Matt Crafton Takes Kroger 250
Matt Crafton holds off Darrell Wallace Jr. for his first win in 2014.
Matt Crafton survived a slugfest at Martinsville Speedway Sunday afternoon and rolled away with a victory in the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
Crafton led twice on the day for 47 laps and took the lead for good on lap 250 to pick up his first Martinsville victory and fourth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. It took two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish to complete the race with Crafton taking the checkered flag on lap 256.
“This is definitely one of those tracks you want to win at. That grandfather clock trophy they give … you want one in your house, and to finally get one is awesome,” said Crafton, who had finished second twice at Martinsville in the past. “At the beginning of the day we were terrible, I’m not going to lie. But we had her pretty darned good at the end.”
Delayed from Saturday because of rain, the Kroger 250 was the second half of a racing double-header, run after the STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, won by Kurt Busch.
Darrell Wallace Jr., who won his first career truck series race at Martinsville last fall, wound up second, followed by rookie Ben Kennedy. Johnny Sauter and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five.
“I had a great Tundra today, we just couldn’t get it done,” said Wallace. “I thought we had enough, that we had saved enough for the end, but we didn’t. We were 99 percent … we just lacked that one percent.”
Kennedy was running outside of the top 10 with a handful of laps remaining, but dodged his way through the late crashes to score his career-best finish in seven starts. It topped his fourth-place effort here last fall.
“We didn’t start all that great, but we worked on the truck throughout the race,” said Kennedy. “We were really rolling at the end. I wish we had another 10 laps or so, I think we could have gotten him.”
There were 17 lead changes in the race, the most ever in a truck race at Martinsville Speedway.
Racing action returns to Martinsville Speedway with the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 weekend October 24-26. Tickets for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500, the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Pole Day are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.