Saturday, June 26, 2021

TRUCKS: Wreck on initial start hands upstart Jack Wood first last-place finish


Jack Wood picked up the 1st last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Saturday’s CRC Brakleen 150 at the Pocono Raceway when his #24 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet wrecked on the opening lap of the 60-lap race.

The finish came in Wood’s 4th series start. In the Truck Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 6th for the #24, the 168th from a crash, and the 410th for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 39th for the #24, the 1,257th from a crash, and the 1,789th for Chevrolet.

The 20-year-old from California - not the Stuart, Virginia group of the famous Wood Brothers – Jack Wood has competed in west coast stock car events since 2019. Driving for Velocity Racing, owned by his father, Wood finished 10th in his first K&N Pro Series West event at Irwindale, then 9th at the Evergreen Speedway in Washington. Last season, he finished 11th in the standings despite running just eight of the 11 events, buoyed by six top-ten finishes and a new career-best 5th at the Colorado National Speedway.

GMS Racing came calling for this season, putting him in the West Series opener at Phoenix, then his first foray into the ARCA Menards Series. Driving the team’s #21 Chevrolet, he finished 9th in the ARCA opener at Daytona, then earned a career-best 4th at Kansas before finishing 6th in Charlotte.

When sponsorship issues cut short Raphael Lessard’s full-time effort in GMS Racing’s #24 Chevrolet, Wood filled the seat. He made his first series start at the Circuit of the Americas – one of the few races this season with practice and qualifying – and secured 33rd on the grid. He finished 28th that day, and in his two starts since improved each time. He finished 15th at Charlotte, then qualified outside-pole and finished 11th. This helped him in the qualifying metric for Pocono, securing him 9th on the grid. He looked to bounce back from a rough outing in Friday’s ARCA race on the “Tricky Triangle” – a crash with Jason Kitzmiller left him 18th.

Starting 39th and last on Saturday was Bryan Dauzat, who along with Jim Rosenblum’s FDNY Racing team had fielded the #28 FDNY Chevrolet for the first time since their 19th-place finish in this year’s Daytona opener. While no drivers were sent to the rear for pre-race penalties, two trucks came to pit road after the first pace lap: one blue truck and and another with a yellow hood. The blue truck was likely Ray Ciccarelli, slated to roll off 38th in his #49 Sam’s Dock Toyota. The other may have been 33rd-place Howie DiSavino III in the #3 Kees Vacations / Bud’s Chevrolet, which had taken last from Dauzat, a full 18 seconds back of the leader when he took the green flag.

For the second-straight running of this race, the last-place battle was over in an instant. Coming to the green flag, Wood apparently missed a shift, causing a stack-up behind him with the #18 JBL Toyota of Chandler Smith and the unsponsored #42 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet of Carson Hocevar. Smith got into the back of Wood, turning his #24 hard right into the outside wall. Wood narrowly missed 12th-place starter Johnny Sauter in the #13 AHI Facility Services Ford, but bounced off the wall and back into Sauter, damaging his truck as well. 

Wood (center) towed to the garage.
PHOTO: @premium5562

With Wood’s rear decklid sticking perpendicular from the back of his truck and a serious water leak, NASCAR instructed him to stop off the exit of Turn 2, and the team told him to drop the window net. Sauter, meanwhile, made it back around to his pit stall, and took last from DiSavino since he started behind Wood. On Lap 2, Sauter was rolling again, but didn’t beat the caution truck off pit road and was told to stop. He completed his first lap in the process, dropping Wood to last. The next time by, Sauter and DiSavino were penalized for pitting too soon while Wood’s truck was hooked up to a tow truck and pulled to the garage through the rear entrance off the Long Pond Straight.

Sauter restarted the race, but still hadn’t met minimum speed as he had another tire going down. This forced a second pit stop with less than two minutes left on the “Crash Clock.” “We can thank the 18 truck for turning the 24 into us on the fucking start,” said someone on Sauter’s crew. During this stop, Sauter’s team discovered an issue with the battery, and had to get one from teammate Matt Crafton’s crew to get rolling again. On Lap 8, Sauter was rolling again, and this time managed to clear minimum speed. He’d finish in 35th, five laps down, rounding out the Bottom Five.

Taking 38th was Danny Bohn, who lost the transmission on his #30 North American Motor Car Toyota at the end of Stage 1. Bayley Currey’s run in the #45 Circle B Diecast Chevrolet ended with engine failure after 38 laps, followed by Grant Enfinger in the #9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet. Enfinger had been running among the leaders when he pulled behind the wall with just eight laps to go.

Making just his fourth series start, Lawless Alan earned a career-best 20th-place finish in Reaume Brothers Racing’s #34 Auto ParkIt Toyota.

*This marked the first last-place finish for the #24 in a Truck Series race since July 23, 2005, when Roland Isaacs’ run in the #24 PMI Heating & Air / Trane Chevrolet ended with electrical issues after 20 laps of the O’Reilly 200 Presented by Valvoline at Memphis. This was the same race where Brandon Whitt scored his lone series win. The #24 had never before finished last in a Truck race at Pocono.
*This marked the fifth time the last-place finisher of the Truck race at Pocono failed to complete the opening lap. No last-place finisher of this event has ever completed more than 3 laps.

39) #24-Jack Wood / 0 laps / crash
38) #30-Danny Bohn / 17 laps / transmission
37) #45-Bayley Currey / 38 laps / engine
36) #9-Grant Enfinger / 52 laps / engine
35) #13-Johnny Sauter / 55 laps / running

1st) Niece Motorsports (4)
2nd) GMS Racing, Rackley-W.A.R. (2)
3rd) CMI Motorsports, Norm Benning Racing, Reaume Brothers Racing, Roper Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (11)
2nd) Ford, Toyota (1)


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