SPARTA, Ky. – Sheldon Creed became a big fan of Mother Nature on Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway.
Shortly after Creed took the green and white checkered flag to complete the second stage of Saturday’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Buckle Up In Your Truck 225, a storm moved in over Kentucky Speedway.
Not long after that NASCAR called for the red flag due to the storm, sending the entire field down pit road. After a brief delay, NASCAR officials decided to declare the race official, making Creed the race winner.
“Honestly I didn’t even think it was going to rain at the beginning,” said Creed after his first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series victory. “I even asked if that was an option. I never got told it was going to rain.”
It turned out the race winning move came on lap 52 shortly after a restart. Creed lined up fourth for the restart behind Rhodes, Parker Kligerman and Zane Smith. Rhodes and Kligerman had stayed out on older tires in an effort to gain track position.
Creed struck quickly, diving low to overtake Kligerman and get alongside Rhodes as the field raced into turn one. They stayed side-by-side down the backstretch, with Creed driving deep into turn three and pulling clear of Rhodes by the time they raced out of turn four.
The driver of the No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet and the 2018 ARCA Menards Series champion proceeded to lead the rest of the race, though Rhodes kept him honest and crossed the finish line at the end of the stage less than a second behind him.
Rhodes admitted that he felt like he gave away the victory on the final restart, though there was no way he could have known it at the time.
“It’s so frustrating that it was canceled because I know we could have won the race tonight,” said Rhodes. “I am surprised, though, that they did cancel it. We’ve got all night. I know all of us here are as dedicated as ever and we would have stayed all night. But I don’t think they want us huddled in the haulers with the current conditions in the world.”
The victory locks Creed into the Truck Series playoffs and though he now has his first victory behind him, he said the pressure is now on to earn as many points as possible as he chases the series championship.
“Now the problem is I’m in it for the points, so now I’m going to start thinking about it like that,” Creed said. “We’re going to do all we can to score as many playoff points as we can and get that regular season championship.”
Matt Crafton rebounded from several recent poor finishes with a third-place result. Johnny Sauter was fourth, with Austin Hill coming home in fifth.
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