Crafton Earns 88th Career Top-Five Finish In Texas

TSR-Crafton-Web-NewsPgStats:
Started: 1st
Finished: 4th
Laps: 147/147
Status: Running
Driver Points: 2nd (-17)
Owner Points: 2nd

Fort Worth, TX (November 7, 2015) – Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 DampRid/Menards Toyota Tundra, entered the 21st race on the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth looking to make Texas-sized gains in route to a “three-peat.” Winning the first NCWTS practice session on Thursday afternoon, the ThorSport Racing driver went on to earn his third Keystone Light Pole Award at the “No Limits” track, and looked like he would be a solid contender for victory lane following the 147-lap event. Leading the 32-truck field twice, for 27 (of 147) laps, Crafton would settle for a fourth-place finish in the WinStar World Casino 350k. The solid run was Crafton’s 88th career top-five finish.

Starting on point for the 147-lap event, Crafton led the field for the first 12 laps before losing the lead due to a “loose” Toyota Tundra. Maintaining a position inside the top-three over the next 31 circuits, crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner, brought the No. 88 machine to pit road, under green at lap 43, for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to aid in the handling. When green flag pit stops cycled through, Crafton was awarded the race lead, and maintained his position through the first and only caution of the race, at lap 55.

Restarting first, Crafton was able to maintain the top spot until lap 64, battling a Tundra that was “over rotating.” Falling as far back as sixth, “Junior” brought the No. 88 machine down pit road for the final stop of the night, under green, at lap 96, for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. When green flag pit stops cycled through at lap 100, Crafton was scored third, but would lose one more position over the next 47 laps, due to a “tight” Tundra, and cross the stripe in the fourth position behind race winner, Erik Jones.

Crafton lost seven points in the NCWTS driver point standings following his fourth-place finish at TMS. The Menards driver remains second in the standings, 17 points behind leader Erik Jones.

Quote:

“We were a little too free on the first few runs and just over adjusted on the last one, and got pretty tight at the end. All in all, not a bad day for our Menards Toyota Tundra. It was decent, but not quite as good as we needed it to be. We’ll go on to Phoenix and go from there.”

Notes:

  • Crafton was first and 12th, respectively, in both NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) practice sessions on Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway
  • The ThorSport Racing driver earned his third Keystone Light Pole Award at TMS for Friday’s WinStar World Casino 350k – the 10th of his NCWTS career
  • Crafton led the field twice for 27 of the 147 laps in Friday night’s NCWTS race at TMS. The ThorSport Racing driver has now led 663 laps in 2015, a career-high for one season
  • In 29 starts at TMS, Crafton has three poles, and has led 306 laps en route to two wins (March, 2014 & October, 2015), nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes
  • In 2015, Crafton has five wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway), three poles (Michigan International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway – October), 12 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes
  • The ThorSport Racing driver remains second in the 2015 NCWTS driver point standings following the 21st race of the season, 17 points behind leader Erik Jones
  • Erik Jones won the WinStar World Casino 350k at TMS, followed by Daniel Suarez (second), Ryan Blaney (third), Crafton (fourth), and Tyler Reddick (fifth). ThorSport Racing teammate, Cameron Hayley finished 10th and Johnny Sauter 13th
  • In 359 career NCWTS starts, Crafton has led 1281 laps, and earned 10 poles en route to 10 wins, 88 top-five and 209 top-10 finishes
  • Up next: The Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday, November 13, 2015
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