Kahne Edges Jones In Photo Finish at North Carolina Education Lottery 200
Kasey Kahne went from the pole position to the back row and back to the front as he beat out Erik Jones to win the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway by a margin of .005 seconds or about one foot - the second closest margin of victory in the history of the Camping World Truck Series.
Kahne's truck failed post-race inspection at the speedway and will be returned to NASCAR R&D for further inspection.
Kahne's truck had a broken shock absorber following qualifying forcing him to the rear of the field. But second place starter Jones also had to go to the rear of the field for missing the drivers meeting. Both came through the field quickly and Jones dominated leading half of the race. Jones looked to have the win, but a caution coming to the final lap resulted in a green-white-checkered run to the finish.
This was only the sixth career truck series start for Kahne and he has won five of those starts and finished second in the other. The win also marked the first series win for team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and marked the 200th series win by Chevrolet.
Finishing in third through fifth were Matt Crafton, Justin Jennings and Brad Keselowski.
Winner - Kasey Kahne (No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet) "That was a great race. We had team mates that helped us to keep Eric (Jones) close tonight. I needed that final restart. I knew what he had done earlier when I was on his outside and how well it worked for him, and I thought I might have a shot at him. It was close at the line, really close. I didn't know who won. I knew it was super close. The team did a nice job, Junior Motorsports, and to get Chevrolet's 200th win, I felt good about what we did tonight. He (Eric Jones) seems to be a really quick learner and has a lot of speed. He's doing a nice job. It was cool to race hard with him at the end. I think if there was a longer green flag run, their truck was a little bit better, so we've got to keep working on that. Once that caution came out, we had a shot."
Winning Team Owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. - "The race was pretty good. I thought that Eric (Jones) did a really good job. He had an awesome truck. It just came down there to that last yellow. Kasey (Kahne) was doing everything he could. The truck was just real fast. We had that last yellow to give us one more shot at it and Kasey was good on the bottom, I thought. I felt like the top was easier placed to be. He did a real job the last couple of laps. The side draft on those trucks is so impressive and crazy. You can't get away from each other."
Second Place - Erik Jones (No. 4 Dollar General Toyota) "I can't believe it. This just really, really hurts. I wanted this one bad. To have the fastest truck two weeks in a row and not win just hurts. I don't know what to say. It's a bummer to come home second. It's a shame when they come down to a green-white -checkered like that. We had the fastest truck all night. That's two weeks in a row that we have had by far the best truck in the field. We'll have to work harder man. We will get there. I feel like we'll be on a roll when we get there. We ran hard the whole last lap. I was wide open the whole lap and we got a run off turn four. And he side-drafted off of us and beat us to the line. It's hard to stop that. I wish there was something I could have done different and stop it. "