By Walker Polivka
It all came down to a 3 lap duel at the end of the race. Kligerman, leading a race high 56 laps, held off a hard charge by points leader Zane Smith to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio for his 3rd career Truck Series win, his first since 2017.
With Kligerman’s victory, he also claimed an additional $50,000 for winning one of the three races that are a part of the Triple Truck Challenge. Kligerman also picked up the second ever race win for Henderson Motorsports and became the 17th straight different driver to win a road course race in the Truck Series.
Smith, who led 8 of the remaining 11 laps, finished 2nd in the race and sits just two points away from clinching the regular season points title with just 1 race to go in the regular season.
Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Christian Eckes all had solid point days as they rounded out the top 5 at race end.
Chandler Smith overcame a 31st place starting position to finish the race in 6th place. Kaz Grala, racing for underdog team Young’s Motorsports, drove his way to a 7th place finish. Derek Kraus made up some more on the playoff cut line with an 8th place finish and sits just 19 points out of the final playoff spot, currently held by Matt Crafton. Colby Howard, starting from 30th place, had a solid drive on his way to a 9th place finish. With a 10th place finish, Hailee Deegan secured her 1st top 10 finish of the season and 2nd top 10 finish of her career.
Other notable finishers include Grant Enfinger in 11th, Ty Majeski in 12th, Taylor Gray, winner of the Dawn 150 at Mid-Ohio on Friday, finished in 15th, Spencer Boyd in 16th, Matt Crafton in 18th, Matt DiBenedetto in 19th, and Tanner Gray rounded out the top 20 finishers.
Tyler Ankrum finished in 21st after being caught up in a last lap incident, Ben Rhodes was plagued with mechanical problems during the race and finished in 23rd, Corey Heim suffered a mechanical failure with just 6 laps remaining and finished in 26th place, John Hunter Nemechek finished in 28th place after dealing with an issue with 3rd gear in his truck, and Trackhouse Racing Co-Owner Justin Marks finished in 31st after wrecking out with 18 laps to go.
Kligerman and Zane Smith split the stage victories at Mid-Ohio, finishing in the top 2 in both stages, with Kligerman winning Stage 1 and Smith winning Stage 2.
With 1 race to go in the regular season, Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, and Carson Hocevar have all clinched playoff spots based on their points positions, leaving 2 spots up for grabs heading into Pocono. Enfinger is +47 to the cut line, Crafton is +19 to the cut line, Kraus is -19 below the cut line, and Ankrum is -46 below the cut line. All drivers below Ankrum in the points standings are in a must win situation at Pocono.
The regular season concludes for the Truck Series on July 23 at Pocono Raceway with the CRC Brakleen 150, with coverage beginning at Noon EST on FS1, MRN, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.