2015 Driver Point Standings: 1st (+12)
2015 Owner Point Standings: 1st
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner
Sandusky, Ohio (June 15, 2015) – Coming off his first finish of the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season outside the top-10, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Chi Chi’s/Menards Toyota Tundra, has his sights set on redemption. As the series heads west to Iowa Speedway in Newton, site of Friday night’s American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen, Crafton, a 2011 winner at the Newton, Iowa track, is looking to continue his consistent ways in 2015. With 199 career top-10 finishes in 346 NCWTS starts, the series’ veteran sees the 7/8-mile track as a “field of dreams,” a track where he can obtain a record-setting 200 career top-10 finishes.
Crafton, who recently participated in the Goodyear Tire Test at Iowa Speedway, has one win (2011), four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in eight starts. In fact the ThorSport Racing driver has the most top-10 finishes of any active driver entered in the field. Furthermore, Crafton is one of only four active drivers who have competed in all eight NCWTS races at the asphalt speedway, and leads all active series driver’s in laps completed (1617).
Looking to keep a comfortable grip on the top spot in the NCWTS point standings, count on Matt Crafton to be a contender for victory lane on Friday night, a feat that will secure his 200th career NCWTS top-10 finish.
Sounding off – Matt Crafton:
“Iowa (Speedway) is a short track, but it races like a mile-and-a-half, to be honest. I did the Goodyear tire test there back in April, and I remember thinking that the track reminds me of racing at the old Kansas (Speedway). From the way you enter the corner to just how everything was there. It’s a fast 7/8-mile race track. It’s getting a lot of character to it because it’s getting rough. That’s what I love about a race track; when it ages. Iowa has always been a fun place to race, but Goodyear is putting a lot of work into getting the tire to fall off a little more there so I’m really looking forward to racing there this weekend.
News & Notes:
- Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 50 for Friday night’s American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway. This particular chassis was built in-house and last raced at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Speedway in 2014 where Crafton qualified second and finished second.
- Looking for 200… If Crafton can finish inside the top-10 on Friday night at Iowa Speedway, the ThorSport Racing driver will have 200 NCWTS top-10 finishes to his credit in 347 starts. Currently, Ron Hornaday, Jr. holds the all-time record for most top-10 finishes with 234.
- Testing, 1, 2, 3, Testing… Matt Crafton and the No. 88 ThorSport Racing team participated in the Goodyear tire test at Iowa Speedway earlier this year.
- Crafton Trades in Steering Wheel for Clubs… On Tuesday, June 2, Crafton traded in his steering wheel for golf clubs. The two-time champion competed in the BNY Mellon Pro-Am at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, IA, against celebrities and PGA Champions Tour players. Crafton was paired with Jay Don Blake. The prestigious event served as the official curtain raiser to the Principal Charity Classic.
- Follow the Leader… Crafton has led 345 laps this season, a personal best in his 16-year NCWTS career, leading at least one lap in the series’ first eight races this season.
- Previous Race Recap… Crafton started third in Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park, led 49 laps but was relegated to a 21st-place finish when taken out on a late-race restart with 10 laps to go. The result was the defending series champion’s first finish outside the top-10 this season.
Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Iowa Speedway:
- 8 starts since 2009
- 1617 of 1617 laps completed (100%)
- 56 laps led
- One win (2011)
- Four top-five finishes
- Eight top-10 finishes
- Best start: Third (2009)
- Average start: 9.6
- Average finish: 4.8
- According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
- Third in Average Running Position: 6.63
- Third among Closers: Six positions gained
- Fourth in Driver Rating: 105.9
- First in Laps in the Top 15: 1511
Crafton’s Iowa Speedway NCWTS Performance Profile:
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:
- 346 starts since 2000
- Eight wins
- 82 top-five finishes
- 199 top-10 finishes
- Seven poles
- 54,015 laps completed
- 1263 laps led
- Average start: 13.2
- Average finish: 11.6