Matt Crafton captured the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) title on Friday night at the series season ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Crafton entered Homestead with a 46-point lead over Ty Dillon and all he had to do was start the race to win his first championship in 13 seasons.
Crafton had front end damage from a late wreck, but the 37-year old the Tulare, Calif.-native drove his ThorSport Racing No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra to a 21st-place finish and captured the title by 40 points over second-place Ty Dillon.
Crafton won one race (Kansas), captured seven top-five finishes, 19 top-10 finishes in 22 races and held onto the series points lead since the fourth race of the season.
“It’s an honor to be able to drive this Menards Toyota Tundra,” said Crafton. “To be able to do this for Duke and Rhonda Thorson (team owners) that have been doing this for 18 years, and to give them their first championship and me driving for them for 14 years.”
“These guys are the ones that work so hard. I’m just the one that gets to celebrate and look like the hero because I got to drive a great truck all year.” Crafton added.
Despite winning the championship, the series owners’ championship went to Kyle Busch on a tiebreaker.
“It’s kind of aggravating because we wanted the owners’ championship as well, but it happens.” Crafton said.
Busch won the race, capturing his fifth win of the season, and secured the championship tie-breaker with more wins than Crafton.
“It means a lot. Man, this is so much fun to come out and race, for one, to win races, two, and to contend for owner’s championships. It’s big for us. I can’t say enough about this team.” Busch said.
Ryan Blaney finished second, Jeb Burton third, Brendan Gaughan fourth and Ron Hornaday Jr. rounded out the top-5.
Dillon finished second in the series standings, James Buescher third, Johnny Sauter fourth and Jeb Burton ended up fifth.