After a month away from the track, the Camping World Truck Series returns with the final race of the 2021 regular season with the United Rentals 176 at Watkins Glen International.

The next time the Truck Series takes to the track will be the beginning of the playoffs. Seven drivers are already locked into the playoffs. John Hunter Nemechek is the regular season winner with a series leading five race wins. Nemechek also earns 15 bonus points for winning the regular season. Also locked in to the playoffs are Ben Rhodes, Todd Gilliland, Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, and Matt Crafton. Carson Hocevar, Chandler Smith, and Stewart Friesen currently round out the top 10 for the playoffs but should a driver below the cut line win the race, the final three playoff spots will change.

Austin Hill sits on the pole and will bring the field to green with Todd Gilliland alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the United Rentals 176:
Austin Hill
Todd Gillialnd
Chandler Smith
Matt Crafton
Ben Rhodes
John Hunter Nemechek
Derek Kraus
Zane Smith
Carson Hocevar
Tyler Ankrum
Danny Bohn
Ryan Truex
Tate Fogleman
Johnny Sauter
Christian Eckes
Corey Heim
Stewart Friesen
Hailie Deegan
Sheldon Creed
Austin Wayne Self
Josh Berry
Tanner Gray
Kaz Grala
Lawless Alan
AJ Allmendinger
Norm Benning
Jack Wood
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Will Rodgers
Grant Enfinger
Chad Chastain
Taylor Gray
Josh Reaume
Spencer Boyd
Bobby Reuse
Timmy Hill
Roger Reuse
Parker Kligerman
Paul Menard
Sam Mayer

AJ Allmendinger was asked to sit in and run the race after Chase Purdy was sidelined due to Covid protocols.

Stage one of the race is 20 laps, stage two is 25 laps, and stage three is 27 laps for a total of 72 laps around the seven turn road course.

Cup Series driver Joey Logano joins Vince Welch and Michael Waltrip in the FOX broadcast booth for today’s race.

It has been over 20 years since the Camping World Truck Series has run a race at Watkins Glen.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and edges out for the lead but drivers already get tangled and turned around going into turn one.

John Hunter Nemechek and Ben Rhodes make contact but the track stays green.

Austin Hill leads the race with Todd Gilliland in second; Matt Crafton, Chandler Smith, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

Lap two, Austin Hill has a lead of nearly half a second on Todd Gilliland.

Tate Fogleman spins out and gets off the track but gets going again and the track stays green.

Lap three, Kaz Grala has an on track incident but gets going again.

Lap three, drivers are already making pit stops including Tyler Ankrum who had a flat tire.

Lap four, Austin Hill leads the race by half a second on Todd Gilliland; Matt Crafton, Carson Hocevar, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

Carson Hocevar passes Matt Crafton for third.

Leaders Austin Hill and Todd Gilliand have pulled out to a lead of over three and a half seconds on Carson Hocevar.

Ben Rhodes was caught speeding on pit road and has to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap five, Johnny Sauter makes a pit stop with an overheating issue due to grass on the grille.

Lap six, Todd Gilliland passes Austin Hill for the lead.

Leaders are encountering slower traffic with 38 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap seven, Todd Gilliland has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Austin Hill; Carson Hocevar, Matt Crafton, and Sheldon Creed round out the top five.

Sheldon Creed passes Matt Crafton for fourth.

There are 35 trucks on the lead lap.

The caution flag comes out on lap eight after Chad Chastain spins out and hits the tire wall. The younger brother of “watermelon man” Ross Chastain, this was Chad’s truck series debut.

Several drivers come down pit road for service. Grant Enfinger’s truck is stuck in second gear; a crew member is hanging out the window trying to work on the truck.

Taylor Gray makes his delayed Truck Series debut in today’s race after recovering from a broken back and ankle from an auto accident.

Todd Gilliland brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 10 and once again drivers have issues getting through turn one. Todd Gilliland holds on to the lead.

Lap 12, Todd Gilliland leads the race with Carson Hocevar in second; Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

After starting the race in last place, Sam Mayer is in the top 15 in 13th place.

Will rodgers is off the track.

Chandler Smith who is currently on the bubble in 10th place in the standings, believes something has broken on his truck.

Lap 14, the top five are Todd Gilliland, Sheldon Creed, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith, and Austin Hill.

Lap 16, Todd Gilliland has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Sheldon Creed; Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

Matt Crafton spins out after some contact from Austin Wayne Self but gets back on the track and the track stays green.

Bobby Reuse spins out several times but the track stays green.

With just four laps remaining in stage one, several of the drivers are short pitting the end of the stage.

Lap 18, Todd Gilliland has increased his lead to over three seconds on Sheldon Creed;Derek Kraus, Austin Wayne Self, and Josh Berry round out the top five as pit stops continue.

On a normal oval course the drivers come down pit road with the driver’s side closest to the wall; however, on road courses like Watkins Glen the drivers pit “backwards” with the driver’s side closes to pit lane.

Lap 19, Todd Gilliland now has a lead of over seven seconds on Sheldon Creed; Derek Kraus, Josh Berry, and Austin Wayne Self round out the top five.

With a lead of over eight seconds, Todd Gilliland wins stage one for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Todd Gilliland
Sheldon Creed
Derek Kraus
Josh Berry
Austin Wayne Self
AJ Allmendinger
Paul Menard
Stewart Friesen
Ben Rhodes
Ryan Truex

Drivers who have not already pitted come down pit road for service.

Due to some mechanical issues, Chandler Smith has dropped out of the top 10; Derek Kraus is now the 10th place driver in the standings.

After staying out on the track, Jack Wood brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with Carson Hocevar in second.

Lap 24, Carson Hocevar takes the lead with Zane Smith in second; Sam Mayer, Austin Hill, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

Lap 25, Zane Smit passes Carson Hocevar for the lead.

