Wednesday November 25th, 2015 1:17AM

Crafton wins in Trucks at Martinsville for first time

By Hank Kurz, Jr., AP Sports Writer
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
MARTINSVILLE, VA - Matt Crafton grabbed the lead for the first time with 47 laps to go and held on to win the rain-delayed Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday night for his fourth career victory.

It also was his first on the 0.526-mile paper clip, and a study in steady improvement.

"If you don't have the best car or truck there at the beginning of a run, you make changes throughout the race. It's about having a smart crew chief and someone putting their head on their shoulders and not tearing the stuff up," he said, crediting crew chief Carl Joiner for adjustments all race long.

"It's not so much stealing," Crafton said. "It's about beating them at the end when it counts."

Crafton, the defending series champion, passed local favorite Timothy Peters on the inside of the fourth turn to grab the top spot, then survived two two-lap sprints to the finish. The green-white-checkered run extended the race to 256 laps, leaving Crafton jokingly complaining about darkness.

After 24 previous starts at Martinsville, he was envisioning the track's signature trophy, a grandfather clock, in his living room at home, and not wanting to let anything get in the way.

"It's definitely one of those places that you want to win at just because that grandfather clock is such an awesome trophy to have in your house," he said. "Finally we got it. ... It's awesome."

Crafton became the 23rd driver to win in 31 truck races at Martinsville.

Darrell Wallace, Jr. was second, followed by Ben Kennedy, Johnny Sauter and Ryan Blaney.

Wallace, Jr. said his team struggled all day, too, after getting practice time in on Friday, then having qualifying rained out Saturday before racing after the Cup Series had run, changing conditions again.

"I thought I had enough saved for those last two (dashes), but we just couldn't get it done," he said.

Kennedy, conversely, wished he'd had more time to make a move.

"We were really rolling there at the end. I was really excited for it. I wish we'd had another 10 laps or so. I think we could have gotten up there and got 'em," Kennedy said.

Sauter and Peters were the hard-luck racers on the day.

Sauter led three times for a race-high 61 laps; Peters led six times for 49 laps.

The race, postponed by rain Saturday and run as part of a rare doubleheader following a 500-lap Sprint Cup race, was just the second of the season in the series, following the opener at Daytona on Feb. 17. The series will again take a long break, not racing again until May 9 in Kansas.

This one started at about 5:30 p.m., and finished with the sun setting and temperatures dropping.

NASCAR-Camping World Truck Series
Martinsville Speedway - Martinsville, VA
Kroger 250 - March 31, 2014

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (10) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 256 laps, 118.8 rating, 47 points.
2. (1) Darrell Wallace Jr., Toyota, 256, 126.6, 43.
3. (6) Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 256, 94.4, 41.
4. (14) Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 256, 120.1, 41.
5. (2) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 256, 106, 40.
6. (8) German Quiroga, Toyota, 256, 88.9, 38.
7. (3) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 256, 123.8, 38.
8. (12) Ben Rhodes, Chevrolet, 256, 84.5, 36.
9. (5) Ron Hornaday Jr., Chevrolet, 256, 115.9, 37.
10. (7) Brian Ickler, Toyota, 256, 86.1, 34.
11. (9) Cole Custer, Chevrolet, 256, 90.8, 33.
12. (20) John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, 256, 81.9, 32.
13. (15) Chase Pistone, Chevrolet, 256, 69.6, 31.
14. (13) Ross Chastain, Ford, 256, 68.5, 30.
15. (21) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, 256, 75.6, 29.
16. (17) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 256, 63.2, 28.
17. (18) Joey Coulter, Chevrolet, 256, 70.9, 27.
18. (4) Erik Jones, Toyota, 256, 91.5, 26.
19. (11) Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 256, 70.9, 25.
20. (16) John Wes Townley, Toyota, accident, 255, 88.2, 24.
21. (22) Jeb Burton, Toyota, 255, 59.8, 23.
22. (26) Caleb Holman, Chevrolet, 253, 55, 22.
23. (33) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 252, 50, 0.
24. (29) Ray Black Jr., Chevrolet, 250, 45.4, 20.
25. (31) Justin Jennings, Chevrolet, 249, 38.2, 19.
26. (34) Korbin Forrister, Chevrolet, 242, 35.2, 18.
27. (36) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Ram, 241, 28.6, 17.
28. (35) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 235, 29.9, 16.
29. (19) Mason Mingus, Toyota, 216, 56.7, 15.
30. (28) Clay Greenfield, Ram, driveshaft, 189, 39.2, 14.
31. (23) Tyler Young, Chevrolet, power steering, 157, 39.3, 13.
32. (25) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, accident, 122, 49.1, 12.
33. (27) Bryan Silas, Chevrolet, accident, 120, 40.1, 11.
34. (32) Josh Williams, Ford, brakes, 82, 35.8, 10.
35. (30) Raymond Terczak Jr., Chevrolet, brakes, 52, 31, 9.
36. (24) Alex Guenette, Chevrolet, fuel pump, 32, 34.1, 8.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 68.741 mph.

