Race Weekend Central

Tracking the Trucks: North Carolina Education Lottery 200

Frontstretch’s Truck Series content is presented by American Trucks

In a Nutshell: Kyle Busch won his fourth straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race dating back to Homestead 2013. He dominated the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, winning from the pole and leading 130 of the 134 laps. Matt Crafton finished second followed by Brad Keselowski, John Wes Townley and Timothy Peters. Toyota has won the last six races dating back to Phoenix in 2013.

Who Should Have Won: Whether you like it or not, Kyle Busch should have won this race. Much of the pre-race commentary revolved around how to stop Busch’s No. 51. Well, no one knew the answer tonight. Besides the win and leading all but four laps, Kyle set a new track record en route to winning the pole.

Kyle Busch opened up another can on the field. Joe Nemechek’s pit strategy was the only thing keeping him from going flag-to-flag.
Kyle Busch opened up another can on the field. Joe Nemechek’s pit strategy was the only thing keeping him from going flag-to-flag.

Race Rundown:
Welcome to the newest addition to Tracking the Trucks! In this section for each race, we’ll take a look at the most important things to know just in case you weren’t able to watch it. Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below.

Second Half Wrecks: The first half of the race only saw two cautions. However, the field was slowed a total of six times during the final 67 laps. Four of the six second-half cautions were for multi-truck accidents. The other two cautions were for an expired engine and a single-car spin by Ron Hornaday, Jr. who, without contact with another truck, or the wall, spun off turn 4 while racing for the second position.

Blatantly Wrecking Your Competition: Jake Crum and Ryan Ellis were involved in an incident on lap 28 where both drivers spun with minimal damage to either truck. However, Jake Crum was not happy with Ryan Ellis and retaliated on lap 87, quite deliberately spinning Ellis down the backstretch and damaging both trucks in the process. Jake Crum was called to the NASCAR hauler after the race to discuss the incident. After Crum was eliminated in a later crash, Ellis and his FDNY Racing crew were waiting for Crum in the garage. They reportedly “just wanted to talk.”

Where Are The SAFER Barriers?: Darrell Wallace, Jr. was also brought to the Infield Care Center after his accident on lap 94 with Scott Riggs and Tayler Malsam. Yes, he drove his truck to pit road and got out under his own power. However, he seemed dazed and wasn’t able to keep his balance. Wallace Jr. was brought to the Infield Care Center and cited fumes and the force of the impact with the backstretch wall for not feeling 100 percent.

Truck Rookie Report
2014 Rookie of the Year Candidates:
Jimmy Weller III (No. 08)
Ben Kennedy (No. 31)
Mason Mingus (No. 35)

No. of Rookies in the Race (less than 20 races entered in the series): 8 (Add Jake Crum, Ryan Ellis, Justin Jennings, Charles Lewandoski & Tyler Young)

No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 1 (Ben Kennedy). Jimmy Weller III was the next-best finishing rookie in P14.

Rookie of the Race: Ben Kennedy

Championship Checkup:
Each week, we’ll take a look at the championship picture and find out which drivers were affected the most by the racing on track.

Biggest Winner: Matt Crafton is the only driver not named Kyle Busch to win a race this season, which means he’s the only driver inside the top 10 in points with a win. That, paired with his three top 10s, make Crafton an early-season favorite for the championship.

Biggest Loser: Ron Hornaday, Jr. and Ryan Blaney both took hits not only on the track, but in the points as well. Each were involved in race-ending accidents, as Hornaday Jr. lost two positions to his ThorSport Racing teammate and now sits fifth. Blaney came close to dropping out of the top 10 after losing three spots and is now ninth in points.

Points Update: Four races into the season, Matt Crafton holds an 11-point lead over second-place Timothy Peters. German Quiroga, Crafton’s teammate Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday, Jr. round out the top-5 contenders. The top 10 drivers are separated by only 54 points heading to Dover International Speedway in two weeks.

“Nope, no secrets. I think the biggest thing is timing everything and just getting everything right. A lot of those guys are trying to hang back on me and then try to roll up on my side and time it to where they were in the gas and having the momentum rolling. You play those games and you see those games happen so when they start rolling, you start rolling even though it’s before the zone, you at least start inching and then you go when you get to the zone.” – Kyle Busch, winner of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200

“I knew we had to go on the restarts and I got on the outside of the 32 (Tayler Malsam) and I don’t know what else happened from there. The next thing I know, I just saw I don’t know who it was come up in front of me and I’m in the fence and then the next thing you know, I lose oxygen and now I’m here in the infield care center.” – Darrell Wallace, Jr. after his accident on lap 94

Up Next: The Camping World Truck Series is off next weekend but returns to competition on Friday, May 30th for the Lucas Oil 200 at the Dover International Speedway’s “Monster Mile.” The race will air on Fox Sports 1 at 5:30 PM ET.

About the author

Mike starts his second year with the Frontstretch in 2014 working on a combination of promotional and marketing assignments. Managing the NASCAR Power Rankings (Wednesdays), he works with broadcast and writing experts from throughout the world of racing to produce the biggest national weekly poll on Sprint Cup competition. Also our resident Marketing Assistant, Mike handles day-to-day client responsibilities while settling into his new digs outside of Charlotte.

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