Matt Crafton – 2016 Kansas Speedway Recap

lat-levitt-TMS_0116-01659Team Information:
Started: 13th
Finished: 2nd
Laps: 170/170
Status: Running
Driver Points: 6th
Owner Points: 6th

Matt Crafton Race Recap:

Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, showed why he is an intermediate track icon in Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway. The defending race winner, and the only driver to visit victory lane twice in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at the 1.5-mile track, started 13th, led the 32-truck field twice, for 59 laps, and finished second, scoring his fifth top-five finish in 16 starts at Kansas Speedway. In the caution plagued event, Crafton reported that his Toyota Tundra was “good on entry, but needed some work in the center and off the corners.” By lap 60, when Carl “Junior” Joiner brought the No. 88 machine to pit road for the second time, under caution for fuel only, Crafton was scored in the eighth position. The ThorSport Racing driver took the lead for the first time at lap 77, following a restart at lap 76. The Menards driver was able to maintain the lead for 57 laps, until making contact with the No. 17 machine on lap 134, and getting shuffled back to the 11th position. Crafton, who never gave up, was scored seventh when the race was sent into overtime, at lap 167. During the first, and only attempt at a green-white-checker flag finish, Crafton went three-wide on the restart, muscling his way through traffic, and as the leaders made contact, Crafton was able to salvage a second-place finish behind race winner, William Byron in the race extend Toyota Tundra 250.

Quote:

“The last restart was chaos, without a doubt. You have to win these races, and you have to take the gloves off to do what you’ve got to do. I know we had the truck to beat tonight if we would have had the clean air – I mean, clean air was huge. When we were ahead of the 9 (William Byron) earlier, we drove away from him eventually. I just wanted this Menards Toyota Tundra to get out front, and stay there. With the 17, we were just racing three-wide, and Timothy (Peters) got into my left rear. I respect Timothy more than any other driver out here. It was a mistake; we all do it. This Menards Toyota Tundra was good, really good. I feel like we had the best truck. This was a brand new truck that we just built, and these guys worked really hard, and we had the truck to beat tonight, but that’s racing.”

Notes:

  • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series had three practice sessions on Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250. Matt Crafton was 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, respectively
  • Crafton started 13th and finished second in the 167-lap event, his fifth top-five finish in 16 starts at the 1.5-mile track
  • The ThorSport Racing driver led the field twice for 57 laps in Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250, more than double the number of laps the two-time race winner has led in 15 starts at Kansas Speedway since 2001.
  • In 16 starts at Kansas Speedway since 2001, Crafton has led 106 laps en route to two wins, five top-five, and 8 top-10 finishes
  • In 2016, Crafton has one pole (Atlanta), and has led 138 laps en route to one top-five, and three top-10 finishes
  • In 365 career NCWTS starts, Crafton has 12 poles, 11 wins, 90 top-five and 213 top-10 finishes
  • Crafton’s ThorSport Racing teammates finished 18th (Rhodes), 19th (Hayley), and 22nd (Abreu), respectively
  • Up next: The Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on Friday, May 13, 2016 at 5:30pm ET
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