“Success Breeds Success” – Matt Crafton Looks To Continue His Dominance At Gateway

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Team Information:

2015 Driver Point Standings: 1st (+25)

2015 Owner Point Standings: 1st

Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

 

Sandusky, Ohio (June 9, 2015) – For the first time in his 16-year NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) career, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, has three wins in one season. In fact, it wasn’t until 2014 that the ThorSport Racing driver earned two wins in one season. As the model of consistency in 2015, leading 296 laps, at least one lap in the series’ first seven races, and the only driver with a top-10 finish in every race this year, the two-time NCWTS champion is poised for a third consecutive championship title with a 25-point lead on second-place in the driver point standings.

As the NCWTS races into St. Louis, for Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park, the two-time champion is optimistic for the series return to the 1.25-mile track. Crafton, who started 11th in 2014, led the field for 11 laps until a right-front tire blew on the No. 88 Toyota Tundra, forcing him into the Turn 4 wall, and relegating the Menards driver to a 26th-place finish.

In 11 starts at Gateway Motorsports Park, the most starts of any other driver entered in the 15th annual event, Crafton has led 11 laps en route to one top-five, and seven top-10 finishes.  In fact, the ThorSport Racing driver has more lead lap finishes (8), more top-10 finishes (7), and has completed more laps (1737) than another other driver entered. Furthermore, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics, Crafton is ranked first in Fastest Laps Run (22), Closers (10 positions gained), and Laps in the Top 15 (782). If experience prevails, look for Matt Crafton to arch his way into victory lane on Saturday.

Sounding off – Matt Crafton:

“We’re happy with our points lead for sure, but definitely not satisfied,” said Matt Crafton, following his win at Texas Motor Speedway. “There is still a lot of racing to do; we aren’t even half-way through the season yet. We’ll be satisfied when we get to Homestead.”

“I’m looking forward to the series’ return to Gateway this weekend. I was excited when they added it to the schedule last year and glad it’s back this year. It’s a great short track with a lot of speed. We had a really, really strong truck there, and had the tire problem which was unfortunate.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No.42 for Saturday night’s 160-lap event at Gateway Motorsports Park. This is the same chassis that Crafton piloted in Martinsville earlier this year as well as his March, 2014 win at the half-mile paperclip.
  • Driven Matt Crafton: Born to Race… FOX Sports South will debut DRIVEN – Matt Crafton: Born to Race, presented by Toyota on Friday, June 12 at 11 p.m. ET. The show chronicles the life and humble upbringing of the two-time NCWTS champion, and what led him to become the successful driver he is today.
  • Happy Birthday… Crafton will celebrate his 39th birthday on Thursday, June 11.
  • Three-Peat… Crafton’s win at Texas Motor Speedway marked his third of the 2015 NCWTS season. It is also the first time in Crafton’s 16-year NCWTS career that the ThorSport Racing driver has won three races in one season. 2014 was the first season Crafton won multiple races in one season.
  • Consistent Crafton Continues… In 2015, Crafton has three wins, six top-five and seven top-10 finishes. The two-time champion is the only driver with a top-10 finish in all seven starts this season.
  • Follow the Leader… Crafton has led 296 laps this season, leading at least one lap in the series’ first seven races this season.
  • Previous Race Recap… Starting second, Crafton led a race-high 77 laps en route to his third win of the 2015 NCWTS season.

Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Gateway Motorsports Park:

  • 11 starts since 2001
  • 1737 of 1776 laps completed (97.8%)
  • 11 laps led
  • One top-five finishes
  • Seven top-10 finishes
  • Best start: Sixth (2009)
  • Best finish: Fifth (2010)
  • Average start: 13.8
  • Average finish: 10.9
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • Seventh in Average Running Position: 12.0
    • First in Closer: 10 positions gained
    • Sixth in Driver Rating: 91.2
    • First in Fastest Laps Run: 22
    • First in Laps in the Top 15: 782
    • Second in Laps Led: 11

Crafton’s Gateway Motorsports Park NCWTS Performance Profile:

Year Started Finished Laps Status Led
2001 8 7 159/160 Running 0
2002 18 10 159/160 Running 0
2003 12 10 160/160 Running 0
2004 15 6 174/174 Running 0
2005 15 17 160/160 Running 0
2006 12 12 160/160 Running 0
2007 21 9 160/160 Running 0
2008 25 12 160/160 Running 0
2009 6 6 160/160 Running 0
2010 9 5 160/160 Running 0
2014 11 26 123/160 Crash 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:

  • 345 starts since 2000
  • Eight wins
  • 82 top-five finishes
  • 199 top-10 finishes
  • Seven poles
  • 53,864 laps completed
  • 1214 laps led
  • Average start: 13.3
  • Average finish: 11.6
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