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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Hocevar: ‘Second Just Sucks’ Following Bristol Dirt Loss

Carson Hocevar led 55 laps en route to a runner-up finish at Bristol Dirt (Photo: Sean Folsom | The Podium Finish).

With Bryan Clauson on the truck and on his shirt, Carson Hocevar had a strong showing in Saturday night’s Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Niece Motorsports racer finished second to Ben Rhodes, who was the only other driver that led the 150-lap race.

However, that runner-up finish could’ve been more crushing as Hocevar was in control for nearly the entire third stage. This was a result of pitting after Stage 1 whereas Rhodes made a mistake by staying out when he planned on pitting.

After the second stage, Hocevar stayed out and took the top spot on lap 92. In spite of the stuck trucks of Matt DiBenedetto and Austin Wayne Self bringing out the red flag and a series of incidents thereafter, the 19-year-old held his own until the final restart with five laps to go when Rhodes was a mad man on a mission.

Rhodes followed Hocevar on the bottom until the next lap when he carved his way to the bottom and regained the lead for good. Hocevar had to settle for a career equal second.

When he got out of his No. 42 Premier Security Solutions Chevrolet Silverado, he was dejected as he was so close toward being a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner. Hocevar took fault on losing out on the victory, saying that he either should’ve ripped the top or wrecked Rhodes.

“I hate saying that, but it’s part of this racing. I couldn’t really compete with him. He just had better tires and was the fastest truck all day,” Hocevar explained.

“So, I was trying really hard, hoping I can hold him off. I kept looking up in the mirror, I was like ‘Man, he’s fifth! He can’t really go anywhere.’

“Once I knew he was in fourth, I knew I’m in trouble. He slide jobbed it and I should’ve prepared for it, cross him over and race him really hard. Second just sucks, it does. It’s terrible. Especially, being that close.”

Hocevar added that while it wasn’t a win, he felt that he made Clauson, who passed away in a racing accident in 2016, and the family very proud.

“We have Bryan Clauson’s logo on the truck. I’m wearing the shirt still and was hoping to be able to give him tribute. He was definitely with me tonight,” Hocevar on Clauson.

“Hopefully, Tim and everybody that he really touched was really happy seeing that BCL in front again. Just close, but he was definitely with me tonight running as hard as we were.”

After six races, Hocevar sits ninth in the championship standings, 16 points above the cutoff line. The Truck Series won’t race again until Darlington Raceway in South Carolina Friday, May 6 (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

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