Connect with us

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Hocevar Hoping to Culminate Truck Career With Championship


(Photo: Luis Torres | The Podium Finish)

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Before the 2023 season began, Carson Hocevar may not have been who anyone thought would lead the Craftsman Truck Series in victories.

Through two full-time seasons, Hocevar had been winless. He struggled to put together clean races and capitalize on results.

But this season, something finally clicked. He snagged his first career victory at Texas Motor Speedway in the spring, winning after a crash on the final lap. That led to other victories at Nashville Superspeedway, Richmond Raceway and most recently Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The 20-year-old from Portage, Michigan didn’t need to win the penultimate race but did anyway — carrying momentum into Phoenix for his first Championship 4 appearance.

“The fact that we won the last race before Phoenix I think is gonna help,” Hocevar told The Podium Finish at Martinsville Speedway last week. “[We’re] just really gelling, really feel good. Obviously, this is gonna be the last race that we can fight — or last season that we can fight for a championship together at least for the next few years, and we want to click that off. They ran second in 2019 and we want to get a championship, give it to Al Niece and have one on the shelf and then be able to collect the cool trophies we didn’t get along the way for the next years to come.

“We know this is our shot and our one and only shot for a while and I can race for a truck championship.”

The title, however, is no walk in the park. Hocevar will compete against Corey Heim, the regular-season champion, Ben Rhodes, the 2021 champion, and series veteran Grant Enfinger. The four championship drivers have combined for 11 of the 22 wins in the series this season with Heim and Enfinger tallying three apiece.

In four starts at Phoenix Raceway, Hocevar has a pair of top 10s — both of which came in his last two races at the track. Hocevar feels good about the speed the No. 42 Chevrolet Silverado will have this weekend but understands that it’ll likely take a win to secure the championship, although it hasn’t always happened in years past.

“I think we’ll be fine. We ran good. We ran bad. But every racetrack I feel like we ran really good at this year,” Hocevar said. “So I’ve no doubt this will be nothing different.

“It took being in the top four to make the final four [at Homestead]. I mean, literally, the final four were literally one to four. So I expect Phoenix to be no different.”

If he can win the championship, Hocevar will leave Niece Motorsports on a high note. He’s heading to the Cup Series with Spire Motorsports next season and wants nothing more than to win a title before doing so.

“I’ll probably still be celebrating by the time February comes along,” Hocevar exclaimed. “They might have to cancel the Xfinity and Cup race because I’ll still be doing burnouts out there.”

Friday’s Craftsman 150 is set for 10:00 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Zane Smith is the defending winner and series champion.

Nathan Solomon serves as the managing editor of The Podium Finish. He has been part of the team since 2021 and is accredited by the National Motorsports Press Association. Solomon is a senior in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Contact him at

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series