RELATED: Practice 1 results " Final practice results Matt Crafton soared atop the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series leaderboard Friday afternoon, posting the fastest lap in final practice at Michigan International Speedway. The two-time defending series champion registered a fast lap of 186.659 mph in the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Toyota. His time was almost a tenth of a second faster than Daniel Hemric , who was fastest in Friday's opening practice for Saturday's Careers for Veterans 200 presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation (Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Hemric turned a slightly faster 186.210 mph lap in final practice in the NTS Motorsports No. 14 Chevrolet. Cameron Hayley also backed up his second-fastest speed in the first session with a third-best 185.907 in the final session behind the wheel of the ThorSport No. 13 Toyota. Cody Coughlin , a 19-year-old development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing , was fourth-fastest in preparation for just his second Truck Series start, driving the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 Toyota. He was just ahead of Austin Dillon , who rounded out the top five in the GMS Racing No. 33 Chevrolet. Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch was sixth-fastest, just ahead of points leader Tyler Reddick . Keystone Light Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 9:40 a.m. ET Saturday (FOX Sports 1). Hemric hangs on to top spot in first practice Daniel Hemric shot to the top of the leaderboard in opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice at Michigan International Speedway. Hemric, driving the NTS Motorsports No. 14 Chervrolet, turned a fast lap of 185.009 mph on the 2-mile track. The 24-year-old driver is scheduled to make just his 16th start in the series in Saturday's Careers for Veterans 200 presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). NASCAR Next product Cameron Hayley was second-fastest in the ThorSport Racing No. 13 Toyota at 184.186 mph. Michigan native Erik Jones was third-fastest at 184.082 mph on his home track in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Toyota. Alex Bowman , set to make his truck series debut for JR Motorsports, was fourth-best, followed by fellow Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch to complete the top five. Johnny Sauter , last year's winner at Michigan, was sixth-fastest in the ThorSport Racing No. 98 Toyota. He was slightly faster than two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton , his ThorSport teammate in the No. 88 Toyota. Spencer Gallagher 's scrape with the Turn 2 wall halted practice with approximately 13 minutes left in the 55-minute session. His GMS Racing team unloaded a new No. 23 Chevrolet after his primary truck suffered significant right-rear fender damage.
RELATED: Full race lineup Matt Crafton , who lost the series points lead in the most recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, won his first Keystone Light Pole Award since 2012 with a top speed of 184.502 mph in Saturday's qualifying at Michigan International Speedway. The last driver out in the final round, Crafton was fast enough in his No. 88 Toyota to knock Daniel Hemric (183.833 mph) to the second position. Austin Dillon , Ben Kennedy and Timothy Peters round out the top five for the Careers for Veterans 200 presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation, which is scheduled for later today (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Qualifying at the 2-mile track consisted of two rounds, with each truck taking one timed lap in the opening round, then the 12 fastest advancing to the final round in which they ran another timed lap. The rest of the top 12, in order of starting position: Cameron Hayley (sixth), Erik Jones , John Wes Townley , Johnny Sauter , Kyle Busch , Tyler Reddick and Ryan Blaney . Daniel Hemric , the last truck on track in the opening round, knocked Tyler Young off the bubble and to a 13th-place starting position.
Matt Crafton steps in to practice for Aric Almirola at Michigan International Speedway.
Jon Wes Townley gets loose, making contact with Matt Crafton but both make spectacular saves allowing the race to stay green at Michigan International Speedway.
