Driver Points: 1st (+14)
Owner Points: 1st
Rossburg, OH (July 23, 2015) – Menards driver, Matt Crafton, started the 3rd Annual 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway from the 12th position and finished ninth. The top-10 result was the two-time champion’s third top-10 finish in three starts at the half-mile, high-banked, clay oval.
Running as high as second and as low as 12th, the ThorSport Racing driver maintained an Average Running Position of 5.2 throughout the 154-lap event. Complaining of needing more forward bite, crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner brought the No. 88 Toyota Tundra to pit road under the first competition caution at lap 55, for four tires, including an air pressure adjustment, and fuel. Restarting fifth at lap 60, Crafton would maintain a position inside the top-five throughout the remainder of the event.
Crafton, who was making the bottom line work throughout the night, was forced to restart in the fourth position, on the top, for the final green-white-checker restart at lap 152. As the field went four-wide into Turn 3 on the last lap, the 33 machine of Ty Dillon made contact with Crafton, forcing the Tundra driver to lose ground coming to the checkered flag. The No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards driver would settle for a ninth-place finish in one of the most unique races of the season.
The top-10 result allowed Crafton to maintain his point lead following the 11th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race of the season at the “Big E.” The defending series champion is now 14 points ahead of second-place, Tyler Reddick as the series approaches the half-way point in the 23-race schedule.
“We were a little free, but pretty good to start the race. Track position was key tonight and it seemed like every time we would get the track position, a caution would come out, and we would have to restart on the top and lose ground on the restarts. We were just looking for a solid top-five run tonight, and obviously finish ahead of the 19 and 4 trucks. We thought we were going to be in pretty good shape until the final restart. The 33 truck just got into me in Turn 3, on the last lap, and we lost quite a few positions.”
- Crafton was fifth and ninth-quick, respectively, in both NCWTS practice sessions at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday
- The No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra was seventh in single-truck qualifying
- Crafton lined-up second in Qualifying Race 2, and finished third
- The ThorSport Racing driver started 12th in the 3rd Annual 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway
- Crafton finished ninth in Wednesday night’s NCWTS race at Eldora Speedway, his third top-10 in three starts at Eldora
- Running as high as second and as low as 12th, Crafton maintained an Average Running Position of 5.2 throughout the 154-lap event
- According to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics, Crafton ranked fourth in Average Running Position (5.2), fourth in Driver Rating (104.5), and seventh in Laps in the Top 15 (154 of 154)
- Crafton remains the NCWTS point leader following the 11th race of the season, 14 points over second-place, Tyler Reddick
- In 2015, Crafton has four wins, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes
- In 349 career NCWTS starts, Crafton has nine wins, 84 top-five and 202 top-10 finishes
- Christopher Bell won the 3rd Annual 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic followed by Bobby Pierce (second), Tyler Reddick (Third), Erik Jones (fourth), and Daniel Hemric (fifth). ThorSport Racing teammate Cameron Hayley was eighth and Johnny Sauter finished 22nd
- Up next: The Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway