NASCAR Trucks: Crafton still controls title race, but Bubba looming larger

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The Camping World Truck Series championship has become a three-horse race with three races to go.

Darrell Wallace Jr.’s big win today in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway has pulled him closer to the top of the standings.

The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver is now just 22 points behind defending series champion Matt Crafton and a mere four points behind Ryan Blaney for second.

It appeared for a while that Wallace would become Crafton’s closest pursuer in the standings by the end of the day.

After being one of the early race leaders, Blaney fell back and then dropped even farther into the field after he spun out in an incident with 64 laps to go.

At the time the red flag came out for John Wes Townley and Brandon Jones’ crash with 51 laps to go, Blaney was in 25th place.

But in a stellar drive, he moved up through the field and cracked the Top 5 again on the final lap. With a fifth-place finish, Blaney sits 18 points behind Crafton going into next weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Crafton also had an eventful afternoon, dodging several incidents in order to stay with the leaders – including the same one that had Blaney and others such as Jeb Burton and John Hunter Nemechek spinning.

Then with 13 laps to go, Crafton had to avoid the wayward German Quiroga after he had spun while fighting Wallace and Johnny Sauter for the lead going into Turn 3.

Crafton was in the Top 5 at that point, and he eventually moved up to third when Timothy Peters pushed Sauter up the track with three laps to go. Peters went by Sauter for second on the inside, and Crafton did the same to get his third-place finishing position.

With that, Crafton extended his points lead by two from the 16-point gap he had going into today.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.