Sam Mayer takes seocond form Carson Hocevar.

Lap 26, AJ Allmendinger has entered the top 10.

Lap 26, Zane Smith has a half second lead on Sam Mayer; Austin Hill, Carson Hocevar and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

Lap 27, there are 32 trucks on the lead lap with Norm Benning, Grant Enfinger, and Will Rodgers off the track.

Tanner Gray gets off the track after some contact with Derek Kraus but the track stays green.

Lap 27, Sam Mayer and Austin Hill challenge Zane Smith for the lead but Smith holds on with Mayer in second and Hill in third.

In stage one the leaders pulled out to leads of over half a second; so far leaders have not pulled away from the field.

Derek Kraus has to make an unscheduled trip down pit road for overheating issues with grass all in the grille.

Austin Hill gets around Sam Mayer for second.

Derek Kraus was caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 29, Austin Hill is the new leader with Sam Mayer in second; Zane Smith, Carson Hocevar, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

Lap 31, John Hunter Nemechek moves into third place behind Austin Hill and Sam Mayer.

Lap 32, the top five are Austin Hill, Sam Mayer, John Hunter Nemechek, Zane Smith, and Parker Kligerman.

Grant Enfinger and Will Rodgers are out of the race

Lap 33, after having to make a pit stop to clear the grass from the grille, AJ Allmendinger has moved up to sixth place.

Norm Benning returns to the track 13 laps down.

Lap 34, AJ Allmendinger passes Parker Kligerman for fifth place.

After his pit road difficulties, Derek Kraus has fallen back out of the top 10 in points; putting Chandler Smith back in the hunt.

Carson Hocevar has dropped to 10th and is reporting some issues with his brakes overheating.

Lap 35, Austin Hill has pulled away from the field with a lead of over three seconds on John Hunter Nemechek; Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

Lap 40, six laps remain in stage two, Austin Hill has a three second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; AJ Allmendinger, Sam Mayer, and Zane Smith round out the top five. There are 26 trucks on the lead lap.

Todd Gilliland is reporting some issues with the fuel pump.

Jennifer Jo Cobb is off the track.

Four laps remain in stage two, drivers begin to make pit stops.

Lap 43, leader Austin Hill comes down pit road for service; giving the lead over to John unter Nemechek.

The top five are John Hunter Nemechek; Austin Hill, AJ Allmendinger, Ben Rhodes, and Sheldon Creed.

AJ Allmendinger reports that the truck is bouncing; adding that it feels like something is broken.

Lap 44, leader John Hunter Nemechek comes down pit road; Austin Hill is the new leader.

Taylor Gray is off the track.

With a two second lead, Austin Hill wins stage two for his first stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Austin Hill
John Hunter Nemechek
AJ Allmendinger
Zane Smith
Sheldon Creed
Tyler Ankrum
Carson Hocevar
Todd Gilliland
Ben Rhodes
Sam Mayer

Bobby Reuse is not feeling well; Jordan Anderson will take over the driving duties in the number three truck.

Some drivers come down pit road for service.

AJ Allmendinger has made multiple trips down pit road as the crew tries to diagnose the issue with his truck.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 49 and jumps out in front for the lead. Spread out four and five wide, the drivers make it through turn one safely.

Austin Hill leads the race with John Hunter Nemechek in second; Zane Smith, Sheldon Creed, and Tyler Ankrum round out the top five.

Sam Mayer cannot communicate with his team after radio issues. There is also a good bit of grass on his grille.

Twenty to go, Austin Hill has a half second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, and Tyler Ankrum round out the top five with 29 trucks on the lead lap.

Derek Kraus hits the wall with 19 laps to go and brings out the caution flag.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag restart with 16 laps remaining in the race. Austin Hill edges out John Hunter Nemechek for the lead as the drivers make it cleanly through turn one.

Vince Welch reports that there is some weather in the area. NASCAR runs in wet weather on road courses.

Lap 57, Austin Hill has a half second lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Sheldon Creed, Todd Gilliland, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger is the last truck on the lead lap in 29th place.

Norm Benning is out of the race. Jennifer Jo Cobb is 15 laps down.

Lap 61, the caution flag comes out due to lightening in the area. FOX has pulled several of the camera crew scattered around the track due to the issue.

NASCAR brings the trucks down pit road and displays the red flag with eleven laps remaining in the race.

Once lightening is sighted, there is a mandatory 30 minute wait. If lightening is seen within that 30 minute window, the clock starts over. While waiting out the lightening, some raindrops have begun to fall. The drivers do have wet weather tires that they can use once racing resumes.

Due to repeated lightening strikes and scheduling issues, NASCAR has called the race with eleven laps to go and named Austin Hill as the winner. The win moves Hill from fifth to second in the playoff standings.

The unofficial results of the United Rentals 176:
Austin Hill
John Hunter Nemechek
Sheldon Creed
Todd Gilliland
Parker Kligerman
Zane Smith
Tyler Ankrum
Paul Menard
Sam Mayer
Carson Hocevar
Josh Berry
Kaz Grala
Christian Eckes
Tanner Gray
Ben Rhodes
Austin Wayne Self
Ryan Truex
Chandler Smith
Corey Heim
Hailie Deegan
Stewart Friesen
Derek Kraus
Matt Crafton
Johnny Sauter
Timmy Hill
Jack Wood
Tate Fogleman
AJ Allmendinger
Danny Bohn
Bobby Reuse
Roger Reuse
Josh Reaume
Lawless Alan
Spencer Boyd
Chad Chastain
Tanner Gray
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Norm Benning
Grant Enfinger
Will Rodgers

At the end of the race, the top 10 drivers in the points standings did not change, making Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, and Chandler Smith the final drivers to make the playoffs.