Crafton Looks To Sweep Martinsville – Write His Own History

Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, enters Saturday’s Kroger 200 looking to sweep both NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races in 2014 at the half-mile “paper clip.” After escaping last weekend’s “wild card” race with a 14th-place finish and a 16 point lead in the 2014 NCWTS driver point standings, Crafton moves on to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, a track where he has seen success. As the winner of this year’s spring race, the ThorSport Racing driver would like nothing more than to “clock-in” to victory lane on Saturday.

 

If experience is key to success at Martinsville Speedway, Crafton is a sure bet. The Tulare, Calif. native has more series starts (25) at the .526-mile track than any other driver entered into the 32nd annual event, and has completed the most laps around the Virginia track (5,552). Since 2001, the Menards driver has recorded one win (March, 2014), one pole (October, 2011), five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes.

 

As one of the first paved tracks in NASCAR, Martinsville Speedway is rich in history and Crafton knows that a Martinsville repeat could help secure his own place in the history books as the series’ first back-to-back champion.

 

Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:

“I love going to Martinsville; it’s definitely one of my favorite race tracks. Unlike Talladega, the driver can make a difference there – it’s just good short track racing. We saw some success there earlier this year and I look forward to continuing that success this weekend. Unfortunately, Martinsville is just like the superspeedways, you have to survive it. We didn’t have a great finish last weekend, but we lost minimal points. If we can have a good run this weekend, we should be in good shape for the final three.”

Crafton’s Martinsville Stats:

  • 25 NCWTS starts since 2001 including five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes
  • One win (March, 2014)
  • One pole (October, 2011)
  • 92 laps led
  • 5552 of 5723 laps completed (97.0%)
  • Average start: 13.4
  • Average finish: 11.8
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • Second in Laps in the Top 15 (3114)
    • Sixth in Fastest Laps Run (67)
    • Seventh in Laps Led (92)
    • Eighth in Driver Rating (93.0)
    • Ninth in Average Running Position (11.177)

 

Crafton’s Talladega Superspeedway NCWTS Performance Profile:

 

Date

Started

Finished

Laps

Status

Led

4/7/01

22

6

250/250

Running

0

4/13/02

28

20

247/250

Running

0

4/12/03

14

13

250/250

Running

0

10/18/03

20

28

111/200

Brakes

0

4/17/04

23

7

254/254

Running

0

10/23/04

5

6

200/200

Running

0

4/9/05

27

15

250/250

Running

0

10/22/05

12

12

200/200

Running

0

4/1/06

21

3

250/250

Running

0

10/21/06

10

34

125/200

Engine

0

3/31/07

18

17

253/253

Running

0

10/20/07

2

18

200/200

Running

0

3/29/08

24

2

253/253

Running

0

10/18/08

17

8

200/200

Running

0

3/30/09

8

9

251/251

Running

0

10/24/09

22

9

200/200

Running

0

3/27/10

3

7

250/250

Running

0

10/23/10

2

10

206/206

Running

0

4/2/11

7

11

250/250

Running

1

10/29/11

1

12

200/200

Running

11

3/31/12

11

24

246/250

Running

0

10/27/12

7

4

200/200

Running

33

4/6/13

7

2

250/250

Running

0

10/26/13

12

17

200/200

Running

0

3/30/14

10

1

256/256

Running

47

 

Matt Crafton 2014:

  • After a 14th-place finish at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Crafton remains first in the NCWTS driver point standings by 16 markers over Ryan Blaney
  • Has been victorious twice – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March) and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (June)
  • The first season in 14 years in the NCWTS that the ThorSport Racing driver has won multiple races in one season
  • In 18 starts in 2014, has posted two wins, 10 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes
  • Has led 268 laps, a personal best in one season
  • Recorded a season-best second-place start three times; Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (May), Dover (Del.) International Speedway (May) and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (June)
  • Has completed 2597 of 2678 laps attempted (97.0%)
  • Has an Average Start of 8.6
  • Has an Average Finish of 7.4
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • First in Laps in the Top 15 (2483)
    • Second in Average Running Position (6930)
    • Second in Driver Rating (104.3)
    • Third in Fastest Laps Run (212)
    • Third in Laps Led (268)
  • 14th full-time season in the NCWTS

 

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:

  • 334 starts since 2000
  • Five wins
  • 73 top-five finishes
  • 188 top-10 finishes
  • Seven poles
  • 52,091 laps completed
  • 888 laps led
  • Average start:13.4
  • Average finish: 11.8 
  •  

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 IDEAL DOOR:

Since 1963, Ideal Door has been an industry leader in sectional garage doors and the preferred choice of home owners, architects and builders for their current and future door needs. For more information, visit www.idealdoors.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 Estes Toyota Tundra driven by Jeb Burton in the Truck Series.

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