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.
“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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