Denny Hamlin is victorious in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the second time in 14 career races.
Hamlin passed Matt Crafton with less than ten laps to go, taking the lead in the Kroger 200 and eventually winning the event. Hamlin’s win marks the first for Kyle Busch Motorsports this season. The No. 51 truck had to start at the rear of the field, but made his way into the 12th position by lap 50 and continued to progress as the race went on.
Kevin Harvick dominated the race as he led a total of 101 laps. Unfortunately for the No. 2 team, Harvick had a flat left side tire which forced him to pit on the final caution of the race ending the day by finishing in the 12th position.
Ricky Benton Racing’s No. 92 team was impressive in the closing laps of the race. The team had a new driver this weekend as Scott Riggs piloted the truck to finish in the fifth position. The top five is the first for Riggs since a fourth place finish at Bristol in the Cup Series in 2006.
Nelson Piquet Jr. and Joey Coulter battled out in the final laps for the second and third positions as the two beat each other until Coulter finally gave way.
The championship battle continued to be a wild one as each of the top four contenders had their respective issues throughout the race.
Entering the race, Austin Dillon had the championship lead. During the race, he blew a tire causing him to go six laps down, finishing in the 28th position. Ultimately, this caused Dillon to relinquish the points lead to James Buescher.
Buescher struggled throughout the day as well. At one point, the No. 31 Chevy Silverado was a lap down in the 20th position as his day seemed to be over. But, the Turner Motorsports crew battled back to end the day in the sixth position.
Timothy Peters, who started the day from the pole, led the race twice for a total of 59 laps. Peters battled handling issues once he lost the lead to Harvick as he couldn’t take advantage of the struggles from Dillon and Buescher, finishing in the seventh position.
Parker Kligerman basically eliminated himself from championship contention as he finished ninth. Kligerman was a lap down for a majority of the event, but he still managed to finish in the top ten.
There were several drivers which had respectable runs before the season begins to close. Max Gresham, who now races on a part-time basis for Eddie Sharp Racing, finished in the 11th position. Josh Richards, who made his Camping World Truck Series debut, finished 17th and Peyton Sellers who made his first start of the season, finished 20th.
Heading into Texas, Buescher leads the points by 21 markers over Dillon who will continue to fight for the championship until the end.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.