By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
It is often said that Talladega Superspeedway levels the playing field for those who compete on the 2.66-mile. The fred’s 250 powered by Coca-Cola was no different for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitors. Five drivers improved on their career-best finishes in the chaotic Playoff Elimination race.
Bobby Gerhart, Clay Greenfield, Myatt Snider, Spencer Boyd, and Vinnie Miller each improved on their career-best finishing position. They accomplished this by avoiding, or at the very least, surviving the mayhem. Although all five of these drivers compete on a part-time basis, for Snider and Boyd, their teams compete on a full-time basis.
Snider finished third in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 Louisiana Hot Sauce Toyota Tundra. He found himself in the middle of one wreck, but skirted through with minimal damage. Snider was up front, battling with Parker Kligerman and his teammate Christopher Bell for the lead when a race-ending pile-up occurred behind them.
It was through that wreck in which Miller emerged in the No. 66 Master Manufacturing Chevrolet Silverado for Bolen Motorsports. He ended up crossing the line in seventh in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut. After a quiet day for Miller, he also matched the best finish in the history of Bolen Motorsports.
Immediately behind Miller was Greenfield. Greenfield had a stellar day in his own No 68 Titan Paint Sprayers Chevrolet Silverado. After getting caught in one of the first ‘Big Ones,’ he worked his way back through the field in his wounded red, white, and blue Silverado. Eventually, Greenfield took the lead for the first time in his Truck Series career. Soon after, he was shuffled out of the lead and ended the day in eighth.
Gerhart also improved on his best-career finish. After an impressive save in the tri-oval late in the race, he ended the day in 11th in the No. 63 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Silverado for his own team which had partnered with the Mittler Brothers.
Boyd may have had one of the more lackluster days of those who earned their career-best finishes. Twice he fell a lap down in the No. 83 Grunt Style Chevrolet Silverado for Copp Motorsports, and twice took the wave around to get back on the lead lap. When the race came down to overtime, Boyd was one of the few drivers still on the lead lap without damage. Although he was swept up in the final melee, he limped around to finish 13th, improving on his career-best of 19th. Boyd’s finish is also the best finish in the history of Copp Motorsports.
With five drivers, four of which were in equipment that arguably, are not well funded, earning their career-best finishes, Talladega still has a level playing field.