Matt Crafton – 2016 Homestead Preview

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Team Information:
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner
Manufacturer: Toyota
Engine: Triad Racing Technologies
2016 Chase Standings: 2nd
2016 NCWTS Owner Point Standings: 2nd

Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:

How will you approach the race Friday night at Homestead?
“I have no friends. All my friends are going to come in yellow fire suits with Menards on them. We’re going to take our gloves off, and I promise you that we’re going to have no friends going into that race. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”

Having won two championships previously, do you have an advantage at Homestead?
“Without a doubt. I have nothing to lose, to be honest, and I’ve done it twice. Going into Phoenix, I was talking to a few people, and they said it didn’t look like I had any pressure on me, and I did. If it’s meant to be, it will happen, and if not, we have 2017 to go on to. I’m looking forward to it.”

Do you expect yourself, Timothy Peters and Johnny Sauter to have the advantage over rookie Christopher Bell?
“I don’t think there’s anybody that has an advantage, it’s whoever has the best truck, and the best man will win Friday night. I guess, we’ll find out. I’m sure all the Toyotas will be good, without a doubt.”

Do you expect Johnny Sauter to be your toughest competition with his veteran experience?
“I’ll do whatever it takes to win the race and the championship, I promise you that. I’m sure he’s going to be good, and there will be a few of them that have nothing to lose, and a lot to win.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 56 for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This is the same chassis Crafton piloted at Chicagoland Speedway earlier this season.
  • Miami Minute…Crafton will make his 16th career start at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night. In 2015, the two-time champion started on the pole, led a race-high 93 laps, and claimed his first win at the 1.5-mile track.
  • Intermediate Track Success… No current NCWTS driver is better at Intermediate tracks than Crafton. Dating back to 2014, Crafton has finished in the top-10 in 22 of the last 25 races at ovals measuring 1.5 or 1.54 miles. Included in that stretch are seven wins, and six runner-up finishes.
  • Championship 4… Crafton, a two-time NCWTS champion, is one of four drivers to make it into Round 3 – the Championship 4 – of the inaugural Chase, and is currently seeded second in the 2016 Chase standings. In fact, Crafton is the only defending series champion entered in the 200-lap event that has a shot at the title.
  • Let’s Go Places…Toyota has seven NCWTS wins in 20 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the NCWTS, including the last three with drivers Kyle Busch (2013), Darrell Wallace, Jr (2014), and Matt Crafton (2015).
  • In The Loop – 2016… According to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics, Crafton ranks first in Laps in the Top-15 (2903), and second in Average Running Position (8.25), Driver Rating (99.6), Fastest Laps Run (253), and Laps Led (440) entering Friday night’s season finale.
  • Race Rewind – Phoenix… Making his 16th career start at Phoenix International Raceway in the NCWTS, Crafton started 10th, ran as high as third, and finished third in the 150-lap event.

Crafton’s Homestead NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 15
  • Wins: 1 (2015)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 3
  • Top-10 Finishes: 7
  • Poles: 1 (2015)
  • Laps Completed: 2051 of 2057 (99.7%)
  • Lap Led: 131
  • Average start: 11.9
  • Average finish: 11.7

Crafton’s 2016 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 22
  • Wins: 2
  • Top-5 Finishes: 8
  • Top-10 Finishes: 15
  • Poles: 1 (Atlanta)
  • Laps Led: 436
  • Laps Completed: 3098 of 3305 (93.7%)
  • Average Start: 10.4
  • Average Finish: 11.0

Crafton’s Career NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 383 since 2000
  • Wins: 13
  • Top-5 Finishes: 957
  • Top-10 Finishes: 225
  • Poles: 12
  • Laps Completed: 59,166
  • Laps Led: 2125
  • Average start: 12.8
  • Average finish: 11.5

Race Information:
Date: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 8pm ET on FOX, MRN Radio & SiriusXM Channel 90
Track: 1.5-mile oval
Distance: 134 laps/201 miles

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