May 14, 2022
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Leading 108 of 134 laps, Zane Smith dominated Saturday night’s Heart of America 200 and staved off a late charge from Ty Majeski at Kansas Speedway to record his NASCAR Camping World Series-leading third victory of the season.
After a restart with eight laps left, Smith pulled away from Majeski and crossed the finish line with a comfortable 1.653 seconds to spare. The runner-up finish was a career-best for Majeski.
“It was really just an unbelievable truck,” said Smith, who won for the first time at Kansas and the sixth time in his career. “So dang cool. That was one of my easier ones I’ve ever had to win, but that late-race restart scared me a little bit.
“It’s a good thing I didn’t have another one there, because I’m stuck in fourth (gear), so sorry for no burnout.”
Smith’s No. 38 Ford appeared headed for an even easier victory before Dean Thompson spun on the backstretch to cause the fourth caution of the evening on Lap 121.
That gave Majeski a shot at his first series victory, but Smith’s F-150 was simply too strong.
“We were really close,” Majeski said. “We kept easing on the adjustments all night, getting the balance better on every run. The track was freeing up, and we were just a little too free, so we kept making small changes.
“The sun went down, and I think we over-adjust a little on that last stop—couldn’t attack it, just a little bit too free.”
Grant Enfinger ran third after charging from seventh in the final eight laps. Chandler Smith finished fourth after running out of fuel at the end of Stage 1 and losing a lap. Christian Eckes came home fifth, followed by pole winner John Hunter Nemechek, Matt DiBenedetto, Derek Kraus, Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes.
Corey Heim led 18 laps and won Stage 1, but his No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota scraped the outside wall on Lap 100, eventually leading to a cut right-front tire and a 33rd-place result.
Stewart Friesen started from the rear in the No. 52 Chevrolet after Bubba Wallace practiced and qualified his truck. Scheduled to arrive in Kansas City on Friday, Friesen instead spent the night in New York’s LaGuardia Airport after his flight was canceled.
Another delay with his connection in Chicago prevented him from arriving at the track in time to qualify the truck. Friesen ran as high as fourth before finishing 14th.
Hailie Deegan came home 17th, matching her best result of the season.