Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Splash-FVP/Menards Toyota Tundra, had a lot to gain from a solid run in Saturday’s rain-delayed Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. Entering the 15th race on the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule, the ThorSport Racing driver was second in the 2014 driver point standings, a mere seven points behind first-place. Following a second-place finish on Saturday at Chicago, Crafton’s track-best finish in six starts at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval, the reigning series champion moved into the lead in the championship point standings by five points over teammate Johnny Sauter.
Starting ninth, his fourth top-10 start in six races at Chicago, Crafton made his way into the top-three by lap two and remained inside the top-five for the remainder of the 150-lap event. Crew chief Carl Joiner brought the No. 88 machine to pit road under caution at laps 63 and 113, respectively, for four tires and fuel, including chassis adjustments to aid in a “loose on entry, tight exit” condition. Crafton took over the lead for the first time at lap 41 and led the field three times for a total of 14 laps. The ThorSport Racing driver started third on the final restart at lap 118, making a move into second by lap 120, and crossed the stripe in the runner-up position behind race winner Kyle Busch.
• Matt Crafton finished second in the Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway, his track-best finish at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval in six NCWTS starts
• Crafton is now first in the NCWTS driver point standings, five markers ahead of ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter
• Crafton hasn’t led the NCWTS driver point standings since entering the ninth race of the season at Iowa Speedway in Newton
• Crafton led three times during the 150-lap race for a total of 14 laps
• The ThorSport Racing driver posted his third top-five finish in six starts at Chicago
• In 2014, Crafton has two wins, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes
• Kyle Busch won the sixth annual Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway followed by Crafton, Austin Dillon (third), Tyler Reddick (fourth), and Jeb Burton (fifth)
• Up next for the No. 88 ThorSport Racing team is the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Saturday, September 20, the first time the series has visited the 1.058-mile track since 2011
Quote – Matt Crafton:
“”The Menards Toyota Tundra was pretty darn good tonight; we just needed a little bit more there at the end. We were really good at the start of a run and then I would get free. We just kept tightening it up, and we may have gone a little too far. Then we were a little bit too snug on that last run. I don’t know if it was on the splitter or what, but not a bad day for this Menards Toyota team. I’m not worried about the points – we have a long way to go with that. I’m just tired of finishing second to Kyle (Busch).””
Practice 1: 12th; 31.29 seconds/172.53mph
Final Practice: 7th; 30.95 seconds/174.47mph
Qualifying: Cancelled due to rain, starting line-up set based on rule book
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.
Our vision is to be a premier brand providing a direct link of OE-quality parts to the aftermarket. FVP products are engineered to provide customers with the quality equal or superior in performance to the major national brands at a competitive price. For more information visit: FVPparts.com
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.