Kyle Busch held off Brendan Gaughan on three green-white-checker restarts in the Ford EcoBoost 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday to claim the race win and the owner’s championship for his No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team.
“It means a lot to Kyle Busch Motorsports. It means a lot to myself and my wife,” Busch said. “I can’t say enough about this team.”
Matt Crafton won the series driver’s championship, despite finishing the race in the 21st spot. Crafton ran in the top-five for much of the race and led several laps before a slow pit stop during a caution that came out on lap 93. Still running far from the front, Crafton pitted for four tires just before the first of three green-white-checker restart attempts. Mired back in the field, Crafton was on the receiving end of contact from Joey Coulter and made signficant contact with the wall.
“I thought we had a shot at winning the race, but we had a bad pit stop,” Crafton said.
Ryan Blaney finished second, with Blaney taking series Rookie of the Year honors, and Jeb Burton finished third.
Blaney led a race-high 67 laps, followed by Busch, with 62 laps led. Blaney dominated the first third of the race, leading the way until he was passed by Crafton for the top spot on lap 50. Between the first caution on lap nine and the second at lap 41, Blaney built up a cushion of more than four seconds on the competition.
“We had a great Cooper Standard Ford F-150 tonight,” Blaney said. “We led a lot of laps.”
Blaney, though, scrubbed the wall, while leading, bringing out the lap-93 caution. Busch took over from there to lead most of the remaining laps. But, unlike Blaney, he was unable to pull away from the field. Later, Burton suffered the same fate as Blaney, scrubbing the wall. At the time, Burton was in the second position, trying to take the lead from Busch. On newer tires, both Blaney and Burton were able to make their ways back toward the front to finish in the top-three and dropping Gaughan back to fourth.
“That shows what kind of race truck we had,” Burton said. “We drove from 25th to third in four laps.”
Ron Hornaday finished fifth in the No. 34 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet, a week after losing his position as driver of the No. 9 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet.
Finishing sixth through 10th were John Wes Townley, German Quiroga, Ross Chastain, Timothy Peters and Cale Gale.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR