DARLINGTON, S.C. — For the second consecutive race, Carson Hocevar fell just short of his first Camping World Truck Series victory. He didn’t dominate as he did at Bristol Motor Speedway, but he ran in the top five nearly all day and placed second at Darlington Raceway.
“It’s tough to be the best car and have the best thing happen,” Hocevar told reporters after the race. “I’m going with the Dale Jr. philosophy of ‘what’s going to go wrong now’ and what’s going to keep me from winning this race.
“I’m tired of waiting and don’t want to wait any longer.”
Hocevar qualified his No. 42 Chevrolet Silverado in sixth to start the race and finished Stage 1 in third. He led nine laps in the race, including the end of Stage 2 to secure his first career stage win.
In the final stage, Hocevar ran in the top five until a long yellow flag pitstop cycled him back several positions. He climbed up to second by Lap 142, the final caution of the race.
“We had a lot of adversity in the sense that we had to come from eighth or ninth with two restarts left from a bad pit stop,” Hocevar said. “To be able to come back and run second is tough to do, I just wish the 4 (John Hunter Nemechek, race winner) had the same issue on pit road as I did.”
On the final restart, a green-white-checkered attempt, Nemechek took the outside and Hocevar lined up inside him. Nemechek got a good jump and Hocevar’s teammate, Ross Chastain, fell behind them after his shifter got stuck in second gear. Hocevar had no help but still pressured Nemechek. However, Nemechek beat Hocevar in Turns 3 and 4 on each of the last two laps to seal his first victory of the season.
“I think we would [have] had a little bit better of a shot,” Hocevar said about Chastain. “I could have got cut a little bit of a break, it would’ve been from a teammate rather than anybody else. I wanted it out of Ross’s mouth because Ross is a racer and he did it to me earlier.
“I wasn’t going to lift until I saw God.”
Next up, the Truck Series heads to Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 14 for the Heart of America 200. It will be the second of eight straight races for the series.