Matt Crafton – 2016 Eldora Recap

ROSSBURG, OH - JULY 19:  Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Chi-Chi's/Menards Toyota, drives during practice for the 4th Annual Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway on July 19, 2016 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Team Information:
Started: 22nd
Finished:10th
Laps: 150/150
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
2016 Driver Points: 2nd (-9)
2016 Owner Points: 2nd

Matt Crafton Race Recap:
Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Chi-Chi’s/Menards Toyota Tundra, made his fourth start at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby. Crafton, who entered the 4th annual event as the only driver to finish in the top-10 in all three of his previous starts, started 22nd, ran as high as fourth, and finished 10th. The top-10 result was the two-time series champion’s fourth top-10 finish in four starts at the “Big E.”

Starting from the 22nd position in the unique, 150-lap, three segment event, Crafton worked his way inside the top-10, running eighth, when the third caution flag was displayed at lap 39 for a multi-truck accident in Turn 3, ending the first 40 lap segment. Crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner brought the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra to pit road for the only pit stop of the night, for four tires, and fuel. Restarting eighth, for the second segment, at lap 42, Crafton maintained a position inside the top-five, running as high as fourth, when the seventh caution flag was displayed for the competition caution at lap 93, ending the second 50 lap segment. Complaining of a Toyota Tundra that was “super tight,” Crafton lost ground to the leaders on the restart, at lap 94, but maintained a position inside the top-10. Battling for every position on the race track through the ensuing 56 laps, Crafton finished 10th behind race winner Kyle Larson, his fourth top-10 finish in four starts at the half-mile clay oval.

Quote:
“We didn’t get the best starting spot because of the random draw in qualifying – we went out early, and the track just kept getting faster, and faster – but we had a pretty decent Menards Toyota Tundra tonight, a solid top-five truck. I had a lot of fun working the bottom, making my way through traffic. We were two and three-wide all night. I just got super tight there at the end, and lost ground. I had a lot of fun though, this race puts on a great show for the fans.”

News & Notes:
• The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Tuesday evening in preparation for Wednesday night’s Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway. Matt Crafton was sixth, and eighth, respectively, in both sessions.
• The No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra was 27th in single truck qualifying on Wednesday afternoon.
• Crafton lined-up sixth in Qualifying Race No. 2, and finished fifth.
• Making his fourth start at Eldora Speedway in the NCWTS, Crafton started 22nd, ran as high as third, and finished 10th in the 4th annual event at the “Big E.”
• In four starts at Eldora Speedway, Crafton has four top-10 finishes.
• In 11 starts in 2016, Crafton has one pole (Atlanta), two wins, and has led 394 laps en route to four top-five, and nine top-10 finishes.
• Crafton remains second in the 2016 NCWTS driver point standings nine points behind leader, William Byron.
• In 372 career NCWTS starts, Crafton has led 2083 laps en route to 12 poles, 13 wins, 93 top-five and 219 top-10 finishes.
• Crafton’s ThorSport Racing teammates finished third (Abreu), seventh (Hayley), and 23rd (Rhodes).
• Up Next: The Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 30 at 1:00pm ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.

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