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
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
Matt Crafton wins the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway after several drivers ran out of fuel in the final laps of the race.
Matt Crafton talks about being happy after finishing third in the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Matt Crafton becomes the first two-time winner at Kansas Speedway in the NCWTS and earns his second win of the season.
Vehicles in all three national series to sport organization's decal Race Centers: Sprint Cup " XFINITY " Camping World Truck For the first time since the season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway , all three national series -- NASCAR Sprint Cup , XFINITY and Camping World Truck -- will race on the same weekend at Dover International Speedway this Friday through Sunday. Heading into Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM), 63 teams across all three series will proudly display the Autism Speaks puzzle piece decal on their vehicles throughout the weekend. Denny Hamlin , driver of the No. 11 FedEx Cares Toyota, will also include Autism Speaks artwork on his car's primary FedEx Cares paint scheme. Hamlin and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth have launched a text-to-pledge campaign to help raise awareness for Autism Speaks. Through Sunday, fans are encouraged to make a donation by texting RACING to 30644 to get started. Visit www.AutismSpeaks.org/Racing for more information. In total, 27 drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 16 drivers from the NASCAR XFINITY Series and 20 drivers from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are participating: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Jamie McMurray – No. 1 McDonald's/Cessna Chevrolet Austin Dillon – No. 3 DOW Chevrolet Kevin Harvick – No. 4 Ditech Chevrolet Alex Bowman – No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet Sam Hornish Jr . – No. 9 Twisted Tea Ford Danica Patrick – No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet Denny Hamlin – No. 11 FedEx Cares Toyota Tony Stewart – No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Clint Bowyer – No. 15 AAA Insurance Toyota Greg Biffle – No. 16 Safety-Kleen Ford Ricky Stenhouse Jr . – No. 17 Ford Ecoboost Ford Kyle Busch – No. 18 Skittles Toyota Matt Kenseth – No. 20 Dollar General Toyota JJ Yeley – No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Jeb Burton – No. 26 Maxim Fantasy Sports Toyota Paul Menard – No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet Ryan Newman – No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet Brian Scott – No. 33 ACME/Kraft Singles Chevrolet Kurt Busch – No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet Kyle Larson – No. 42 Target Chevrolet Aric Almirola – No. 43 WinField Ford Michael Annett – No. 46 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet AJ Allmendinger – No. 47 Scott Products Chevrolet Justin Allgaier – No. 51 Fraternal Order of Eagles/AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet David Ragan – No. 55 Aaron's Ford Martin Truex Jr . – No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet Matt DiBenedetto – No. 83 Burger King Toyota Camry NASCAR XFINITY Series Brian Scott – No. 2 ACME/Kraft Singles Chevrolet Ty Dillon – No. 3 WESCO Chevrolet Darrell Wallace Jr . – No. 6 Ford EcoBoost Ford Blake Koch – No. 8 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Toyota Camry Cale Conley – No. 14 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Toyota Camry Jeff Green – No. 19 TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry Eric McClure – No. 24 Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry John Wes Townley – No. 25 Zaxby's Chevrolet Austin Dillon – No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet Brennan Poole – No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet Dakoda Armstrong – No. 43 WinField Ford David Starr – No. 44 Zachry Toyota Camry Jeremy Clements – No. 51 RepairableVehicles.com/AllSouthElectric.com Chevrolet Chris Buescher – No. 60 Roush Performance Products Ford Brendan Gaughan – No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Peyton Sellers – No. 97 Vroom Brands Chevrolet NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ryan Ellis – No. 1 MAKE Motorsports Chevrolet Tyler Young – No. 2 Randco Industries/Young's Building Systems Chevrolet Erik Jones – No. 4 Special Olympics World Games Toyota John Wes Townley – No. 5 Zaxby's Chevrolet Norm Benning – No. 6 Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet Ray Black, Jr. – No. 7 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet Korbin Forrister – No. 8 Green Light Racing Chevrolet John Hunter Nemechek –No. 8 MeetBall Chevrolet Jennifer Jo Cobb – No. 10 POW-MIAFamilies.org Chevrolet Ben Kennedy – No. 11 Local Motors Toyota Cameron Hayley – No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Daniel Hemric – No. 14 California Clean Power Chevrolet Timothy Peters – No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tyler Reddick – No. 19 Broken Bow Records Ford Ryan Blaney – No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford Travis Kvapil , – No. 50 BurnieGrill.com Chevrolet Daniel Suarez – No. 51 Arris Toyota Justin Boston – No. 54 ROKMobile.com Toyota Matt Crafton – No. 88 Rip It/Menards Toyota Johnny Sauter – No. 98 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff/Curb Records Toyota 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
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
Matt Crafton talks about the thrill of racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway.