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Crafton Gets Rain-Delayed Trucks Victory In Martinsville

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, March 31 2014

Matt Crafton trucked to victory in Martinsville. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Brian Lawdermilk)

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Matt Crafton beat polesitter Darrell Wallace Jr. to the finish line to win the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.

The race ended in near darkness and under yellow because of a last-lap accident.

The reigning series champion sealed the victory on the second attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish in a race that went six laps past its scheduled distance of 256 laps at the .526-mile short track.

The win was Crafton’s first of the season, his first at Martinsville and his fourth in 318 career starts. To secure it, Crafton had to survive a series of late restarts that tested both his talent and his patience.

Rookie Ben Kennedy ran third in a race that produced a record 17 lead changes. Johnny Sauter was fourth, followed by Ryan Blaney.

The Kroger 250, postponed from Saturday because of rain, was run after the conclusion of Sunday’s STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Crafton’s No. 88 Toyota started out sluggish but benefited from successful adjustments throughout the race.

“At the beginning of the day, we were terrible,” said Crafton, who led 47 laps. “I’m not going to lie. We were terrible. We were really, really tight from the center (of the corner) off. I didn’t think we were going to get it right there on those first two runs, but that’s just the way these guys never give up.

“We made track bar adjustment, another track bar adjustment, air pressure adjustment and finally we got that thing going.”

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, March 31 2014
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