TALLAGEGA, Ala. — Johnny Sauter took the checkered flag to win Saturday’s Fred’s 250 powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
But as Sauter was taking the checkered flag, a wild multi-car accident was taking place behind him with Kyle Busch, Darrell Wallace Jr., Jeb Burton, point leader Matt Crafton, Ross Chastain, Miguel Paludo and Justin Lofton among those involved.
Paludo’s truck hit the outside wall and flipped multiple times before coming to a rest in the tri-oval of the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Lofton suffered a broken thumb in the accident.
It was Sauter’s third victory of the season and the ninth of his career. It also completed a sweep of the restrictor-plate races for Sauter, who also won at Daytona Int’l Speedway to open the season.
Sauter was getting pushed by his ThorSport Racing teammate Crafton as three pairs of cars were racing to the finish when Chastain clipped Crafton triggering the multi-truck accident.
“This is awesome,” Sauter said. “I am so proud of everybody at ThorSport. That was the best illustration of teamwork that you could ever have. I am so proud of Matt Crafton. Unfortunately, he got torn up. I don’t know if he crossed the finish line or not.”
David Starr finished second with Chastain taking third. Parker Kligerman and Dakoda Armstrong rounded out the top five.
Crafton finished ninth and with his closest rival in the standings, James Buescher, involved in one of the previous multi-truck accidents, Crafton extended his lead in the standings.
“We never give up,” Crafton said. “We have very slow trucks by ourselves, but when we locked together we were very fast…We were going for the victory. That’s what they pay me to do.”
There were seven yellow flags for 28 laps and 30 lead changes among 14 drivers. The final accident was one of three “big ones” that collected drivers including Buescher, Ryan Blaney, Timothy Peters and Ron Hornaday among others.