Matt Crafton – Ready to Re-Write the History Books Once Again at Kansas

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Team Information:

2015 Driver Point Standings: 1st (+2)

2015 Owner Point Standings: 1st

Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

 

 

 

 

Sandusky, Ohio (May 4, 2015) – Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Slim Jim®/Menards Toyota Tundra, re-wrote the NASCAR history books in 2014 when he became the first back-to-back NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) champion. Now, the ThorSport Racing driver, who is once again atop the point standings entering the fourth race on the 2015 schedule, looks to re-write history once again in Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250.

In 14 NCWTS races at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS, there have been 14 different winners. Crafton, who went to victory lane at the 1.5-mile track in 2013, will not only have the same chassis he piloted to his third career victory at Kansas Speedway, he is the only driver entered in the 167-lap race that has competed in all 14 NCWTS events at the Midwestern track. In fact, the two-time champion sets the standard for dominance at Kansas Speedway. Crafton is tied for the most top-five finishes (3), has more top-10 finishes (6), has completed more laps (2239), and has the most lead lap finishes (8) than any other active NCWTS driver entered in the 15th annual event. Furthermore, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks first in Laps in the Top 15 (1092).

With Crafton’s consistency, don’t count him out to defy history, once again, and become the first repeat Truck Series winner at Kansas Speedway on Friday night.

 

Sounding off – Matt Crafton:

“It’s been an eternity since we’ve been on the race track, but I always look forward to going back to Kansas; it’s a very cool race track. As the only driver entered that’s competed in all 14 Truck Series races at Kansas, I feel old, at 37, crazy. Kansas is definitely a tricky race track – it’s tough to get off Turn 4 and to get your stuff handling good in Turns 1 and 2 and then be that good in Turn 4, it’s tough. Just getting balance overall is key. I expect the track to have lost some grip since the repave. We were really, really fast there last year; a contender all night. We were a little bit free-in and tight center and off, but we were scared to make any adjustments to hurt us on corner entry. I had to protect my entry and that’s how Kyle (Busch) got around us for the win.”

 

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 35 for the 15th annual Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. Crafton has piloted this particular chassis in his last two visits at the 1.5-mile oval, including his 2013 win.
  • Previous Race Recap… Starting 13th, Crafton led six times for a total of 100 laps in last month’s Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. In what looked like the race winning pass, Crafton was able to prevail from a fierce battle with Sprint Cup Series regular, Joey Logano on lap 245 of 250 before rookie Cole Custer bumped the rear of the No. 88 machine for the lead. Ultimately, the race concluded in a green-white-checker finish with Crafton crossing the stripe in the second position behind race winner, Logano.
  • Taking His Skills Off-Road… Crafton didn’t sit idle during the five week break on the NCWTS schedule. The ThorSport Racing driver took his skills off-road in The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL on April 24-25 at Texas Motor Speedway. The two-time NCWTS champion, who was making his second start in the series, carried a special Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit paint scheme on his truck to help promote the Second Annual Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit & Auction. Running on only two-wheel drive, due to a differential issue in practice, Crafton finished sixth.
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Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Kansas Speedway:

  • 14 starts since 2001
  • One win (April 20, 2013)
  • Three top-five finishes
  • Six top-10 finishes
  • 2239 of 2306 laps completed (97.1%)
  • 43 laps led
  • Average start: 14.1
  • Average finish: 14.2
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • Eighth in Average Running Position: 8.12
    • Sixth in Driver Rating: 84.9
    • Third in Fastest Laps Run: 24
    • First in Laps in the Top 15: 1092
    • Fourth in Laps Led: 37
  • Has more starts than any other active NCWTS driver (14)
  • Tied for the most top-five finishes (3) than any other active NCWTS driver
  • Hast the most top-10 finishes (6) than any other active NCWTS driver
  • Has completed more laps (2239) than any other active NCWTS driver
  • Has more lead lap finishes (8) than any other active NCWTS driver

 

Crafton’s Kansas Speedway NCWTS Performance Profile:

Date Started Finished Laps Status Led
July, 2001 11 22 137/167 Engine 0
July, 2002 13 10 166/167 Running 0
July, 2003 10 19 162/167 Engine 0
July, 2004 7 5 164/170 Running 6
July, 2005 21 27 167/167 Crash 0
July, 2006 14 20 167/167 Running 0
April, 2007 30 10 167/167 Running 0
April, 2008 26 21 132/132 Running 0
April, 2009 14 7 143/167 Running 0
May, 2010 2 25 167/167 Running 0
June, 2011 17 18 167/167 Running 3
April, 2012 17 12 167/167 Running 0
April, 2013 6 1 167/167 Running 34
May, 2014 9 2 167/167 Running 0

 

Matt Crafton’s 2014 Highlights:

  • Won second consecutive NCWTS championship title to become the first driver in series history to win back-to-back titles
  • First career multi-win season with victories at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
  • 10th consecutive full season in second stint with ThorSport Racing
  • Earned a series-leading 7.0 average finish
  • Career-best 13 top-five finishes and 298 laps led

 

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:

  • 341 starts since 2000
  • Six wins
  • 78 top-five finishes
  • 195 top-10 finishes
  • Seven poles
  • 53,191 laps completed
  • 1104 laps led
  • Average start: 13.4
  • Average finish: 11.7

 

Race Information:

Date: Friday, May 8, 2015

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1

Track Details: 1.5-mile

Distance: 167 laps/250.5 miles

 

Team Website: www.ThorSport.com

Driver Website: www.MattCrafton.com

Sponsor Website: www.Menards.com www.FisherNuts.com

Social Media: @ThorSportRacing, @Matt_Crafton

 

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