ROSSBURG, Ohio— After a wild night at Eldora, it was Matt Crafton who was victorious in the Eldora Dirt Derby snapping a 27 race winless streak.
"My first dirt win - a lot of fun," said Crafton, who picked up his 14th career win. "In the second part of that race we down-right just stunk. It was my fault. We over-tightened it a little bit in the first run. It got free and we just went back to the way we started the race. I knew I was getting beat down low. Finally at the end, I said, 'Well, we may have to tear the right- side off to get the win.' I started doing it and this truck became a rocket ship."
This is Crafton’s first victory of 2017. He locked his way into the playoffs in September. Crafton is the seventh different winner in 2017. This is Crafton’s 14th career victory.
After having a dominating car for majority of the race, Stewart Friesen finished second.
“Our Halmar team was good. Our Chevy was great. We had a long run truck. We didn’t come to run second. I am proud of these guys,” said Friesen
After going to a backup car in final practice, Chase Briscoe finished third.
Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Bobby Pierce, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, Christopher Bell, and Austin Cindric rounded out the top-10.
There were eight lead changes among four different drivers. The caution flag flew for a total of 10 times for 59 laps. The time of race was one hour, 45 minutes, and 44 seconds. The average speed was 42.560 mph. The margin of victory was 1.960 seconds. Crafton and Friesen won the first two stages.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Pocono Raceway on July 29th for the Overton’s 150 from Pocono Raceway. The race will be broadcasted on FOX and Motor Racing Network at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
After passing pole-sitter, William Byron, midway through the event, the No. 88 truck never looked back, leading 76 laps. This is Crafton's first career win at Dover, as well as his first win of the season and all but clinching a Chase birth.
"I just wanted to manage just enough and I could gap him enough and could run it hard enough to push the right front tire off," Crafton said of his victory. "We were 21st in the last practice and my guys never gave up."
Daniel Suarez made a late charge late in the race, but came up just short of winning his first NASCAR race in the top three series. He finished a half-second behind Crafton, after getting within a car length of him with five laps to go.
The third Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, Christopher Bell, came home with a third-place finish. In the first three events of the season, the No. 4 machine was involved in three accidents, but in the past two weeks he has back-to-back top five finishes.
"We've been so close this year and should have won Atlanta," Bell said post-race. "My guys kept digging throughout the race and I'm just really happy to be here at KBM."
Following his win at the season-opening event in Daytona, Johnny Sauter has had no luck at all. At Kansas last weekend he got crashed on the last lap while leading, but today he rebounded to get his second top-five finish of the year for GMS Racing.
The 18-year-old, Cole Custer jumped a Lap 55 restart that granted him the lead. NASCAR reviewed the restart and penalized the JR Motorsports team, black-flagging him. In a race that was full of comebacks, he was able to round out the top five.
"We just got caught on the restart," Custer said. "I don't know what there call was, but we had to go to the back of the field and come through the field. It was good enough to win, we just didn't have the right line on the start."
Custer gained three spots in the points, improving to 16th.
The defending winner of the event, Tyler Reddick led a bunch of laps early and recorded his first top-10 finish of 2016,finishing seventh.
Byron came home 11th after having a pit road penalty late in the event. Last week's winner lead a race-high 80 laps, all being in the first 80 circuits of the event.
It wasn't all good for Thor Sport Racing as two of the drivers, Ben Rhodes and Rico Abreu were involved in an incident on Lap 66. However, general manager of the race team said that there are no team orders as all four drivers are hard-nose competitors, looking out for themselves.
Through the first quarter of the race Brandon Jones was running second in the first race for Ranier with MDM Racing. On Lap 48, he spun trying to avoid Austin Wayne Self on the backstretch. The No. 71 car ended up finishing 20th.
The Truck Series heads to Charlotte Friday May 20 for the sixth event of 2016.
As the night was set to be a historic one at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale, Matt Crafton went on to take the final race of the 2015 season with a historic visit to victory lane at the 1.5-mile track.
While the headlines prior to the Ford EcoBoost 200 were centered on the championship race between Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones, Crafton – who had been in championship contention — entered the night with the most starts in the Truck Series with 361. While breaking a record for most starts previously set by Ron Hornaday, Crafton was looking to end his season with his sixth victory of 2015.
After falling out of the championship contention at Phoenix, Crafton stayed out front and dominated the season finale. The win at Homestead is Crafton’s first at the track and first win starting from the pole.
“I was having so much fun right there at the end,” said Crafton in Victory Lane. “And they were trying to slow me down, but I’m like, I want to see how far I can get out, but it’s all about these guys behind me. They built these trucks and I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive them. It’s been awesome. “
Despite coming short of his third consecutive championship, Crafton said 2015 was a dream season and that the team will grow from it.
“Just six wins and as many laps as we led, it’s been awesome. I’ve said, like it’s been a dream season there, we just had too many mistakes. I mean I made mistakes, we've all made mistakes and we're all human, but 2016 we're going to be stronger from it,” said Crafton.
