Crafton Hopes To Crack The Top-Five For The First Time North Of The Border

Aug 25, 2015

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TSR-Crafton-Web-NewsPg Team Information:

2015 Driver Point Standings: 2nd (-6)
2015 Owner Point Standings: 2nd
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

Sandusky, Ohio (August 25, 2015) – Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, lost his spot atop the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) point standings following a 28th-place finish at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway earlier this month. However, in the last two NCWTS races, at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, the two-time and defending series champion has gained four points on the current leader. Crafton, who is currently second in the 2015 NCWTS driver point standings, is a mere six points behind leader, Tyler Reddick, heading into the 3rd Annual NCWTS 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.

In two previous starts at the 2.459-mile road course, Crafton has two top-10 finishes, including a track-best start of eighth and a track-best finish of sixth, in his last start north of the border. In an effort to pull-off a “three-peat” in 2015, the Menards driver hopes to stay on course, and keep gaining momentum in the driver point standings going into the 15th race on the 2015 NCWTS schedule.

Sounding off – Matt Crafton:

“Racing at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park is a lot of fun, I love road racing. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the best finishes. We finished sixth there last year, but we were a lot better last year, than we were the first year we were there. The first year we were horrendous, at best. Last year we made a lot of changes, and improvements. Junior (Carl Joiner, crew chief) never settles down, we talk every day, and I know we will be a lot better this year, from where we were last year.”

What’s the hardest thing about getting around CTMP? There are a lot of tricky turns, and elevation changes.

“It doesn’t race like your average road course, because it doesn’t have a whole lot of heavy breaking, and places to be able to pass. It’s just a really fast-flowing road course. We only do it once a year, so it’s just getting back into the groove of things when you unload. I personally think we should have more than one road course race a year. There are a lot of teams that build trucks especially for this race, and you only get to use it once. To help owners out with the cost of building these trucks, we definitely need to go more than once in a season.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will utilize chassis No. 46 for Sunday’s NCWTS 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. This is a road course specific chassis and was last seen at CTMP in 2014. Crafton started a track-best eighth and finished a track-best sixth.
  • Canada Stats… Crafton will be making his third NCWTS start at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on Sunday. In two previous starts, Crafton has two top-10 finishes, with a track-best finish of sixth (2014). The ThorSport Racing driver has completed 128 of 128 laps attempted (100%), with an Average Start of 10.5 and an Average Finish of 8.0.
  • 2015 Season Review… In 14 starts this season, Crafton has led 460 laps en route to four wins (Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta), eight top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes. The reigning series champion has completed 2126 of 2191 laps attempted (97.0%), and has an Average Start of 7.9, and an Average Finish of 6.9.
  • Previous Race Recap… Crafton started sixth, led 39 laps, and suffered from a fuel pick-up issue on the final restart, and settled for a seventh-place finish in the UNOH 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. 

Crafton’s NCWTS stats at CTMP:

  • Two starts since 2013
  • 128 of 128 laps completed (100%)
  • 0 laps led
  • Two top-10 finishes
  • Best start: 8th (2014)
  • Best finish: 6th (2014)
  • Average start: 10.5
  • Average finish: 8.0
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • Eighth in Average Running Position (10.01)
    • Seventh in Driver Rating (84.4)
    • Second in Laps in the Top 15 (117)

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:

  • 352 starts since 2000
  • Nine wins
  • 84 top-five finishes
  • 204 top-10 finishes
  • Eight Poles
  • 54,829 laps completed
  • 1378 laps led
  • Average start: 13.1
  • Average finish: 11.6

Race Information:

Date: Sunday, August 30, 2015
Time: 1:30p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Track Details: 2.459-mile road course
Distance: 64 laps/157.37 miles