Matt Crafton survived two green-white-checkered attempts and captured his fourth career win Sunday night in the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Martinsville Speedway.
The race had been postponed after rain washed out the chance to race Saturday night. In fact, qualifying was called off due to rain and the field was set by how drivers finished in practice. That gave Darrell Wallace, Jr. (Bubba) the pole. He led the first 11 laps and then the caution came out. Timothy Peters took the lead away from Wallace, but he took it back on lap 30. A caution came out five laps later which would be used as the competition caution.
Wallace would lead again after the third caution came out and it wasn’t but a handful of laps later when Ryan Blaney snuck by Wallace for the top spot. Two laps later, Wallace was back in clean air and Blaney slipped back a few positions.
Johnny Sauter and Timothy Peters had their hands full of steering wheel exchanging the lead in the middle part of the race. The No. 98 of Sauter bumped Peters out of the way with 80 laps to go in the 250-lap race. They would trade places three times before a caution flag flew for a spinning Jeb Burton with 60 laps to go.
A great pit stop put Matt Crafton in the mix. Crafton and Timothy Peters would go back and forth and battle and it got even more heated when a late caution set up a green-white-checkered finish. Peters did not get a good restart and Crafton charged to the front. Another caution came out which set up a second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. John Wes Townley spun on the last lap, but the race ended with Crafton claiming the win and the trophy – a grandfather clock.
This is Crafton’s fourth win in 318 NCWTS races.
There were 17 lead changes in the race which set a new track record in this series.
Ben Kennedy was the highest finishing rookie. This was his second top-5 finish in two races at Martinsville Speedway.
Top ten: Matt Crafton, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ben Kennedy, Johnny Sauter, Ryan Blaney, German Quiroga, Timothy Peters, Ben Rhodes, Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Brian Ickler.
The next NCWTS race will be Friday, May 9 at 8:30 p.m. at Kansas Speedway for the SFP 250.