Although Crafton made the trip to victory lane at Homestead, Jones went on to take the 2015 championship. Jones also made Truck Series history by becoming the youngest driver to win the championship. Austin Dillon was the last to have that feat when he won the title in 2011.
Along with winning the 2015 championship, Jones also captured the owners’ championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports. It will mark their fourth owners’ title in the series since forming in 2009. Jones’s Camping World Truck Series championship win is also the first driver title under the Kyle Busch Motorsports banner.
After spending the last two seasons as a part time driver for KBM, Jones said he couldn’t find a better way to thank KBM in his first full-time season.
“It was just so, so special for everybody here to close off this run like this,” said Jones. “I’ve had a great three years with these guys. I can’t think of a better way to repay these guys.”
Owner Kyle Busch was quite impressed with the accomplishment by Jones this season.
“Just really impressed to see what kind of kid he is,” said Busch. “He didn't want to be there for two part-time seasons, but he was. I think he learned a tremendous amount in those seasons.”
Despite running in the top five for most of the night, Reddick ended his championship quest by finishing third at Homestead and 15 points behind Jones in the standings. Regardless of the outcome, Reddick said that he will take the results of 2015 and move on to 2016.
“Our guys did great all year long, all season long. We had a great strong effort, all of our guys,” said Reddick after the race. “Unfortunately we were just a little short but work on it. Thank goodness I got next year to try to chip at it and try to get it done and that’s what we're looking forward to now. “
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to action at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 19, 2016. The Nextra Energy Resources 250 will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Matt Crafton improved his chances at a three-peat championship with a win in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday. After taking the lead during the second half of the race, Crafton closed the gap between himself and championship leader Erik Jones, with his fifth win of the season.
Crafton, who previously went to victory lane four times this season, had been on a rough stretch since his last win at Kentucky. With the win at the 0.526-mile track known as “The Paperclip”, Crafton captured a career high of wins in a season.
“It’s been a very trying last two months but to get this team back in victory lane is awesome,” Crafton said in Victory Lane. “These guys just never give up. We weren’t that great on the short run and I just never give up on these guys, they just keep fine tuning it, fine tuning it. The second to last run we just got really tight for whatever reason…made a little change and the thing was good.”
Crafton, who led for a total of 63 laps, managed to stay on top after several restarts throughout the race, including the final re-start with three laps to go.
Jones will leave Martinsville still at the top of the point standings but did not have the day he wanted on the track. Despite finishing with a top-10 finish, Jones also had some run-ins on track, including an incident with teammate Daniel Suarez.
“Our Toyota Tundra was a lot better than that, you know in practice, but just to fight all day and we missed a little bit of it. As an organization I think it showed we kind of were off most of the day for the three trucks, but we’ll work on it and get it better,” said Jones after the race. “Texas is a strong one for us, we were good there in the spring and Phoenix has always been good, at Homestead we’ll be fine as well. So looking forward to it.”
Tyler Reddick, who is also competing for the championship, finished in fifth. After the race, Reddick said he felt he could have gotten a better finish, but that the team will take the top five finish and go on from there.
“It was as clean as Martinsville can get. It’s a shame we left fifth, I felt like we could have ran third or second,” said Reddick. “We could have gotten wrecked on that last lap and finished 20th or last on the lead lap, so we’ll take it and we’ll go on from there.”
The race at Martinsville also featured the debuts of Austin Cindric in the No. 29 truck for Brad Keselowski Racing and Ross Kenseth in the No. 18 truck.
Prior to Martinsville, Jones was the championship point’s leader with Reddick in second, 13 points back. Crafton was in third, 23 points behind Jones. Leaving Martinsville, Jones remains at the top of the standings, but Crafton managed to close the gap and move into second place, just 10 points behind Jones. Reddick still remains 13 points behind the top spot and will fall to third.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series now heads to Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, Nov. 6, with just three races remaining until the 2015 champion is crowned at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series return to Atlanta Motor Speedway, two-time champion Matt Crafton made his way to the front to capture his first win of the season during the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200.
Not only was the win at Atlanta Crafton’s first of the year, but his first at the 1.54-mile track after 14 starts. Crafton led 85 laps, including the final 72. He also kept a 8.752-second lead from second-place finisher Ty Dillon – the 10th largest lead in the series history.
“This is my favorite race track, by far,” said Crafton after the race. “You can search, and you can move around so much. Now that I’ve got this win, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Last weekend’s winner Tyler Reddick continued his strong start to the season with another top-five finish.
The race at Atlanta featured one of the longest green flag runs in the Truck Series history at the track, with 74 laps.
Prior to the race, Brad Keselowski had won the pole award, but his qualifying lap was later disallowed as he had not reached the start/finish line in time. That would not be the only problem he would have, as Keselowski had some trouble on pit road and went on to finish 15th.
Following Keselowski’s qualifying lap being disallowed, Ben Kennedy went on to start on the pole and finished third.
The Truck Series will now head into a break and will return on March 28 at Martinsville. Reddick currently holds the points lead, with a two-point gap between Crafton and he.