Matt Crafton, No. 88 Hormel® Pepperoni/Menards Toyota Tundra
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Martinsville Speedway – Kroger 250
Race No. 3 of 23
Driver Points: 1st (+2)
Owner Points: 1st
Ridgeway, Va. (March 28, 2015) – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, site of Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250, proved why it’s a “timeless” venue for some of the best short-track racing action on the circuit. Starting 13th, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Hormel® Pepperoni/Menards Toyota Tundra, muscled his way through traffic early in the 250-lap event to pass pole sitter, Joey Logano, for the lead on lap 111. The ThorSport Racing driver showed how strong his Tundra was, leading 67 of the 68 ensuing laps before a series of late-race cautions saw the defending race winner battle it out for the lead with Sprint Cup Series regular, Logano, and Kyle Busch Motorsports stand-out Erik Jones with just over 50 laps remaining.
In what seemed like the “race winning pass,” Crafton was able to prevail from a fierce battle with Logano to take the lead on lap 245 of 250 before rookie, Cole Custer bumped the rear of the No. 88 machine, passing both Crafton and Logano for the lead. Just two laps later, Crafton, who used a similar move to get past Custer, took over the top spot and looked like he was going to make it back-to-back wins before Custer spun on the frontstretch, bringing out the ninth and final caution of the afternoon and setting the field up for a green-white-checker finish. Unfortunately, Logano was able to get by Crafton on the restart, forcing the No. 88 machine to cross the line in the second position, his seventh top-five finish in 27 starts at the half-mile “paperclip.”
“This Menards Toyota Tundra was good. It took a few laps to get going. I had the lead early and there towards the end the 4 (Erik Jones) and the 29 (Joey Logano) got by me. I was just not that good on the short run, but it would keep coming to me and coming to me. I never touched the 29 earlier whenever I passed him and then he just kept putting the bumper to me and I was like, ‘well, it’s the race for the lead here,’ and I wasn’t going to move him. We got in there side by side and I got a little bit loose in there and the 00 (Cole Custer) came in there and just pounded us. Its racing I guess. All-in-all a good day for us, we led laps and finished well and took over the points lead.”
• Matt Crafton finished second in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway, his seventh top-five finish in 27 starts at Martinsville
• Crafton led six times for a total of 100 laps in Saturday’s 258-lap event
• The Menards driver moves into the point lead following the third race on the 2015 NCWTS schedule. Crafton is now two points ahead of second-place, Tyler Reddick
• In 2015, Crafton has one win (Atlanta Motor Speedway), two top-five and three top-10 finishes
• Joey Logano won the 17th annual Kroger 250 followed by Crafton (second), Erik Jones (third), Johnny Sauter (fourth), and Tyler Reddick (fifth). Crafton’s ThorSport Racing teammate, Cameron Hayley, finished 11th
• Up next: Kansas 250 at Kansas Motor Speedway on Friday, May 8
ABOUT HORMEL® PEPPERONI:
Hormel® pepperoni is the No. 1 selling brand of pepperoni in the United States, thanks to its great flavor and high quality. Everyone knows pepperoni tastes great on pizza, but enterprising cooks rely on its delicious spicy flavor to add zest to a wide variety of dishes. In addition to perking up pizza, pepperoni is an ideal partner for sandwiches, salads, pasta or nachos! Since 1891, the Hormel® brand has been synonymous with quality, value and innovation. For more information visit: www.HormelFoods.com
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 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 competed in the NCWTS since 1996, will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by two-time NCWTS drivers’ champion Matt Crafton, the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff/Curb Records Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Sauter, and the No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra driven by Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cameron Hayley in 2015.