Kansas City, KS (Sports Network) - Matt Crafton snapped a 39-race winless streak in the Camping World Truck Series after surviving a rash of accidents and then holding off Joey Coulter in the final laps of Saturday's SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway.
Crafton passed rookie Darrell Wallace Jr. for the lead just after a restart with 30 laps to go. Coulter chased down Crafton and ran right behind him with less than 15 laps to go, but Crafton could not get around him for the top spot.
Crafton beat Coulter to the finish line by just 0.167 seconds for his third career Truck Series win but his first since July 2011 at Iowa Speedway. Crafton also became the 13th different winner in as many truck races at Kansas.
ThorSport Racing has won three of the first races in the series this season. Johnny Sauter, who is Crafton's teammate, claimed victories at Daytona and Martinsville. With the win at Kansas, Crafton moved up to second in the standings and trails Sauter by 12 points for the lead.
"It feels damn good," Crafton said. "I can't thank the guys (No. 88 ThorSport Racing team) enough. This truck was junk (in practice) yesterday. This thing was terrible. The guys changed so much on this thing."
Crafton and his wife, Ashley, are expecting their first child in the coming days.
Ryan Blaney finished third, followed by Brendan Gaughan, Sauter and James Buescher, the defending series champion.
Wallace, Ty Dillon, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Timothy Peters completed the top-10.
This was the first time the Truck Series competed at Kansas since the track surface received a new coat of asphalt and the turns were reconfigured with variable banking last year. The 167-lap race featured a record 18 lead changes among 10 drivers.
"There's so much grip on this new pavement that you can drive these trucks wide open the whole time," Coulter said. "It was just a matter of who could catch the wind at the right spot. I could pull (Crafton) off of the corner, but by the time we got to the end of the straightaway, it all kind of equaled out."
The race also had 11 cautions. Nine of those cautions were for accidents, including one on lap 120 when Todd Bodine slammed hard into the outside wall along the backstretch. Bodine bumped into Brennan Newberry in turn 2 and spun down the track before Bryan Silas slammed into him and shot him up the track. Bodine's truck lifted slightly off of the ground and turned around when it ricocheted off of the wall. He was not injured. NASCAR stopped the race 13 minutes for cleanup efforts.
Several accidents had occurred when drivers were running side-by-side with each other while battling for position.
"Brennan got loose, and it's just one of those things in racing," Bodine said. "I think what we really need here is a lot more side force in these trucks, so that we absolutely cannot run side-by-side. It's hard enough with the side force that we've got and the way the aerodynamics are right now."
While battling for the lead after a restart in the early going, James Buescher and his Turner Scott Motorsports teammate, Miguel Paludo, bumped into each other and spun. Paludo hit the wall and had his race end after 35 laps. Buescher, the pole sitter, led the most laps with 55. His first win in the series came one year ago at Kansas.
"It's okay. I know (Buescher) didn't do it intentionally," Paludo said.
Kyle Busch was in contention to win until he made contact with German Quiroga on lap 90. Busch wound up finishing 27th. His fellow Sprint Cup Series competitor, Joey Logano, suffered engine failure and finished 24th. Logano placed second in last weekend's race at Rockingham, N.C.