Matt Crafton Wins In Charlotte; Goes Back-To-Back In The NASCAR Camping World Truck Seriesby Hunter Thomas May 21, 2016 0 comments
CONCORD, N.C. – Matt Crafton captured his second win of the 2016 season at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday during the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
Crafton earned his first win of the season last weekend at Dover Intentional Speedway, and on Saturday, he went to Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the second time in his 15th full year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The 39-year old series veteran led 47 laps en route to the victory. He laps led than any other driver on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a lot of air pressure adjustments honestly,” Crafton said. “It was amazing – lap one I drove it down into three and four and I thought, ‘Ooh, I think we have something here boys.’ It felt really good, unless it goes away really fast. It just kept going and it kept going and I’m like, ‘My goodness, this thing is good.’ Then we ran that long run and we came in and I slid through the pit box and I had to go all the way back I think to 19th again and drove back through them again and this Menards Toyota Tundra was unbelievable on short run and long run.”
In the closing laps of the race, drivers had to make one final pit stop while under green flag conditions. Crafton and his ThorSport Racing No. 88 Damp Rid/Menards Toyota Tundra team took fuel only, and in the end, it stretched the gap to second place and paid off. This marks the first time in Crafton’s career that he has won back-to-back races.
“Last year we came really close, we went to Atlanta and then we were second at Martinsville and got beat on a green-white-checkered and it feels very good to have a back-to-back,” Crafton said.
Finishing just behind Crafton was Kyle Busch, who led 27 laps throughout the day. Busch was having a strong performance early in the race, but on lap 68, he received a tire violation penalty, dropping him to the tail end. Busch slowly fought his way back to the front to earn his 9th top-10 finish in 10 series races at the speedway.
“Our truck was okay there early on,” Busch said. “In the first half of the race, we were pretty good and then in the second half of the race something happened on the right front. Once we got back into traffic after that bad pit stop, where we got a penalty, and something broke, so I was just super, super tight after leaning on the splitter.”
Johnny Sauter finished third, while Tyler Reddick and Matt Tifft finished fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top-10 on Saturday was Spencer Gallagher, Timothy Peters, Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric and pole sitter, William Byron.
Throughout the afternoon there were only three cautions. Andy Seuss crashed on the backstretch, bringing out the caution on lap 24. The Caution Clock expired on lap 68, and the final caution of the day came out on lap 73 when Christopher Bell spun in Turn 4, following the restart.
Matt Crafton continues to lead the championship point standings. Timothy Peters is second, trailing Crafton by only 12 points. Daniel Hemric is third, 17 points back from the lead.
Up next for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, June 10. Coverage for the race will broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 at 9 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas