Camping World Truck Series

Crafton takes truck points lead to Charlotte

Concord, NC ( - After finishing second last week at Kansas Speedway, defending Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton is back atop the point standings.

The series will run its fourth race of the season on Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Crafton enters this 200-mile event with an eight-point lead over Timothy Peters and Ron Hornaday, the four-time truck champion.

Kyle Busch won the truck race at Kansas, which was held at nighttime for the first time. It featured nine cautions -- all for accidents. Hornaday and Peters were involved in the first wreck, occurring on lap 2.

"The biggest reason why you saw so many wrecks last week is the track had all the grip in the world and the tire was really hard and you're relying 100 percent on aero - aero that's holding you down, and when you do get in traffic they shut off," Crafton said. "I think you see quite a few of these drivers that haven't been in that situation like that at Kansas, and that was one thing I really focused on doing was getting in an eight-truck pack. I did it last week at Kansas to see how hard they were going to be to drive."

Crafton won last year's race at Kansas and took over the points lead. He sat first in the standings for the remainder of the season, en route to his first championship.

Crafton has competed in each truck race at Charlotte since the series started competing here in 2003. He scored his first career truck win at this 1.5-mile track in 2008.

"I always look forward to coming to Charlotte," he said. "It's the site of my first win, and it's really cool because the majority of the teams are based out of the Charlotte area and our team is based out of Sandusky [Ohio]. Everybody has their pride of coming to Charlotte to try to win in their own backyard, and to be able to come here and try to steal the pride from those guys is very cool. We did it a few years back."

Crafton, the driver of the No. 88 Toyota for ThorSport Racing, has scored eight top-10 finishes at Charlotte. He placed fourth here last year.

Busch has the most truck wins at Charlotte, including victories in 2010, '11 and '13. He did not compete in the 2012 race.

Truck teams did not practice at Charlotte on Thursday due to rain. Busch led the way in the only practice here on Friday morning with a lap at 180.820 mph. Crafton was fifth on the charts at 180.138 mph.

Thirty-three teams are on the entry list for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Busch, Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski are those Sprint Cup Series regulars entered. Keselowski is expected to make his first truck start of the season.

Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Friday, May 16. Race: North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Site: Charlotte Motor Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET. Laps: 134. Miles: 201. 2013 Winner: Kyle Busch. Television: FOX Sports 1. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.

05/16 13:15:32 ET

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