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Matt Crafton Capitalizes On Late Race Restart In Martinsville To Claim 10th Career Win

Matt Crafton Capitalizes On Late Race Restart In Martinsville To Claim 10th Career Win

by October 31, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Wayne Thomas

RIDGEWAY, Va. – In a wild finish at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday afternoon, ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton took the checkered flag in the Kroger 200 to earn his 10th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory.

Crafton started 13th and led 63 laps throughout the afternoon en route to his fifth victory of the 2015 season. On the final restart of the race with only two laps to go, Crafton was able to capitalize and separate himself from the rest of the pack. Believe it or not, this weekend’s win is only his second at Martinsville Speedway, but in 28 starts, he has earned eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.

“I can’t give away all my secrets, racing here quite a few times and just paying attention and a lot of things,” Crafton said. “These guys just keep working on these things and we had great horsepower all day today. Triad is really working and we beat them up a lot on getting these restarts and getting this thing off the bottom of the corner and it had a lot of that. It’s all about these guys behind me.”

Matt Crafton has now pulled within 10 points of championship point leader, Erik Jones. Entering next weekend’s WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway, Crafton looks to sweep this year’s events at the track. In 29 starts, Crafton’s average finish at Texas Motor Speedway is 9.9.

“I’m looking forward to it, I’m looking forward to the next three and they’re very, very good race tracks for us and we won the spring race there this year and we won there last year as well,” Crafton said. “We’re bringing back the same truck. I’m looking forward to them and if the cards fall and we have good luck, maybe we’ll have something for them at Homestead. If it’s meant to be, it will be and if not, we’ll go onto next year.”

Finishing second on Saturday was John Hunter Nemechek, who claimed his sixth top-five and eighth top-10 finish this season. In the closing laps of the Kroger 200, Nemechek was able to muscle his way through the field. The 18-year old led 32 laps throughout the afternoon.

“Yea it was definitely a good race for our NEMCO Motorsports team,” Nemechek said. “They gave me a great truck today. Sadly, I couldn’t capitalize on it. I made the mistake on one of the last restarts. I nailed every one of them but one and hit the curb going into (Turn) 1, slid my front tires. It stinks because it cost us, so we’ll take the momentum and move on. Those last few laps was good, hard racing. Close battling. Everyone was hitting each other, moving each other, so it was great to come home second, and I can’t thank all of my guys enough.”

After the race, Cameron Hayley who finished third walked up to John Hunter Nemechek on pit road and told him that he had one coming for him. Coming to get the white flag, Nemechek moved Hayley out of the way in Turn 4 to take over the second position. With only three races remaining, only time will tell if there will be retaliation, but as for Nemechek, he doesn’t seem too concerned.

“It’s part of racing,” Nemechek said. “It’s good, hard racing, good, hard battling. Earlier in the race, he moved me, so he had one coming back to him.

Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-five on Saturday. Timothy Peters who was involved in three cautions rallied to finish sixth. Brandon Jones finished seventh, Caleb Holman eighth, Johhny Sauter ninth and point leader Erik Jones completed the top-10.

The Kroger 200 saw six lead changes among four different drivers. As for the number of cautions, there were 12 for 69 laps. The record of cautions for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville Speedway is 15.

The WinStar World Casino 250 at Texas Motor Speedway will broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, November 6.

Kroger 200 Results:

1.) #88 Matt Crafton

2.) #8 John Hunter Nemechek

3.) #13 Cameron Hayley

4.) #00 Cole Custer

5.) #19 Tyler Reddick

6.) #17 Timothy Peters

7.) #33 Brandon Jones

8.) #8 Caleb Holman

9.) #98 Johnny Sauter

10.) #4 Erik Jones

11.) #05 John Wes Townley

12.) #14 Daniel Hemric

13.) #02 Tyler Young

14.) #11 Ben Kennedy

15.) #50 Travis Kvapil

16.) #51 Daniel Suarez

17.) #18 Ross Kenseth

18.) #15 Mason Mingus

19.) #82 Austin Hill

20.) #07 Ray Black Jr.

21.) #54 Gray Gaulding

22.) #63 Bobby Pierce

23.) #92 David Gilliland

24.) #1 Camden Murphy

25.) #29 Austin Cindric

26.) #94 Timmy Hill

27.) #08 Brandon Hightower

28.) #5 Dalton Sargeant

29.) #23 Spencer Gallagher

30.) #74 Paige Decker

31.) #10 Jennifer Jo Cobb

32.) #32 JJ Haley

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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