2015 Driver Point Standings: 2nd (-4)
2015 Owner Point Standings: 2nd
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner
Sandusky, Ohio (October 20, 2015) – Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Hormel Pepperoni/Menards Toyota Tundra, enters the 19th race on the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway second in the driver point standings, a mere four points behind current leader, Erik Jones. In fact, the two-time and defending series champion has gained six points on the leader in the last two races, and with only five races remaining on the 2015 schedule, consistent Crafton looks to keep his “Craft” in tact for Saturday’s 10th annual fred’s 250 at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
Although, “Consistent Crafton” considers success on Talladega’s high-speed, high-banked track a matter of “fate,” the seasoned veteran hopes his craft will out-draft the competition in Saturday’s 94-lap event. Crafton, who has produced a season-best four wins in 2015, coupled with nine top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, is the only active series driver to compete in all nine NCWTS races at Talladega Superspeedway. Furthermore, the ThorSport Racing driver holds the record for most laps completed (793), and has the most lead lap finishes (8) at the Alabama track. If consistency and experience win races, count on Crafton to be a contender for victory lane on Saturday.
Sounding off – Matt Crafton:
“Talladega is definitely an exciting race, without a doubt. It’s just a crapshoot though, you just never know what will happen there. It’s just hard racing. You can’t drive in the corners any deeper, and you can’t pick the throttle up any sooner to get away from someone. You’re stuck, three-wide, even four-wide, and you can’t do anything about it. Your fate is in everyone else’s hands and that’s a helpless feeling for a driver. It puts on a good show though.”
News & Notes:
- Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will utilize chassis No. 40 for Saturday’s fred’s 250 powered by Coca-Cola. This is the same chassis that Crafton piloted to an eighth-place finish at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway earlier this season.
- Talladega Stats… Crafton will make his 10th NCWTS start at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday. In nine previous starts since 2006, Crafton has led seven laps en route to one top-five (2010), and three top-10 finishes. In fact, the ThorSport Racing driver is the only active series driver to compete in all nine NCWTS races at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, has completed more laps than any other active series driver (793) and has the most lead lap finishes (8) than any other active series driver.
- 2015 Season Review… In 18 starts this season, Crafton has led 530 laps, a career-best in one season, en route to two poles (Michigan International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway), four wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kentucky Speedway), 10 top-five, and 15 top-10 finishes. The reigning series champion has completed 2658 of 2726 laps attempted (97.5%), and has an Average Start of 7.0, and an Average Finish of 6.8.
- Previous Race Recap… Crafton claimed his second pole of the 2015 NCWTS season at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, and led a race-high 69 laps, but came up four laps short on fuel and settled for an eighth-place finish in the Rhino Linings 350 earlier this month.
Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Talladega:
- Nine starts since 2006
- 793 of 852 laps completed (93.1%)
- 7 laps led
- One top-five finish
- Three top-10 finishes
- Best start: 3rd (2014)
- Best finish: 4th (2010)
- Average start: 15.9
- Average finish: 15.3
Matt Crafton’s 2014 Highlights:
- Won second consecutive NCWTS championship title to become the first driver in series history to win back-to-back titles
- First career multi-win season with victories at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
- 10th consecutive full season in second stint with ThorSport Racing
- Earned a series-leading 7.0 average finish
- Career-best 13 top-five finishes and 298 laps led
Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:
- 356 starts since 2000
- Nine wins
- 86 top-five finishes
- 207 top-10 finishes
- Nine Poles
- 55,361 laps completed
- 1448 laps led
- Average start: 13.0
- Average finish: 11.5
Date: Saturday, October 24, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Track Details: 2.66-mile superspeedway
Distance: 94 laps/250.04 miles