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Trucks: Hamlin barges into Martinsville win

Crafton was willing to concede that he'd made a tactical mistake which had left him vulnerable to Hamlin's move, however. "I didn't let the tyres come up quite clean enough on the last restart, I do admit that. That's part of it. I didn't get my tyres cleaned up, but I did not run into the back of him."

Hamlin brushed off criticism of the move that had given him the lead and which ultimately delivered the race win just a few minutes later.

"When you're the leader with a few laps to go, you've got to expect it," he said. "You can't wreck the guy, that's off-limits: but moving him off and out of the groove, that's standard protocol at this type of race track."

Hamlin wasn't the only driver to attack the ire of some of his peers, with Nelson Piquet Jr.'s creative approach to overtaking during the race also attracting criticism - while proving almost as successful in terms of race performance, as he pushed through to finish in second place two seconds back from Hamlin.

"Maybe this race I was a bit too aggressive," said Piquet afterwards, admitting that ovals were still a largely undiscovered country for him and the cramped half-mile tracks like Martinsville a particularly new skillset he was still working on fully acquiring.

Joey Coulter managed to get ahead of Matt Crafton before the finish line, with Scott Riggs coming home in fifth. In terms of the Truck Series championship, the crucial result was James Buescher claiming sixth place ahead of Timothy Peters: combined with Ty Dillon's earlier tyre blow-out, that resets the title battle in a major fashion.

Buescher takes over at the top of the championship and now leads Dillon by 21pts, while Peters closes to within 4pts of Dillon with just three races at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami remaining in the 2012 season.

"The second half of practice we got better, and the second half of the race, we turned it around, too," said Buescher, who had needed the lucky dog in the mid-race third caution of the afternoon to get back onto the lead lap.

"When we were a lap down, I did have all the faith in the world that we could turn it around and come back for a top-10 finish," he insisted. "I knew that we just needed some adjustments. We hadn't stopped yet. We were still on the initial run, and I knew that we could get the back end in the track better.

"We were really loose and just needed to come to pit road for an adjustment and hit reset," he added, giving the credit to his crew chief Michael Shelton and the rest of the #31 personnel for all their work getting the truck back into shape when it was needed. "This team knows never to give up. We came from two laps down to win a race this year, and came from a lap down to take the points lead."



Related Pictures

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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #51 Toyota Toyota, races past the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 27, 2012 in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS qualified for 33rd position after hitting the wall Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Harvick, who is in the Chase, is 2nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS qualified for 9th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Newman, who is in the Chase, is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified for 13th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon, who is in the Chase, is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS won the pole position and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualified for 16th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. McMurray, who is not in the Chase, is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. This was McMurray`s 2nd Pole win this season. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald`s Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, climbs into his car prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, left, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Ryan Blaney and Matt Crafton confer. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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