Matt Crafton – 2017 Chicago Preview

Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:

What makes Chicagoland Speedway so unique compared to some of the other mile-and-a-half tracks that the Truck Series runs on?
“It’s widened out a lot, and it widened out fairly quick. There are multiple grooves, and the bottom’s fast, without a doubt. When the tires start to fall off, you can run all the way against the fence. This race usually puts on a great show, and hopefully it does the same thing again this year.” 

Team Stats:
2017 Driver Point Standings: 3rd
2017 Owner Point Standings: 3rd
2017 Stage Wins: 2
2017 Stage Points: 153
2017 Playoff Points: 7

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing (TSR) team will unload chassis No. 56 for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Chicagoland 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. This is the same chassis Crafton piloted to a second-place finish earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
  • Major Milestone…Matt Crafton will make his 400th NCWTS start on Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway. The Tulare, California native passed four-time NCWTS champion, Ron Hornaday, Jr with 360 starts on the NCWTS all-time starts list in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. Crafton, who made his series debut at Auto Club Speedway in November 2000, earned his first series win at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2008, and became the series first back-to-back Champion in 2014.
  • Career Stats…In 399 starts, Crafton ranks first in the following NCWTS categories: Starts (399), Top-10 finishes (236), Laps Completed (61,498), Running at Finish (356), and Lead Lap Finishes (257).
  • Intermediate Track Stats…No current NCWTS driver is better at Intermediate-size tracks than Crafton. Dating back to 2014, Crafton has finished in the top-10 in 27 of the last 31 races at ovals measuring 1.5 or 1.54 miles. Included in that stretch are seven wins, and seven runner-up finishes.
  • Playoff Status… Following Crafton’s first win of the 2017 NCWTS season at Eldora Speedway, the TSR driver has locked himself into the first round of the Playoffs, which kicks-off at New Hampshire Motor Speedway next week. Crafton is currently third in the 2017 driver point standings, and seeded fourth in the Playoffs.
  • Take Me Back – Chicago, 2016… Making his eighth start at Chicagoland Speedway, Crafton started 13th, ran as high as third, and settled for a 27th-place finish, due to damage suffered in a late-race accident on lap 113 of 150.
  • Rearview Mirror – Canada… Starting eighth, Crafton finished 20th in Stage 1,12th in Stage 2, and 25th in the NCWTS 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Crafton’s Chicago Stats:

  • Starts: 8, since 2009
  • Laps Completed: 1161 of 1205 (96.3%)
  • Laps Led: 37
  • Poles: 1 (2009)
  • Wins: 0
  • Top-5 Finishes: 3
  • Top-10 Finishes: 5
  • Best finish: 2nd (2014)

Crafton’s 2017 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 15
  • Laps Completed: 2198 of 2235 (99.1%)
  • Laps Led: 196
  • Poles: 1 (Michigan)
  • Wins: 1 (Eldora)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 4
  • Top-10 Finishes: 10

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:

  • Starts: 399, since 2000
  • Wins: 14
  • Top-five Finishes: 101
  • Top-10 finishes: 236
  • Poles: 13
  • Laps Completed: 61,498
  • Laps Led: 2331
  • Average start: 12.5
  • Average finish: 11.4

Chicago Stages:
Stage 1 – 35 laps (concludes at lap 35)
Stage 2 – 35 laps (concludes at lap 70)
Stage 3 – 80 laps (concludes at lap 150)

Broadcast Schedule – Chicago:

Friday, September 15:

  • 5:00 p.m. ET – NCWTS Qualifying (FOX Sports 1)
  • 8:00 p.m. ET – NCWTS Setup (FOX Sports 1)
  • 8:30 p.m. ET – Chicagoland 225 (FOX Sports 1)

Race Information:
Date: Friday, September 15. 2017
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Track: 1.5-mile tri-oval
Distance: 150 laps/225 miles

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