Thursday, September 15, 2022

TRUCKS: Debate over the DVP hands Spencer Boyd last place in Bristol; Ty Majeski scores emotional first victory

PHOTO: @SpencerBoyd

by Brock Beard Editor-in-Chief

Spencer Boyd picked up the 3rd last-place finish of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in Thursday’s UNOH 200 Presented by Ohio Logistics at the Bristol Motor Speedway when his #12 Rimtyme Chevrolet was eliminated with crash damage after 25 of 200 laps.

The finish, which came in Boyd’s 86th series start, was his second of the season and first since IRP, three races ago. In the Truck Series’ last-place rankings, it was the 8th for the #12, the 177th from a crash, and the 427th for Chevrolet. Across NASCAR’s top three series, it was the 46th for the #12, the 1,304th from a crash, and the 1,860th for Chevrolet.

With the finish, Boyd takes the lead in the 2022 LASTCAR Truck Series Championship by a single bottom-five finish over Dean Thompson with just three races to go. Thompson had led the standings since his last-place finish in this year's Daytona opener.

Boyd’s most recent last-place finish occurred during an already difficult stretch of his 2022 season with Young’s Motorsports. He finished 32nd in the previous round at Pocono, then just 32nd and 33rd in the next races at Richmond and Kansas. For Bristol, he’d welcome back sponsor Rimtyme, which most recently backed his #12 at Nashville. Of the 37 entries, he ranked 36th ahead of Josh Reaume, who turned a session-fewest two laps in his #43 Colonial Countertops Toyota. Boyd then qualified 33rd with the second-slowest completed lap – again ahead of Reaume – clocking in at 116.673mph (16.446 seconds). The lone DNQ was Justin S. Carroll, who for the fifth time in as many attempts missed the show in his #90 Carroll’s Automotive Toyota.

Practice proved particularly wild for two Playoff contenders. Zane Smith ranked 20th in his #38 Speedco / Luber Finer Ford, but suffered a rear end seal failure that caused a leak, requiring repairs that kept him from turning a lap in qualifying. Also kept from qualifying was John Hunter Nemechek, whose #4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Toyota was 13th in practice. Nemechek looked to have a right-front tire go down in Turn 4 near the end of the session, putting him into the outside wall. His crew rolled out the backup, which interestingly was instead decorated with sponsorship from Mobil 1 and door numbers that were blue in place of the primary’s white. Pye-Barker’s logos were much smaller, placed on the lower quarter-panels of the flat black Toyota. Smith would roll off 35th with Nemechek 36th. 

Nemechek’s backup and Smith’s repairs would incur both redundant tail-end penalties along with the unapproved adjustments for 22nd-place Blaine Perkins in the #9 Raceline Chevrolet and Reaume Brothers teammates Chris Hacker, set to start 30th in the #33 Prima Chevrolet along with teammate Reaume in the sluggish #43. Reaume’s truck was last across the stripe, 4.366 seconds back of the leader and already nearly seven-tenths back of 35th-place Nemechek, who made quick work of Hacker’s #33 en route to a 12th-place finish. By Lap 4, Reaume was still 0.889 back of Hacker, but drew within 0.330 two circuit later. On Lap 11, Hacker clawed past Boyd for 34th, dropping Boyd’s #12 to within just 0.195 second of the still-closing Reaume. The gap stayed about the same around Lap 14, when Reaume was lapped by polesitter Derek Kraus who pulled to the high lane through Turns 3 and 4. Boyd, too, was lapped by the 17th circuit. On Lap 19, Reaume’s spotter found him an open spot in traffic, but he was soon caught by faster traffic once more. This was followed on Lap 24 by a message, “Got one slow on the front up high.”

