The NASCAR Truck Series opened the 2021 playoffs on Friday night under the lights at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis. After an entertaining first stage, the trucks had just restarted following the pit stop, and the 1.25-mile oval became the scene of one of the most bizarre and darkest moments in NASCAR history. Ironically, at a track with the word technology in its name, one of the most basic components of technology failed. The lights went out, and the track went dark.
NASCAR Truck Series playoffs begin
At World Wide Technology Raceway, the intensity ratcheted up on Friday night in the first race of the 2021 NASCAR Truck Series playoffs.
With 10 contenders vying for the championship, the opening stage included an early surprise when Chandler Smith headed to the garage on lap 25 with mechanical problems.
GMS Racing teammates Zane Smith and Sheldon Creed, who won the championship last season, battled for the lead during much of the first segment. The defending champion had the better truck and eventually pulled away from the field and won the stage for his second stage win of the year.
NASCAR Truck Series race interrupted by darkness when lights inexplicably go out
After the modified pit stops during the stage break, for which teams had limited pit crews and three minutes to make tire changes, the trucks rolled back out onto the track. On the restart, Creed surged back out into the lead with Smith and Stewart Friesen following close behind. Then, in one of the more bizarre scenes in NASCAR racing history, the lights went out.
With darkness falling over huge sections of the track, Fox’s Vince Welch explained that the track had experienced a power outage. When the broadcast returned from commercial, the red flag came out, and all drivers pulled into pit road.
Drivers got out of their trucks, mingled with one another, and gave interviews. It was later reported that a fire took out a transformer, which resulted in a loss of power in the area. After a 48-minute delay, the race resumed, and Creed went on to win the next two stages and the race.
WWE-style fight broke out at same track several years ago
While Friday night’s power outage at World Wide Technology Raceway will certainly go down as one of the more bizarre events to happen in a Truck Series race, many fans remember the track for an entertaining WWE-style fight that broke out there several years ago.
It happened in 2016 when John Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher got tangled up in their trucks, and when the two vehicles came to rest, the two drivers kicked it into high gear — sort of.
After the larger Townley initially took down Gallagher and the pair rolled down the sloped track, the two drivers returned to their feet before Townley got Gallagher in a semi-headlock and then pulled off a classic wrestling move, dropping to his back and bringing Gallagher with him.
The two stood back up, and Townley delivered a couple of fists and elbows before tiring, and the two helplessly clutched one another. NASCAR officials separated the pair, and it was over.
It was a memorable moment for all the wrong reasons. Friday night’s power outage added another bizarre chapter to the track’s history.