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Matt Crafton snaps winless streak with Kansas Truck victory

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Matt Crafton snaps winless streak with Kansas Truck victory
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Jul 25, 2020, 7:58 PM

Matt Crafton held off a charging Christian Eckes for his first NASCAR Truck Series victory in over three years.

Crafton, despite his status as the reigning series champion, entered Saturday's race with a glaring winless streak. He put an end to that, winning for the 15th time in his career with Eckes just missing out on his first victory.

"Oh, it was very, very sweet," said Crafton post-race. "Not a lot of give up in these guys, without a doubt. This Menards Ford was really good all day. It was good on that last run as well. The No. 18 (Eckes) had a little bit of speed. He was making me nervous right there. I kept trying to take his line away from him and make him tight and loose. At the end of the day, I can't thank these guys enough for working so hard each and every week on this thing."

Grant Enfinger was third, Tanner Gray fourth and Ben Rhodes fifth. Austin Hill, Derek Kraus, Brandon Jones, Zane Smith and Chase Purdy rounded out the top-ten.

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Stage 1 

Chase Purdy led the field to the green flag to start the race, but was quickly overtaken by Eckes. 

Eckes’ time out front was short-lived as Zane Smith got around him and the KBM driver had to deal with a black trash bag caught on his hood pins. It eventually came off on its own.

Travis Pastrana, making his first Truck Series start since 2017, was forced to pit with a flat tire and fell two laps down.

Smith captured the Stage 1 win with Moffitt just under one second back. Crafton, Eckes, Jones, Poole, Purdy, Gilliland, Lessard and Kraus rounded out the top-ten. 

Stage 2

Austin Hill and Ben Rhodes opted to take two tires, pushing Smith back to third off pit road. Johnny Sauter was sent to the rear for a speeding penalty.

Hill led the way at the restart, but Smith quickly snatched back the top spot.

Gray then scrubbed the wall, but the race remained green until a spin for Bryan Dauzat out of Turn 2 forced a yellow.

The race resumed with 14 laps to go in the stage. Ankrum nearly lost it as the field went four-wide during the restart, but he held onto it. 

Crafton tried chasing down the race lead, but to no avail as Smith took yet another stage win. Crafton was second, followed by Moffitt, Creed, Kraus, Ankru, Hill, Purdy, Eckes and Gilliland.

Stage 3

Stewart Friesen won the race off pit road with fuel-only call, but it did not work out as he fell back on the restart.

Brett Moffitt took the lead, but was passed by teammate Creed on Lap 72 with an impressive move to the inside.

Pastrana then brought out the yellow as he spun through the infield exiting Turn 4. He went on to finish 22nd.

 

The following run was brief as Derek Kraus spun out of Turn 2 on the restart. Cory Roper spun as well in an effort to avoid and slammed the inside wall on the backstretch.

Some trucks took the caution period as an opportunity to pit, led by Sheldon Creed and Crafton.

On the restart, a massive crash ensued as Clay Greenfield spun off the nose of Gray. Greenfield collected Spencer Davis, Johnny Sauter, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Natlie Decker, Ty Majeski, Cody Rohrbaugh, Robby Lyons and the red flag was displayed to clean up the incident. Creed appears to get hit in the rear-end during the wreck as well.

 

As the race returned to yellow-flag conditions, Moffitt led most of the field down pit road.

Gray led the way for the Lap 88 restart, but Creed resumed control with a three-wide pass to the inside.

As three GMS trucks battled back in the field, things went awry as Smith hooked teammate Ankrum, sending him up into Moffitt in another team truck. Both Ankrum and Moffitt were unable to continue. 

 

The race went back green with 35 laps to go. Hill worked the outside and cleared Creed for the race lead. Creed was able to fight back, only to hit the outside wall and fall back.

The caution flew once more as Lessard slowed with a cut left rear tire.

Creed got into the wall again and the caution flew for the ninth time as another truck stopped on the apron.