The slow truck was Boyd’s, which had bounced off the outside wall with smoke coming from behind his right-front wheel. Reaume passed him for last on Lap 25, and someone on the #12 crew radioed, “It’s on fire. Right-front’s on fire.” An argument then ensued between two crew members – one reporting that the caliper was on fire and they needed to go behind the wall, while another reminded him that doing so would put them out of the race under the Damaged Vehicle Policy (DVP). The response was, “It don’t matter. I’ve gotta see why it’s on fire.” Now six laps down as Boyd made it to pit road, the #12 pulled behind the wall, where NASCAR radioed, “12 to the garage, DVP.” As Boyd radioed that “the brake pedal’s been stupid since the beginning,” and it was now on the floor, the first crew member who urged him to the garage asked, “How do you get a DVP for a flat tire?” The topic was further discussed on Lap 35. “I’m not sure how (DVP) works with brushing the wall – hell, everyone’d be under DVP at Darlington.” Boyd’s crew said “We’re done” on Lap 41, and NASCAR confirmed him out on Lap 65.

On Lap 37, Reaume’s night also took a turn for the worse when he lost control racing Blaine Perkins and backed into the outside wall. Seconds later, 14th-place Rajah Caruth spun his #7 Circle Chevrolet and slammed door-to-door with the side of his truck. According to Caruth’s crew, the spotter had warned Caruth of the accident, but the driver didn’t hear the message. Caruth said his spotter didn't say anything. Caruth avoided t-boning Reaume’s truck, but not a slide into the driver’s door, sending Reaume to a local hospital for further evaluation. Caruth reported a vibration in the driveline, the exhaust pipe exposed from the right side of his truck, and pulled behind the wall on Lap 47, out under the DVP. Both Caruth and Reaume were declared out by NASCAR in the same Lap 65 report with Boyd. 

Hacker took 33rd after suspension issue following a spin while Dean Thompson completed the Bottom Five. Thompson nursed old tires to one of his best runs of the year, climbing as high as 10th. But when throwing a block on Tanner Gray with just 20 laps to go, Gray held his line, putting Thompson rear-first into the outside wall and out of the race.

Ty Majeski scores emotional first victory

A few years ago, Ty Majeski was one of NASCAR’s most highly-anticipated prospects in stock car racing, a member of both the 2016-2017 class of NASCAR Next and the inaugural Alan Kulwicki Driver Development Program. He even hailed from Kulwicki’s home state of Wisconsin. After graduating from go-karts, Majeski’s #91 dominated the ARCA Midwest Tour, racking up four consecutive championships. He’s also won a Snowball Derby, two Slinger Nationals, and a trio at Oktoberfest in La Crosse. But despite a trio of ARCA Menards Series wins, the jump to NASCAR national competition wasn’t nearly so smooth. From 2017 to 2018, he languished in the closing years of Roush-Fenway’s XFINITY program, even while sharing the ride with Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric, now winners in the Cup Series. He didn’t perform much better in the Truck Series with Al Niece, ultimately losing his ride midway through a turbulent 2020. There were questions whether he’d truly make it in the sport.

But all that started to change just last year when Majeski earned a part-time ride with ThorSport Racing in the #66. His 7th-place finish in his debut at Charlotte was already a new career-best, followed by another Top Ten in Nashville. A full-time ride followed, as did sponsorship from multiple backers, most prominently Road Ranger. And after winning the pole and finishing 7th at Daytona – a race where two years earlier he finished last after sliding on his roof – he has ranked no worse than 8th in points all season. He’s run his fastest since the start of the Playoffs, leading 71 laps at IRP, 73 at Richmond, and 14 at Kansas – each a victory that just slipped from his grasp. He led another 45 on Thursday, and this time it included the one that counted most. 

In his 40th Truck Series start, Ty Majeski is a winner. He even completed a “Polish Victory Lap” afterwards at the track where Alan Kulwicki scored two of his Cup wins en route to the Winston Cup Championship, and where he was mourned following his death in a airplane crash in 1993. Appropriately, this same win has punched Majeski’s ticket into the Championship 4, to be settled this November at Phoenix – site of Kulwicki’s maiden Cup win in 1988.

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

36) #12-Spencer Boyd / 25 laps / crash
35) #43-Josh Reaume / 34 laps / crash
34) #7-Rajah Caruth / 44 laps / crash
33) #33-Chris Hacker / 165 laps / suspension
32) #40-Dean Thompson / 178 laps / crash

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

1st) Chevrolet (11)
2nd) Toyota (6)
3rd) Ford (3)


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