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One of the longest Truck Series races in awhile ended with a great battle for the win. Matt Crafton held off Joey Coulter in the final laps for his third career Truck win. Crafton‚Äôs truck came alive towards the end of the race and he was driven to get to the front and stay there. He did just that and it resulted in victory. Like predicted, the race was pure craziness with a lot of carnage. This was the first race for the trucks on Kansas‚Äô new surface and the lack of experience on the surface was showing throughout the race today.
James Buescher started the race on the pole and he led up until the first caution. Yellow-flag number one came out on lap 13 for Kyle Busch who spun off of turn 2 and through the infield grass. Busch would eventually recover from the spin, but once he recovered, another obstacle was thrown in his way. Under the caution, the leaders pitted and Miguel Paludo came off of pit road first to assume the lead.
A classic place to wreck throughout the day was turn 4 and John Wes Townley continued to make it a hot-spot for wrecks on lap 28. Townley spun out and backed into the outside wall to bring out the second yellow-flag of the day. Once the race got going again, problems occurred for a few of the leading trucks.
While teammates James Buescher and Miguel Paludo were battling for the lead, Buescher got loose under Paludo and slid up the track and got into Paludo. Paludo then went up into the turn 4 wall and then he couldn‚Äôt correct his truck after hitting the wall the first time so he slid back up into the wall on the frontstretch and made even harder contact. That last hit had ended his day which had started out with such high hopes.
Eventual race-winner Matt Crafton got to the lead for the first time of the day on the ensuing restart, but soon after that, Buescher passed him for the lead. Kyle Busch had recovered from his early-spin nicely and he took the lead for the first time on lap 63.
Busch‚Äôs recovery was short-lived since he eventually fell back from the lead and his day ended on lap 90. The end to Busch‚Äôs day came when German Quiroga got loose and slid up into him, causing both of their trucks to go around in turn 2. They both spun out and backed their trucks into the outside wall. Busch got the worst part of it and his day came to an abrupt halt. Quiroga had some damage, but he was able to continue.
Joey Coulter made his way to the front of the field for the first time during the race after the eighth caution of the day. He was able to hold the lead for a few laps following the restart, but Jeb Burton eventually zoomed by him to re-gain the race lead.
One lap following Burton‚Äôs pass for the lead, a huge wreck occurred in turn 2. Brennan Newberry was racing on the inside of Todd Bodine and when Newberry got loose, he slid up into Bodine which caused both trucks to go around and hit the outside wall. When Bodine slid down the track after hitting the wall, his truck was right in the path of the on-coming traffic and Bryan Silas nailed Bodine‚Äôs truck in the front end. Silas had absolutely clobbered Bodine‚Äôs truck and the whole front end of Bodine‚Äôs truck was destroyed. Bodine‚Äôs wild ride didn‚Äôt end there though. He spun back up the track after getting hit and he nailed the outside wall again which caused his truck to slightly lift off of the ground.
All of the drivers involved were okay and a massive clean-up was in-store to occur once the trucks were removed from the scene. Once the red-flag was lifted, the race resumed and Joey Coulter got back to the lead.¬† After the tenth and final caution of the day came out, Matt Crafton cleared Coulter for the lead. For the next thirty-laps, Coulter chased Crafton around, but he was unable to catch him. Crafton cut it close, but he indeed was victorious when he crossed the finish-line first.
This victory was Crafton‚Äôs third career win and it was his teams, ThorSport‚Äôs, third of the season. He and his teammate, Johnny Sauter, have absolutely been dominant so far this season and their three wins definitely show for it. This ‚ÄúNew Kansas‚ÄĚ created a great race today and the craziness throughout the day was a result of the new track configuration. Crafton‚Äôs hot start to the season led him to victory today and now, he‚Äôll have to wait a month until the trucks are back in action at Charlotte to go for two-in-a-row.