Back on Top and Ready to Rock at the Magic Mile

Although it’s been two years since the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) last visited New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota Tundra is looking forward to creating some magic on the 1.058-mile oval. Riding a wave of momentum following a second-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, and a new position atop the point standings for the first time since July, Crafton enters the 16th race on the 2014 schedule with experience, confidence and a solid track record.

With 11 starts to his resume at the flat one-mile track, the reigning series champion has more experience at NHMS in the NCWTS than any other driver entered in the UNOH 175 and a solid record to back it up; one pole, 30 laps led, two top-five and six top-10 finishes. In fact, the ThorSport Racing driver only has one finish outside the top-15 – a combination for success in the series return to the “Magic Mile.”

Sounding off – Matt Crafton:
“The short tracks are what I grew up on so I’m looking forward to the Truck Series getting back to Loudon. It’s a track that’s hard to pass – it’s a fast, almost flat one-mile oval with long straights and, tight turns, so it’s definitely a handling track and it can be hard to pass, but it’s a lot of fun to drive. It’s been two years since the trucks have raced there, but I’ve had some good runs there in the past; we even got our first pole there in 2005. To me the biggest challenge at Loudon is the track itself. It’s tough to run side-by-side because there is really only one preferred groove. The challenge is to stay patient and not get caught-up in a wreck trying to make something happen.”

Crafton’s Loudon Stats:
• 11 starts from 2001-2011
• Two top-five finishes
• Six top-10 finishes
• 2083 of 2157 laps completed (96.5%)
• 30 laps led
• Average start: 12.7
• Average finish: 11.5
• Site of his first NCWTS pole award (2005)
• Best finish: 4th (2009 & 2010)
• According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
  º Second in Laps in the Top 15 (1225)
  º Third in Fastest Laps Run (49)
  º Third in Laps Led (27)
  º Seventh in Average Running Position (8.64)
  º Sixth in Driver Rating (100.9)

Crafton’s Loudon NCWTS Performance Profile:

Date Start Finish Laps Status Led
2001 25 10 199/200 Running 0
2002 17 13 205/207 Running 0
2003 13 10 200/200 Running 0
2004 25 13 200/200 Running 3
2005 1 35 128/200 Crash 18
2006 17 8 200/200 Running 0
2007 10 11 200/200 Running 0
2008 3 12 200/200 Running 9
2009 8 4 200/200 Running 0
2010 11 4 175/175 Running 0
2011 10 6 175/175 Running 0

Matt Crafton 2014:
• After a second-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Crafton leads the NCWTS driver point standings by five markers over second-place Johnny Sauter
• Has been victorious twice – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
• The first season in 14 years in the NCWTS that the ThorSport Racing driver has won multiple races in one season
• In 2014, has posted two wins, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes
• Has led 244 laps
• Recorded a season-best second-place start three times; Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
• Has completed 2181 of 2262 laps attempted (96.4%)
• Has an Average Start of 7.8
• Has an Average Finish of 7.6
• According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks
  º First in Average Running Position (6.774)
  º First in Driver Rating (104.3)
  º First in Laps in the Top 15 (2126)
  º Third in Fastest Laps Run (158)
  º Third among Laps Led (244)

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:
• 331 starts since 2000
• Five wins
• 71 top-five finishes
• 186 top-10 finishes
• Seven poles
• 51,675 laps completed
• 864 laps led
• Average start: 13.5
• Average finish: 11.9

ABOUT MENARDS:
With 287 stores in 14 Midwestern states, Menards has the tools, materials and supplies for all your home improvement needs whether just needing a light bulb or can of paint to building a deck or new home. Menards is known throughout the home improvement industry as the low price leader; it’s no wonder their famous slogan – “SAVE BIG MONEY” – is so widely known and easy to remember. Menards does things right – the company’s strength and success can be seen in the well-stocked and maintained stores, the lowest prices in town and the way guests are always treated like family in a hometown hardware store atmosphere.

ABOUT SLIM JIM:
Slim Jim® is a brand of ConAgra Foods’ Consumer Foods segment, which manufactures and markets leading branded products to retail and foodservice customers in the United States and internationally. ConAgra Foods’ products are found in 97 percent of America’s households, including major brands such as Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hunt’s®, Orville Redenbacher’s® and PAM®, just to name a few.

ABOUT THORSPORT RACING:
ThorSport Racing, based in a state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot facility in Sandusky, Ohio, is the longest-tenured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. ThorSport, which has run in the Truck Series since 1996, in 2014 will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by 2013 drivers’ champion Matt Crafton, the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff/Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Sauter and the No. 13 Carolina Nut Co. Toyota Tundra driven by Jeb Burton in the Truck Series and the No. 13 Toyota Camry in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.

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