Matt Crafton Captures His First Win Of The 2016 Season At The Monster Mileby Benjamin Sanders May 14, 2016 0 comments
DOVER, Del. – Matt Crafton won the Jacob Companies 200 at Dover International Speedway on Friday to claim his first victory of the 2016 season.
Crafton led 78 laps en route to his first win at the Monster Mile. The victory is the 12th of Crafton’s career, and he is now locked into the Chase. This could be the start of a title charge for the team as bad luck has plagued the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Toyota so far this season. With the win, Crafton jumps up five spots in the championship point standings and is now the leader by only two points over Timothy Peters.
Pole sitter, William Byron ran away from the field early, followed by Brandon Jones until a spin on lap 43 by Austin Wayne Self off Turn 2 caused Jones to take evasive action and slide down to the inside wall.
After the first round of pit stops, Byron and Custer led the field back to green and after slight contact, Custer took the lead on lap 49. Although it was short lived, Custer was deemed to have jumped the restart and had to move to the rear of the field as a caution for Brandon Brown occurred simultaneously with NASCAR’s ruling.
On lap 62, ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes got sideways and made contact with teammate Rico Abreu, sending both drivers into the Turn 4 wall.
A debris caution on lap 81 signaled another round of pit stops with varying amounts of strategy. Both Brad Keselowski Racing trucks took just right side tires while John Wes Townley stayed out to inherit the lead and get off strategy. On the ensuing restart, Tyler Reddick passed Townley and drove away from the field with Crafton lurking in second place. As the run went on, Reddick’s two tires succumbed to Crafton’s four and on lap 123, the lead changed.
After pitting for four tires under green, Townley, who was hustling to stay just one lap down got loose and make heavy contact with the Turn 4 wall on lap 133 just prior to the caution clock expiring. Once again, the field pits but this time for their last set of brand new tires. On the lap 138 restart, Cole Custer made a brave outside move to move back into the top-five after 89 laps of running in the middle of the pack.
In the end, Crafton went to Victory Lane, followed by Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Johnny Sauter and Cole Custer. Rounding out the top-10 was Spencer Gallagher, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Truex, Daniel Hemric and Kaz Grala.
Up next for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 20. The race will broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images