Matt Crafton Stretches Fuel Mileage to Win Toyota Tundra 250by Kyle Pokrefky May 9, 2015 0 comments
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Matt Crafton and crew chief Carl Joiner Jr. perfectly calculated their fuel mileage on Friday night at Kansas Speedway, stretching their Sunoco race fuel long enough to win the Toyota Tundra 250.
Taking their second victory of the Camping World Truck Series season, the duo behind the No. 88 Menards Toyota for ThorSport Racing managed to make it to the checkered flag first after passing Daniel Suárez as then leaders Erik Jones and Tyler Reddick ran out of fuel with less than nine laps to go.
Friday night’s victory was the seventh of Crafton’s Truck career and his second at Kansas – making Crafton the first-ever driver to win Truck races at the mile-and-a-half oval.
“I said when we took the checkered flag ‘I’d rather be lucky than good sometimes’ and we definitely were that tonight,” Crafton said. “We definitely didn’t have the fastest truck, I felt that we had the second-fastest truck.
“We just lost track position and we had a bad vibration at one point and I took four and a lot of people took two or no tires. Got us back there [to where] I could catch those guys but it was just super tough to pass.”
After being on the losing side of fuel gambles several times through his career, the current points leader through four races is feeling good
“You’ve got to be close enough to be able to sneak one out every once and awhile,” Crafton remarked. “I’ve lost things like this so every once and awhile when you steal one I don’t feel too bad about it.”
Finishing second through 10th were Ryan Newman, Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, Cameron Hayley, Suárez, Justin Boston, Scott Lagasse Jr., Mason Mingus and Daniel Hemric.
Jones, the 11th-place finisher, dominated a majority of the race with his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, leading five times for a total of 151 laps. Crafton, Newman, Suárez and Reddick all combined to lead 16 laps.
Four caution flags flew on Friday night, combining for a total of 19 laps.
Brandon Jones brought out the first caution of the night for a solo accident in Turn 2 when he backed his No. 33 Master Force Chevrolet into the wall on Lap 12. GMS Racing teammate Spencer Gallagher brought out the third caution of the night when he spun in the same corner on Lap 67.
Austin Theriault went for a spin on the opposite side of the race track in Turn 4 for the second caution of the day on Lap 46.
The fourth caution of the night was for fluid on the track on the frontstretch on Lap 111.
Heading into next week’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Crafton will take a 17-point lead over Reddick and an 18-point lead over Jones.
Top-10 Finishers in the Toyota Tundra 250
- 88 – Matt Crafton – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 8 – Ryan Newman(i) – Chevrolet – SWM-NEMCO Motorsports
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Toyota – Red Horse Racing
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 51 – Daniel Suárez(i) – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 54 – Justin Boston# – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 31 – Scott Lagasse Jr.(i) – Chevrolet – NTS Motorsports
- 15 – Mason Mingus – Chevrolet – Billy Boat Motorsports
- 14 – Daniel Hemric# – Chevrolet – NTS Motorsports
Top-10 in the Drivers Standings after Round 4 of 23
- 88 – Matt Crafton – ThorSport Racing – 175 | Leader
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Brad Keselowski Racing – 158 | -17
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Kyle Busch Motorsports – 157 | -18
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – ThorSport Racing – 153 | -22
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – ThorSport Racing – 123 | -52
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Athenian Motorsports – 122 | -53
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Red Horse Racing – 121 | -54
- 54 – Justin Boston# – Kyle Busch Motorsports – 114 | -61
- 07 – Ray Black Jr.# – SS-Green Light Racing – 112 | -63
- 23 – Spencer Gallagher# – GMS Racing – 111 | -64
# = Rookie, (i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points.
Feature Image Photo credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images