Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:
“I love going to Gateway. Gateway reminds me of the old Phoenix. The corners are very different. The corners of 1 and 2 are definitely a little tighter than the old Phoenix, but it has banking, and it’s a tighter corner. Turns 3 and 4 are a lot flatter, and you never can have a truck that’s going to handle perfectly at both ends, so it’s one of those deals where you have to figure out which end you want be the best at. Unfortunately, we’ve had our fair share of bad luck at Gateway – it’s been my ‘Achilles heel.’ In 2014 we blew a right front tire, while leading in a very dominant truck, and the last two years, I just got caught-up in someone else’s mess. Hopefully, we have all that behind us now, and we can have a good run on Saturday.”
2017 Driver Point Standings: 3rd
2017 Owner Point Standings: 3rd
News & Notes:
- Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing (TSR) team will unload chassis No. 63 for Saturday night’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park (GMP) in St. Louis. This is the same chassis Matt Crafton piloted earlier this season at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, finishing ninth.
- “Show Me State” Stats… Among active series drivers, Crafton has the most Starts (13), the most Top-10 finishes (10), has completed the most laps (2036), has led the most laps (60), and has the most lead lap finishes (8).
- In the Loop – Gateway… Although Crafton has three DNF’s in the last three race races at GMP, the Menards driver is ranked first in the following categories entering this weekends NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at GMP; Fastest Laps Run (87), Green Flag Passes (232), Laps in the Top-15 (1079), and Laps Led (60).
- NASCAR Salutes… In conjunction with the NASCAR Salutes initiative in June, Gateway Motorsports Park, NASCAR and Camping World will salute Scott Air Force Base’s 100th anniversary on Saturday, hosting service men and women stationed at the base. The first 10,000 fans will receive American flags for a special recognition of our service members prior to the race, and all NCWTS entries will run a special Scott Air Force Base decal this weekend.
- In the Loop – 2017… According to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics, Crafton ranks second in Average Running Position (7.1), and Laps in the Top-15 (1086). The ThorSport Racing driver ranks fifth in Driver Rating (97.2) and sixth in Laps Led (56) after seven of 23 NCWTS races this season.
- Take Me Back – Gateway, 2016… Making his 13th career start at GMP, Crafton started 14th, and ran as high as second, but was involved in a late-race accident on lap 150 of 160, relegating the two-time champion to a 27th-place finish.
- Rearview Mirror – Texas… Starting third, the Menards driver led the 28-truck field once, for six laps, and finished ninth in the 167-lap event.
Crafton’s Gateway Stats:
- Starts: 13, since 2001
- Laps Completed: 2036 of 2096 (97.1%)
- Laps Led: 60
- Top-5 Finishes: 1
- Top-10 Finishes: 7
- Best Start: 3rd (2015)
- Best Finish: 5th (2010)
- Average start: 13.0
- Average finish: 12.9
Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:
- Starts: 391, since 2000
- Wins: 13
- Top-five Finishes: 98
- Top-10 finishes: 230
- Poles: 12
- Laps Completed: 60,445
- Laps Led: 2191
- Average start: 12.6
- Average finish: 11.4
- Stage 1 – 35 laps (concludes at lap 35)
- Stage 2 – 35 laps (concludes at lap 70)
- Stage 3 – 90 laps (concludes at lap 160)
Date: Saturday, June 17
Time: 8:30pm ET on FOX Sports 1, SiriusXM & MRN
Track: 1.25-mile oval
Distance: 160 Laps, 200 Miles
Race Hashtags: #DrivinForLinemen200 & #NASCARSalutes
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