Posted April 20, 2013 on AP on Fox
Matt Crafton called his truck ''junk,'' and his crew chief tossed and turned all night, trying to come up with ways to make it better in time for Saturday's race. They changed out springs, adjusted shocks, messed with sway bars. ''We made wholesale changes,'' Crafton said, ''and luckily it worked.'' Crafton charged to the lead with 29 laps remaining in a crash-filled race at Kansas Speedway, and then held off a late run by Joey Coulter to pick up his third career Truck Series victory. Crafton and Coulter were engaged in a spirited game of cat-and-mouse over the final 20 laps, but Crafton maintained his truck-length lead as they crossed the start-finish line, allowing him to celebrate his first win since Iowa in 2011 with a burnout that tore up one of his rear tires. ''I think track positioning was everything, and it was whoever got out front,'' said Crafton, who has made 298 starts in the Truck Series. ''I knew Joey was there, and he had a very fast truck,'' Crafton said, ''and it's awesome to know that Joey isn't going to be one of those drivers who's going to do something stupid.'' Coulter chased Crafton across to finish second. ''I could get to him, but that five feet I needed to get next to him was hard to get,'' said Coulter, who was looking for his second Trucks Series win. ''Both of our trucks were good. Ryan Blaney got around Brendan Gaughan on the final lap to finish third, and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top five. Defending series champion James Buescher, who started on the pole, came home in sixth, followed by Darrell Wallace Jr., Ty Dillon, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Timothy Peters. There were 11 cautions, and a red flag flew for about 12 minutes after Brennan Newberry and Todd Bodine were involved in a wreck that scattered debris all over the track. Part of it had to do with what Bodine characterized as a side-force problem on the trucks that makes them difficult to drive side-by-side into corners. It was precisely that problem that caused Newberry to get into Bodine, sending him hard into the outside wall midway through the race. ''I didn't even pinch him down, and it just sucked him around, and that's what happens in these trucks,'' Bodine said. ''That was the kind of thing that can happen to any one of us.'' Another reason for the cautions may have been the new surface at Kansas Speedway. The track went through an extensive renovation last summer that laid down new asphalt and created progressive banking in the corners. That has ramped up the speed, and at least for part of the afternoon, turned the track into a perilous one-groove surface. ''It was just really about track position. If you could start within the first six or seven, then you just hoped your line moved, whichever one you were in,'' Blaney said. ''I didn't like all the cautions, the way we played it out,'' he said. ''It was just such a crapshoot the first two or three laps, you didn't know how it would play out.'' What started off as a banner day for Turner-Scott Motorsports soured in a hurry. Buescher landed on the pole with teammates Miguel Paludo and Jeb Burton qualifying second and third, but Buescher got into Paludo when they were running 1-2 early in the race. Paludo slammed into the wall and sustained enough damage that he never returned to the race. ''I think James got loose and hit me on the left rear. It's unfortunate,'' Paludo said. ''We were having a good run. I don't know. I don't know what to say. It's a shame for us.'' Kyle Busch had a tough day, too. He went for a wild spin after making contact with Ty Dillon early in the race, and then got into German Quiroga on Lap 91. Busch had just told his team over the radio that ''we have a very good race truck'' before the wreck left him searching for his first series win since September 2011. Sauter remained atop the point standings, but Crafton closed within 12 points of the lead with the win. Burton is another point back in third, followed by Blaney and Dillon. ''This truck was junk yesterday, and we did so many things to change it around,'' Crafton said. ''What that comes down to is teamwork and believing in each other. It was so awesome.''

Matt Crafton holds off Joey Coulter for Truck Series win at Kansas

Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway on April 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) By Reid Spencer NASCAR Wire Service   KANSAS CITY, Kan.—Matt Crafton held off Joey Coulter in a thrilling 25-lap green-flag run to the...

Crafton wins Kansas trucks race

Matt Crafton called his truck ''junk,'' and his crew chief tossed and turned all night, trying to come up with ways to make it better in time for Saturday's race. They changed out springs, adjusted shocks, messed with sway bars. ''We made wholesale changes,'' Crafton said, ''and luckily it worked.'' Crafton charged to the lead...

Matt Crafton SFP 250 Race Preview

SANDUSKY, Ohio – Matt Crafton’s enthused about taking his No. 88 Ideal Door / Menards Toyota to Kansas Speedway this weekend — and he says Saturday’s SFP 250 “will still be exciting” despite the 1.5-mile racetrack’s repave and reconfiguration last season. Crafton, who with 12 has the most career starts in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history at Kansas, loved the...

Ryan Blaney SFP 250 Race Recap

Blaney races with eventual winner Matt Crafton (Credit: Getty Images) Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-Series, made second career start at Kansas Speedway Saturday afternoon, after posting a 11th place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in October of 2012. Blaney qualified his Ford F-Series in the 19th position Saturday morning. After moving up six...

Matt Crafton SFP 250 Race Recap

Photo- Getty Images KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Matt Crafton was badly off-the-pace in Happy Hour practice Friday at Kansas Speedway, but his confidence in crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner and his ThorSport Racing crew was so great, Crafton said he was sure his team could dream up a set-up that would give them a chance at success with their No. 88 Ideal Door / Menards Toyota in Saturday’s...

Toyota Racing SFP 250 Race Recap

Tundra driver Matt Crafton claimed the checkered flag in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Kansas Speedway. Crafton led 34 laps (of 167) en route to his third career victory and his first win in a Tundra. In addition to Crafton, Tundra drivers Joey Coulter (15 laps), Kyle Busch (11), Darrell Wallace Jr. (eight) and German Quiroga (one) also led laps...

Carnage, Craziness, and Crafton at Kansas

Photo- Getty Images 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’s 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...
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