Matt Crafton broke a 2 year winless streak earlier today after holding off a hard-charging Joey Coulter late in the race at Kansas. It’s the 3rd win of Crafton’s 14 year CWTS career and his first at Kansas Speedway. Thorsport Racing has now won 3 of the first 4 races and their drivers sit 1-2 in the standings. Their other driver, Johnny Sauter finished 5th today which is amazingly the worst result he’s had this season.
The race featured a lot of wrecks and only 18 trucks finished. 19th on back all posted DNF’s including Kyle Busch, Miguel Paludo, Todd Bodine and Joey Logano. Paludo started the race in 2nd and found himself battling hard for the lead early on with his teammate and reigning CWTS champion, James Buescher. The two trucks made contact coming out of turn 4 on lap 35 causing Miguel to crash into the outside wall ending his day. Kyle Busch took the lead from Buescher around lap 60 and drove away until another caution mixed up the running order. While fighting back through the field, Busch got tagged by Germain Quiroga sending both drivers until the wall. Quiroga soldiered on to finish 11th but Kyle wasn’t so lucky. A frustrated Busch climbed from the truck after bringing it back to the garage and he would finish a disappointing 27th.
The scariest wreck of the day had to be the vicious three truck crash that took place with about 50 to go. Brennan Newberry got into Bodine sending both spinning in turn 2. Todd kept it in the throttle putting the truck in a long slide but keeping it off the wall. He then came down the track directly into the path of Bryan Silas and a savage collision ensued. The impact sent Bodine’s truck whipping back up the track into the wall lifting the right side off the ground. Thankfully, all were okay but the trucks were destroyed.
Late in the event, Joey Coulter battled with Darrell Wallace Jr. for the lead followed closely by Jeb Burton. After a restart, Matt Crafton made a bold move to the inside of Wallace making it three wide for the lead. He passed them both and tried to set sail but unsurprisingly, another caution flew seconds later. They went clean and green for the final 25 laps leaving Coulter and Crafton to duke it out for the win. Joey stayed with him but couldn’t make the pass and after a nerve-racking battle, Crafton held on for his 3rd career CWTS victory.
Joey Coulter crossed the line just .167 tenths behind the Thorsport Toyota. Ryan Blaney finished 3rd followed by Brendan Gaughn, Johnny Sauter, James Buescher, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ty Dillon, Ron Hornaday and Timothy Peters. Johnny Sauter continues to lead the standings but with the win, Crafton moves into 2nd just 12pts back of his teammate. Jeb Burton fell back to 3rd and trails by 25pts. The next race for the trucks will take place at Charlotte nearly a month from now.