Points Leader, Matt Crafton Hopes to “Rip” into Victory Lane at Dover on Friday

TSR-Crafton-Web-NewsPgTeam Information:

2015 Driver Point Standings: 1st (+16)

2015 Owner Point Standings: 1st

Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

 

 

 

 

Sandusky, Ohio (May 26, 2015) – Dover (Del.) International Speedway is known as the “Monster Mile,” and “Miles,” the tracks iconic mascot, has had his share of victims in the 15-year tenure that the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) has been racing at the one-mile concrete oval. In fact, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Rip It®/Menards Toyota Tundra, fell victim to the “Monster” in 2014, ending a 47-race streak of no DNF’s and eliminating the Menards driver from the top spot in the NCWTS driver point standings.

Starting second, his track-best start in 14 races at the Delaware track, Crafton led 46 laps and battled with Sprint Cup Series regular, Kyle Busch, for position before a right front tire blew on lap 156 of 200, sending the ThorSport Racing driver hard into the wall and relegating the No. 88 machine to a 23rd-place finish.

Not only did Crafton recover the point’s lead after losing it at Dover, he won his second consecutive championship in 2014, becoming the first driver in series’ history to win back-to-back titles. With more starts at Dover than any other driver entered in the 16th annual event, the veteran driver hopes to use his experience to scare the competition and “Rip” into victory lane on Friday night in the Lucas Oil 200.

 

Sounding off – Matt Crafton:

“There is a tremendous elevation change at Dover from the straightaway to the bottom of the corner. It’s definitely one of my top-three favorite race tracks to go to each and every year. The groove moves around a lot, the place lays down a lot of rubber, and it’s always great racing.”

 

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 37 for Friday’s Lucas Oil 200. This chassis was last seen at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in 2014. Crafton started 11th and finished fourth.
  • Follow the Leader… Crafton has led 216 laps this season, leading at least one lap in the series’ first five races this season.
  • Consistent Crafton Continues… In 2015, Crafton has two wins, four top-five and five top-10 finishes. The two-time champion is the only driver with a top-10 finish in all five starts this season.
  • Previous Race Recap… Starting ninth, Crafton piloted his Great Lakes/Menards Toyota Tundra to a third-place finish in the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway. The solid run was Crafton’s fourth top-five finish of the season and allowed the defending series champion to keep a tight grip on his lead in the NCWTS driver point standings following the fifth race of the season

 

Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Dover:

  • 14 starts since 2001
  • Three top-five finishes
  • Eight top-10 finishes
  • 2375 of 2751 laps completed (86.3%)
  • 72 laps led
  • Average start: 15.6
  • Average finish: 13.6
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • Sixth in Average Running Position (10.4)
    • Fourth in Driver Rating (96.7)
    • First in Laps In the Top 15: 1495
    • First in Laps Led: 69

 

Crafton’s Dover NCWTS Performance Profile:

Year Started Finished Laps Status Led
2001 22 9 200/200 Running 3
2002 17 27 96/200 Crash 0
2003 14 22 130/200 Crash 0
2004 17 29 82/200 Engine 0
2005 26 9 200/200 Running 0
2006 22 15 200/200 Running 0
2007 24 26 160/200 Engine 0
2008 16 5 200/200 Running 0
2009 23 6 200/200 Running 0
2010 9 7 204/204 Running 0
2011 10 3 200/200 Running 13
2012 10 8 147/147 Running 0
2013 7 2 200/200 Running 10
2014 2 23 156/200 Crash 46

 

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:

  • 343 starts since 2000
  • Seven wins
  • 80 top-five finishes
  • 197 top-10 finishes
  • Seven poles
  • 53,497 laps completed
  • 1134 laps led
  • Average start: 13.3
  • Average finish: 11.6

 

Race Information:

Date: Friday, May 29, 2015

Time: 5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1

Track Details: 1-mile oval

Distance: 200 laps/200 miles

 

Team Website: www.ThorSport.com

Driver Website: www.MattCrafton.com

Sponsor Website: www.Menards.com

Twitter: @ThorSportRacing, @Matt_Crafton

 

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