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
Tyler Reddick emerges as new Truck Series points leader RELATED: Full race results " Series standings LONG POND, Pa. -- As Kyle Busch sat sidelined with a broken right leg and left foot from February until May, the prevailing question was "When will he win again?" Now it's "Will he ever lose?" In a race that began with major drama and ended with three overtime periods, Busch took the checkered flag in Saturday's Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway, winning in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start since returning from the Feb. 21 accident at Daytona that kept him out of action. It was the fourth straight NASCAR national series victory for the driver of his own No. 51 Toyota. Busch won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 19 at New Hampshire and swept last weekend's XFINITY and Sprint Cup events at Indianapolis. On Sunday he will try for his fourth straight Cup victory in the Windows 10 400 at Pocono (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). With his fuel cell running low, Busch had to survive three straight attempts at green-white-checkered-flag finishes, with accidents interrupting the first two. Finally, on Lap 69 -- 22.5 miles beyond the scheduled distance of 150 miles -- Busch crossed the finish line 1.225 seconds ahead of runner-up Kevin Harvick . The victory was Busch's first at Pocono in any series, and it marked the 10th straight year he has one at least one race in each of NASCAR's top three touring series. "It's great to win and put Toyota in Victory Lane," Busch said. "It's my first Pocono win as well, so that was cool." Busch was happy he got to watch the last few restarts in his rear view mirror, rather than through his windshield. "They weren't too bad from my seat, but it looked like, beyond me, it was crazy back there," Busch said. "I'm glad we were in a really good position." Behind Harvick, Tyler Reddick ran third and snatched the series lead from two-time defending champion Matt Crafton , who was embroiled in the early drama. Crafton and Brad Keselowski , Reddick's teammate and truck owner, were racing in close quarters on Lap 5 when Harvick took them three-wide to the inside. In what appeared to be a no-fault accident, the left-front of Keselowski's Ford snagged the right rear quarter of Crafton's Toyota. Both trucks smacked the outside wall. After repairs, Crafton finished 28th, 56 laps in arrears. While his crew was working on the Tundra, Crafton fumed, blaming Keselowski for the wreck to the point of accusing the 2012 Sprint Cup champion of deliberately trying to help Reddick win the Truck Series title. "I guess maybe he wants to win a championship with that 19 truck (Reddick)," Crafton said, vowing to prevent a Reddick championship from happening. "That's your Cup champion? That's pretty much an idiot." Keselowski dismissed Crafton's comments, asserting he wouldn’t want to win a title by wrecking an opponent. "I don’t know if I came down ( the track) or he came up," Keselowski said. "It’s unfortunate ...These trucks are expensive, and they cost a lot to fix. I feel badly for Matt and his team, but I don't really know what (I could have done) differently." RELATED: Keselowski, Crafton lock horns Reddick leaves Pocono with an 11-point lead over Crafton. Polesitter Erik Jones , who battled Busch, his team owner, for most of the afternoon but was the victim of late contact that caused the fourth of five cautions, rallied to finish 10th and is third in the standings, 16 points behind Reddick. Cameron Hayley posted a career-best fourth-place finish, one spot ahead of last year's Pocono winner, Austin Dillon . Johnny Sauter , Timothy Peters , Matt Tifft , Daniel Hemric and Jones completed the top 10. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch will lead off the start of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
No. 24 Hendrick driver races at Pocono one last time; talks Chase chances RELATED: Complete lineup for Sunday's race " See all 43 paint schemes Sunday's Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) will be Jeff Gordon 's final start at Pocono Raceway. While he appreciates the support Pennsylvania fans have given him over the years, he won't be sentimental about his last trip to the Tricky Triangle because he's still a win away from making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . "I'm so focused on the competition and trying to compete at a high level, trying to get ourselves in a position to win the race, win the pole, be in the Chase, I just can't and haven't been able to allow it to sink in," Gordon said. "It might not happen until the race is over at Homestead. I have no idea when that's going to impact or sink in." The reality of his current points position hit hard when he finished 42nd last week at Indianapolis and his margin over Clint Bowyer , the last driver currently in the Chase on points, narrowed to 37 points. Just a week earlier, he enjoyed a 71-point cushion over the final provisional Chase position. RELATED: See updated series standings In his final full-time season, Gordon wants to do more than just make the Chase; he wants to compete for his fifth championship. "Obviously having a bad finish like that, it can shake things up in a hurry," Gordon said. "I think our team is very capable of getting ourselves in the Chase, but we want more than that. We want to be battling for wins, and we're fighting extremely hard to do that. We know what a win can do in securing that spot, but we're also a strong team that has overcome adversity in the past. We're going to fight all the way through Richmond to make sure no matter what, whether it's by points or with a win, that we get ourselves in there." The six-time winner at Pocono stands atop the all-time leaderboard at the track, and Hendrick Motorsports ' 17 victories are nearly twice as many as the next closest teams on the list. Joe Gibbs Racing and Roger Penske have nine apiece. Gordon also enjoys racing on the unique three-sided surface. "I love the challenge that this race track presents on track," Gordon said. "I've been driving for a team that has great performance on tracks like this as well. We've been known to get down the straightaways pretty good. This place has a lot of straightaway, but I also like the shifting and the unique