Kansas Speedway was the site of the first doubleheader in NASCAR Truck Series history and the first for the track itself and featured some great racing action across the two races.
After three years, Matt Crafton finally got it done and piloted the No. 88 Menards Ford F-150 to his third Kansas win. Crafton punched his ticket into the Playoffs and will be able to chase for his fourth Truck Series title. The Californian led the final 23 laps after an eventful third stage in the E.P.T. 200.
Before Crafton picked up the victory in Saturday’s event, Austin Hill and his No. 16 Hattori Racing team grabbed the checkers in Friday night’s outing for his first victory of the 2020 Truck Series season. Hill led a race-high of 65 laps before the Georgian took home the fifth win of his career.
With Hill and Crafton picking up victories in the doubleheaders, many Truck Series regulars had solid outings in the first race, while the same ones didn’t have as much luck in race No. 2.
Here are this week’s Power Rankings following the Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 and the E.P.T 200 at Kansas Speedway.
- Matt Crafton – A no-brainer here. The ThorSport driver notched his first win after a thrilling battle with Christian Eckes late in the going. Crafton managed stage finishes of third and second before getting the victory. In Friday’s race, he came home in the fourth position after randomly drawing 17th via owner points. His stage finishes weren’t quite as strong. Crafton finished fifth in Stage 1 and barely missed out on the top 10 in Stage 2, placing 13th. All in all, not a bad weekend for the No. 88 Menards team who finally snapped a three-year winless streak. Now it will be interesting to see if Crafton and company can be a strong contender for the championship once again.
Previous Week Ranking – Second
- Christian Eckes – Eckes followed through with another top-five finish at Kansas, at least in the second outing, when he fell just .324 seconds short of winning his first NASCAR race. The New York native was somewhat quiet in the second race of the weekend, only leading six laps, and finishing fourth and ninth in the stages. However, the result was a much better finish than Friday’s race, as Eckes would struggle after drawing first and bringing the No. 18 machine home in the 13th position. Regardless, Eckes made up for the disappointing finish on Friday night and earned his third top-five of the season.
Previous Week Ranking – First
- Zane Smith – Smith once again had a great weekend at Kansas, notwithstanding his run-in with his teammate (more on that later). The Californian shined in both events leading 17 laps in Friday’s event (finishing eighth and third in both stages) and sweeping the stages in Saturday’s race. Unfortunately, Smith would be the cause of the accident on Lap 95 when he got loose off Turn 4 and made contact with the two GMS Racing teammates (Brett Moffitt and Tyler Ankrum), thus ending their day early. Smith would also receive slight front end damage to his No. 21 machine. Despite the incident, he was able to bring the truck home to a top 10 (Smith’s sixth of the year), but his teammates might make it tough on him as the season wears on.
Previous Week Ranking – Third
- Ben Rhodes- Rhodes overall had a consistent weekend after finishes of seventh and fifth in the doubleheader. Following the two races, the Kentucky native led just four laps but picked up some much needed points when Rhodes finished ninth and second in the stages of Friday’s race. Unfortunately, he would not pick up any points in either stage for Saturday’s outing but was able to manage track position and get the No. 99 Tenda Heel Ford F-150 to a top-five finish. Though, there is still some work to be done in the No. 99 team as they still do not have a win.
Previous Week Ranking – Fifth
- Derek Kraus – Kraus showed great promise and speed this weekend at Kansas Speedway. In the Blu-Emu 200, he placed sixth and fifth in both stages, respectively, and gained stage finishes again in Saturday’s race. Overall, the Billy McAnally driver earned finishes of fifth and seventh following the two events. Not bad for missing your high school graduation.
Previous Week Ranking – Not Ranked
- Brett Moffitt – The Iowan would have had a good run at the 1.5-mile speedway, but a crash involving three teammates dashed his hopes on Lap 95 in Saturday’s E.P.T. 200. Up until that point, Moffit won Stage 1 in Friday’s showing and placed third in the second stage for Saturday’s efforts. While he did bring home the No. 23 Destiny Homes Ford second in the first race, Moffitt was credited with a 27th place finish in Saturday’s race.
Previous Week Ranking – Fourth