Crafton on Kes: 'That's pretty much an idiot right there' RELATED: Series standings " Full race results LONG POND, Pa. -- Matt Crafton and Brad Keselowski were involved in an early crash in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 on Saturday at Pocono Raceway that left the two-time defending series champion unhappy and in second place in the driver championship standings. Crafton and Keselowski made contact to bring out a caution on Lap 6 as the points leader entering Pocono went up to the outside and Keselowski made contact with his right side, sending both into the wall near Turn 3. The wreck left both with significant damage and ultimately Keselowski was out of the race, while Crafton's crew got to work to get him back on track. The No. 88 ThorSport Racing crew did get him back out, but he finished 56 laps down in 28th-place, his worst finish of the season. Keselowski, meanwhile, finished 30th. RELATED: 'Rowdy' wins at Pocono Crafton came into the race with a 14-point lead in the standings over Tyler Reddick . However, he left Pocono 11 points behind Reddick. The two national series champions -- Keselowski won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 2012 -- had a brief exchange in the garage before heading their separate ways. "That's your Cup champion," Crafton said while walking to examine his damaged truck. "That's pretty much an idiot right there right-rearing the guy racing for a championship. I guess maybe that's the way he wants his 19 truck to win the championship, but they've got a long ways to come right now. I'm telling you that." Crafton later added, "He's got another thing coming, I promise that truck won't win it. If that's the way he wants to do it, we'll get it done." Keselowski, making just his fourth Truck Series start of the season in the No. 29 Ford for his race team, told FOX Sports 1 he wasn't exactly sure what happened. "Something happened where obviously we made contact, I'm not entirely sure," Keselowski said. "After the 33 just passed me under in Turn 2, the 88 got a good run to pass me. We were entering Turn 3, and I heard someone say, the spotter, the 00 ( Kevin Harvick ) was going to make it three-wide. Then the next thing I knew, it looked like he went straight into the corner is what it looks like. Next thing I knew, we made contact. I was trying to get inline. "The last thing I want to do is wreck the points leader ... and end my own day as well. That's exactly what happened. These trucks are expensive, and it'll cost a lot to fix. I feel bad for Matt and his team, but I don't really know what to do differently. I was trying to fall inline. Somehow we just got together. "I have no interest in coming to the Truck Series and wrecking someone on purpose. Tyler Reddick is doing good job. He's got a ways to go to run with Matt . Matt's an awesome driver, and that's a great team. The last thing I want to do is go out and wreck him. I have no interest in going out and wrecking somebody intentionally." During a media availability on Friday, Crafton shared his thoughts about running with some of the Sprint Cup Series drivers in this race and in the series in general. "It's really cool to see the Cup guys come run the Truck Series. I wish more of them would. It always helps the Camping World Truck Series to get some of the Cup guys down here and for the regular Truck guys like myself we love to go race against them because they're great race car drivers. "They get to do it a lot more than we do. We get 23 races a year. Kyle (Busch) and Kevin (Harvick) and Austin (Dillon) and all of those guys get to run the ( XFINITY ) races and Cup races. They're definitely very good at what they do because they get so much seat time and it's very good for the series and I wish they ran more of them." The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be back in action on Aug. 15 at Michigan International Speedway for the Careers for Veterans 200 presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). MORE: Full 2015 Truck schedule FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
More heartache for Erik Jones, who started on pole RELATED: Full race results " Updated Truck Series standings FORT WORTH, Texas _ Matt Crafton continued his recent domination of NASCAR’s intermediate racetracks Friday night, hammering out a victory over an aggressive Daniel Suarez in the 19th annual WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway . Crafton , the two-time/reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, survived a pair of late-race cautions and restarts against Suarez - including the final with two laps to go - to record his eighth career victory by 0.569-seconds. "The restarts were hairy," Crafton said in Victory Lane. "We got a pretty good start on that last one and ran side-by-side-by-side. We're happy for sure, but not satisfied." Erik Jones started on the pole Friday night after turning a qualifying lap at 181.074 mph in qualifying earlier in the day. Crafton started second and was seriously challenged only by No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota driver Suarez , who finished second in a two-lap shootout after trading paint with the No. 88 in the late laps. It was Crafton's third win of the season. The two-time defending series champion extended his lead in the points standings to 25 over Tyler Reddick . John Wes Townley in the No. 05 Chevrolet , Johnny Sauter 's No. 98 Toyota and Austin Theriault in the No. 29 Ford rounded out the top five. Reddick was fastest in the first round of qualifying but wound up starting 16 th in Friday’s Truck Series race. His