Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Kasey Kahne won Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 after beating Erik Jones to the finish line by the slimmest of margins -- 0.005 seconds -- at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The margin of victory matched the second-closest race finish in the 21-year history of the series. Kyle Busch beat Aric Almirola to the finish line by only 0.002 seconds at Talladega in October 2010, and Erik Darnell defeated Johnny Benson by just 0.005 seconds at Michigan in June 2008.
Earlier in the day, Kahne won the pole position -- his first career pole victory in trucks -- while Jones qualified second. But both drivers had to start from the rear of the field. Kahne's team made unapproved adjustments to his truck prior to the start of the race, while Jones was late to the mandatory drivers' meeting.
Jones dominated the event by leading 88 of 139 laps. A late-race caution for an accident involving Daniel Hemric set up a green-white-checkered finish. Jones had grabbed the top position from Kahne just before the fifth and final caution occurred, and he led the way for the final restart with two laps to go.
"I was able to get away there, but Jones was really fast," Kahne said of the last restart. "He was kind of in a league of his own when he could get to clean air. I knew if I could stay back and stay with him, as long as he didn't get to clean air, I thought it would be alright.
"I slowed up a little bit off of (turn) 2 and tried to get a run. Then I got really loose and spun the wheels getting into 3 and trying to get to the bottom of the track. I was able to side draft. It worked out perfect to get back to the line."
Kahne, a Sprint Cup Series regular, scored his fifth win in six career truck starts. His most recent start in the series happened in April 2012 at Rockingham, North Carolina, a race he won. His worst finish in trucks is second, which occurred in July 2010 at Pocono.
Kahne also gave JR Motorsports its first victory in the team's second start in the series. JRM, which is co-owned by Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, and Cup team owner Rick Hendrick, made its truck debut with driver Cole Custer in March at Martinsville. Kahne's win allowed Chevrolet to pick up its 200th win in trucks.
Shortly after the race, NASCAR announced that Kahne's No. 00 Chevrolet failed post-race inspection. The truck was found to be too low on both sides of the front and too high on the right rear. Penalties will likely be forthcoming sometime next week.
One week ago, Jones put on a dominating performance at Kansas by leading 151 of the first 161 laps, but Jones ran out of fuel with six laps to go and ended up finishing 11th. Matt Crafton, the two-time defending truck champion, prevailed in the fuel-mileage battle at Kansas, winning his second race of the season.
"It sucks when it has to come down to a green-white-checkered and the fastest truck loses the race again two weeks in a row," a frustrated Jones said. "It just sucks. We had such a good (truck). I just can't believe we lost it. I don't even know what to say. It really, really hurts."
Kahne led two times for a total of 21 laps.
Crafton finished third and remained atop the championship standings. He now holds a 16-point lead over Jones. Tyler Reddick is 18 points behind following his fourth-place run.
Reddick's team owner, Brad Keselowski, a Sprint Cup regular as well, finished fifth. John Wes Townley, Timothy Peters, Matt Tifft, Justin Boston and Spencer Gallagher completed the top-10.