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Crafton Cruises In Charlotte

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 21 2016
Truck driver Matt Crafton smoked the field in Charlotte on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Rusty Jarrett )

Truck driver Matt Crafton smoked the field in Charlotte on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Rusty Jarrett )

RacinToday.com

Matt Crafton drove to a 5.748-second victory over second-place Kyle Busch in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Crafton, the series points leader, credited a terrific truck.

“I was like, ‘Wow!’  This thing was unbelievable from the time we dropped the green,” Crafton, who won his second-straight race, said. “This thing went through (Turns) 1 and 2—well, the first original start, everybody got jumbled up and went through (turns) 1 and 2 and then 3 and 4, and I’m like, ‘This thing feels really good right here.’

“Then we fell back to the 20s (after pit road issues) at that point and we started driving back through them and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, these boys are in trouble today.’”

The victory was the 13th of Crafton’s career. And it came over one of the best in the biz.

“It was definitely very, very good to be able to beat him,” Crafton said of Busch. “He’s won a lot of races here and anybody who can beat Kyle Busch in one of these Truck races, you’re doing something. And I definitely know that we beat him today.”

After starting 17th, Crafton moved forward during the first run but had major issues on pit road. The miscues forced Crafton to pass a number of cars, but by Lap 78 he was fourth for a restart after Christopher Bell’s spin off Turn 4, and two laps later, Crafton had the lead.

The advantage grew to more than 8.5 seconds before a cycle of green-flag pit stops for fuel trimmed Crafton’s winning margin in the closing laps.

Busch led 27 laps in the early going but suffered a suspension failure that caused the handling of his No. 18 Tundra to tighten up. Nor did it help that Busch’s team was penalized for an uncontrolled tire during a pit stop on Lap 68, forcing the driver to restart at the rear of the field on Lap 71.

“Once we got back in traffic, it just got super, super tight,” said Busch, whose Kyle Busch Motorsports organization also owns the trucks driven by Bell, Byron and Daniel Suarez. “Something broke, and after that, it was just laying on the splitter.”

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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – NC Education Lottery 200

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Concord, North Carolina

Saturday, May 21, 2016

  1. (17) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 134.
  2. (5) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 134.
  3. (4) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 134.
  4. (6) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 134.
  5. (9) Matt Tifft #, Toyota, 134.
  6. (2) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 134.
  7. (20) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 134.
  8. (15) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 134.
  9. (8) Daniel Hemric, Ford, 134.
  10. (1) William Byron #, Toyota, 134.
  11. (14) Brandon Jones(i), Chevrolet, 134.
  12. (21) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 134.
  13. (16) Cole Custer #, Chevrolet, 134.
  14. (3) Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 134.
  15. (18) Cameron Hayley, Toyota, 134.
  16. (11) John Wes Townley, Chevrolet, 134.
  17. (12) Ben Rhodes #, Toyota, 134.
  18. (13) Parker Kligerman, Ford, 133.
  19. (23) Tyler Young, Chevrolet, 133.
  20. (10) Rico Abreu #, Toyota, 133.
  21. (24) Austin Self, Toyota, 133.
  22. (22) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 133.
  23. (7) Daniel Suarez(i), Toyota, 132.
  24. (25) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 132.
  25. (28) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 132.
  26. (19) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 132.
  27. (26) Bobby Pierce, Chevrolet, 130.
  28. (31) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 128.
  29. (29) Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, 111.
  30. (27) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 106.
  31. (30) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, Suspension, 82.
  32. (32) Andy Seuss, Chevrolet, Accident, 20.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  141.855 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 25 Mins, 01 Secs. Margin of Victory:  5.748 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  3 for 14 laps.

Lead Changes:  14 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   W. Byron # 1-25; T. Martins 26; R. Abreu # 27; K. Busch(i) 28-40; D. Hemric 41; K. Busch(i) 42; D. Hemric 43-56; K. Busch(i) 57-68; T. Peters 69-79; M. Crafton 80-122; D. Suarez(i) 123-124; K. Busch(i) 125; D. Suarez(i) 126-129; J. Sauter 130; M. Crafton 131-134.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  M. Crafton 2 times for 47 laps; K. Busch(i) 4 times for 27 laps; W. Byron # 1 time for 25 laps; D. Hemric 2 times for 15 laps; T. Peters 1 time for 11 laps; D. Suarez(i) 2 times for 6 laps; R. Abreu # 1 time for 1 lap; J. Sauter 1 time for 1 lap; T. Martins 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: M. Crafton – 161; T. Peters – 149; D. Hemric – 144; S. Gallagher – 139; W. Byron # – 135; R. Truex – 129; J. Nemechek – 127; T. Reddick – 125; C. Bell # – 124; J. Sauter – 120.

 

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 21 2016
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