Crafton Hopes To “Snap” Into Victory Lane In The Windy City

Sep 14, 2015

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Team Information:
2015 Driver Point Standings: 2nd (-3)
2015 Owner Point Standings: 2nd
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

Sandusky, Ohio (September 14, 2015) – The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) has visited five 1.5-mile tracks in the first 15 stops on the 2015 schedule. Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota Tundra has won at four of those venues (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kentucky Speedway), and finished third at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. With an Average Start of 5.8, at these five tracks, which includes one first-place starting position (Kentucky), and two second-place starts (Kansas and Texas), and an Average Finish of 1.4, you can count on the ThorSport Racing driver to be a factor for victory lane in Friday night’s 7th annual American Ethanol 225 at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

Furthermore, Crafton, who is currently second in the NCWTS driver point standings, has gained eight points over the last three races of the season, and the Menards driver is now a mere three points behind current leader, Erik Jones. As the two-time champion continues to search for his third consecutive title, another win at the 1.5-mile venue Friday night, could help the ThorSport Racing driver secure his spot back atop the point standings following the 150-lap event.

Sounding off – Matt Crafton:
“The asphalt at Chicagoland Speedway is very, very old. Because of that, the groove has moved around a ton. Usually in a run, the groove is right around the bottom of the track, but as the race gets going, we’ll be right around the top, by the wall, as the tires wear more.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will utilize chassis No. 50 for Friday’s American Ethanol 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. This particular chassis has made two starts in 2015 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, finishing fourth, and Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH, finishing ninth. “Fifty Cent,” which is new and improved, will make its third start of the season in Friday night’s 150-lap event.
  • Testing, One, Two, Three Testing… Crafton attended the two-day test at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway with rookie teammates Cameron Hayley and Jesse Little last week. He was on-hand to shake down the truck and give guidance to the two drivers who will be making their track debuts this weekend in the “Windy City.”
  • Windy City Stats… Crafton will be making his seventh NCWTS start at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night. In six previous starts, Crafton has one pole, three top-five and five top-10 finishes, with a track-best finish of second (2014). The ThorSport Racing driver has completed 903 of 904 laps attempted (99.89%), with an Average Start of 9.1 and an Average Finish of 6.3.
  • 5-mile Track Success… In the series first 15 races of the season, there have been five tracks on the 2015 schedule that are 1.5-miles in length. Crafton, who is currently second in the 2015 NCWTS driver point standings, has won at four of the five venues. In fact, the ThorSport Racing diver is one of only four active drivers that has competed in all six races at Chicagoland Speedway, has completed the most laps (903), is tied for the most top-10 finishes (five), and is the only active driver entered with a pole.
  • 2015 Season Review… In 15 starts this season, Crafton has led 461 laps en route to four wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kentucky Speedway), nine top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes. The reigning series champion has completed 2190 of 2255 laps attempted (97.1%), and has an Average Start of 7.5, and an Average Finish of 6.6.
  • Previous Race Recap… Crafton started a track-best third, led one lap, and finished a track-best second in the NCWTS 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Aug. 30).

Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Chicago:

  • Six starts since 2009
  • 903 of 904 laps completed (99.89%)
  • 37 laps led
  • Three top-five finishes
  • Five top-10 finishes
  • Best start: 1st (2009)
  • Best finish: 2nd (2014)
  • Average start: 9.1
  • Average finish: 6.3

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:

  • 353 starts since 2000
  • Nine wins
  • 85 top-five finishes
  • 205 top-10 finishes
  • Eight Poles
  • 54,893 laps completed
  • 1379 laps led
  • Average start: 13.1
  • Average finish: 11.5

Race Information:
Date: Friday, September 18, 2015
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Track Details: 1.5-mile D-shaped Tri-oval
Distance: 150 laps/225 miles