No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford looked to have speed to challenge Crafton , but Reddick was forced to serve two pit road penalties then stalled on pit road late in the race. Jones, who has finished second or third four times in six races, had heartbreak again as the pit crew had trouble locating a spare battery when he pitted with a voltage problem. He was a lap down when repairs were complete. Before the mechanical trouble, Jones had led 68 of the first 86 laps in the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. Ten laps after the swap, Jones reported the new battery hadn't resolved the problem. He had to pit for a third battery on Lap 139 and went two laps down, finishing 15th. Crafton won last year's event here on fuel mileage, a strategy he and crew chief Carl "Junior" Joiner mapped-out en route to victory on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway last month. Crafton also prevailed on the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway , a sister facility to TMS. Crafton led a career-best 118 laps en route to victory here last June, snapping a 26-race TMS winless streak. Crafton and Joiner stretched their fuel mileage over the final 61 laps and cruised to a 13.302-second margin of victory over Justin Lofton . That comfortable MOV erased the series' previous TMS record of 11.817-seconds set by Dennis Setzer in 2004. The victory was the fifth of Crafton's career and second of 2014, marking the first time he had scored multiple wins in a season. Friday night's start was Crafton's 29th at TMS - more than any active series driver entered in the 167-lap/250.5-mile event. For Crafton , that familiarity has bred respect. "You don't have to reacquaint yourself with the racetrack, but this track has changed quite a bit over the years," said Crafton , driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra fielded by ThorSport Racing. "Last year in this June race, it was really, really different than what I'd seen in the past. Usually when you're here, you can run quite a few laps wide-open and I bet there wasn't a total of five laps the whole weekend wide-open. It's a lot slipperier and the racetrack is getting a lot more age on it. It's definitely changing and I think it's changing for the better." With his earlier victories this season at AMS and Kansas Speedway , Crafton definitely is the measuring stick on 1.5-mile layouts. He entered the night with an 11-point lead (257-246) over Tyler Reddick of Brad Keselowski Racing, last week's winner at Dover International Speedway , and a 14-point lead over Erik Jones , Friday night's pole-sitter and driver of the No. 4 Special Olympics World Games Toyota fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Ben Kennedy involved in spectacular wreck with five laps remaining RELATED: Complete NCWTS results " Updated standings SPARTA, Ky. -- In a race that ended five laps short of its scheduled distance, polesitter Matt Crafton was declared the winner of Thursday night’s UNOH 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event after Ben Kennedy ’s Toyota damaged the catchfence at Kentucky Speedway beyond the track’s capacity to repair it expeditiously. With a shove from the Ford of Ryan Blaney , Crafton had taken the lead on Lap 145 moments before Kennedy was launched into the fence from contact with David Gilliland ’s Ford. The victory was the fourth of the season for the two-time defending series champion, who won for the first time at Kentucky and the ninth time in his career. The race was slowed for the seventh time on Lap 140, when contact from the No. 05 Chevrolet of John Wes Townley sent the No. 23 Silverado of Spencer Gallagher hard into the outside wall. NASCAR red-flagged the proceedings for 3 minutes, 28 seconds for track clean-up, leaving Jones in the lead for a restart on Lap 145. But Gallagher's wreck was nothing compared with the jolt Kennedy took on the restart lap after contact with Gilliland's Ford sent Kennedy's Toyota to the top of the SAFER barrier and into the catchfence. "I thought I was clear," Kennedy said on his radio. The driver of the No. 11 Tundra had moved up the track into Gilliland's Ford after being cleared by his spotter. "I heard 'Clear' on the radio, so I moved up to the wall and as soon as I went to the wall," Kennedy said after leaving the infield care center. "I guess Gilliland had a run on the outside and pretty much hit me in the right rear -- and I went up. "I guess I was on top of the wall. I remember being on top of the wall for quite some time. I didn't see much -- just a bunch of dust and debris flying. Then came down. The ride from the wall to the ground was pretty hard. But I’m OK. "Thank God for everything that NASCAR has done to keep this sport safe. 'Cause for me to get out of my car on my own power after a hit like that is pretty incredible." Blaney finished third, followed by Daniel Suarez and Timothy Peters . Two support poles in the catchfence had to be replaced, a process that would consume 90 minutes. Accordingly, NASCAR called the race with five laps left. It was the second straight race in one of NASCAR’s top three touring series in which a car has hit the fence protecting the grandstands. In last Sunday's Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway, Austin Dillon 's Chevrolet was launched into the fence during a last-lap wreck in the tri-oval. Erik Jones finished second, followed by Ryan Blaney , Daniel Suarez and Timothy Peters . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Matt Crafton and Brad Keselowski get tangled up headed into Turn 3 and crash at Pocono Raceway.
