By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor
Following his victory in Saturday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, Carson Hocevar added his own twist to a growing trend in post-race celebrations.
Much like post-race burnouts, the post-race celebrations have varied over the years. Tony Stewart and NTT IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves climbed the fence when they won. Kyle Busch came to perform a signature bow to a volley of cheers and boos following his wins. Carl Edwards and Daniel Hemric both performed backflips off of their cars. Edwards also joined the crowd in the grandstands following some of his victories.
Earlier this year Josef Newgarden did the same after winning the Indianapolis 500. His Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney did the same after he won the Coca-Cola 600 a day later. Hocevar added his own flair to that celebration.
After he won the Worldwide Express 250 at Richmond Raceway, Hocevar climbed onto the roof of his No. 42 Worldwide Express Chevrolet Silverado. Before he even joined in with the cheering crowd, he warmed up as his Chevrolet caught fire following his burnout.
As Hocevar joined in with the crowd, he climbed into the flag stand. He waved the checkered flag to the crowd before dropping it to a fan down below. He then raced down the steps to continue celebrating with the fans.
“I thought of (going into the flag stand) last week,” Hocevar explained. “I was like, ‘I need to think of something different and have my own little thing’ and I was like I’m tall, I’ll just go up in the flag waving andlooking at everybody. I thought about it three days ago, I was like, man, I need to win so I could just do that.Sure enough, all I have to do is just think of something cool and I’ll be able to win a race.”
— Adam Cheek (@adamncheek) July 30, 2023
Making his victory celebration unique, Hocevar created a memorable moment of interaction between NASCAR drivers and fans. It was the same kind of moment that Busch, Edwards, Stewart, and others cultivated throughout their careers in motorsports.
At Pocono Raceway Dale Earnhardt Jr. also gave fans a different perspective, starting the broadcast of the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series races from inside the flag stand. Earnhardt didn’t take over the flag stand, but rather showed the process for the honorary starter and the frantic work that is sometimes needed by the officials.
The idea to commandeer the flag stand is not one that is new. Lee Petty did so in 1956 at the Tulsa Fairgrounds to end a race due to poor visibility. To commandeer the flag stand as part of a celebration is relatively recent.
Bubba Wallace, Blaney, and others did commandeer a flag stand at the Trackhouse Motorplex (then known as the GoPro Motorplex) in Mooresville, N.C., waving the checkered flag for his spotter Freddie Kraft in a non-NASCAR charity event, ‘The Little 600 Spotter’s Race’ in 2018. The drivers then celebrated Kraft’s ‘win’ one lap into the race as the actual Spotter’s Race continued on the go-kart track behind them.
Whether Hocevar chooses to continue commandeering the flag stand after victories or not, his next opportunity would come if he were to win the first race of the Truck Series playoffs, the TSport 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway on Friday, August 11.
The TSport 200 is scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.