Crafton keeps ThorSport momentum going with Kansas win


Apparently, nothing can stop the roll ThorSport Racing has been on early in the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season — not even an attrition-filled SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway that saw the red flag, 11 yellow flags and half the trucks fall out of the race early. ThorSport driver Matt Crafton survived it all and held off Joey Coulter in the 25-lap green-flag run that ended the 167-lap wreck fest to claim his third-career win. Fellow-ThorSport driver Johnny Sauter finished fifth.

“I can’t thank these guys enough. The truck was junk yesterday,” Crafton said in victory lane. “It was a 20th-place truck yesterday.”

With the win, Crafton moved to within 12 points of series championship points leader, Sauter, who won the first two races of the season.

Coulter finished the race second, and Ryan Blaney got by Brendan Gaughan on the final lap to finish third, moving Gaughan back to fourth.

ThorSport didn’t leave Kansas unscathed, though. A third ThorSport Toyota driven by Todd Bodine was involved in the incident that resulted in a nearly 13-minute red flag period with just over 40 laps to go. Bodine hit the wall hard after contact with Brennan Newberry.

“Brennan got loose,” Bodine said. “It’s just one of those things in racing.”

Having a fast truck wasn’t a sure-fire way to avoid the carnage, either. Miguel Paludo, who had one of the fastest trucks early on, was forced to retire from the event early because of an incident with his Turner Scott Motorsports teammate James Buescher while racing for the lead.

“It’s okay. I know he didn’t mean to get into me,” Paludo said. “It’s unfortunate, because we were having a great run, and we really needed a good finish.”

Kyle Busch, who normally dominates when climbing behind the wheel of a race truck, fell out of the race after and incident with German Quiroga.

Crafton, along with Sauter and Buescher, took four tires during a caution with 49 laps to go, and as a result, the three restarted 10th through 12th. They quickly made their ways back up toward the top-five, though. And with 30 laps to go, Crafton moved into the lead. He was able to hold on to his spot up front for one additional restart and kept Coulter behind him the rest of the way.

Finishing the race sixth through 10th were Buescher, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ty Dillon, Ron Hornaday and Timothy Peters.

– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

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Tags: Kansas Speedway Matt Crafton NASCAR