Spencer Gallagher, Johnny Sauter topped the opening session Practice 2: Full results Bringing his No. 88 ThorSport Racing Truck onto the track for the first time today, Matt Crafton wasted no time finding speed, his 178.566 mph lap around Texas Motor Speedway sending him to the top of the leaderboard during Thursday's final practice for the WinStar World Casino 400 (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). With conditions closer to that of Friday's race, BK Racing 's Tyler Reddick showed even more speed in this practice, wheeling his No. 19 machine at 178.566 mph around the 1.5-mile oval. Kyle Busch Motorsports' Daniel Suarez found his groove during the night's final session, rounding the Lone Star State track at 177.971 mph for the third spot on the leaderboard. Second-fastest in opening practice, ThorSport Racing's Johnny Sauter was fourth (177.049 mph) in the final session, followed by Kyle Busch Motorsports' Erik Jones (176.852 mph). After leading the opening practice, GMS Racing's Spencer Gallagher dropped to eighth on the leaderboard in the final session, recording a high speed of 176.523 mph. The Camping World Truck Series is back on track at Texas for Keystone Light Qualifying at 6:15 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1. Practice 1: Full opening practice results Propelling his No. 23 GMS Racing ride at 178.406 mpgh, Spencer Gallagher soared to the top of the leaderboard Thursday during opening Camping World Truck Series practice at Texas Motor Speedway . Next up was ThorSport Racing veteran Johnny Sauter , who posted a high speed of 177.456 mph in his No. 98 Toyota Tundra. BK Racing 's Tyler Reddick -- who won the series' event at Dover last weekend -- was third with a high speed of 177.387 mph, while Kyle Busch Motorsports' Erik Jones (177.340 mph) and ThorSport Racing's Cameron Hayley (177.288 mph) rounded out the top five. Reigning series champion Matt Crafton did not make a run during the opening session. Only 24 of the 30 trucks listed on the entry list made a run during opening practice. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Can veteran make it three straight NCWTS championships in a row? RELATED: Full schedule of driver previews Team: ThorSport Racing No. 88 Toyota Rank in final 2014 standings: First Wins: Two ( Martinsville Speedway in March and Texas Motor Speedway in June) Strides: Matt Crafton found paydirt early in the season, crossing off a career goal with his first-ever victory in 25 tries at Martinsville Speedway . Four races later, he scored a dominant triumph at Texas Motor Speedway , covering the field in both horsepower and fuel economy for win No. 5 in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. Though his 2014 season lacked the stellar start from the previous year, when he opened with top-10s in the first 16 races, Crafton was more frequently found in the top five, where he finished a career-best 13 times. Moreover, his closing kick -- eight top-fives in the last 11 races -- helped him re-take the points lead in September and hold it down the stretch. Though he kept mum about his title hopes over the season's latter stages, Crafton was finally able to let loose after a ninth-place finish in the Homestead-Miami Speedway finale clinched his second straight championship, the first repeat in series history. "I think I'm the luckiest man on earth without a doubt," Crafton said. "I get paid to do what I love to do. I mean, there's not a whole lot of people that can say that. Every day I wake up, I feel very blessed." Setbacks: Though Crafton's No. 88 ThorSport entry, helmed by crew chief Carl Joiner Jr., was among the most bulletproof trucks in the garage for most of the season, the path to the championship came with some bumps. His Texas victory was bookended by the season's only two DNFs, a pair of crashes that sidelined him in May at Dover and in June at Gateway. Crafton also placed outside the top-10 in both restrictor-plate races (Daytona, Talladega). But Crafton seemed just as irked -- if not more -- at the races that came oh-so-close to landing him in Victory Lane. With five runner-up finishes and four more third-place efforts over the course of the year, some sore feelings lingered about what could have been. "I made a promise to Junior that -- this last winter that we were going to go out and lead more laps and win more races. And like I said, we led a ton more laps and we won two races and definitely had the capability to win more if we didn't have the bad luck that we had there in the middle part of the season. It's a damn shame because I feel like we should have at least won five races without a doubt." Quoteworthy: "There's been spots and points of brilliance and we're going to get to the top of this hill, and I knew we would eventually, but there was definitely a lot of times there was a lot of aggravation and stuff that we had to go through to get here, to get the perseverance to get here. That makes it that much sweeter." What's next: Why mess with success? Crafton will be back with ThorSport, working again with Joiner atop the pit box and with the familiar day-glo yellow colors of sponsor Menard's on the No. 88. The pressure now rests on Crafton's chances of securing a three-peat in one of NASCAR's most competitive and balanced series. Only two drivers in NASCAR's top division have ever accomplished such a streak -- Cale Yarborough, who is already in the NASCAR Hall of Fame; and Jimmie Johnson , a first-ballot lock for enshrinement. "I feel very good about going into 2015 and maybe making it three in a row," Crafton said after hoisting the championship trophy at Homestead. "That would be -- there's no doubt that we can. I've said it's all about these guys that build these trucks up in Sandusky, Ohio, and having the owners that give us all the tools, Duke and Rhonda Thorson." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule