Crafton makes history in Homestead - becomes series first back to back champion
Matt Crafton drove into the NASCAR history books on Friday night when he cruised to a ninth-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway (HMS). With the top-10 result, his sixth at the 1.5-mile oval, the ThorSport Racing driver clinched his second-consecutive NCWTS title, becoming the first driver in the series' 20-year history to win back-to-back championships. The Tulare, Calif. native now joins the likes of Todd Bodine, Ron Hornaday, Jr. and Jack Sprague as multi-time champions.
Starting from the sixth position, his eighth top-10 start at HMS, Crafton spent 100 percent of the 134 laps in the top-15, running as high as second and as low as 11th. The Menards driver stayed quiet on the radio most of the night as he looked for a place to "ride." Crew chief, Carl "Junior" Joiner brought the No. 88 Toyota Tundra to pit road three times under caution at laps 25, 71 and 100, respectively, for four tires and fuel only making an adjustment on the final stop to aid a "free on entry, tight on exit" feel.
Crafton's only scare throughout the 134-lap race came at lap 111, when the 19 truck slid sideways in front of him on the exit of Turn 2. Crafton moved high and avoided Reddick's truck, which slid down to the apron. Crafton restarted in the seventh position with 20 laps remaining and crossed the stripe ninth behind race winner Darrell Wallace, Jr., his 17th top-10 finish in 22 starts this season.
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