Matt Crafton was certain he did not have a race-winning truck.
He was right. But he didn’t need one.
As the final four laps wound down in Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway, Crafton was running fourth with little chance of making any more headway. That was until the three drivers in front of him began running out of gas one after another.
On the last lap, Crafton took over the lead and even though he, too, began to run out of fuel, he had a big enough lead over Ryan Newman to still reach the finish line and earn his second Truck Series win of the season.
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The race turned on its head with four of 167 laps remaining when Erik Jones out of gas, followed by Tyler Reddick, who was running second and then Daniel Suarez, who was running third. That left Crafton in the lead with just enough fuel to reach the finish line.
Three who mattered
Matt Crafton: Crafton earns his second win of the season and puts himself in a good position to earn a third consecutive Truck series championship.
Erik Jones: He led 151 laps. Nobody could touch him. But you still need gas to finish the race.
Matt Tifft: Tough weekend for the UNC Charlotte student. He blew a tire and wrecked in practice on Thursday and was forced to the garage early in Friday night’s race with a blown engine.
▪ Crafton has never been a driver in his career to win a lot of races, but with two wins already this season and a significant points lead, he has probably never been in a better position to win a series title, and that includes his past two championships.
▪ Brad Keselowski Racing took a big hit just hours before the race when its two drivers, Tyler Reddick and Austin Theriault, wrecked in Round 2 of group qualifying. Both drivers were forced to backup trucks and had to start the race from the rear of the field. Reddick finished 13th and Theriault 14th.
They said it
“They told me I didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end. They were right, but I still won.” – race winner Matt Crafton
Three tweets from Friday night’s race:
N.C. Education Lottery 200
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
When: 8:30 p.m. Friday
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: Motor Racing Network