall off Turn 4 on Lap 52 which brought out another caution. The race returned to green on Lap 58 with Creed still in command.
With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Crafton remained just off the rear bumper of Creed with Zane Smith in third.
On Lap 65, Crafton got around Creed and took over the lead for the first time in the race.
Creed led every lap and his Stage 1 victory was secured when a caution was displayed with two laps remaining.
Austin Hill was second, Moffitt third, Rhodes fourth and Crafton rounded out the top-five.
Creed, who started on the pole, jumped out to an early advantage in the race.
With 25 laps remaining in the first stage, Creed’s lead over Austin Hill approached nearly 1-second with Moffitt in third.
With 10 laps to go, Creed had expanded his lead over Austin Hill to more than a second with Moffitt not far behind in third.
On Lap 33, Tim Viens hit the wall and came to a stop off Turn 2, which brought out a caution, which ended the first stage.