- Last Updated on 08:50 PM 03/30/14
- BY Joe Chandler
MARTINSVILLE — Matt Crafton fended off bids from Darrell Wallace Jr. on two late-race restarts and held on to win Sunday's Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
The win was Crafton's first victory and first top-10 finish of the season.
"It (Martinsville Speedway) is definitely one of those places you want to win at, especially because that grandfather clock is such an awesome trophy to have in your house," Crafton remarked.
"To finally get one is awesome."
Crafton survived two late-race green-white-checkered restarts, fending off Wallace and former South Boston Speedway champion Timothy Peters of Danville. Peters' bid for the win unraveled when Wallace got up under him and squeezed him up to the outside lane on the first of the race's last two restarts. On the final restart he got shuffled up the track again, this time with accompanying contact from German Quiroga. At the end, he had to settle for seventh place.
Ben Kennedy finished third behind Crafton and Wallace, with Johnny Sauter and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five finishers.
Quiroga, Peters, Ben Rhodes, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Brian Ickler completed the top ten finishers.
Jeb Burton of Halifax started 22nd and was unable to make a great deal of progress in the race. Burton was a lap down when a tire went flat on his truck causing him to spin in the second turn on lap 191.
He lost a lap as a result, dropping two laps off of the pace, but he got one lap back on the race's last restart and finished 21st.
For Crafton, his day was a work in progress.
Throughout the race Crafton and his team adjusted their truck, and last season's series champion was able to move forward from his tenth starting spot.
"At the beginning of the day we were terrible," Crafton said.
We were really, really tight from the center off. We just kept chipping away at it with each adjustment. Finally, we had it pretty darned good right there at the end."
Wallace tried to make a bid for the win but came up just shy as the race ended under caution as the result of a last-lap crash.
"I had a great truck," Wallace said.
"We just couldn't get it done. We were losing a little bit of right rear grip coming up off of the corner. I tried to save as much as I could. I thought I had enough saved for those last two green-white-checkers but just couldn't get it done."
The race had a record 17 lead changes among six drivers, with Hornaday leading a race-high 62 laps. Crafton led twice for 47 laps.
Crafton averaged 68.741 mph in the 250-lap race that was slowed by 10 cautions that consumed 56 laps.