Matt Crafton – 2016 Kentucky Recap

lat-levitt-TMS_0116-01659Team Information:
Started: 8th
Finished: 8th
Laps: 150/150
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
Driver Points: 2nd (-13)
Owner Points: 2nd

Matt Crafton Race Recap:

Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Great Lakes/Menards Toyota Tundra, made his 18th career start at Kentucky Speedway in Thursday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Buckle Up In Your Truck 225. Starting eighth, the ThorSport Racing driver ran as high as fourth, maintaining an average running position inside the top-10 throughout the 150-lap event, and brought home his 13th top-10 finish at the Sparta, KY track, finishing eighth.

Starting eighth, Crafton reported that his Menards Toyota Tundra was “good on entry, but needed help in the center and off,” in the opening laps. With a range of pit strategies taking place throughout the event, and track position at a premium, crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner brought the No. 88 machine to pit road under the first caution at lap 27, for two right-side tires, and fuel. Restarting fifth, the two-time champion was able to maintain his position inside the top-five, until a restart at lap 55, where the ThorSport Racing driver got loose, and lost valuable track position. Scored 10th, Junior would bring the Menards machine to pit road under the fourth caution, at lap 58, for left-side tires, and fuel only, and again under the final caution at lap 105, for four tires and fuel. Restarting 11th, Crafton would battle a tight Toyota Tundra in the final 42 laps, and settle for an eighth-place finish behind race winner, William Byron.

Matt Crafton Quote:

“Track position was key tonight, and the RACING grooves will take some time to come in after the repave. This Menards Toyota Tundra over-rotated at the start of a run, and then it would come to me, and by the end of the run it was too tight. I was a fan of the old track surface, and we just missed it tonight.”

Notes:

  • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday night’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Crafton was fourth, and 14th, respectively, in both sessions.
  • Making his 18th career start at Kentucky Speedway in the NCWTS, Crafton started eighth, ran as high as fourth, and finished eighth.
  • In 18 starts at Kentucky Speedway, Crafton has led 79 laps en route to one win (2015), five top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes.
  • In 10 starts in 2016, Crafton has one pole (Atlanta), two wins, and has led 394 laps en route to four top-five, and eight top-10 finishes.
  • Crafton remains second in the NCWTS driver point standings with a 13-point deficit to second place, William Byron.
  • In 371 career NCWTS starts, Crafton has led 2083 laps en route to 12 poles, 13 wins, 93 top-five and 218 top-10 finishes.
  • Crafton’s ThorSport Racing teammates finished sixth (Hayley), 13th (Rhodes), and 15th (Abreu).
  • Up Next: The Aspen Dental 150 at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
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