Motorsport News

Carson Hocevar Powers Up for Top 10 in ‘The Lou’

Nascar Cup Series

Top Dog: Carson Hocevar

As a St. Louis Cardinals fan, NASCAR’s weekend brought my favorite mix of racing and baseball.

With former Cardinals star pitcher Adam Wainwright on hand (for a concert of all things), NASCAR’s season rounded the bases to World Wide Technology Raceway, which is just minutes away from “The Lou,” for the Enjoy Illinois 300 on Sunday (June 2).

For Carson Hocevar, WWTR has presented two feelings on opposite ends of the spectrum in his career.

Just two years ago, Hocevar was competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at WWTR when he was involved in a crash that saw him get nailed in the driver’s side door. The result was a broken tibia in his right ankle, leaving him on crutches for several weeks.

Flash forward a year and Hocevar was in a complete 180-degree situation, as he made his first career Cup start in the No. 7 for Spire Motorsports. Hocevar impressed that day before his brake rotor exploded, performing better than Corey LaJoie, the normal occupant of the No. 7, who was substituting for a suspended Chase Elliott.

Now, Hocevar is basking in the glory of his second top 10 of his Cup career, as the rookie scored an eighth-place finish at the 1.25-mile track.

The Portage, Mich. native shot par in stage one, starting 20th and completing the first 45 laps in 20th.

As the theme of the race was disclosed, strategy became the name of the game. The No. 77 team took a shot at it in stage two by staying out long during green flag pit stops. They got their wish on lap 113 when Josh Berry brought out the caution, trapping several cars a lap down while Hocevar ran sixth. He cashed in on the moment, earning three stage points in eighth.

That strategy continued to pay dividends in the final 100 laps, as track position played into the 21-year-old’s hands. Hocevar drove the car up into the top five, flexing his muscles to best some of the sport’s top drivers.

After another green flag pit stop cycle, Hocevar settled into the latter half of the top 10 to score his career-best result. And with Berry’s misfortunes, Hocevar is just five points shy of cracking the top 20 in points and surpassing Berry for the Rookie of the Year points lead.

In a nutshell, WWTR has summed up the young career of Hocevar up to this point. There is no denying his talent, but the ebb and flow of the sport has brought some low points on…

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