Matt Crafton gets Martinsville victory in 'overtime'

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It took two attempts at a green-white-checkered to complete the 250 lap race.

After the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Series Truck Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway was held a day late because of rain and then was extended by two green-white-checker attempts at the end, the win was finally claimed by the No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota of Matt Crafton. The No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota of Darrell Wallace Jr. finished second to give Toyota a one-two finish, and the No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Ben Kennedy was third.

"Just trying to be smart and not overdrive (turn) one (on restarts)," Crafton said was the key to maintaining his lead through late-race restarts. "I thought I gave one away."

The 250-lap race was marred by nine cautions, with the yellow flag waving four times in the final 25 laps. Crafton took the lead just before the six caution that came out with 25 laps to go and was able to maintain the position the rest of the distance. As he took the checkered flag, there was a multi-truck wreck behind him that involved Red Horse Racing teammates Timothy Peters in the No. 17 Toyota and German Quiroga in the No. 77, as well as John Wes Townley in the No. 5 Wauters Motorsports Toyota. All three were running in the top-10 at the time. Quiroga held on to finish sixth, while Peters wound up seventh. Townley spun, though, and wound up finishing 20th.

Peters restarted second to Crafton for the second green-white-checker, but slid back several positions receiving contact from Wallace that allowed Wallace to move into second. After losing spots, he was involved in the incident with Quiroga and Townley.

"Just wild, exciting racing at Martinsville," Peters said. "The No. 54 moved me out of the way, but I didn't expect it from my teammate. The fastest truck didn't win, again."

The No. 30 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Ron Hornaday led the most laps of any driver, running up front for 62 laps early in the race. Other leaders early on included Wallace and Peters. The No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota of Johnny Sauter led 61 laps, taking the lead on lap 113.

As Sauter led the way, Hornaday moved his way back toward the front after losing several positions after a lap 91 caution. Hornaday opted to stay out while most of the race field pitted. He restarted with the lead, but dropped through the field as he lost positions to trucks with fresher tires. Hornaday then pitted during a later caution while most others stayed out and raced back up through the field with his newer tires.

Sauter and Peters swapped the lead back and forth, until Peters took the lead with 73 laps to go, and Wallace moved by Sauter for the second spot eight laps later. Peters then maintained his lead until giving way to Crafton in the final 40 laps.

Sauter finished fourth, and the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford of Ryan Blaney was fifth. The No. 32 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Ben Rhodes wash eighth, Hornaday ninth, and the No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota of Brian Ickler rounded out the top-10.

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK
Article type Race reports
Tags martinsville, matt crafton, nascar-truck