Intermediate Ace, Crafton, Looks To Continue His Dominance In Kentucky

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Team Information:

2015 Driver Point Standings: 1st (+12)

2015 Owner Point Standings: 1st

Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

Sandusky, Ohio (July 7, 2015) – For the sixth time this season, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) will invade an intermediate-style race track, the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, for the 18th annual UNOH 225 on Thursday night, July 9. With three previous wins already this season, all on intermediate tracks; Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS, and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, is looking for his fourth win of the season and his first in the “Bluegrass State.”

Crafton, the current NCWTS point leader and two-time defending series champion, has 16 starts at Kentucky Speedway, the most of any active series driver entered. In fact, the ThorSport Racing driver is tied for the most top-five finishes (four), leads all active series drivers with the most top-10 finishes (11), has completed the most laps (2230), and has the most lead lap finishes (10) of any other driver entered in the 150-lap event. Additionally, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton leads all drivers in Laps in the Top 15 (1342), making Crafton an “Ideal” candidate for victory lane on Thursday night.

Sounding off – Matt Crafton:

“Kentucky Speedway and I have a love-hate relationship to be quite honest – it’s been really good to us at times and really bad for us too. The first year Junior (Joiner, crew chief) and I went there together; we sat on the pole, ran well and finished decent. Unfortunately, the last two years haven’t been as good to us. In 2013, we just fought handling issues over the bumps all day, last year we had a broken side skirt which plagued the handling. We’ve learned a lot over the last two years and I feel confident in what we’ve got going back this year.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 51 for Thursday night’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. This chassis made its debut at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May, leading three times for 24 laps and finishing third.
  • Intermediate Track Success… Crafton has won at three of the first five intermediate tracks this season – Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
  • 2015 Season Review… In nine starts this season, Crafton has three wins, seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes.
  • Follow the Leader… Crafton has led 378 laps this season, a career best in his 16-year NCWTS career, leading at least one lap in the series’ first nine races this season
  • Previous Race Recap… Crafton started ninth, led 33 laps and finished fourth in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway. The solid run marked the ThorSport Racing driver’s 200th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) top-10 finish in 347 starts since 2000.

Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Kentucky Speedway:

  • 16 starts since 2001
  • 2230 of 2390 laps completed (93.3%)
  • 36 laps led
  • Four top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • Best start: First (2012)
  • Best finish: Third (2008, 2009)
  • Average start: 10.9
  • Average finish: 11.2
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • First in Laps in the Top 15: 1342
    • Second in Fastest Laps Run: 71
    • Fourth in Laps Led: 36
    • Seventh in Average Running Position: 12.52
    • Seventh in Driver Rating: 87.9

 

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:

  • 347 starts since 2000
  • Eight wins
  • 83 top-five finishes
  • 200 top-10 finishes
  • Seven poles
  • 54,125 laps completed
  • 1296 laps led
  • Average start: 13.2
  • Average finish: 11.6
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