Kansas City, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Crafton became the first driver to win a Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway multiple times after he prevailed in a fuel-mileage battle in Friday night's Toyota Tundra 250.
Crafton, the two-time defending series champion, grabbed the lead with just two laps to go when then leader Daniel Suarez ran out of fuel. It was Crafton's second win of the season and the seventh of his truck career. He scored the victory in the Feb. 28 race at Atlanta, a 1.5-mile track similar to Kansas.
A round of pit stops occurred during a caution with 55 laps remaining, and teams had hoped to go the distance without pitting again.
Erik Jones started on the pole and dominated this race, leading 151 of the first 161 laps, but Jones was the first driver to run out of gas with six laps left. Tyler Reddick then took over the top spot until his tank went dry with less than three laps to go. Suarez claimed the lead at the time.
There had been 14 different winners in the previous 14 truck races at Kansas. Crafton won here for the first time in 2013.
"I said when we took the checkered flag that we would rather be lucky than good sometimes, and we were definitely that tonight," said Crafton, who led just six laps in his No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota. "We didn't have the fastest truck, but I felt we had the second fastest truck...You have to be close enough to be able to sneak one out every once in a while. I've lost (races) like this before, so I don't feel too bad about it."
Ryan Newman, the only Sprint Cup Series regular in this race, finished second, 8.3 seconds behind Crafton. It was the first time Newman competed in a truck event since July 2013 at Eldora. He drove the No. 8 Chevrolet for SWM-NEMCO Motorsports, a team co-owned by veteran NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek.
Newman bounced back from a penalty for an uncontrolled tire that got away from his pit stall during his last stop. He fell back to the tail end of the lead lap.
"The tire deal hurt us, no doubt," Newman said. "If we had the truck from the previous run at the end then we would have been in pretty good shape."
Johnny Sauter placed third, followed by Timothy Peters, Cameron Hayley and Suarez. Only the top-six drivers finished on the lead lap.
Jones, the driver of the No. 4 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, ended up finishing one lap behind in 11th.
"Man, it just sucks," a disappointed Jones said after the race. "We had by far the best truck. We had at one point an 11-second lead. I saved as much (fuel) as I could. Being six laps short, I don't know how the 88 (Crafton) made it."
Earlier in the day, Jones won the pole for this race with a new track qualifying record (179.396 mph). He then qualified 12th for what will be his first career Sprint Cup start in Saturday night's 400-mile event here. The 18- year-old Jones is substituting for the injured Kyle Busch in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 Toyota.
Jones also posted the fastest lap overall in Sprint Cup practice on Friday (191.306 mph).
With the win, Crafton widened his points lead to 17 over Reddick, who wound up finishing two laps down in 13th. Jones is 18 points out of the lead, while Sauter trails by 22.