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
Matt Crafton and Brad Keselowski get tangled up headed into Turn 3 and crash at Pocono Raceway.
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
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
Matt Crafton wins the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway due to Ben Kennedy's late race wreck that caused enough damage to the catch fence for NASCAR to call the race.
Matt Crafton reflects on Ben Kennedy's late race wreck that caused damage to the catch fence and that he believes NASCAR made the right decision by calling the race with 5 laps to go in the UNOH 225.
Sprint Cup star fractured right leg in NASCAR XFINITY Series race Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Matt Crafton will be filling in for Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota for Sunday's Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX), Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Saturday night. Busch suffered a compound fracture of his right lower leg from a hard hit late in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 on Saturday, according to a team release. He is undergoing surgery on his right leg on Saturday night. In addition, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident. Busch's injury will sideline him for an undetermined amount of time and no interim driver has been named for any future races, according to the team. Busch began to climb from his car without assistance, but was placed on a stretcher by emergency personnel shortly after exiting the car. He was transported to nearby Halifax Medical Center moments later. A 29-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Busch does not have a Daytona 500 victory to his name. In the loop data era at Daytona, Busch has the best average running position (12.8), driver rating (96.2) and most laps in the top 15 (2488), which comes out to 70.1 percent of the laps in the past 20 races. Filling in for Busch will be Crafton , the 38-year-old two-time defending champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Crafton has not started a Sprint Cup Series race in his career although he did qualify Robby Gordon's Cup ride in 2008 at Dover while Gordon competed in the Baja 1000. He failed in his attempt to qualify for the Brickyard 400 last summer at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch was slated to start fourth, but due to the driver change, Crafton will have to start at the back of the field. In 339 career starts in the Truck Series, Crafton has five wins, though none of those has come at Daytona. With his brother Kurt Busch suspended indefinitely by NASCAR on Friday, Sunday's race will be the first Great American Race since 2000 without one of the Busch brothers in the field. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Erik Jones leads 151 laps, but runs dry with five to go RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Matt Crafton didn't have the fastest truck in Friday night's Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway , but he had the best feel for fuel mileage and what his crew chief would call their lucky fuel cell. The result was Crafton ’s seventh series career victory. With truck after truck pulling to the inside of the 1.5-mile Kansas oval over the last five laps with empty fuel cells, Crafton cruised over the finish line with only a few drops of fuel left in his ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra. "It was not the winning truck," Crafton said after getting to Victory Lane. "We were definitely a second-place truck." The truck that obviously was the fastest was the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra of rookie Erik Jones . It led 151 of 167 laps and was comfortably in the lead with four laps to go. But it was also one of those trucks which ran short of fuel at the end. It wound up 11th. "It just sucks – we had by far the best truck," Jones said after the race. "We were up to an 11-second lead at one point and it's just so terrible for these guys when we bring that fast of a truck. We couldn't bring the win home and I saved as much as I could most of the run. The 19 ( Tyler Reddick ) made us run pretty hard. Being eight laps short, I don't know how the 88 ( Crafton ) made it. It's too bad, we'll have to bring another fast truck next weekend to Charlotte and we’ll go get a win there." RELATED: Jones dominating run goes dry Also running out of fuel while in contention for the victory in the final laps after Jones dropped out were Reddick and Daniel Suarez . The victory was the second of the season for Crafton , the defending series champion, and his second in the last three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Kansas. That made him the first driver to win more than once at the track located on the far west side of Kansas City. "I heard somebody say that to me before the race," Crafton , who led a total of six laps, said of the Kansas landmark win. "I said, 'Two times.'" The victory allowed Crafton to pad his points lead to 17 points over Reddick as he attempts to win a third-straight series championship. "You've got to be close enough to sneak one out once in a while," Crafton said. "I've lost some like this so every once in a while when you steal one I don't feel too bad about it." After the race, Crafton's crew chief, Carl Joyner gave credit to a particular fuel cell which he said has given his trucks better fuel mileage for some reason. Sprint Cup regular Ryan Newman , driving a truck owned by former Kansas Sprint Cup race winner Joe Nemechek and making his first truck series start since 2013, finished second. Newman was in the seat as a favor to Nemechek, who is in the process of grooming his son John Hunter for the ride. "Trying to teach John Hunter a little bit of what I've experienced on pit road, how to get everything you possibly can," Newman said. "But that wasn't my main goal. My goal was to come here and win." Johnny Sauter finished third. Rounding out the top five were veteran Timothy Peters and rookie Cameron Hayley . Jones, who won