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Crafton Wins First Race In Wild Lowe's Finish

NASCAR Trucks
Saturday, May 17, 2008

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Matt Crafton celebrates winning the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. It was Crafton's first win in 178 career starts
Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
It took Matt Crafton 178 starts to snare his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory. It took about 35-crash filled laps at Lowe's Motor Speedway to set the unlikely win in motion.

A chaotic turn of events that took front-runner after front-runner out of contention in the late stages of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, Crafton hung on and survived for an unlikely triumph in a race that may well be remembered more for who didn't win than who did.

"Finally we can shut them up," a jubilant Crafton said in victory lane as he celebrated his long-awaited victory. "Now they can say, 'When's the second one coming?'"

Chad McCumbee placed second followed by Brendan Gaughan, Erik Darnell and Rick Crawford.

Billy Ballew Motorsports' Kyle Busch came home eighth but appeared headed for an easy victory when a collision with Kevin Harvick Inc.'s Ron Hornaday Jr. on Lap 104 sent Hornaday spinning and Busch into the Turn 4 wall.

Busch, who led 86 laps after starting from the pole, sustained significant right side damage to his Toyota and never recovered.

"My truck was glued to the race track I guess way better than his," Busch said in reference to Hornaday. "Just unfortunate, man."

Unfortunate would be an accurate description of the circumstances that derailed many of those who appeared most ready to capitalize on Busch's trouble.

While leading the field to a restart with seven laps to go, Darnell spun his tires and lost several positions. Then, Johnny Benson, who moved by Darnell on the outside at the start-finish line to take the lead, was ordered to pit road by NASCAR for jumping the start.

The exchange gave Crafton the lead with just three laps of the regularly scheduled distance left and set up a fierce battle for second that ended with Germain Racing's Todd Bodine spinning Hornaday just past the start-finish line at the entrance to Turn 1.

An angry Hornaday limped home 23rd and took umbrage with Bodine, who finished 12th after being penalized for rough driving.

Hornaday said, "You don't spin somebody out on the straightaway."

Bodine said he didn't mean to cause Hornaday to wreck.

"I was just trying to help him," Bodine said. "And now I look like a goat."

Once the dust settled, all Crafton had left to do was hold off a charging McCumbee on a green-white-checkered restart. And he did, despite McCumbee's attempts to make a run down the backstretch on the final lap.

"That was a hard fought second place, I can tell you that much," McCumbee said.

And a hard night for a host of contenders.

Hornaday remained the points leader after six of 25 scheduled races. He heads Rick Crawford by just five with fewer than 70 points the difference between first and sixth places.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 18 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet McGuire-Nicholas / Menards 190/5 138 Running
2 7 8 Chad McCumbee Chevrolet Malcolmson Construction 175/5 138 Running
3 29 10 Brendan Gaughan Ford International Maxx Force Diesel 165/0 138 Running
4 5 99 Erik Darnell Ford Northern Tool + Equipment 165/5 138 Running
5 15 14 Rick Crawford Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International 155/0 138 Running
6 25 60 Terry Cook Toyota wyler.com 155/5 138 Running
7 28 18 Dennis Setzer Dodge Tahoe Smokeless 151/5 138 Running
8 1 51 Kyle Busch Toyota Miccosukee Resort & Gaming / NOS Energy Drink 152/10 138 Running
9 8 46 Landon Cassill Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 138/0 138 Running
10 4 5 Mike Skinner Toyota Toyota Tundra / The Banner Sales Event 134/0 138 Running
11 14 23 Johnny Benson Toyota Exide Batteries 130/0 138 Running
12 21 30 Todd Bodine Toyota Lumber Liquidators 132/5 138 Running
13 22 52 Ken Schrader Toyota Federated Auto Parts 124/0 138 Running
14 3 2 Jack Sprague Chevrolet American Commercial Lines 121/0 138 Running
15 6 6 Colin Braun * Ford Con-way Freight 123/5 138 Running
16 9 7 Andy Lally * Chevrolet TRG Motorsports 115/0 138 Running
17 19 11 David Starr Toyota PIT Corporate Training 112/0 137 Running
18 12 09 Travis Kvapil Ford Zaxby's 109/0 137 Running
19 27 21 Jon Wood Ford U.S. Air Force 106/0 137 Running
20 10 13 Shelby Howard Chevrolet ThorSport Racing 103/0 137 Running
21 20 40 Chad Chaffin Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing / Mays Meats 105/5 137 Running
22 23 59 Ted Musgrave Toyota Team ASE / Harris Trucking 102/5 137 Running
23 2 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Camping World/ RVs.com 99/5 137 Running
24 11 15 Marc Mitchell * Toyota Ergon Hyprene 91/0 136 Running
25 16 117 Timothy Peters Dodge Hayes Iron & Metals / Tahoe Smokeless 88/0 136 Running
26 33 08 Jason White Dodge Gunbroker.com 85/0 136 Running
27 30 20 Scott Lagasse Jr. Ford Nicholson Group 82/0 136 Running
28 17 4 Stacy Compton Dodge Crown Dodge of Fayetteville 79/0 135 Running
29 36 154 Brian Sockwell Chevrolet Sculley Boatbuilders 76/0 134 Running
30 24 191 J C Stout Chevrolet Hart's Insurance Agency 73/0 124 Running
31 26 07 John Mickel Chevrolet Dudman Group / Contac Services / R.S. Capp 70/0 113 Running
32 32 9 Justin Marks * Toyota Crocs 67/0 113 Running
33 13 22 Scott Speed * Toyota Red Bull 64/0 107 Running
34 34 71 Donny Lia * Chevrolet NationRides.com 61/0 9 Running
35 35 16 Brian Scott * Chevrolet Albertson's 58/0 8 Running
36 31 74 Derrike Cope Dodge Derrike Cope Inc. 55/0 4 Running
* Rookie

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