Published on July 18th, 2011 | by NASCAR Wire Service0
Crafton Wins Coca- Cola 200 At Iowa Speedway
Crafton snapped a 79-race winless streak with his victory. His previous win came May 16, 2008, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Crafton started the race 11th and ran inside the top 10 for the entire race. Following a caution on Lap 154, Crafton found himself in the lead on the Lap 161 restart, following a final pit stop session. Polesitter David Mayhew followed Crafton in second, while the truck of Dillon restarted seventh. Dillon looked to have the strongest truck on the evening, leading 127 laps, but he had to mount a closing charge to try and get past Crafton.
Over the final 12 laps, it was a duel between Crafton and Dillon, with Dillon being credited for leading Lap 188 before Crafton resumed the point, which he held to the end of the race.
“I saw him back there,” Crafton said of Dillon, “and I thought, ‘Oh boy, I’m going to have to work for this one.’ I knew he had a fast truck and I knew I was going to have to save mine to race with him at the end.
“This is really a huge momentum-builder for the team. The last four weeks, anything that could have gone wrong did, and now here we are in the fifth week winning the race. I want to thank the guys for all they have done and for sticking with me when everything was going wrong.”
Second-place Dillon seemed to both enjoy and be disappointed in his finish.
“We were fastest all night, but they (Crafton’s team) just made the right call in the end. It was good for the points tonight, but we’ve just been giving the wins away here in the end. It hurts when you do that.”
Following Dillon in third place was Mayhew. Johnny Sauter finished fourth, followed by Joey Coulter.
Sauter leaves Iowa with the point lead, with Dillon now in second, 22 points behind. Cole Witt is third in points, 26 out of the lead.