By Toby Christie, Editor — Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie
FORT WORTH, Texas — Myatt Snider came into Friday night’s JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on a hot streak of sorts. He had finished sixth at Dover, Second at Texas and third a week ago in Martinsville. In Friday night’s event at the 1.5-mile speedway, it looked like Snider was heading to his first career victory.
The 23-year-old driver and his crew chief Rich Lushes opted to take fuel only during a yellow flag pit stop at lap 35. In doing so, Snider inherited the lead.
Snider would lead the entire second stage of the race and he would collect his first-career stage win.
“It was pretty awesome. I’ve come close a couple of times before. To do it with ThorSport is pretty awesome,” Snider said of the stage win.
During the caution that concluded Stage 2, Snider finally grabbed four fresh tires which mired him deep in the pack. Snider spent the rest of the night trying to work his way back to the front, but he rolled snake eyes as his truck faded in dirty air.
Snider was bummed to only record a 13th-place finish after one of his best-career races, but he did see positives in a night where he led a total of 35 laps.
“We had a good truck all night, just wasn’t as good as we thought it was in dirty air,” Snider explained. “But we still had a strong showing all night. We led all of stage 2, just really had a good showing for our Century Container Ford F-150. Good night overall, but this just leaves us more hungry and we are going to do better than this.”
Even though the 13th place finish wasn’t what he had expected after winning Stage 2, the run that Snider and his ThorSport teammates had was much better than many expected after the four-truck team struggled mightily in qualifying. Snider explained that the team focused on setups that would perform better in the race than for one single qualifying lap.
“We didn’t quite focus on out right speed all the time through practice,” said Snider. “We more so focused on getting the trucks handle like we like them and just making them drive good. And it showed. We were all up there at some point, battling.”
Overall, ThorSport trucks finished second (Ben Rhodes), Ninth (Matt Crafton), 12th (Grant Enfinger) and 13th (Snider), but they performed a lot better throughout the race than the end result showed.
The thing that concerned Snider more than not getting the finish he felt he deserved, was the fact that tires made absolutely no difference in performance throughout the race. The young driver believes something needs to change.
“No absolutely not. This place has such fresh pavement and the tires are so hard, tires almost don’t matter here. I actually slowed down when we put on four tires, so it’s kind of crazy,” Snider stated. “I think overall, Texas and NASCAR have to do something about the tire package. Make them wear out or something. It’s just — you run wide open for most of the run. It’s just crazy. That’s all part of the learning process here after the repave.”
Snider will continue to chase his first career Truck Series victory as the series heads to ISM Raceway in Phoenix for the Lucas Oil 150.
Photo: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images