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Crafton Wins Homestead, But Jones Trucks To Title

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 21 2015
Erik Jones poses as team owner Kyle Busch takes a selfie of himself, his wife and the Camping World Truck Series championship trophy at Homestead Miami Speedway on Friday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

Erik Jones says cheese as team owner Kyle Busch takes a selfie of himself, his wife and the Camping World Truck Series championship trophy at Homestead Miami Speedway on Friday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

Matt Crafton won Friday night’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck race, but it was Erik Jones who left Homestead-Miami Speedway with the big trophy and big check that goes to the season champion.

Crafton, who had won the previous two series championship, won his sixth race of the season by easily holding off John Hunter Nemechek and Tyler Reddick.

“I was having so much fun there at the end of this race,” said Crafton after his first career victory at HMS. “Six wins with as many laps as we’ve led–it’s been awesome this season. We just made too many mistakes. I made too many mistakes. … I promise one thing: It’s going to make us stronger in 2016.”

He wound up third in the point standings, 15 behind 19-year-old Jones, who finished sixth at HMS.

Jones did what he needed to in becoming the youngest driver ever to claim a CWTS title (19 years, 5 months, 21 days). He also became the first to win a driver’s title for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

“I think a lot of it was just being with a great team here in Kyle Busch Motorsports and bringing great Tundras to the race track every week,” Jones said. “And I think there were definitely times in the year when I didn’t think we’d be able to do this and looking back and seeing the deficit we were in at some points and just being able to really to pull together and make this all happen here at the end of the year, man, it was just so, so special for everybody here. And to close off this run like this – I’ve had a great three years with these guys and I couldn’t think of a better way to thank them.”

Team owner Busch, who will attempting to win the Sprint Cup Series championship on Sunday at HMS, was asked where he found this kid.

He said he found him when Jones beat him in the super competitive Snowball Derby a couple years back.

“He put it to me when he beat me in a Super Late Model race,” Busch said. “I tend to pick up on the talent of younger kids. Actually, the first time he raced against me, he blew my doors off, then blew up 40 laps later. I said, ‘Good. I don’t have to race (against) this one.’”

Jones entered the race 19 points ahead of Reddick, his nearest competitor, and 32 points ahead of Crafton, the Keystone Light Pole-sitter. Making his first HMS start, Jones needed only to avoid trouble and finish 15th or higher to claim the series crown.

“Eric’s done a lot of growing up in a short period of time,” Busch said. “I’m glad he stuck with me and our plan. I think he has a lot of bigger and greater things ahead on his plate.”

Riddick turned his attention to 2016 after the race.

“We were very consistent this year. I’m proud about that,” Reddick said. “We just have to move on to next year. I know what second place feels like and I really don’t like it too much.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Ford EcoBoost 200

Homestead-Miami Speedway

Homestead, Florida

Friday, November 20, 2015

  1. (1) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 134, $53598.
  2. (2) John H. Nemechek #, Chevrolet, 134, $32308.
  3. (4) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 134, $30084.
  4. (3) Ben Kennedy, Toyota, 134, $25597.
  5. (12) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 134, $22449.
  6. (5) Erik Jones #, Toyota, 134, $20382.
  7. (10) Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 134, $20164.
  8. (7) Daniel Hemric #, Chevrolet, 134, $19945.
  9. (11) Cameron Hayley #, Toyota, 134, $19727.
  10. (13) John Wes Townley, Chevrolet, 134, $20458.
  11. (8) Spencer Gallagher #, Chevrolet, 134, $19399.
  12. (18) Austin Theriault #, Ford, 134, $19206.
  13. (14) Rico Abreu, Chevrolet, 134, $19070.
  14. (19) Jesse Little, Toyota, 134, $16710.
  15. (16) Scott Lagasse Jr.(i), Chevrolet, 134, $17201.
  16. (15) David Gilliland(i), Ford, 133, $16464.
  17. (22) David Levine, Ford, 133, $16355.
  18. (27) Ray Black Jr. #, Chevrolet, 133, $18496.
  19. (23) Tyler Young, Chevrolet, 133, $18386.
  20. (20) Mason Mingus, Chevrolet, 132, $18755.
  21. (25) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, 132, $18032.
  22. (28) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 132, $17758.
  23. (21) Kyle Weatherman, Ford, 131, $15372.
  24. (32) Dexter Stacey, Chevrolet, 131, $16044.
  25. (9) Christopher Bell, Toyota, Out of Fuel, 130, $15976.
  26. (24) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 128, $14607.
  27. (31) Korbin Forrister #, Chevrolet, 127, $14389.
  28. (29) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 126, $12799.
  29. (30) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 115, $12553.
  30. (6) Daniel Suarez(i), Toyota, Accident, 84, $11553.
  31. (17) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, Accident, 67, $11053.
  32. (26) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, Transmission, 2, $9553.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  126.725 mph.

Time of Race:  01 Hrs, 35 Mins, 10 Secs. Margin of Victory:  2.942 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  4 for 18 laps.

Lead Changes:  14 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   M. Crafton 1-30; J. Nemechek # 31-48; T. Reddick 49; J. Townley 50; D. Suarez(i) 51-60; J. Nemechek # 61-62; M. Crafton 63; J. Nemechek # 64-65; M. Crafton 66-67; J. Nemechek # 68; M. Crafton 69-78; J. Nemechek # 79; M. Crafton 80-83; C. Bell 84-88; M. Crafton 89-134.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  M. Crafton 6 times for 93 laps; J. Nemechek # 5 times for 24 laps; D. Suarez(i) 1 time for 10 laps; C. Bell 1 time for 5 laps; J. Townley 1 time for 1 lap; T. Reddick 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: E. Jones # – 899; T. Reddick – 884; M. Crafton – 877; J. Sauter – 809; T. Peters – 804; C. Hayley # – 766; D. Hemric # – 733; J. Townley – 730; B. Kennedy – 690; S. Gallagher # – 677.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 21 2015
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