It took four overtimes, but Christian Eckes finally emerged as the winner of Friday night’s NASCAR Truck Series season finale at Phoenix and Ben Rhodes limped home as the 2023 series champion.
At Phoenix Raceway, title candidates Corey Heim and Carson Hocevar crashed, and Grant Enfinger and Rhodes also received damage.
Zane Smith went into the first of four overtimes as the leader but was eventually caught up in one of the three restart wrecks.
On the final restart, Eckes got around leader Chase Purdy and managed to hold off Jake Garcia to earn his fourth victory of the 2023 season and fifth of his career.
Rhodes held on against a late charge from Enfinger to hang on to fifth, good enough to claim his second series title in three years.
Stage 1 Ty Majeski led every lap and beat Heim by 0.238 seconds to win Stage 1. Smith was third, Rhodes fourth, and Sanchez fifth.
Stage 2 Heim edged Smith by 0.465 seconds to claim the Stage 2 win. Majeski was third, Eckes fourth and Kraus rounded out the top five.
Stage 3 Most lead-lap trucks came off pit road after Stages 2 and 3. Smith was first. Still on the circuit, Eckes took the lead with 51 laps left.