Kyle Busch wins at Homestead; Crafton claims truck series title

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- It took Kyle Busch three attempts at a green-white-checkered flag finish to win Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but the overtime laps gave him an unexpected bonus: an owners' championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
First things first. Matt Crafton qualified eighth, cranked his engine for the start of the race and won his first series championship in his 13th full year in the trucks, closing out Ty Dillon simply by starting the race.
But Crafton was wrecked on the first attempt at a green-white-checker and limped home in 21st, losing the owners' title to Busch on a tiebreaker based on the number of victories during the season.
The win was Busch's fifth of the season in 11 starts in his own No. 51 Toyota. It was his second win at the 1.5-mile track and the 35th of his career.
Ryan Blaney rallied from contact with the wall to finish second. Jeb Burton hit the wall twice and took third. Fourth-place finisher Brendan Gaughan posted his fourth top five in as many races, and Ron Hornaday Jr. ran fifth in his first race in the No. 34 Turner Scott Motorsports entry.
Busch was leading when Burton scraped the wall for the second time on Lap 130 during a late green-flag run. That sent the race to overtime, and Busch led the field to the green flag on Lap 136, but a four-car wreck that collected Crafton in the melee necessitated the second green-white-checker.
Johnny Sauter's wreck on Lap 142 caused the eighth caution of the evening to set up the third and final try at a two-lap shootout.
Blaney also made a statement in a close rookie-of-the-year battle against Darrell Wallace Jr., becoming the youngest Sunoco Rookie of the Year in series history. Blaney led 51 of the first 65 laps and was first onto pit road on Lap 65 after Darrell Wallace Jr. tagged the outside wall one circuit earlier.
Busch was first off pit road for a restart on Lap 70, but after a pitched battle for the lead that went four-wide at one juncture -- with Busch, Blaney, Crafton and Hornaday all involved -- Blaney reclaimed the top spot from Busch on Lap 78 and began to pull away.
Blaney's lead was cut to one second on Lap 88, but Busch began to close, and on Lap 94 Blaney scraped the outside wall to cause the fourth caution of the race, but he rallied late for the runner-up finish as the race went 14 laps beyond its posted distance.

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