Trackin’ Trucks: Hill Wins at Homestead as Crafton Earns Championship

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Austin Hill earned his fourth win of the season on Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, holding off Matt Crafton by 1.569 seconds during the Ford EcoBoost 200.

Hill, who was eliminated from championship contention last week at ISM (Phoenix) Raceway, swept the stages while leading 56 of 134 laps. The win is the Hattori Racing Enterprises driver’s first at the 1.5-mile track.

“I’m excited for the win, but at the same time it stings a little bit just because I know that if we would have been a little bit better in the round of six, we could be celebrating a win and a championship,” Hill said. “But like I say, I can’t thank everybody out there enough.”

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Crafton’s runner-up finish earned him his third Gander Outdoors Truck Series title, one championship away from Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr., who has four titles in the series.

“I guess I finally got out of the wheelchair and got up one the wheel and got it done,” said Crafton, who crossed the finish line 1.569 seconds behind race-winner Austin Hill but a comfortable 9.201 seconds ahead of Ross Chastain, who finished fourth in the race and second among the Championship 4 drivers.”

“One step closer to what Hornaday’s done, and they called us the underdog.”

Christian Eckes finished third and secured the owner championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports. It is the organization's sixth in the last seven seasons. KBM earned their first owner championship in 2010.

Ross Chastain finished fourth after leading 36 laps early in the race. He ends his season at Niece Motorsports with three victories, 10 top-five finishes, and 19 top-10 finishes.

“I want to throw up right now to be honest with you, but it has been an absolute dream,” said Chastain, “It’s pretty crazy that we did that [made the playoffs], and made it to Homestead. We did everything we could and that says a lot.”

Chastain raced a full season in 2019, but only became eligible for the championship after declaring points in June. He earned his place in the playoffs after winning at Gateway.

Brett Moffitt rounded out the top five and finished third in the standings, while Stewart Friesen finished 11th in the race and fourth among the Championship 4 contenders.

Trackin’ Trucks: Hill Wins at Homestead as Crafton Earns Championship Trackin’ Trucks: Hill Wins at Homestead as Crafton Earns Championship Reviewed by Anonymous on Saturday, November 16, 2019 Rating: 5