NASCAR Trucks title rivals Crafton, Blaney start up front in tonight’s season finale

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Ryan Blaney will have a slight advantage at the drop of the green flag for tonight’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Blaney, down 25 points to Matt Crafton (pictured, right), will start on the front row alongside pole sitter Kyle Larson for the Ford Ecoboost 200.

“I hope our race truck’s a lot better than our qualifying truck,” Blaney told Fox Sports. “I didn’t think our qualifying lap was very good, and I was kind of surprised when we ended up second.

“But I know we’ve got a better race truck from practice yesterday, and I think we have that to look forward to. I think it holds on pretty decent, so hopefully, it’ll act the same way tonight.

“We practiced yesterday during the heat of the day, so that throws a variable in it. But hopefully, it’ll be good when it cools off tonight.”

However, Crafton won’t be far behind him; he’ll be starting sixth, on the outside of Row 3.

A finish of 21st or better in tonight’s race will give Crafton his second consecutive Truck Series title and the distinction of being the first back-to-back champion in series history.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Crafton said. “I think we have a very good Menards Toyota Tundra. It was good in the long run yesterday [in practice], and that’s all we worked on, just our race trim. Didn’t do any qualifying runs.

“The first two [qualifying rounds], I was pretty satisfied with it. Then [in the final round], I think I just got a little bit too close to the 19 [Ross Chastain] and I got a little bit tight. But, all in all, I think it’s gonna race just fine.”

Chastain and Tyler Reddick will start in Row 2, followed by Kyle Busch and Matt Crafton in Row 3. Ty Dillon and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace are in Row 4, and Jeb Burton and Bryan Silas go off from Row 5.

Busch is seeking to win the Truck Series’ owner’s championship for the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team. He leads Crafton’s No. 88 ThorSport Racing team by 18 points for that title and can clinch it with a 14th-place finish.

Green flag for tonight’s 134-lap event is scheduled to fall shortly after 8 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Homestead – Starting Lineup