Thursday, Aug 18

Matt Crafton Brightens his Day in Victory Lane

In a day that was filled with rain, Matt Crafton brightened his evening by dominating the Jacob Companies 200 en route to taking over the Camping World Truck Series point lead by two markers over Timothy Peters.

After passing pole-sitter, William Byron, midway through the event, the No. 88 truck never looked back, leading 76 laps. This is Crafton's first career win at Dover, as well as his first win of the season and all but clinching a Chase birth.  

"I just wanted to manage just enough and I could gap him enough and could run it hard enough to push the right front tire off," Crafton said of his victory. "We were 21st in the last practice and my guys never gave up."

Daniel Suarez made a late charge late in the race, but came up just short of winning his first NASCAR race in the top three series. He finished a half-second behind Crafton, after getting within a car length of him with five laps to go.

The third Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, Christopher Bell, came home with a third-place finish. In the first three events of the season, the No. 4 machine was involved in three accidents, but in the past two weeks he has back-to-back top five finishes.

"We've been so close this year and should have won Atlanta," Bell said post-race. "My guys kept digging throughout the race and I'm just really happy to be here at KBM."

Following his win at the season-opening event in Daytona, Johnny Sauter has had no luck at all. At Kansas last weekend he got crashed on the last lap while leading, but today he rebounded to get his second top-five finish of the year for GMS Racing.

The 18-year-old, Cole Custer jumped a Lap 55 restart that granted him the lead. NASCAR reviewed the restart and penalized the JR Motorsports team, black-flagging him. In a race that was full of comebacks, he was able to round out the top five.

"We just got caught on the restart," Custer said. "I don't know what there call was, but we had to go to the back of the field and come through the field. It was good enough to win, we just didn't have the right line on the start."

Custer gained three spots in the points, improving to 16th.

The defending winner of the event, Tyler Reddick led a bunch of laps early and recorded his first top-10 finish of 2016,finishing seventh.

Byron came home 11th after having a pit road penalty late in the event. Last week's winner lead a race-high 80 laps, all being in the first 80 circuits of the event.

It wasn't all good for Thor Sport Racing as two of the drivers, Ben Rhodes and Rico Abreu were involved in an incident on Lap 66. However, general manager of the race team said that there are no team orders as all four drivers are hard-nose competitors, looking out for themselves.

Through the first quarter of the race Brandon Jones was running second in the first race for Ranier with MDM Racing. On Lap 48, he spun trying to avoid Austin Wayne Self on the backstretch. The No. 71 car ended up finishing 20th.

The Truck Series heads to Charlotte Friday May 20 for the sixth event of 2016.
Dustin Albino

Dustin is a 20-year-old, currently studying journalism at Ithaca College. Albino has always wanted to report on NASCAR and beginning at the end of 2014 that is exactly what he did with Speedway Digest. Since that time he has become well-known around the garage area and is looking to attend even more races than he did in 2015. 

Twitter: @DustinAlbino
Instagram: @dustin_albino



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