corners that are here as well." Gordon acknowledged how the negative side of the fast straightaways figured into the single moment that stands out from his 23 years of racing at the facility. "I wrecked really bad in Turn 1, that stands out," Gordon said, referring to a 2006 crash. "It's funny those types of incidents stand out to you as much as some of the good moments that you have. You never forget moments like that. Let's put it that way. "I can remember coming here early, early on and maybe even watching a race here or an IndyCar race here on TV prior to me ever racing here and just in awe of how long the front straightaway was, how fast the cars are going into Turn 1. And I always said, 'You don't ever want to have a brake problem going into Turn 1 at Pocono,' and I had one and experienced it so that stands out to me." But the people of Pocono Raceway have left a lasting impression as well. On Friday, track president Brandon Igdalsky presented Gordon with a $24,000 check for the Jeff Gordon Foundation to go with nearly $58,000 raised Thursday night for Gordon's foundation and The NASCAR Foundation at a charity poker tournament. In addition to the funds, Igdalsky's team painted "Gordon" on the track, which didn't go unnoticed by the driver of the No. 24 car. RELATED: Gordon, Wallace cash in chips for a good cause "This track has been really special to me over the years," Gordon said. "I thought it was enough that you put my name at the start/finish line but what we did last night at the event and this (check) is above and beyond." The fans of the area welcomed Gordon as a young racer, even before he joined NASCAR's premier series, and he's continued to benefit from their support throughout his racing career. "I go back to when I raced dirt around Pennsylvania and Ohio and Indiana in sprint car racing and how big racing is in this state," Gordon said. "And I think that was very evident to me immediately when I got in the Cup Series and started flying into the airports here, and it was always the biggest crowds of fans that we had, anywhere we went, standing there waiting for the teams and the drivers to arrive, wanting to get a glimpse, a picture, an autograph. "That's been maintained throughout all the years, and when I put a fan club together, our largest number of members were from Pennsylvania, if you took it by state. This is a big racing part of the country, and I think that's why the track has continued to do so well through the years because they have people that love racing, that love NASCAR racing." The four-time champion's love for Pocono would grow with a win this weekend that would keep alive his drive for five titles. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Hendrick driver gives honest assessment of where organization is right now RELATED: Complete lineup for Sunday's race " See all 43 paint schemes LONG POND, Pa. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . is the only driver other than Kyle Busch to win one of the past five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. However, the driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is aware that the four-team organization he calls home has been a bit off in recent weeks, especially compared to that of Joe Gibbs Racing , in its first year of fielding four cars. "I think you got to be honest with yourself," Earnhardt Jr. said Friday at Pocono. " The Gibbs guys have found more speed. They look like over the last couple of weeks to be a lot stronger and that we're not on top of the mountain anymore, by ourselves anymore at least. They found some speed and we need to combat that with speed of our own." In the past five races, JGR has four wins (all by Busch) and nine top fives. During that same stretch, Hendrick has just one win and three top fives (Earnhardt won at Daytona and has another top-five finish). And since that win at Daytona, Hendrick Motorsports as an organization has led just two laps in the past three races, while JGR has led 330. "It's business as usual as far as I can see," Earnhardt said. "We definitely understand when we don't perform well. Last week was frustrating. I don't think we've been too thrilled over the last month about how things have gone for us. From Rick (Hendrick) on down, you get the impression that things need to be better and everyone needs to work harder. "We have meetings every Tuesday. We had that meeting with the team and then we have a meeting that all the drivers and the crew chiefs are together, Rick's there. We have that meeting every Tuesday and everybody, whether we are all running great, we talk about how to get better. And if we aren't running well at all, we talk about how to get better. Even when things are going good, you see areas where you need to keep working. Because you know it cycles in this sport." Things do indeed cycle around. Last season, Hendrick won 13 races to JGR's two. And this season both organizations have six wins. As things stand now, if Busch can get into the top 30 in points by the regular-season finale at Richmond, JGR will likely send all four of its drivers into the Chase. And while Jimmie Johnson and Earnhardt have clinched spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne are still looking for that elusive win, although each hold spots in the provisional Chase Grid based on their point positions. "It's a never-ending pursuit to build the fastest race car week in, week out," Earnhardt said. "And it looks like right now it's a mad scramble to get ready for the Chase. I'd love to be sitting here three-tenths faster than everybody and fighting only my teammates for the win. We need to work a little harder to get a little more and be ready for the Chase to be able to get out there and compete. "It definitely looks like our competition has improved and so I think we can be honest with ourselves. We definitely aren't where we want to be. But I've seen it before. These guys are working on it every single day trying to find that speed and make that difference back up and put ourselves back to have the advantage on the straightaways and in the corners. I'm not too worried about it. We got the best resources. We got the best bossman, and he doesn't quit and he doesn't settle for second. He's in there pushing everybody everyday." The sport's most popular driver will look to turn the recent fortunes of the