the pole earlier in the day with a lap at 179.396 mph, led the first 43 laps. For the first 30 or so laps of those, Crafton stayed close to the young driver from Michigan. But then Jones began to pull away. On Lap 38, Jones' lead over Crafton was four seconds. But on Lap 41, a caution flag waved and on the ensuing stops, Crafton beat Jones out of the pits to take the lead. On Lap 48, back came Jones to take the lead and once out in clean air again, he began to pull away. On Lap 60, his lead was 2.9 seconds. He would lose that margin – and the lead – as he was beat out of the pits after yellow flag stops that began on Lap 67 by Newman. But on the restart, he left Newman behind. By Lap 88, Jones' lead was six seconds. By Lap 105, it was over 10 seconds on Newman. On Lap 109, the caution waved again and, once again, Jones' lead was erased as he was beaten off pit road by Reddick, who was involved in a crash with his Brad Keselowski Racing teammate and started the race from the back in his backup truck. But once again the restart, Jones moved back to the front and began to move to a seemingly comfortable lead. But only seemingly. "I didn't know how short we were, but I knew the fuel window," Jones, who will make his first Sprint Cup Series start Saturday night in Kansas, said. "I knew we had to save and I couldn't give the lead up to the 19 ( Tyler Reddick ) at that point. If a caution would have come out – losing track position is so big this year, if we would have lost the lead then we would have never been able to get it back. It's just a shame. I saved as much as I could there later on and it just wasn't enough. Eight laps short, we just couldn't do it. We had a fast Tundra and it's just a shame we couldn't bring it home for these guys." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Two-time defending series champion holds points lead No driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has been more dominant on 1.5-mile tracks than Matt Crafton the past year. It's one of the main reasons the No. 88 Toyota Tundra driver was able to win his second consecutive NCWTS championship last season. In nine starts at intermediate courses dating back to the Truck Series' latest visit to Kansas Speedway on May 9, 2014, Crafton has tallied two wins, three runner ups and nine top-10 showings for an average finish of 3.4. He will attempt to continue his reign at 1.5-mile tracks when the NCWTS returns to Kansas Speedway for the Toyota Tundra 250 (8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). Crafton has started all 14 NCWTS races at Kansas, more than any other driver. He is also tied for the track record among active drivers with three top-five finishes. "As the only driver entered that's competed in all 14 Truck Series races at Kansas, I feel old," Crafton said. "Kansas is definitely a tricky race track - it's tough to get off Turn 4 and to get your stuff handling good in Turns 1 and 2 and then be that good in Turn 4, it's tough. Just getting balance overall is key." The ThorSport Racing driver will also try to improve on his second-place finish at Kansas last season and win there for the second time in three years. "We were really, really fast (at Kansas) last year; a contender all night," Crafton said. "We were a little bit free-in and tight center and off, but we were scared to make any adjustments to hurt us on corner entry. I had to protect my entry and that's how Kyle (Busch) got around us for the win." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jones, Reddick chasing two-time defending champ in standings Five races into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, the cream is still on top. Matt Crafton ’s third-place finish last Friday in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway allowed the series points leader to maintain his top spot. Crafton , driving the No. 88 for ThorSport Racing, now has 217 points on the strength of two wins, four top fives and a series-best five top-10 finishes. The 38-year-old Crafton is trying to three-peat as the Camping World Truck Series points champion. Crafton has 343 Trucks races under his fire suit, starting with the Motorola 200 at Fontana back in 2000. His first-ever win was the 2008 edition of the North Carolina Education Lottery. He has a modest seven career wins, but consistency works in his favor. He’s placed among the top 10 in his Trucks races 57.4 percent of the time (197 out of 343). Erik Jones ’ epic battle with Kasey Kahne , which included side-by-side racing for most of the final lap and a photo finish, is the type of excitement NASCAR officials — and fans — want to see. Kahne won the race by 0.005 (that’s not a typo) of a second. The No. 00 Truck failed the post-race inspection for a ride-height violation. Kahne does, however, get to keep the win. Driving the No. 4 for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Jones led 88 of the 139 laps at Charlotte. Jones, who turns 19 on May 30, ranks second in the points standings. He finished 18th last year. Just two points behind Jones in the standings sits Tyler Reddick , who picked up his fourth top-five finish of the year by placing fourth last week. Driving the No. 19 Truck for Brad Keselowski Racing, Reddick already has one more top-five finish than he had in 16 starts as a rookie in 2014. The 19-year-old placed 12th in the standings last year. More than a decade removed from his rookie season in a NASCAR national series, Johnny Sauter is chasing his first-ever Truck Series title. Sauter, who turned 37 earlier this month, ranks fourth in the current standings. His best season was a second-place finish in 2011, and he placed fourth in the standings the past two years. John Wes Townley moved into the top five with a sixth-place finish at Charlotte. Townley doesn’t have a win in his 74 career starts on the circuit. He was 15th in the final 2014 standings, and his best year was an 11th-place showing in 2013. Up next for the Camping World Truck Series is the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 29 (5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule