Ryan Blaney ran up front early in the UNOH 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, but a penalty for jumping a restart sent him to the back. He recovered, making his way back up to the front to take the lead from Matt Crafton on a green-white-checker restart to claim his first truck win of 2015 and the fourth of his career. Crafton, after spinning his tires on the final restart, dropped back to seventh by the checkered flag.
“We were both spinning our tires,” Blaney said. “We made a little contact. It was definitely not intentional.”
Kyle Busch drove up to a second-place finish in the final two laps. John Hunter Nemechek finished third, Daniel Hemric was fourth, and Brandon Jones rounded out the top-five.
“I saw the 54 pass four trucks and make a show,” Busch said of his own truck. “I just got into one and saw an opening, and I took it. . . . It’s a green-white-checker restart. Go for it, right?”
Busch started on the pole, with Blaney next to him on the front row. As soon as the green flag waved to start the race, Blaney took the lead and ran up front for the first 40 laps before NASCAR determined that he jumped the first restart of the race on lap 41. His penalty took him off the lead lap, but he got back on the same lap as the front-runners during the second yellow flag that waved on lap 80.
“We went maybe a tiny bit early, but I would’ve like to seen a warning,” Blaney said.
Cole Custer inherited the lead from Blaney’s penalty. Busch moved into second and was closing in on Custer and the top spot when the second caution came out.
Johnny Sauter took two tires during the second yellow flag, having pitted for four during the lap 31 caution. As a result of the two-tire stop, he was able to get off pit road first. Custer retook the lead on the restart and quickly pulled away, leaving Sauter, Crafton and Busch in a three-way battle for second.
Custer continued on up front, but his chance at the win blew out the proverbial window when he got into a spinning Spencer Gallagher on lap 160. During the caution for the incident, rain hit the track, resulting in a red flag period of nearly 46 minutes. Custer pitted for repairs during the caution, handing the lead over to Crafton. The laps led under the caution and after the race restarted were the first laps led by Crafton at Bristol in 13 races at the track. Blaney made his way into the top- three in the final 20 laps of the race and was up to second by the final yellow, the fifth of the race, with four laps remaining in the scheduled 200-lap distance.