Race Weekend Central

Matt Crafton Holds Off Tailgate Mob for 2015 Kroger 200 Victory

Matt Crafton spent much of his career running strong and finishing well but remaining unable to capture wins in the Camping World Truck Series. Over the last couple of years, that has all changed.

On Saturday afternoon, Crafton set a personal best with his fifth victory of the season in the Truck Series. He led the final 63 laps to secure his second career triumph at the half-mile Martinsville Speedway. Crafton closed to within 10 points of series points leader Erik Jones, who finished the race in the 10th position.

John Hunter Nemechek finished second, just ahead of Crafton’s teammate Cameron Hayley, who posted a career best third-place run. Cole Custer led a race high 96 laps before finishing fourth ahead of Tyler Reddick, who rounded out the top five.

The race saw six lead changes among four drivers along with 12 cautions for a total of 69 laps. Timothy Peters brought out the first caution on lap 8 with a solo spin in turn 4. He was involved in two other spins during the day before coming home in the sixth position. The race went green from lap 11 through lap 35 before the second caution of the race for a spin by Brandon Hightower.

A three-car melee on lap 63 brought out the third caution, which quickly led to two more before another long stretch of green-flag racing from lap 90 through lap 122. Seven cautions flew from lap 122 through lap 198. The race restarted for a final time with two to go as Crafton cruised to the victory.

Crafton has 10 career victories in the Truck Series in 358 starts. The 39-year-old driver is tied with Bobby Hamilton and Johnny Sauter for 13th on the all-time wins list in the series. Nemechek’s runner-up was the first second-place run of his career. He was the highest-finishing rookie in the race.


About the author

What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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