NASCAR Truck Series: Four Ready Meals from Phoenix

Zane Smith dominates Phoenix to finally win the Truck Series title, dispatches Majeski, KBM ends its dominance with Toyota, and fan favorites with uncertain plans.

1) Zane Smith won his first truck series title, after finishing second twice:

After completing runner-up for two consecutive years, Zane Smith Front Row Motorsports put in a dominant showing, taking first place and driving 77 out of 150 laps. Smith previously finished second in 2020 and 2021 with GMS, and in 2021. After 2021, he didn’t have a ride for 2022, he made calls to teams and found a home in the newly established Front Row Motorsports Truck Series team. Smith won Daytona, Cota, and Kansas, held steady all season, and worked his way up to the Champioship 4.

After winning the final race and the title, Smith returns to the team in 2023 with a special bonus. Front Row has announced that it will begin the team’s Cup Series, starting with the Daytona 500, and return to the Xfinity Series with a compliant organization. Smith was previously appointed by Chip Ganassi Racing as a potential driver to replace him Kurt Busch If retired.

With Front Row Motorsports, Zane Smith has elevated himself, proving himself a potential talent in the Cup series, and we’ll see what the 2023 season holds for him.

2) Sent by Ty Majeski, Thorsport receiver:

Thorsport and Ben Rhodes He won the 2021 Truck Series title and brought it with him You are Majeski This year as contenders for the Thorsport title in Phoenix. Rhodes confined himself to Phoenix with points from Talladega and Homestead, with Majeski winning Homestead. Majeski had momentum in the Phoenix race and Rhodes was eager to defend his title. On lap 148, while Rhodes is leading the race, Majeski made a daring push for second around truck #38. Majeski sent it in and couldn’t make the pass steady and rolled it, leading to caution and ending overtime.

With two of the drivers occupying the top four in points, you would expect that they will have a contract for 2023. However, none of the four drivers has announced whether they will return to the team for the 2023 season, which is odd considering the success they have had this season, with three wins. And drivers in Championship 4. I expect the announcements will come now that we’re out of season.

3) Kyle Busch Motorsports announces plans for 2023:

with Kyle Bush went to Chevrolet and Richard Childress RacingThe future of Kyle Busch Motorsports was uncertain. On the Friday before the trucks took the green flag, Kyle Busch announced that KBM will move to Chevrolet for 2023, bringing in drivers Chase Purdy And the Jack Wood. Purdy will drive the #4 truck full time, while Wood will have ten races in the famous #51 truck, which he shares with Busch. It was also announced that Rev Racing will move to the Truck Series with Nick Sanchez, the 2022 ARCA champion. The team brings new sponsorship with Gainbridge and will be coordinated with KBM.

4) Hayley Degan, Nemchik, and others who will announce plans for 2023:

As mentioned earlier, Thorsport hasn’t announced any plans for 2023. Is the team sticking to extracting some talent from the KBM and Toyota drivers’ group dissolution? Will the contracts with their current squad be finalized to return in 2023? We’ll see in the coming weeks of the Offseason. But some famous drivers have not yet announced their plans.

Hayley Degan, one of the series’ most popular drivers, has yet to announce its plans for 2023. It’s looking for a new ride after current team David Gilliland Racing announced it would rename it TRICON Garage and switch to Toyota. Deegan, a contract Ford driver, ran the Xfinity Series race in Las Vegas and had an impressive track. Ford also said they’re looking to ride the Xfinity Series, according to Bob Bocras. If she stays in the trucks, her only option is a second Front Row Motorsports truck, being the only Ford team in the series. If Friday’s race and the 2022 season are any indication, it would be a much better option than DGR Ford who has been racing this season.

John Hunter Nemecic He took a leap of faith by switching to Toyota at the end of 2020, and it was the right move. Nemechek won 7 Truck Series races and an Xfinity race. With KBM moving to Chevrolet, Nemechek is looking for the 2023 ride. He’s shown his talent in trucks and in the Xfinity, and even called up the suspended Bubba Wallace and qualified superbly for his only start in the next generation car. He’s either heading to the Xfinity series, likely with Joe Gibbs Racing, or back to the Cup series, likely with 23XI Racing. In Xfinity, he can be an instant contender for the title and a weekly threat to win races. In the cup, he might have flashes of grandeur, some dozens out of the dozens and maybe the top five. It’s exciting to see what he’ll be racing in 2023.

Featured image credit: Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images