Wallace wins the finale as Crafton is crowned champion
Matt Crafton has sealed his place in history, becoming the first back-to-back CWTS champion.
Celebrations were abundant after the checkered flag waved over the Ford EcoBoost 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night.
Darrell Wallace Jr. celebrated the race win, Matt Crafton celebrated his second-straight championship, and Kyle Busch celebrated another owners' title.
I'm not done. I'm only 38 years old. I'm a young buck.
"Great year. Really, it was just a phenomenal job by these guys," Busch said of his crew.
Crafton made Truck Series history, becoming the first driver to ever win consecutive championships at the Truck level.
"It's such a good, good feeling (winning back-to-back)," Crafton said. "I'm not done. I'm only 38 years old. I'm a young buck."
As the race winner and champions celebrated, Ben Kennedy was named Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year.
Blaney comes up short
Kyle Larson was the race's runner-up, while Timothy Peters finished third, Busch fourth and Ryan Blaney fifth. "We struggled all night terribly. One of the worst races we had," Blaney said. Don't know how I finished fifth."
Blaney, Crafton's closest championship competition, suffered a broken shifter during a lap 70 caution. As a result, he lost positions on pit road, but moved back into the top-10 by lap 90 and in the top-five by a restart just past lap 100.
"That was tough," Blaney said.
Crafton smooth and steady
Crafton secured his championship with a ninth-place finish. He entered the race needing only to finish 21st or better to beat out Blaney for championship honors. He looked to run rather conservatively throughout the race, staying out of trouble.
"I wanted to race so much harder tonight," Crafton said. "I was just waiting for them to tell me there were only 20 trucks running."
Larson dominated the race until a right-front tire issue on pit road during a lap 99 caution. As a result of a slow stop, Larson lined up third for the restart that followed, while Busch and Wallace lined up on the front row. Wallace took the lead and held the spot for much of the remainder of the race.
"We definitely had the best truck I felt like," Larson said. "We had a bad pit stop and a couple of bad restarts that shuffled us back to fifth."
Wallace pulled away in the final 20 laps, while Busch, Larson, Blaney and Peters raced for other top-five spots. Larson did manage to run him down and made a move on the final lap, but it just wasn't enough to steal the win away.
"Great racing there at the end," Wallace said. "That's what Miami produces."
History in the making for Matt Crafton
Champions are crowned at Homestead