ThatsRacin

NASCAR Truck series: Matt Crafton grabs victory at Atlanta

Matt Crafton celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Hampton, Ga.
Matt Crafton celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Hampton, Ga. AP

Two-time NASCAR Truck champion Matt Crafton showed why a third title isn’t out of the question this season.

Crafton dominated the field and held on for a win in Saturday night’s Hyundai 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finishing nearly nine seconds ahead of runner-up Ty Dillon.

Crafton led 85 of the 130 laps and with no cautions in the final 75 laps, there was nothing to slow his charge to the sixth win of his career and first at Atlanta.

Ben Kennedy finished third, Daniel Suarez was fourth and Tyler Reddick was fifth.

Turning point

Crafton took the lead for the second and final time on Lap 59 and was never threatened after that.

Three who mattered

Matt Crafton: After Ford made a sweep of all three national series races at Datyona, Crafton showed his fellow competitors Toyota is still king of this series.

Ty Dillon: Dillon ran both the Xfinity and Truck series races on Saturday, finishing third in the Xfinity race and runner-up in Saturday’s Truck race.

Ben Kennedy: Kennedy began the day winning his first pole and ended it by tying his best finish (third).

Observations

▪ Not sure if this doubleheader is the answer, but Truck series teams seemed to welcome the opportunity to race again after Daytona instead of waiting until late March to run the second event of the season.

▪ Kennedy tied his career-best finish and next heads to the track (Martinsville Speedway) where he set the mark last season. The great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. may be developing into a title contender.

▪  Daytona winner Tyler Reddick continues his roll, finishing in the top-10 for the seventh consecutive race.

They said it

“I didn’t have a whole lot of single-lap speed but I knew when they dropped the green, we had something for them tonight on the long runs.” – Matt Crafton, race winner.

Next race

Kroger 250

Where: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

When: 2:30 p.m. March 28, Fox Sports 1.

N@SCAR

Three tweets from Saturday night’s race:

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