Matt Crafton – 2016 Pocono Recap

lat-levitt-TMS_0116-01659Team Information:
Started: 20th
Finished: 12th
Laps: 60/60
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
2016 Driver Points: 2nd
2016 Owner Points: 2nd

Matt Crafton Race Recap:

Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, made his seventh start in Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway. The two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion started 20th, when qualifying was cancelled due to weather, and the field was set based on the rule book, ran as high as third, and finished 12th.

Starting 20th, Crafton immediately began complaining this his Menards Toyota Tundra was on the splitter, tight, and wouldn’t turn. Crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner brought the No. 88 machine to pit road under the first caution of the afternoon for a major chassis adjustment, four tires, and fuel. When racing resumed on lap 10, Crafton was scored in the 21st position. Although Crafton continued to complain of a “chop” in Turn 1, the ThorSport Racing driver was able to work his way into the top-five by lap 20, due to pit strategy.

In an effort to aid in the handling, Joiner brought Crafton back to pit road for a second time, under caution, at lap 25 for another major chassis adjustment, four tires, and fuel. Restarting eighth, Crafton was able to work his way inside the top-five by lap 40, and maintained his position until a restart at lap 50. In an effort to help his teammate, Cameron Hayley, who was scored second, Crafton, who was scored third, attempted to push the No. 13 machine, and in doing so got loose and lost valuable track position, falling all the way back to the 9th position. Aero tight, Crafton lost valuable ground in the final laps, and crossed the stripe in the 12th positon behind race winner, William Byron.

Quote:

“We weren’t great all weekend. Junior (Carl Joiner) made some wholesale changes before the race, and we thought we were going to be decent. Our Menards Toyota Tundra was just on the splitter, and I couldn’t get it to turn. Junior made some major chassis adjustments during the race, and we still weren’t great – just running decent due to pit strategy. I tried to help Cameron (Hayley) with 10 laps to go, and got shuffled back. I just never could make up the ground there at the end.”

News & Notes:

  • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway. Matt Crafton was 16th, and 19th, respectively, in both sessions.
  • Qualifying for the 7th annual NCWTS event at Pocono Raceway was cancelled on Saturday morning due to weather. The 32-truck field was set based on the rule book – practice speeds – and Crafton rolled off from the 20th position for the 60-lap event.
  • Making his seventh start at Pocono Raceway, Crafton started 20th, ran as high as third, and finished 12th.
  • In seven starts at Pocono Raceway, Crafton has led one lap (2014) en route two top-five and four top-10 finishes.
  • In 12 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 373 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 second (Hayley), sixth (Abreu), and 11th (Rhodes).
  • Up Next: The UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, August 17 at 8:30pm ET.
0