NGROTS: Matt Crafton Wins e.p.t 200 at Kansas Speedway

Matt Crafton visited victory lane on Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway for the first time since 2017. Crafton, piloting the No. 88 Menards Ford with ThorSport Racing, took the lead away from Austin Hill on a restart with 22 laps to go.

Austin Hill, winner of the first race of a double-header weekend, finished sixth on the leaderboard. The driver from Georgia, leading 19 circuits of the e.p.t 200, has five top five and nine top 10 finishes through 10 races in 2020.

Christian Eckes gave Crafton a run for the lead in the closing laps but could not make any of the runs stick. Eckes sat 0.324 seconds behind the race winner to score his third top five of the year.

Crafton will leave the 1.5-mile oval in Kansas with his fifth top five and sixth top 10 of the season. At Michigan, the site of the next race for the series, he holds an average finish of 13.7.

Rounding out the top five were Tanner Gray and Ben Rhodes.

Austin Hill, Derek Kraus, Brandon Jones, Zane Smith and Chase Purdy rounded out the top 10.

Zane Smith, earning his sixth top 10 of the year, won both stages of the e.p.t 200 at Kansas Speedway. The driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet led the field for 50 of the 134 laps, the most of any driver.

The first two stages were relatively clean with only one caution flag. It involved the No. 28 of Bryan Dauzat in turn two. Once the final stage begun it was all chaos with crashes that involved numerous heavy hitters.

Among those included a 12-truck incident on the frontstretch that involved a five-minute red flag period. Codie Rohrbaugh, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Spencer Davis, Johnny Sauter, Tanner Gray, Kevin Donahue, Travis Pastrana, Natalie Decker, Ty Majeski, Stewart Friesen and Clay Greenfield were all involved in the melee.

On lap 95 Tyler Ankrum brought out the yellow along with Brett Moffitt and Zane Smith. Moffitt and Ankrum was done for the day with 27th and 28th-place finishes while Smith continued in his No. 21 Chevrolet.

Throughout the day nine total yellow flags slowed the field.

Despite being involved in two of those yellow flags, Travis Pastrana finished 22nd and two laps down. Today marked Pastrana’s first career start in a national series race since the Las Vegas truck series event in 2017.

The next race for the NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series will be at Michigan International Speedway on August 7th. The Michigan 200 will air live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Brett Winningham
Follow Me