organization around on Sunday in the Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) at Pocono Raceway where he qualified 15th. Junior has a favorable history in recent years at Pocono, completing the season sweep of both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events last year, and has four top fives in his past five races here. In June, he finished 11th in a race won by Martin Truex Jr , which snapped a five-race win streak at Pocono for Hendrick. After finishing the opening practice session in 14th place, Earnhardt was a bit disappointed but said the team learned what was needed for race trim. "We will see what we have (Saturday)," said Earnhardt. "I'm really anxious to get ourselves back into race trim for those practices (Saturday) and see how we can sort our stuff out and see where we really are. We've always run good here, there shouldn't be any issues. We showed up with some issues. I'm anxious to get to work on the car and see where we can figure out where we are going to be and be competitive." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Follow Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 4:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN/Live Extra) RELATED: Practice 1 results Brad Keselowski led Friday's Sprint Cup Series opening practice session at Pocono Raceway in preparation for Sunday's Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM). The Team Penske driver put up his best time on Lap 7 out of nine total with a speed of 176.606 mph. Keselowski has one win at the Pennsylvania track that came in 2011. His best finish since then was second in 2014’s June event. Coming up short to Keselowski was Matt Kenseth at 176.339 mph. Denny Hamlin (176.267 mph), Austin Dillon (176.170 mph) and Kevin Harvick (175.987 mph) completed the top five on the leaderboard. Martin Truex Jr ., the winner of June's Pocono race, put up a speed of 175.298 mph and came in as 12th-fastest. Defending race-winner Dale Earnhardt Jr . completed his quickest lap at 175.196 mph, making the Hendrick Motorsports driver 14th-fastest in Friday's practice. The Sprint Cup Series returns to the track for Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 4:45 p.m. ET with coverage on NBCSN/Live Extra. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
KBM teammates will line up 1-2 RELATED: Full Pocono lineup Erik Jones won the 21 Means 21 Pole Qualifying Award at Pocono Raceway on Saturday and will lead the field to green in the Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). This is the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver’s first pole at Pocono and his fourth of the 2015 season. Lining up next to Jones on the front row will be the 18-year-old's boss and mentor, Kyle Busch , who qualified second. Truck Series points leader and two-time series champion Matt Crafton will start the race third. Brad Keselowski will line up fourth. Defending race winner Austin Dillon qualified fifth for the race. Dillon and Kevin Harvick , who qualified seventh, are the only two previous Pocono winners in the field. The Truck Series ran a single-car qualifying format on Saturday, which they were supposed to run at Kentucky Speedway a few weeks ago before it got rained out. Driver of the No. 03 Timothy Viens failed to qualify. Tune into FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET as the green flag drops for the Pocono Mountains 150 (MRN, SiriusXM). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch celebrates his first career win at Pocono Raceway and Toyota's first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win at The Tricky Triangle.
MWR co-owner not leaving team, 'taking anything' to CGR LONG POND, Pa. -- Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman said on Saturday at Pocono Raceway that he plans to integrate MWR and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, in which he has purchased an interest. Meeting with media for the first time since MWR issued a statement two days ago that the team and CGR would "operate separately and compete agains each other for the remainder of the 2015 season" while "evaluating ways to field the most competitive race teams possible" for 2016 and beyond, Kauffman emphasized that he continued to work with Waltrip. "First and foremost, I think it's important to realize that Michael and I own Michael Waltrip Racing ," Kauffman said. "We control Michael Waltrip Racing together. We're business partners. We're great personal friends. So any idea that like I'm leaving or taking anything is actually misplaced. "What we're really doing is integrating the businesses, trying to get the most competitive product on track, do the best for all of our partners and that's really our focus. It's a competitive business as everybody knows. It's competitive on track as well as off track." The timing of the statement was an attempt to keep both organizations focused on 2015, "getting hopefully one to two cars in the Chase and doing a great job for our partners," Kauffman said. "We've been very excited about the developments over the summer we've had with the teams," Kauffman continued. "They're running well. And there's hundreds of people working back in Charlotte. We want to keep them focused on what they need to do." Through the first 20 races, CGR's Jamie McMurray sits 11th in the provisional Chase Grid, the top winless driver in the points standings. MWR's Clint Bowyer holds the final spot in the Chase in 16th place. McMurray's teammate, Kyle Larson , is 20th, and MWR's David Ragan is 24th in points. With all four teams in the top 30 in the standings, each one is a victory away from making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Looking to the future of the two race teams, Kauffman said those plans are still under consideration with their performance helping determine 2016 plans. "In terms of our plans, whether we have three cars, four cars; two roofs, one roof, that's all yet to be determined," Kauffman said. "And how we do in the 2015 season will help determine whether that happens. If we do a great job, that will be one outcome. If we do a less great job, probably another. I think it will be pretty obvious to people." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Regan Smith and Brendan Gaughan talk about chasing Ryan Blaney on the final two restarts of the race at Iowa Speedway.