BRISTOL, TENN. – Carson Hocevar raced to a fourth place finish Thursday night in the Craftsman Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Speed was not the issue Hocevar ran into Thursday during the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics, qualifying second and running in the top five constantly throughout the race.Hocevar seemed to think that the lane options he was given to be successful were limited by the PJ1 application on the bottom of the track but not on the top. After the race, Hocevar spoke on how he felt about the race as a whole, and what he felt caused the race to play out the way it did.
“I wouldn’t say it was boring. It was just really tame,” Hocevar said to TSJSports Peter Stratta. “And it was right on the bottom. You couldn’t go anywhere else. I hope this science experiment… is, they gotta change something hopefully soon.”
“They gotta help us out a little bit. I know we’re the support series for later on in the weekend. It’s like a dirt track. It’ll be a struggle in the beginning so you can have a better product in the end. But man, it would be nice to go around the top and have some options.”
“We finished second in Stage 1, we had a little slow stop, got as good as we could in Stage 2 and finished fourth (in the race),” he said. “I was still passing some trucks. I would try to go around the top and it’d be no man’s land.”
“We just don’t have enough power,” Hocevar added. “I wished they’d put some resin on the top or leave it alone and let us rubber it in.”
Once the green flag dropped, Christian Ekes was able to clear Hocevar to maintain the lead, and the Portage, Michigan native was not able to gain enough momentum to pass Ekes before the end of the stage. Hocevar lost a bit of track position during a pit stop on Lap 60 leading to a seventh place Stage 2 finish, and drove his way back up to fourth before the end of the Truck Series race.
The 20-year-old leaves Bristol 18 points above the cut line with two races left in the round of 8, Talladega and Homestead-Miami. Before he can totally move on from Bristol, however, Hocevar will race with the Cup Series on Saturday evening, filling the No. 42 Legacy Motor Club seat after Noah Gragson was released from his contract in August. Hocevar has qualified to start 16th for the Cup Series race which will start at 6:30 pm ET on USA, also on PRN and SiriusXM.