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Matt Crafton wins fuel mileage battle to take Kansas Truck race

crafton kansas 1 2015 getty

In a battle of fuel-mileage gamblers, Matt Crafton won while several others were forced to fold early in Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250 Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway.

Crafton earned his seventh career Truck Series race and became the first Truck driver to win twice at Kansas.

Erik Jones led 151 laps – a series record on a 1.5-mile track – but was forced to pit with five laps to go when he ran out of fuel. Jones finished 11th.

Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez then challenged for the lead, but both also ran out of fuel in the final two laps, allowing Crafton to take the lead and hold on for the win, having led a total of just six laps in the 167-lap event.

Sprint Cup regular Ryan Newman finished second, followed by Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters and Cameron Hayley.

Suarez finished sixth, followed by Justin Boston, Scott Lagasse Jr., Mason Mingus and Daniel Hemric.

How Crafton won: Fuel mileage management. While pole-sitter Erik Jones dominated, building more than a 10-second lead at one point, Crafton was his usual calm and collected self. He saved fuel when he needed to and watched Jones, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez all fall short of their bid to win when they all ran out of fuel in the closing laps. “They told me we weren’t going to make it, but we had great horsepower,” Crafton said. “It was not the winning truck. We were definitely second-place truck.”

Who else had a good day: The entire ThorSport Racing team. Teammates Johnny Sauter finished third and Cameron Hayley finished fifth. … Also having a good day was Sprint Cup regular Ryan Newman, who made a rare Truck Series start and finished second. … In a deal that was put together earlier this week, Scott Lagasse Jr. came up with an eighth-place finish.

Who had a bad day: Even though he dominated, Erik Jones ultimately had a bad day, finishing 11th. Part of the reason could be how Jones stretched out such lengthy leads over his competitors several times in the race. Had he been able to save fuel, he may not have had to pit with five laps to go, costing him any chance at the win. … Ben Kennedy managed to complete only 57 laps and finished a disappointing 26th.

Notables: Tyler Reddick overcame going to a backup truck after a qualifying crash with teammate Austin Theriault. Reddick was looking for a win and likely would have had it if he hadn’t of run out of fuel with two laps to go. He finished 13th.

Quote of the day: “Man, it just sucks. We had by far the best truck. We were up to an 11-second lead at one point. It’s just so terrible for these guys when we bring that fast of a truck and we can’t bring the win home. … Being eight laps short, I don’t know how the 88 (Crafton) made it. It’s just too bad.” – Erik Jones

What’s next: May 16, 8:30 pm, North Carolina Education Lottery 200, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Fox Sports 1/Performance Racing Network

Standings: 1 Matt Crafton. 2 Tyler Reddick (-17 points). 3 Erik Jones (-18). 4 Johnny Sauter (-22). 5 Cameron Hayley (-52). 6 John Wes Townley (-53). 7 Timothy Peters (-54). 8 Justin Boston (-61). 9 Ray Black Jr. (-63). 10 Spencer Gallagher (-64).


1 Matt Crafton … 167 laps (led 6 laps)

2 Ryan Newman … 167 laps (led 2 laps)

3 Johnny Sauter … 167 laps

4 Timothy Peters … 167 laps

5 Cameron Hayley … 167 laps

6 Daniel Suarez … 167 laps (led 1 lap)

7 Justin Boston … 166 laps

8 Scott Lagasse Jr. … 166 laps

9 Mason Mingus … 166 laps

10 Daniel Hemric … 166 laps

11 Erik Jones … 166 laps (led 151 laps)

12 John Wes Townley … 166 laps

13 Tyler Reddick … 165 laps (led 7 laps)

14 Austin Theriault … 165 laps

15 Tyler Tanner … 165 laps

16 Wendell Chavous … 164 laps

17 Spencer Gallagher … 163 laps

18 Jordan Anderson … 159 laps

19 Jennifer Jo Cobb … 154 laps

20 Ryan Ellis … 154 laps

21 Ray Black Jr. … 109 laps

22 Korbin Forrister … 90 laps

23 Tyler Young … 74 laps

24 Norm Benning … 69 laps

25 Travis Kvapil … 60 laps

26 Ben Kennedy … 57 laps

27 Justin Jennings … 24 laps

28 BJ McLeod … 18 laps

29 Matt Tifft … 18 laps

30 Brandon Jones … 11 laps

31 Michael Affarano … 6 laps

32 Caleb Roark … 5 laps

Average Speed: 139.857 MPH

Time of Race: 1 Hour, 47 Minutes, 28 Seconds

Margin of Victory: 8.339 seconds

Lead Changes: 11 among 5 drivers

Cautions: 4 for 19 laps

Follow @JerryBonkowski