Matt Crafton Earns First Dover Victory

Matt Crafton
Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images

Matt Crafton crossed another milestone off of his "to do" list on Friday, scoring his first Dover victory as well as his first win of the season in a command performance in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Dover 200 at Dover International Raceway.

Crafton got out in front on lap 123 and never looked back, leading the final 78 laps including a final 27-lap green flag run to hold off Daniel Suarez for his 12th-career truck Series victory.

Rookie Christopher Bell was third, followed by Johnny Sauter and fellow rookie Cole Custer.

Crafton's win allows him to add his name to the list of drivers locked into the truck series Chase for the championship, joining fellow truck series winners Johnny Sauter, John Hunter Nemechek and William Byron,

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"] Friday's victory was Crafton's first Dover victory in 16 starts at the "Monster Mile", topping his best prior finish of second at this same event back in 2013. Now, Crafton can finally hoist the Miles the Monster trophy.

"It's awesome. I always wanted Miles (trophy)," said Crafton. "We've came close and ran second. I can't say enough about (my team) – they never give up because we were not very good in the last practice. Last night Junior (Joiner, crew chief) sat down and they worked on it all day and made a little headway and finally made progress."

Crafton (front) finishes just ahead of Suarez running in 2nd
Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images

Suarez put up a valiant fight in the closing laps trying to chase down Crafton, but ended up about a half-second short of securing his first truck series victory.

The runner-up showing was his second-straight at Dover, matching his career-best truck series finish and his first top-10 truck series finish of the season.

"Honestly on the last run, I feel like we were the fastest truck out there, but clean air is super important here. I just feel like as soon as I was getting some clean air, I was making some ground, but wasn't quite there," said Suarez. "The bottom was the place to be and the 88 (Matt Crafton) was there the whole time. Seven or eight laps to go I started to run the top in (turns) one and two and I made a little gain, but it wasn't quite as good enough."

Suarez's teammate Christopher Bell finished third for his best finish of the season, climbing five spots to ninth in the points standings, keeping him in the hunt to make the Chase on points of he doesn't pick up a victory.

"Today was a really good day for us," said Bell. "We started off not so great, but my crew chief did a heck of a job today, he was able to get us dialed in and we were able to salvage a third-place finish out of where we were running 12th to 15th at the beginning."

Spencer Gallagher finished sixth, followed by Tyler Reddick, Ryan Truex and Daniel Hemric. 17-year-old Kaz Grala, competing in just his second-career truck series race, finished tenth.

Race Results

Pos. # Driver Make Start Laps Led Status Points
1 88 Matt Crafton Toyota 5 200 78 Running 36
2 51 Daniel Suarez Toyota 6 200 0 Running 0
3 4 Christopher Bell Toyota 9 200 0 Running 30
4 21 Johnny Sauter Chevy 15 200 0 Running 29
5 00 Cole Custer Chevy 7 200 0 Running 28
6 23 Spencer Gallagher Chevy 21 200 0 Running 27
7 29 Tyler Reddick Ford 16 200 39 Running 27
8 81 Ryan Truex Toyota 18 200 0 Running 25
9 19 Daniel Hemric Ford 8 200 0 Running 24
10 33 Kaz Grala Chevy 22 200 0 Running 23
11 9 William Byron Toyota 1 200 80 Running 24
12 11 Matt Tifft Toyota 3 200 0 Running 21
13 24 Ben Kennedy Chevy 11 200 0 Running 20
14 17 Timothy Peters Toyota 17 200 0 Running 19
15 8 John Hunter Nemechek Chevy 19 200 0 Running 18
16 49 Nick Drake Chevy 14 200 0 Running 17
17 1 Austin Hill Ford 26 198 0 Running 16
18 66 Jordan Anderson Chevy 24 198 0 Running 15
19 13 Cameron Hayley Toyota 4 197 0 Running 14
20 71 Brandon Jones Chevy 2 196 0 Running 0
21 02 Tyler Young Chevy 27 196 0 Running 12
22 98 Rico Abreu Toyota 13 196 0 Running 11
23 50 Travis Kvapil Chevy 30 195 0 Running 10
24 44 Tommy Joe Martins Chevy 29 194 0 Running 9
25 07 Cj Faison Chevy 31 190 0 Running 8
26 63 Bobby Pierce Chevy 28 176 0 Accident 7
27 92 Parker Kligerman Ford 12 136 0 Rear Gear 6
28 41 Ben Rhodes Toyota 10 131 0 Running 5
29 05 John Wes Townley Chevy 20 128 3 Accident 5
30 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Chevy 32 65 0 Brakes 3
31 86 Brandon Brown Chevy 23 56 0 Suspension 2
32 22 Austin Wayne Self Toyota 25 41 0 Engine 1

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