Friday, July 29, 2022

TRUCKS: Tangle with Reaume, engine fire end Spencer Boyd’s night at IRP

PHOTO: @burnoutsports

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Spencer Boyd picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Friday’s TSport 200 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park when his #12 Derm Dude Chevrolet was involved in an accident after 9 of 207 laps.

The finish, which came in Boyd’s 83rd series start, was his first of the season and first in a Truck Series race since October 3, 2020 at Talladega, 43 races ago. In the Truck Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 7th for the #12, the 175th from a crash, and the 424th for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 45th for the #12, the 1,296th from a crash, and the 1,850th for Chevrolet.

The 2019 winner at Talladega has still struggled for consistency along with the rest of the Young’s Motorsports team, which continues to rotate its three-truck lineup from one week to the next. Boyd’s last-place finish at Talladega was his only DNF during the 2020 season, but his season-best 14th-place finish was one of only six finishes of 20th or better he’d had all year. He improved in 2021 to take 13th in Daytona and a season-best 7th in Talladega, but ranked four positions worse in points after a pair of DNQs in COTA and Nashville. Results were little better in his return to the XFINITY Series during the season’s second half – his first nine starts since the end of his full-time 2018 campaign for Bobby Dotter. Splitting time between both DGM Racing and Jimmy Means Racing, Boyd finished no better than 25th and failed to qualify for the Phoenix finale.

This year, Boyd has moved from Young’s #20 team to the #12. While qualified for all 16 regular season races, he’s only twice finished inside the Top 20 – an 11th at Daytona and a surprising 16th on the road course in Mid-Ohio. While his best series performances have consistently come at both the superspeedways and at Texas, Boyd was also likely looking forward to short track at IRP. His next-best track in terms of finishes has been Martinsville, where he’s finished 15th in the last three straight fall races.

With 36 trucks entered for as many spots, Boyd and the other entrants would all qualify for the series’ first race at IRP since July 29, 2011. Boyd struggled in practice, running third-slowest in 34th ahead of Reaume Brothers Racing teammates Josh Reaume in the #33 Motorsports Safety Group Toyota and Blake Lothian, making his second start in the #43 The Texas Lawbook Chevrolet.

Boyd remained 33rd in qualifying with a lap of 105.408mph (23.429 seconds), but improved to 29th when four drivers’ times were disallowed: Chase Purdy’s #61 AISIN Toyota dropped from 18th to 33rd, Josh Reaume’s #33 from 32nd to 34th, Chris Hacker’s #30 TJ’s Team Foundation Toyota from 25th to 35th, and Jesse Little’s #20 Shriner’s Childrens Chevrolet from 21st to 36th. Little, whose name was not originally on the entry list on Wednesday, took the last spot from Blake Lothian, who improved to 32nd as a result.

When the race began, Little pulled just ahead of Reaume, whose #33 crossed the stripe 4.068 seconds back of the lead to Little’s 3.899. By Lap 2, both had dispensed with the #30 of Chris Hacker, who remained last on Lap 3, 7.159 back of the leader, but now closing on Blake Lothian’s #43. Hacker passed Lothian on Lap 4, and over the next three laps dropped from 0.219 second to a full 1.633 seconds back of 35th place, now held by his teammate Josh Reaume. Lothian was still holding the 36th spot when trouble broke out just in front of him.

Heading into Turn 1, Josh Reaume was now racing Boyd when both spun into the Turn 1 wall, each backing their trucks into the fence. At first, it appeared Reaume had the worst damage of the two with his tailgate shoved just behind his rear tires. But Boyd had also pushed-in the right-front of his #12, which started to trail smoke. As Reaume passed Boyd on the Turn 3 approach to pit road, Boyd’s engine suddenly erupted in flames, forcing him to start just before pit entry. Boyd climbed from his truck almost immediately, but after lifting the hood, the crews discovered flames raging from the right side of the engine. These were extinguished a few moments later with Boyd sitting on the infield wall, done for the night. 

Reaume managed to stay on the lead lap for most of the ensuing caution, but dropped a circuit to the leaders by the green flag, and would ultimately spin a second time coming off Turn 4. Reaume lost at least 10 laps in the process, but ultimately climbed past teammate Blake Lothian, whose #43 stopped on the track in Turn 3 after the driveshaft failed. Reaume would then be black flagged for not maintaining minimum speed after he passed Lawless Alan, whose #45 AUTOChargit Chevrolet wrecked on the backstretch.

Rounding out the Bottom Five was Colby Howard, who finished 10th in Stage 2 and worked his way to 8th place in the final 10 laps, set to improve on his season-best 9th the last time out at Mid-Ohio. But after bumping Playoff contender Carson Hocevar off Turn 4, Hocevar hooked Howard in the left-rear of hi #91 Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet, sending him spinning into the outside wall and out of the race.

Earning a stunning 7th at the finish - just 1.719 seconds back of race winner Grant Enfinger - was Layne Riggs, son of NASCAR veteran Scott Riggs, in his first-ever NASCAR national series start. Driving for Halmar Friesen Racing’s second team, the same entry which saw Todd Bodine make his 800th and final NASCAR start last week, Riggs’ #62 Puryear Tank Lines Toyota climbed into the Top 20 from the 23rd starting spot and was up to 15th when multiple cautions slowed the final laps. By staying out with others, he jumped to 5th, and only lost two spots on the final green-white-checkered finish. Layne’s father Scott, who also made his Truck debut at IRP in 1999, started 7th and finished 19th.

*This marked the first last-place finish for the #12 in a Truck Series race at IRP.

36) #12-Spencer Boyd / 9 laps / crash
35) #43-Blake Lothian / 72 laps / driveshaft
34) #45-Lawless Alan / 147 laps / crash
33) #33-Josh Reaume / 153 laps / too slow
32) #91-Colby Howard / 190 laps / crash

1st) G2G Racing (4)
2nd) Niece Motorsports (3)
3rd) David Gilliland Racing, Reaume Brothers Racing, Young’s Motorsports (2)
4th) AM Racing, Front Row Motorsports, Halmar Friesen Racing, McAnally-Hilgemann Racing (1)

1st) Chevrolet (8)
2nd) Toyota (6)
3rd) Ford (3)


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