Crafton Aims To Protect His Title In Eldora

TSR-Crafton-Web-NewsPgTeam Information:

2015 Driver Point Standings: 1st (+20)

2015 Owner Point Standings: 1st

Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

Sandusky, Ohio (July 20, 2015) For the third consecutive year, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) will head to the historic half-mile clay oval of Eldora Speedway located in the cornfields of Rossburg, Ohio for the 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic. The spectacle, which is unlike anything else in NASCAR, is characterized by qualifying, heat races, a last chance race, and a three-segment, 150-lap feature. Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, is coming off his fourth win of the season at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, with confidence, and looking for his first top-five finish in three starts at the historic track.

In two prior starts at Eldora Speedway, Crafton has two top-10 finishes, with a track-best finish of eighth (2013). In fact, the Menards driver is the only active series driver entered with two top-10 finishes in two starts, and one of only four drivers to complete 100 percent of the laps attempted (303 of 303). Crafton, the current NCWTS point leader does not have a background in dirt racing, but he’s not afraid to get down and dirty in the dirt to protect his lead in the championship point standings. With four wins this season, a personal best in one season, the ThorSport Racing driver has led the series standings for seven consecutive weeks (since Martinsville, April) and enters Wednesday night’s event with a 20-point lead over second-place, Tyler Reddick.

Sounding off Matt Crafton:

“It’s different, definitely not the style of racing we are used to, but I know the fans love it. The track is constantly changing; it’s very slippery, slow paced, but it’s on the schedule and we just have to deal with it. I’ve run decent there, not great, but at the same time, we’ve always had to protect ourselves. Each and every week we can go to any track and lose a bunch of points, but Eldora is the unknown for sure.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 50 for the third annual Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday night. This particular chassis has made two starts; Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway (2014), finishing second and Iowa Speedway (2015), finishing fourth.
  • Elaborating on Eldora Crafton has two top-10 finishes in two starts at Eldora Speedway since 2013. In fact, the ThorSport Racing driver is the only driver to finish inside the top-10 in both races. Furthermore, Crafton is one of only four drivers to complete 100 percent of the laps attempted (303 of 303).
  • Triad Trailblazer If Matt Crafton or another Triad Racing Technologies-backed team can win on Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway, it will be the 100th win for the Toyota Racing engine supplier.
  • 2015 Season Review In 10 starts this season, Crafton has four wins, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes. The current NCWTS point leader has completed 1657 of 1666 laps attempted (99.5%) and has an Average Start of 8.8 and and Average Finish of 4.7
  • Follow the Leader Crafton has led 421 laps this season, leading at least one lap in the series’ first 10 races in 2015, a personal-best for the 15-year veteran
  • Previous Race Recap Crafton started on the pole when practice and qualifying was cancelled due to weather and the field was set based on the rule book – 2015 NCWTS owner point standings. The ThorSport Racing driver led 43 laps and was in the top spot when the race was called five laps shy of the scheduled distance (lap 145 of 150), to earn his fourth win of the season and his first win at Kentucky Speedway.

Craftons NCWTS stats at Eldora Speedway:

  • Two starts since 2013
  • 303 of 303 laps completed (100%)
  • 0 laps led
  • Two top-10 finishes
  • Best start: 7th (2013)
  • Best finish: 8th (2013)
  • Average start: 8.0
  • Average finish: 8.5
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • Fifth in Average Running Position (11.6)
    • Seventh in Driver Rating (80.4)
    • Fourth in Fastest Laps Run (4)
    • Second in Laps in the Top 15 (275)
    • First in Quality Passes (80)

Matt Craftons 2014 Highlights:

  • Won second consecutive NCWTS championship title to become the first driver in series history to win back-to-back titles
  • First career multi-win season with victories at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
  • 10th consecutive full season in second stint with ThorSport Racing
  • Earned a series-leading 7.0 average finish
  • Career-best 13 top-five finishes and 298 laps led

 Craftons Career Truck Series Stats:

  • 348 starts since 2000
  • Nine wins
  • 84 top-five finishes
  • 201 top-10 finishes
  • Seven poles
  • 54,360 laps completed
  • 1,339 laps led
  • Average start: 13.2
  • Average finish: 11.6
0