MIAMI – Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ford for ThorSport Racing, won the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) championship on Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was the third title of Crafton’s career, tying Jack Sprague for the second-most championships in series history.
Crafton became the first driver under the current playoff format to win a championship without winning a race during the season. He finished second in the Ford EcoBoost 200, beating out Championship 4 contenders Ross Chastain, Stewart Friesen and Brett Moffitt. Austin Hill won the Ford EcoBoost 200, his fourth victory in the NGOTS and his first at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“It feels amazing,” said Crafton. “It’s one step closer to what (Ron) Hornaday Jr. has done and they called us the underdog. I heard (Todd) Bodine and everybody say that I was the underdog and I didn’t have it, and we fought harder I guarantee it. Every one of these guys worked hard. This Menard’s F-150 was fast tonight.”
Kyle Busch captured the owner’s championship with the No. 51 truck. It was Kyle Busch Motorsports’ record-setting seventh NGOTS owner championship. Kyle Busch Motorsports made its series debut back in 2010 with driver Johnny Benson Jr. Since then, the organization hasput 15 different drivers to Victory Lane for a total of 75 series wins.
Tyler Ankrum, driver of the No. 17 for DGR-Crosley, won the 2019 NGOTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
Ford Championship Weekend continues Saturday as the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ford EcoBoost 300 begins at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will cap its 2019 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, which will be broadcast on NBC at 3:00 p.m.
About Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The Speedway, which was founded by Miami businessman, racing enthusiast and philanthropist Ralph Sanchez, is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course. The Speedway hosts on-track events nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. In 2018, NASCAR crowned champions in all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for the 17th consecutive year (2002-18). Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2018 were Joey Logano (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), Tyler Reddick (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and Brett Moffitt (NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series). 2019 Ford Championship Weekend will be held November 15-17. In 2020, the Speedway will commemorate its 25th anniversary as it hosts NASCAR’s three national series in the spring.