The battle for the win came down to Crafton and Eckes as the veteran driver held off the young gun for the checkered flag.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 88 United States Matt Crafton Ford 134 1:58'12.993     23
2 18 United States Christian Eckes Toyota 134 1:58'13.317 0.324 0.324 6
3 98 United States Grant Enfinger Ford 134 1:58'14.764 1.771 1.447  
4 15 United States Tanner Gray Ford 134 1:58'15.835 2.842 1.071 3
5 99 United States Ben Rhodes Ford 134 1:58'17.463 4.470 1.628 1
6 16 United States Austin Hill Toyota 134 1:58'20.076 7.083 2.613 19
7 19 United States Derek Kraus Toyota 134 1:58'20.279 7.286 0.203  
8 51 United States Brandon Jones Toyota 134 1:58'20.495 7.502 0.216  
9 21 Zane Smith Chevrolet 134 1:58'21.428 8.435 0.933 50
10 24 United States Chase Purdy Chevrolet 134 1:58'22.071 9.078 0.643  
11 4 Canada Raphael Lessard Toyota 134 1:58'22.692 9.699 0.621  
12 30 United States Brennan Poole Toyota 134 1:58'23.332 10.339 0.640  
13 22 United States Austin Wayne Self Chevrolet 134 1:58'24.274 11.281 0.942  
14 11 United States Spencer Davis Toyota 134 1:58'26.675 13.682 2.401  
15 3 United States Jordan Anderson Chevrolet 134 1:58'32.804 19.811 6.129  
16 56 Tyler Hill Chevrolet 134 1:58'34.332 21.339 1.528  
17 02 Tate Fogleman Chevrolet 134 1:58'35.187 22.194 0.855  
18 20 United States Spencer Boyd Chevrolet 134 1:58'46.086 33.093 10.899  
19 00 Ryan Huff Toyota 133 1:58'25.881 1 Lap 1 Lap  
20 38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 133 1:58'32.075 1 Lap 6.194  
21 97 Robby Lyons Chevrolet 133 1:58'35.988 1 Lap 3.913  
22 40 Travis Pastrana Chevrolet 132 1:58'43.084 2 Laps 1 Lap  
23 33 United States Kevin Donahue Toyota 130 1:58'38.618 4 Laps 2 Laps  
24 49 United States Ray Ciccarelli Chevrolet 130 1:58'39.006 4 Laps 0.388  
25 6 United States Norm Benning Chevrolet 129 1:58'18.166 5 Laps 1 Lap  
26 2 United States Sheldon Creed Chevrolet 118 1:52'58.142 16 Laps 11 Laps 18
27 23 United States Brett Moffitt Chevrolet 94 1:24'06.453 40 Laps 24 Laps 11
28 26 United States Tyler Ankrum Chevrolet 92 1:22'19.681 42 Laps 2 Laps  
29 9 Codie Rohrbaugh Chevrolet 91 1:22'02.815 43 Laps 1 Lap  
30 45 United States Ty Majeski Chevrolet 90 1:21'33.230 44 Laps 1 Lap  
31 68 Clay Greenfield Toyota 90 1:22'02.674 44 Laps 29.444  
32 10 United States Jennifer Jo Cobb Chevrolet 87 1:21'35.669 47 Laps 3 Laps  
33 13 United States Johnny Sauter Ford 83 1:12'29.691 51 Laps 4 Laps  
34 52 United States Stewart Friesen Toyota 82 1:09'53.592 52 Laps 1 Lap 3
35 44 United States Natalie Decker Chevrolet 82 1:09'53.652 52 Laps 0.060  
36 04 Cory Roper Ford 77 1:02'52.167 57 Laps 5 Laps  
37 28 United States Bryan Dauzat Chevrolet 61 48'03.428 73 Laps 16 Laps  

Austin Hill takes opening win in Kansas Trucks doubleheader

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Austin Hill takes opening win in Kansas Trucks doubleheader

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About this article

Series NASCAR Truck
Event Kansas
Drivers Matt Crafton
Teams ThorSport Racing
Author Nick DeGroot