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The Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 28) was Matt Crafton‘s race to lose… and well, he lost it.
The two-time Camping World Truck Series champion dominated the race, leading 102 laps and winning Stage 1, but he lost the lead with 10 laps to go on a final restart to eventual winner Noah Gragson.
Crafton was the highest finishing driver of the six remaining in the playoffs and sits in a good position to make the Championship 4 with two races left before the cutoff. Despite failing to win, it was to his benefit that a non-playoff driver won the race in Gragson. As a result, there are still four spots that will make it to Homestead-Miami Speedway on points.
However, in the heat of the moment, Crafton could care less about the runner-up outing and was more so disappointed in the missed opportunity to win his 15th career Truck race and automatically punch his ticket to Homestead.
“At this point, I really don’t care, to be honest,” Crafton said. “It just sucks that you finish second.”
Crafton was running away with the race until Bayley Currey spun out on lap 184 of the 200 to bring out the sixth and final caution.
Gragson grabbed the lead from Crafton from the outside lane on the final restart and Crafton could never catch back up.
“Just another lost race,” Crafton said. “A lot of salt in the wound.”
Crafton is still sitting pretty heading into next weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, leading fifth-place driver Austin Cindric by 30 points.