BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Ryan Blaney took the lead from Matt Crafton off a restart in a green-white-checkered finish and held off Kyle Busch to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck race Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Blaney rebounded after losing a lap early on the 0.533-mile oval when he was given a pass-through penalty for jumping a restart while leading.
“Obviously, we didn’t like it, but it was NASCAR’s jurisdiction,” Blaney said. “To come from a lap down, to do it in that fashion, it says so much for this team to be able to charge back up there.”
Blaney raced to his first victory of the year and fourth overall. Starting on the inside line on the final restart, he made the winning pass after beating Crafton to the first turn.
“We had a chance and that’s all you can ask for is a chance,” Blaney said. “Obviously, the inside isn’t the preferred line on the restart, but we got a good jump and were able to pull away.”
Busch also made a furious late charge in a bid for a third straight victory in the series. The Sprint Cup driver was running third with 85 laps to go when he made a decision to pit for adjustments. He came out 14th, but moved to fifth heading into the final restart.
“It was a really good restart for us,” Busch said. “I was able to get on the outside of the 33 (Brandon Jones) and the 88 (Crafton). I think it surprised him and he had to get out of the gas. Our truck was fast tonight. There weren’t enough laps to catch the 29 (Blaney), and we were just in the wrong position.”
John Hunter Nemechek was third, followed by Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones and Erik Jones.
Crafton faded to seventh in the melee at the end. He was in position for his fourth victory of the year when Ty Dillon spun to bring out the final caution.
Tyler Reddick was eighth. He leads the season standings, six points ahead of two-time defending series Crafton.
Cole Custer led 111 of the 202 laps, but collided with Spencer Gallagher’s wreck truck with less than 50 laps to go and ended up 16th.
“I really don’t know what happened,” Custer said. “I was committed to the top and was going as hard as I could. The truck is all messed up. It’s a shame. We had the thing won.”
The race was red-flagged for 45 minutes because of ran on Lap 166.