Matt Crafton – Martinsville Speedway Recap

2016 Toyota Camping World Truck PortraitsTeam Information:

Started: 10th
Finished: 7th
Laps: 255/255
Status: Running
Driver Points: 11th
Owner Points: 11th

Matt Crafton Race Recap:

The No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra driver started 10th and finished seventh in Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Making his 29th career start at the “paperclip,” the two-time Martinsville Speedway winner complained of losing lateral grip on the throttle in the early running of the event, but maintained a position inside the top-10, running as high as second. Opting to stay out under the second caution of the event, when most of the front runners pitted for tires, Crafton lost ground during the ensuing long green-flag run, and was scored 12th when the yellow flag flew at lap 135.  Crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner brought the No. 88 machine to pit road for four tires and fuel under the caution. Restarting 16th, Crafton once again worked his way into the top-two before coming to pit road for the final time on lap 201 for a scheduled stop. Restarting 17th, with less than 50 laps remaining, Crafton was able to stay out of trouble through the final five caution periods, which also included two red flags, but a lack of green-flag racing hindered the two-time champion’s chance to race for the win, finishing seventh in the race extended 255-lap event. The top-10 result was Crafton’s 17th top-10 finish at the .529-mile track.

Quote:

“It was about survival today, and I think we had a truck that could have contended for a win. I just tried to pace myself throughout the race, and I think we could have possibly run with Kyle (Busch) – we definitely could have run second or third, worst case, but we came in and pitted right there and just didn’t have enough time to get back through the field with all the cautions. All in all, it was a decent day for this Menards Toyota team.”

Notes:

  • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series had three practice sessions on Friday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250. Matt Crafton was 7th, 7th and 19th, respectively
  • Crafton started 10th and finished seventh in the 255-lap event, his 17th top-10 finish at the .529-mile track
  • In 29 starts at Martinsville Speedway since 2001, Crafton has led 279 laps en route to two wins, eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes
  • In 2016, Crafton has led 81 laps en route to one top-10 finish
  • In 364 career NCWTS starts, Crafton has 12 poles, 11 wins, 89 top-five and 212 top-10 finishes
  • Crafton’s ThorSport Racing teammates finished ninth (Hayley), 10th (Abreu), and 16th (Rhodes)
  • Up next: The Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway on Friday, May 6

 

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