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Kahne nipped Jones at the line to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200. The win was the first for JR Motorsports in Truck competition, the 200th for Chevrolet, and Kahne’s fifth victory in six Truck Series starts.
The win came at the end of a great battle between Kahne and Jones. Both drivers came from the rear of the field – Kahne for unapproved adjustments, Jones for missing the drivers’ meeting – after qualifying in first and second, respectively. Jones showed that he had the dominant truck early on, rising to the lead on lap 26 and dominating the midway portion of the race. He continued to hold first place until a restart with just over 30 laps remaining. Kahne and Jones were side-by-side for several laps afterwards, with Kahne securing the top spot when a caution fell for a spin by Mason Mingus with 18 laps left.
Kahne then took off on the ensuing restart, but Jones was able to track him back down, taking the lead with four laps remaining. Jones began pulling away and was cruising to the white flag when the caution fell once again, this time for Daniel Hemric‘s crash.
Kahne and Jones again battled side-by-side in a green-white-checkered finish, staying side-by-side right up to the start/finish line in a heart-pounding ending for all involved.
Behind Kahne and Jones, Matt Crafton was able to work his way around Tyler Reddick on the last lap to come home in third. Reddick finished fourth, followed by team owner Brad Keselowski, who led early on but later lost track position due to a lengthy pit stop.
Crafton’s points lead dropped by a single point with his third-place result. He now holds a 16-point edge on Jones and an 18-point cushion on Reddick.
The field was slowed for 25 laps as the result of five cautions. There were 12 lead changes amongst six drivers.
The Truck Series will return to action on May 29, a Friday afternoon affair when the field heads to Dover International Speedway for the Lucas Oil 200.
UPDATE: Kahne’s race-winning Truck failed post-race technical inspection at Charlotte. No word as of 11:45 p.m. ET on possible penalties for the team.