Crafton beats Busch, wins 2nd straight Trucks Series race – USA TODAY

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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Now that he has won back-to-back Trucks Series races for the first time in his career, Matt Crafton is hoping for more.

Crafton beat Kyle Busch by a convincing margin at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, setting him up for a huge season.

“It feels very good,” Crafton said. “Sometime brought that to my attention last week that we hadn’t won two in a row. It feels very, very sweet to say we have done it back-to-back. Now maybe we can go for three.”

After winning last week at Dover, the 39-year-old Crafton was strong again leading 47 of 134 laps while adding to his series points lead.

Crafton said his car was “unbelievable” from the first lap and only needed tire adjustments throughout the race.

He has experienced plenty of success on 1.5-mile race tracks, winning five of his last 11 races on the longer courses.

Busch finished second, while Johnny Sauter was third. Tyler Reddick finished fourth and Matt Tifft finished in fifth place after starting 18th.

Beating Busch in a Trucks Series race at CMS is no easy task.

Busch had won the last four Trucks Series races he’d entered here, but the veteran couldn’t overcome a costly penalty for an uncontrolled tire on lap 70 that forced him to the back of the field. As Busch pitted, a loose tire rolled out of his pit box, causing the penalty.

Busch, who led 27 laps, said he thought he could have overcome the penalty had it not been for something breaking on the right front of his car.

“The truck was OK early on,” Busch said. “Once we got back in traffic after the penalty it was just super, super tight.”

RESULTS

Lap length: 1.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (17) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 134.

2. (5) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 134.

3. (4) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 134.

4. (6) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 134.

5. (9) Matt Tifft, Toyota, 134.

6. (2) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 134.

7. (20) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 134.

8. (15) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 134.

9. (8) Daniel Hemric, Ford, 134.

10. (1) William Byron, Toyota, 134.

11. (14) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, 134.

12. (21) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 134.

13. (16) Cole Custer, Chevrolet, 134.

14. (3) Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 134.

15. (18) Cameron Hayley, Toyota, 134.

16. (11) John Wes Townley, Chevrolet, 134.

17. (12) Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 134.

18. (13) Parker Kligerman, Ford, 133.

19. (23) Tyler Young, Chevrolet, 133.

20. (10) Rico Abreu, Toyota, 133.

21. (24) Austin Self, Toyota, 133.

22. (22) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 133.

23. (7) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 132.

24. (25) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 132.

25. (28) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 132.

26. (19) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 132.

27. (26) Bobby Pierce, Chevrolet, 130.

28. (31) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 128.

29. (29) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 111.

30. (27) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 106.

31. (30) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, Suspension, 82.

32. (32) Andy Seuss, Chevrolet, Accident, 20.

———

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 141.855 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes, 1 Second.

Margin of Victory: 5.748 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 3 for 14 laps.

Lead Changes: 14 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders: W. Byron 1-25; T. Martins 26; R. Abreu 27; K. Busch 28-40; D. Hemric 41; K. Busch 42; D. Hemric 43-56; K. Busch 57-68; T. Peters 69-79; M. Crafton 80-122; D. Suarez 123-124; K. Busch 125; D. Suarez 126-129; J. Sauter 130; M. Crafton 131-134.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): M. Crafton 2 times for 47 laps; K. Busch 4 times for 27 laps; W. Byron 1 time for 25 laps; D. Hemric 2 times for 15 laps; T. Peters 1 time for 11 laps; D. Suarez 2 times for 6 laps; R. Abreu 1 time for 1 lap; J. Sauter 1 time for 1 lap; T. Martins 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: M. Crafton – 161; T. Peters – 149; D. Hemric – 144; S. Gallagher – 139; W. Byron – 135; R. Truex – 129; J. Nemechek – 127; T. Reddick – 125; C. Bell – 124; J. Sauter – 120.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Crafton beats Busch, wins 2nd straight Trucks Series race – USA TODAY

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