DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Ben Rhodes moved to the front when he stayed out instead of pitting during overtime and held on for his first Truck Series win in two years on Sunday.
Sheldon Creed, who came in after winning two of the past three races, was cruising in front with three laps left. But a wreck involving Matt Crafton, David Ragan and Josh Reaume brought out a caution and OT.
Creed, a Darlington first-timer, went in for tires while Rhodes remained on the track. And then Creed was called for speeding on pit road, ending any chance he might’ve had to regain the lead.
Derek Kraus briefly surpassed Rhodes on the restart. But Rhodes rebounded for his first victory since 2018 at Kentucky.
“That was a lot of fun,” Rhodes said.
Kraus finished second and Austin Hill was third, followed by Grant Enfinger and Christian Eckes.
Creed came out of the pits in 20th and wound up 18th.
He and GMS Racing teammate Brett Moffitt dominated most of the race. The pair combined to win the first two stages and led 146 of 152 laps.
Moffitt ended up 10th, his second time out of the top six in the past eight races.
“That one hurts,” said Creed, adding that he remains confident in his team heading into the Truck Series playoffs, which start in two weeks. The regular season finishes at Richmond next weekend.
The 23-year-old Rhodes was giddy over his third career win.
“I’m not letting this checkered flag go,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming.”
Rhodes wasn’t sure what to expect in Darlington’s first truck race since 2011. The track picked up the event originally set for Canada that was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rhodes, like many in the field, hadn’t raced over Darlington’s tricky, egg-shaped layout before.
“We come here with no practice and never being here before and we were able to get the win,” he said.
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