2015 Driver Point Standings: 3rd (-32)
2015 Owner Point Standings: 3rd
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner
Sandusky, Ohio (November 16, 2015) – Although a third-consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver’s championship title is unlikely for Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra in 2015, the ThorSport Racing driver can characterize his season as a success. Entering the final race of the 2015 season, Crafton has claimed a season-high three poles (Michigan International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway), led a career-high 678 laps, and earned a season-best five wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway). In fact, Crafton has earned half of his 10 career wins in 2015.
In addition to his success in 2015, Crafton will once again make history in Friday night’s NCWTS 200 at Homestead-Miami (FL) Speedway. The two-time and defending series champion, has spent 15 full-time seasons in the NCWTS to date, and will make his 361st career start in the series Friday night, passing four-time NCWTS champion, Ron Hornaday, Jr., in career starts. Currently, both Crafton and Hornaday are tied with 360 starts.
Of the 360 starts that Crafton has made since 2000, the Tulare, California native has made 14 starts at Homestead, site of Friday night’s NCWTS season finale. Although Crafton is still looking for his first win at the 1.5-mile oval, a type of track the Menards driver has dominated on in 2015, the ThorSport Racing diver has lead 38 laps en route to two two-five and six top-10 finishes, with a track-best start of second (2004), and a track-best finish of second (2009). Furthermore, among active series drivers, Crafton has the most starts (14), is tied for the most top-five finishes (2), has the most top-10 finishes (6), has completed the most laps (1917), and has the most lead lap finishes (10).
With nothing to lose, and everything to gain, don’t count out Matt Crafton and his No. 88 ThorSport Racing team from victory lane on Friday night.
Sounding off – Matt Crafton:
“Both corners are pretty much similar shape-wise at Homestead, but there is a pretty big bump down in Turns 3 and 4, right up against the wall, right where you have to run. I really love going there. The difference in banking, for the different racing lines, is a lot of fun to race on. Plus, the side-by-side racing there is phenomenal.”
News & Notes:
- Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 51 for Friday’s NCWTS 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This particular chassis has been utilized three times this season at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, starting ninth and finishing third, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, starting first and finishing first, and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, where Crafton started third and finished 28th.
- Homestead Stats… Crafton will make his 15th start at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night. In 14 previous starts, the two-time NCWTS champion has led 38 laps en route to two top-five and six top-10 finishes. Among active series drivers, Crafton has the most starts (14), is tied for the most top-five finishes (2), has the most top-10 finishes (6), has completed the most laps (1917), and has the most lead lap finishes (10).
- Mile-And-A-Half Track Success… In eight starts on a mile-and-a-half tracks in 2015, Crafton has earned two poles (Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway), led 331 laps en route to four wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kentucky Speedway), and has an Average Start of 4.7, and an Average Finish of 4.1.
- Milestone Moment… Crafton will pass four-time NCWTS champion, Ron Hornaday, Jr. in career starts Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he makes his 361st career start. Currently, both Crafton and Hornaday are tied with 360 starts.
- Clinch Scenario… Erik Jones clinches the championship by finishing 15th or better at Homestead. He eliminates Matt Crafton by finishing 27th or better.
- 2015 Season Review… In 22 starts this season, Crafton has led 678 laps, a career-best in one season, en route to three poles (Michigan International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway), a career-best five wins in one season (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway), 12 top-five, and 17 top-10 finishes. The reigning series champion has completed 3231 of 3321 laps attempted (97.3%), and has an Average Start of 6.9, and an Average Finish of 8.0.
- Previous Race Recap… Crafton started fourth, led 15 laps and finished 23rd due to a late-race incident with the No. 4 truck on lap 130 of 150.
Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Homestead:
- 14 starts since 2001
- 1917 of 1923 laps completed (99.7%)
- 38 laps led
- 2 top-five finishes
- 6 top-10 finishes
- Best start: 2nd (2004)
- Best Finish: 2nd (2009)
- Average start: 12.6
- Average finish: 12.5
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:
- 360 starts since 2000
- 10 wins
- 88 top-five finishes
- 209 top-10 finishes
- 10 poles
- 55,934 laps completed
- 1596 laps led
- Average start: 12.9
- Average finish: 11.5
Date: Friday, Nov. 20, 2015
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Track Details: 1.5-mile oval
Distance: 134 laps/201 miles