Lofton holds off Keselowski for first truck win
Concord, NC (Sports Network) - Justin Lofton became a first-time race winner in the Camping World Truck Series by taking Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Lofton grabbed the lead from Sprint Cup Series regular Brad Keselowski after a restart with 10 laps remaining when Ron Hornaday Jr. bumped Keselowski from behind and shoved him down the track, allowing Lofton to slip by.
A caution for debris set up a five-lap shootout to the finish. After the final restart, Lofton pulled ahead of the field, while Todd Bodine overtook Keselowski for second. Keselowski passed Bodine for the position with two laps to go and then chased down Lofton for the lead.
But Keselowski came up short in his effort, as Lofton crossed the finish line 0.26 seconds ahead of Keselowski for his maiden win in his 55th truck start. Lofton drives the No. 6 Chevrolet for Eddie Sharp Racing.
"This is just amazing," said Lofton, who led a race-high 44 laps. "I really don't even know what to do. This day has been coming for so long. These guys [No. 6 team] works their butts off every week, and I want to thank them."
While Lofton drove into Charlotte's victory lane, Keselowski and Hornaday had a heated discussion on pit road.
"I just told him I take care of him all of the time in these races, and I respect him, and he showed me none at all, so I'm just going to have to stop respecting him," Keselowski said.
Bodine ended up finishing third, while Jason Leffler and Hornaday Jr. rounded out the top-five.
"I guess Brad is mad at me," Hornaday said. "I ran into the back of him on the restart, but he stopped and played jackrabbit, and somebody got into the back of me. Sorry about that to him, but we're all looking for spots."
Keselowski was attempting to become the 24th different driver to win a race in each of NASCAR's three national touring series. He has six victories in Sprint Cup, including two this year, and 17 in the Nationwide Series.
"It all came down to the restarts and who was willing to work together," Keselowski said. "Nobody worked with me on the last two restarts. They did everything they could to wreck me. I was really frustrated about that, but that's racing."
Jason White, Joey Coulter, Jeb Burton, Timothy Peters and Ty Dillon, who claimed his first pole in the series earlier in the day, finished sixth through 10th, respectively.
With the win, Lofton moved atop the point standings for the first time in his truck career. His lead is only one point over Peters.
05/18 23:41:38 ET