Time of Race: 1 hour, 57 minutes, 32 seconds.

Margin of Victory: Under Caution.

Caution Flags: 10 for 56 laps.

Lead Changes: 17 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D.Wallace Jr. 1-15; T.Peters 16-28; D.Wallace Jr. 29-36; R.Hornaday Jr. 37-98; D.Wallace Jr. 99-101; R.Blaney 102-104; D.Wallace Jr. 105-111; J.Sauter 112-137; T.Peters 138; J.Sauter 139-169; T.Peters 170-173; J.Sauter 174-177; T.Peters 178-192; D.Wallace Jr. 193; T.Peters 194-208; M.Crafton 209-248; T.Peters 249; M.Crafton 250-256.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): R.Hornaday Jr., 1 time for 62 laps; J.Sauter, 3 times for 61 laps; T.Peters, 6 times for 49 laps; M.Crafton, 2 times for 47 laps; D.Wallace Jr., 5 times for 34 laps; R.Blaney, 1 time for 3 laps.

Top 10 in Points: 1. J.Sauter, 82; 2. T.Peters, 81; 3. M.Crafton, 78; 4. R.Blaney, 78; 5. R.Hornaday Jr., 76; 6. B.Kennedy, 72; 7. G.Quiroga, 72; 8. D.Wallace Jr., 61; 9. J.Burton, 60; 10. T.Reddick, 60.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 10 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 10 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 10 months ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 10 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 10 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 10 months ago )
Professional Sports
Garbo, Jr. to compete in NASCAR K&N East with Whelen sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, NC--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Marsh Racing and longtime team sponsor Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. got the opportunity to put together a race team for 2015, they looked closely at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
12:00PM ( 10 months ago )
Former NASCAR racer pleads guilty in high-speed chase
12:51PM ( 11 months ago )
Chili Bowl entry list again nearing record 300 mark
TULSA, OK - For the past couple years, the entry list for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has flirted with the 300 mark. Once again, the number of teams registering for the indoor Midget event is nearing the three century mark with 285 entries received for the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
11:59AM ( 11 months ago )
Wolves proving early skeptics wrong
It’s hard to imagine a Buford team having to play with a chip on its shoulder. But if ever there has been a collective group of Wolves that felt the need, the 2015 squad is it.
5:14PM ( 15 hours from now )
Marshall brothers add turkey to Georgia-Ga Tech rivalry
The Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry this year will feature a Thanksgiving feast that brings opposing players to the same dinner table.
10:52AM ( 9 hours from now )
Boys basketball: Discovery knocks off White County for Turkey Shootout title
Discovery won the boys Turkey Shootout Tournament at Chestatee High Tuesday with a 71-61 victory over White County in the finals.
By The Associated Press
12:16AM ( 1 hour ago )
Boys basketball: Lions take out Vikings for Piedmont Classic crown
The Lakeview Academy boys basketball team knocked off East Hall 87-69 on Tuesday to claim the Piedmont College Hardwood Classic title in Demorest.
By AccessWDUN Staff
12:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
Girls basketball: East Hall knocks off Lakeview for Piedmont title
The East Hall girls basketball team continued its strong start to the season on Tuesday, pushing past Lakeview Academy 61-51 to claim the Piedmont College Hardwood Classic in Demorest.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:58PM ( 1 hour ago )