Matt Crafton Wins at Homestead as Erik Jones Crowned Truck Championby Kyle Pokrefky November 21, 2015 0 comments
The 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drew to a close on Friday night with Matt Crafton taking the checkered flag in the Ford EcoBoost 200 and Erik Jones lifting the series hardware at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Clinching both the series title and Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors following a sixth-place finish, Jones delivered Kyle Busch Motorsports their first-ever drivers championship.
Jones’s 2015 title effort comes off of a season that boasted the accomplishments of three wins (Iowa, Mosport, Texas-2), 11 top-fives, 20 top-10s and five 21 Means 21 Pole Awards.
The driver of the No. 4 KBM Toyota ended the 2015 campaign 15 points ahead of second-place Tyler Reddick in the drivers standings and 22 points ahead of Crafton, the 2013 and 2014 series champion.
“I think it’s going to take some time to sink in,” Jones said. “Just an awesome season, a real team effort from the start [with] some of the adversity we went through early on with putting the team back together to championship form for the latter part of the season and working for the championship and giving ourselves a cushion entering Homestead and still running strong at Homestead.
“I’m just really proud of everybody. I can’t thank them all enough… So many things had to come into play for me to even be here in this moment, so it’s really special for everybody.”
While a crash at Phoenix International Raceway essentially wiped out Crafton’s chances at a three-peat as champion, the driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota had no issues taking his sixth victory of the year – setting a career-high for a single season for the veteran.
SWM-NEMCO Motorsports’s John Hunter Nemechek put in a strong display for his family-owned team on Friday, but came up just short with a second-place finish after leading five times for 24 laps.
Title runner-up Reddick finished third as Ben Kennedy, Timothy Peters, Jones, Johnny Sauter, Daniel Hemric, Cameron Hayley and John Wes Townley wrapped up the top-10.
Four caution flags for 18 laps flew in the season finale with Brandon Brown bringing out the first caution of the day on the fifth lap after breaking down and stalling out on the backstretch with transmission issues.
Jones’s Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Daniel Suarez, brought out the second caution of the day while leading after spinning on Lap 62 trying to dodge lapped traffic as Brandon Jones brought out the third caution of the night on Lap 75 for a solo spin.
The final caution of the night was for debris on Lap 84.
With the 2015 season wrapped up, the Camping World Truck Series will return to action in February with February 19th’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
Top-10 Finishers of the Ford EcoBoost 200
- 88 – Matt Crafton – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 8 – John Hunter Nemechek# – Chevrolet – SWM-NEMCO Motorsports
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Ford – Brad Keselowski Racing
- 11 – Ben Kennedy – Toyota – Red Horse Racing
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Toyota – Red Horse Racing
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 14 – Daniel Hemric# – Chevrolet – NTS Motorsports
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Chevrolet – Athenian Motorsports
Top-10 in the Drivers Standings after Round 23 of 23
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Kyle Busch Motorsports – 899 | Leader
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Brad Keselowski Racing – 884 | -15
- 88 – Matt Crafton – ThorSport Racing – 877 | -22
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – ThorSport Racing – 809 | -90
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Red Horse Racing – 804 | -95
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – ThorSport Racing – 766 | -133
- 14 – Daniel Hemric# – NTS Motorsports – 733 | -166
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Athenian Motorsports – 730 | -169
- 11 – Ben Kennedy – Red Horse Racing – 690 | -209
- 23 – Spencer Gallagher# – GMS Racing – 677 | -222
# = Rookie
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images