Crafton Surprises With Eldora Truck Score

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Despite all but junking his car in his heat race, coming from the back of the last chance qualifier to win it, starting 26th and going a lap down after a multi-car crash on lap five, Bobby Pierce somehow rallied to record a sixth-place finish for longtime Truck team owner Mike Mittler.

Christopher Bell was the favorite of many to win the race, but spun on his own during the first segment and was impacted by the truck driven by Kaz Grala.

Despite severe damage to his Toyota, Bell raced back to the lead and was second when he had a right-front tire go flat with 25 laps remaining.

He continued to fight and finished ninth.

“I ruined it for my guys,” Bell said of his early-race spin. “They gave me a great Tundra, but I made a mistake early on that cost us. My guys worked really hard to get us going again and it seemed like the truck had good speed, but the flat tire at the end wrote us off.”

Matt Crafton (88) and Stewart Friesen at Eldora Speedway. (Chris Seelman photo)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, Ohio, July 19, 2017

Qualifying: 1. Stewart Friesen, Larsen 52, 20.000; 2. Chase Briscoe, Keselowski 29, 20.138; 3. Kaz Grala, GMS 33, 20.179; 4. Christopher Bell, 20.216, Busch 4; 5. Noah Gragson, Busch 18, 20.240; 6. Justin Shipley, Wallace 80, 20.354; 7. Matt Crafton, ThorSport 88, 20.373; 8. Ryan Truex, Hattori 16, 20.412; 9. Caleb Holman, Henderson 75, 20.417; 10. Rico Abreu, ThorSport 89, 20.422; 11. John Hunter Nemechek, Nemechek 8, 20.424; 12. Ben Rhodes, ThorSport 27, 20.454; 13. Harrison Burton, Busch 51, 20.464; 14. Johnny Sauter, GMS 21, 20.473; 15. Chris Windom, Mittler 36, 20.476; 16. Jeffrey Abbey, Niece 45, 20.518; 17. Austin Cindric, Keselowski 19, 20.545; 18. Justin Haley, GMS 24, 20.567; 19. Sheldon Creed, Young 20, 20.595; 20. Ty Dillon, MDM 99, 20.635; 21. Bobby Pierce, Mittler 63, 20.692; 22. Max Johnston, Young 02, 20.786; 23. Ray Ciccarelli, Cobb 10, 20.979; 24. Ken Schrader, Bolen 66, 21.005; 25. Brandon Hightower, Lowe 1, 21.039; 26. Grant Enfinger, ThorSport 98, 21.109; 27. Wendell Chavous, Robinson 49, 21.264; 28. J.J. Yeley, Copp 83, 21.301; 29. Korbin Forrister, Cobb 0, 21.371; 30. Mike Harmon, Beaver 50, 21.574; 31. Norm Benning, Benning 6, 22.069; 32. Cody Coughlin, ThorSport 13, 22.131; 33. Tommy Regan, Benning 57, 24.096; 34. J.R. Heffner, Lamb 44, no time.

First Heat (10 laps): Friesen, Nemechek, Enfinger, Abbey, Shipley, Pierce, Benning.

Second Heat (10 laps): Crafton, Rhodes, Briscoe, Cindric, Johnston, Coughlin, Chavous.

Third Heat (10 laps): Grala, Truex, Haley, Yeley, Burton, Ciccarelli, Regan.

Fourth Heat (10 laps): Bell, Holman, Sauter, Creed, Schrader, Forrister.

Fifth Heat (10 laps): Dillon, Gragson, Abreu, Windom, Hightower, Harmon.

Last Chance Race (15 laps): Pierce, Coughlin, Chavous, Forrister, Benning, Harmon, Ciccarelli, Regan.

Feature (150 laps): Crafton, Friesen, Briscoe, Enfinger, Nemechek, Pierce, Gragson, Haley, Bell, Cindric, Coughlin, Dillon, Benning, Abbey, Burton, Chavous, Schrader, Harmon, Windom, Truex, Yeley, Ciccarelli, Sauter, Hightower, Shipley, Abreu, Creed, Forrister, Johnston, Rhodes, Grala, Holman.