Thirteen is a lucky number, for Matt Crafton and Kansas Speedway.
Crafton’s victory at the 1.5-mile track set a record with 13 different winners since the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series began its annual visits in 2001. The facility had shared the record with Homestead-Miami Speedway, whose streak ran from 1996-2007.
The SFP 250 was Crafton’s 13th visit to Kansas Speedway – the only driver to have run in each of the track’s races. His previous best finish, fifth, came in 2004.
Closing in on his 300th series consecutive start – Kansas was No. 298 – Crafton snapped a 39-race winless streak dating to July 2011 at Iowa Speedway.
The victory gave ThorSport Racing a virtual stranglehold on the series through the schedule’s first four races. On Wednesday, Crafton inherited the series points lead after his ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter was penalized 25 points for an infraction at Kansas Speedway. Sauter fell to second place.
Sauter has won twice and finished fifth, the only driver to have posted top fives in each of the year’s opening events. Crafton has four top 10s. It’s the first time Sandusky, Ohio-based ThorSport has claimed the top two spots since becoming a full-time NCWTS team in 1998.
“Everybody said it can’t be done [outside Charlotte],” said Crafton. “We’re making fools out of all the ones that said it can’t be done.”