Matt Crafton Clutch On Final Restart, Wins WinStar World Casino And Resort 400 At Texas Motor Speedway

Matt Crafton Clutch On Final Restart, Wins WinStar World Casino And Resort 400 At Texas Motor Speedway

by June 6, 2015 0 comments

FORT WORTH, Tex. – While battling radio issues, Matt Crafton was able to hold off Daniel Suarez in the closing laps of the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night to capture the victory.

Crafton now has three wins this season, as well as seven top-10 finishes. He won earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. On Friday night, Crafton led 77 laps en route to the victory. Crafton leads Tyler Reddick by 25 points in the championship standings.

“We’re happy for sure – we’re definitely not satisfied,” Crafton said. “We’ll be satisfied when we get to Homestead and we see where we are there. I can’t thank these guys enough. This Menards Toyota Tundra was very, very good. We were a little off and that second to last run we got really loose for whatever reason and Junior (crew chief) made a couple adjustments on that pit stop and tuned it right up for me again.”

Erik Jones had the dominate truck early in the race, leading 68 laps in the first 84 laps, but as the race went on, he suffered electrical issues and was forced to visit pit road on numerous occasions to change a battery.

With Jones’ struggles, the race came down between Matt Crafton and Daniel Suarez. With only 18 laps to go, the caution came out due to Timothy Peters having mechanical issues. On the restart, it was Suarez on the inside with Crafton on the high side. The two drivers battled each other hard with Crafton eventually prevailing.

Crafton was looking to cruise to victory, but Daniel Hemric had a flat left rear tire, bringing out the final caution in the closing laps. The field got the green with only two laps to go, and Crafton was able to capitalize on the restart and capture his second win at Texas Motor Speedway.

“Those restarts were hairy,” Crafton said. “Spun the tires so bad on the restart before that. I have to thank Johnny Sauter, my teammate, he gave me a good push on the second to last restart and we finally got a pretty good restart on that last one.”

For the second weekend in a row, Daniel Suarez had to settle for a runner-up finish. He now has sixth top-10 finishes throughout the 2015 season. Suarez isn’t running for the championship, so he’s trying to earn race experience and wins.

“I don’t know,” Suarez said. “I need to talk with Kyle (Busch, owner) to get some advice to race hard. I felt like we had a really fast Toyota Tundra ARRIS truck. I felt we were a little loose on the bottom. It was fine to race side-by-side for a few laps with new tires but with old tires it was either to wreck or to try it and I was close a couple times and I didn’t want to wreck and throw away a good second-place. I’m happy, but I feel like we’re getting closer and closer – we’ll get one soon.”

John Wes Townley posted his best career finish in the series after crossing the line in third. His previous best finish came at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 when he battled his way to a fourth place finish. Townley currently sits fifth in the championship point standings, 78 back from leader, Matt Crafton.

Johnny Sauter finished fourth, and rookie, Austin Theriault rounded out the top-five.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will visit Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday, June 13 for the American Ethanol Presents The Drivin For Linemen 200 Brought To You By Ameren. Coverage of the event will begin on FOX Sports 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 Results:

1.) #88 Matt Crafton

2.) #51 Daniel Suarez

3.) #05 John Wes Townley

4.) #98 Johnny Sauter

5.) #29 Austin Theriault

6.) #8 Joe Nemechek

7.) #13 Cameron Hayley

8.) #54 Justin Boston

9.) #14 Daniel Hemric

10.) #11 Ben Kennedy

11.) #19 Tyler Reddick

12.) #23 Spencer Gallagher

13.) #15 Mason Mingus

14.) #02 Tyler Young

15.) #4 Erik Jones

16.) #07 Ray Black Jr.

17.) #63 Tyler Tanner

18.) #08 Korbin Forrister

19.) #10 Jennifer Jo Cobb

20.) #1 Ryan Ellis

21.) #17 Timothy Peters

22.) #33 Brandon Jones

23.) #94 Timmy Hill

24.) #74 Jordan Anderson

25.) #6 Norm Benning

26.) #36 Justin Jennings

27.) #45 BJ McLeod

28.) #50 Donnie Neuenberger

29.) #03 Michael Affarano

30.) #0 Adam Edwards


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Top-10 Point Standings:

1.) #88 Matt Crafton

2.) #19 Tyler Reddick -25

3.) #4 Erik Jones -32

4.) #98 Johnny Sauter -48

5.) #05John Wes Townley -78

6.) #13 Cameron Hayley -90

7.) #14 Daniel Hemric -94

8.) #23 Spencer Gallagher -96

9.) #17 Timothy Peters -98

10.) #54 Justin Boston -100

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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