Darrell Wallace Jr. Wins Truck Race; Matt Crafton Wins Back to Back Championship

In a blur of burnouts, Darrell Wallace Jr. won the EcoBoost 200, Matt Crafton won the Truck Series championship, and Kyle Busch Motorsports won the owner’s championship. Ben Kennedy also secured Rookie of the Year honors for the Camping World Truck Series.

Darrell Wallace Jr. won the race, his first win at Homestead and his fourth victory of the season. This was also Toyota’s 18th win, tying Chevrolet for the all-time series record of wins in a single season.

“We came down here and tested and I felt pretty happy with what I found out,” the driver of the No. 54 ToyotaCare Toyota said. “Practice wasn’t great but these guys never gave up on me. I might get a little bratty but we always come together. We’ve strung together four wins and it’s been a lot of fun.”

“We didn’t have a shot at the title but we wanted it more than anything else,” Wallace continued. “We beat the boss finally.”

Wallace also said this was one of his most emotional wins of the season and dedicated the race to his engineer’s mother, who passed away.

“We put her name on top of the door,” Wallace said. “She was our guardian angel.”

Matt Crafton made history at Homestead by winning back to back championships in the Truck Series.

“To say I made history is definitely very, very cool,” the ThorSports driver of the No. 88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota said. “It’s all about these guys that are behind me. Without them, I’m just an average race car driver at best.”

“To say I’m in the history books with Ron Hornaday and all those great race car drivers, it’s great,” Crafton continued. “It’s the best racing in NASCAR.”

Kyle Busch Motorsports won the owner’s championship and secured its place in history as the only team to win back-to-back owner’s championships in the Truck Series.

“It’s a great milestone for us and a great accomplishment,” Busch said after finishing fourth. “It’s a true testament to all the hard work and dedication of Eric Phillips (crew chief) and the team. That’s what the Truck Series is all about as a proving ground. Truly to have two drivers to compete and to capture an owner’s championship says a lot about our team and our organization.”

Ben Kennedy, whose family has been so integral to the sports of NASCAR, scored Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

“This is awesome,” Kennedy said. “I think it’s a testament to the team and how hard the guys at Turner Motorsports worked. This Rookie of the Year deal was on my bucket list and I’m humbled by it.”

“We weren’t really all that great tonight but it pays off for the whole season.”

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 ParkerStore Chevrolet, and Timothy Peters, behind the wheel of the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, finished second and third respectively.

“We definitely had the best truck,” Larson said. “We had a bad pit stop that last stop and I had a couple bad restarts. It’s hard to find clean air in the trucks as they punch such a hole.”

“We were so even,” Larson continued. “Bubba did a good job once again. Two tracks he beat me at where he ran the rim. I hate it that we finished second but it was a good run for us.”

“It was a lot of fun,” Peters said. “What a way to finish and end the season. It feels good to come to Homestead and do this. Wish we had about 20 more laps but we’ll build on it and go to Daytona.”

“I just wish that the second half of the season was the first half for us as that could have been us celebrating the championship.”

Ryan Blaney, who was also fighting for the possibility of the championship, battled a shifter issue for much of the race, finishing top-five.

“We struggled all night,” Blaney said. “It was one of the worst trucks I’ve ever had. I can’t believe we finished fifth.”

Blaney ended his season 21 points behind the newly crowned champion Matt Crafton.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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Mary Jo Buchanan
Mary Jo has lived and breathed racing since her days at local dirt tracks. From her vantage in the pits, she has developed an interest and expertise in all levels of racing, from go karts to the Cup Series. Many of her articles focus on the "behind the scenes" racing world, as well as up and coming drivers. Mary Jo enjoys writing about the people that make NASCAR and racing work on a day-to-day basis. She recently won an NMPA award for spot news writing. Mary Jo can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

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