Bubba Wallace wraps up Truck season with fourth win, Matt Crafton earns historic second straight title

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There were two winners in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. wound up with his fourth victory of the season, while Matt Crafton became the first driver to ever win back-to-back NCWTS championships, holding off his only remaining challenger for the crown, Ryan Blaney.

MORE: Matt Crafton becomes first back-to-back NASCAR Trucks champion

“This is definitely more emotional than Martinsville (his first NCWTS win last season),” Wallace said. “I told everybody we want it more than anybody else, let’s show it.

“I wanted that trophy on the stage, it’s a cool one, a unique one. I have all the unique ones on my shelf. I can’t thank these guys enough for all their hard work. Over two years, it’s been fun at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports).”

Wallace is expected to jump to the Xfinity Series and race for Joe Gibbs Racing next season.

“I’m not sure what the future brings for me, but this is one hell of a way to go out,” Wallace said. “… I came home with five wins (four this season) and a hell of a season.”

Crafton, who came into the race knowing he needed to only finish 21st or higher, ultimately clinched the title with a ninth-place finish.

Blaney, meanwhile, finished fifth in the race.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t come out of here with a win, but congrats to Bubba Wallace and Matt Crafton,” Blaney told Fox Sports 1 afterward. “It was great racing them all year. It was a lot of fun.”

Crafton won the championship with 21 points to spare over Blaney (and 34 points ahead of Wallace), who put up a valiant effort under challenging circumstances.

On Lap 73, the shifter in Blaney’s truck broke, all but ending his hopes of catching and passing Crafton for the championship.

“(A broken shifter) never happens,” Blaney said. “It was broken at the base. We never had anything like it all season.”

Ironically, using a pair of vise grips, Blaney remained competitive even with the shifter problem.

Pole-sitter Kyle Larson gave Wallace all he could handle, almost moving to the front on the final lap, but Wallace proved to be too much of an immovable object, leaving Larson to finish second.

Timothy Peters rallied in the late laps to finish third, followed by Kyle Busch and Blaney.

Sixth through 10th were Tyler Reddick, Ty Dillon (subbing for an ill Brendan Newberry), Joe Nemechek, Crafton and Johnny Sauter.

Ross Chastain finished 11th, followed by Daniel Hemric, Jeb Burton, Spencer Gallagher, German Quiroga, Mason Mitchell, Ben Kennedy, Bryan Silas, Tayler Malsam and Austin Hill.

Finishing 21st through 30th were Matt Tifft, Justin Jennings, Joey Coulter, Tyler Young, Kyle Martel, Todd Peck, Derek White, Ray Black Jr., Mason Mingus and Jordan Anderson.

Rounding out the remaining six spots were Wendell Chavous, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Scott Stenzel, Norm Benning, John Wes Townley and Caleb Roark.

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Attention NASCAR teams: IMSA drivers available for Daytona!

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NASCAR will be making its debut on the Daytona International Speedway road course next month, and there’s a big fan who’d like to join the historic weekend.

This fan actually has impressive credentials, too — a few thousand laps around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

In 2014, the winning GTLM team in the sports car endurance classic included IMSA Porsche driver Nick Tandy, who rabidly has followed NASCAR for more than 30 years since growing up in England.

So why not try racing NASCAR? Especially because Tandy has the weekend of Aug. 14-16 free.

He’s not picky, either — offering up his services on Twitter (as well as those of Porsche teammate Earl Bamber) for an ARCA, Xfinity, trucks or Cup ride.

Tandy’s affinity for American stock-car racing runs deep.

His first trip to the World Center of Racing was as a fan attending the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. During Rolex testing in January, Tandy, 35, said he hadn’t missed a Cup race on TV in 15 years.

Among his favorite NASCAR drivers: the Earnhardts, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. When IMSA ran the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2014, Tandy stayed a few extra days at the Brickyard and bought Kyle Busch gear for himself and his children.

He briefly took the stage during a NASCAR weekend last October. After IMSA’s season finale at Road Atlanta, Tandy made a few demonstration laps and a burnout in his No. 911 Porsche before the Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

He also has some experience in stock cars, having raced Modified-type grass-roots series on England’s quarter-mile short tracks.

Couple that with a Daytona road course record that includes two consecutive podium class finishes (including last Saturday) and a sports car resume with 13 IMSA victories and an overall win in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans … and maybe a NASCAR team should take a look.

And Tandy isn’t the only IMSA driver who likely would be available.

Corvette driver Jordan Taylor, who won the 2017 Rolex 24 overall title with Jeff Gordon as a teammate (and the inspiration for his Rodney Sandstrom persona), also tweeted his availability for the weekend on the high banks.

Sports car veteran Andy Lally, a GTD driver with multiple class wins in the Rolex 24 as well as 38 Cup starts (he was the 2011 rookie of the season in NASCAR’s premier series), also hung out his shingle.

There also is AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth (who just won at Daytona last Saturday), the Englishman who teamed with Kyle Busch at the Rolex 24 in January and made an Xfinity start at Mid-Ohio last year with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Many sports car drivers (such as Taylor) already live in Florida, and many are hunkering down in the Sunshine State with IMSA returning to action at Daytona last week and Sebring International Raceway next week. Because of COVID-19-related travel concerns and restrictions, several IMSA stars who live outside the country are riding out the pandemic within a few hours of Daytona with nothing to do.

Why not a weekend at the World Center of Racing?

Over the years, scads of “road-course ringers” (including some Formula One veterans) have tried their hands in stock cars at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International.

How about considering the many sports car drivers who already have reached victory lane at Daytona by making a few right-hand turns, too?