Carson Hocevar hopes he won’t run out of air in Truck Series Championship race

AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 02: Carson Hocevar, driver of the #42 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, speaks to the media during the NASCAR Championship Media Day at Phoenix Raceway on November 02, 2023 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Carson Hocevar doesn’t consider his flat tire an omen. He’d prefer to think of it as bad luck that’s now behind him.

“A few days ago, I hit a curb with my truck and got a flat,” Hocevar said during a question-and-answer session with reporters during Championship 4 Media Day at Phoenix Raceway.

Hocevar wasn’t referring to the No. 42 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet he’ll drive in Friday night’s NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Championship race at the one-mile track in the Sonoran Desert (7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The 20-year-old driver was happy the flat tire happened with his personal truck and not on the race track.

“We got it out of the way, hopefully,” Hocevar said.

The incident with the truck was a minor inconvenience during a week in which Hocevar has been running simulations to prepare for Phoenix, not only for his own Truck Series effort but also for the NASCAR Cup Series teams at Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick drivers Kyle Larson and William Byron qualified for the Championship 4 on the Cup side.

“We’ve done at least a hundred runs of sim just on Phoenix alone from the start of the Playoffs till now,” said Hocevar, who will graduate to the Cup Series in a Spire Motorsports car next year. “I’ve done hours and hours. I’ve done Cup sim these past few weeks for Phoenix, with HMS to run for the final four.

“I’ve done days with (trainer) Josh Wise where we don’t even work on the race car—we just work on myself. And obviously, with Niece, we’ve worked since the beginning of the year even, just working on Phoenix alone…

“I think we’ve gotten it a little bit better just in the last two days.”