Crafton Primed To Continue Short Track Success At Bristol

Aug 17, 2015

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TSR-Crafton-Web-NewsPgTeam Information:

2015 Driver Point Standings: 2nd (-8)
2015 Owner Point Standings: 2nd
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner

Sandusky, Ohio (August 17, 2015) – As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) heads into the 14th race on the 2015 schedule at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (BMS), Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Great Lakes/Menards Toyota Tundra, finds himself in the thick of the championship hunt. Sitting second in the standings, the two-time and defending series champion gained momentum on the leader following a sixth-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn last weekend. Crafton is now only eight points behind current leader, Tyler Reddick, entering Wednesday night’s UNOH 200. In fact, Crafton finds himself in familiar territory entering the 200-lap event at BMS. In 2014, the Menards driver was nine points out of the lead in the championship point standings. In 2015, Crafton trails by only eight points.

Making his 13th start at BMS, Crafton is still looking for his first win at “The World’s Fastest Half Mile.”  Finishing fourth in “Thunder Valley” in 2014, Crafton has completed 99.7% of the laps attempted and has earned three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Furthermore, the ThorSport Racing driver has excelled at short tracks this season with an Average Finish of 3.0 in two starts; finishing second at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March), and fourth at Iowa Speedway in Newton (June). With the passion to “three-peat” in 2015, you can count on Crafton to be a contender Wednesday night under the lights at BMS.

Sounding off – Matt Crafton:

“I love going to Bristol, it’s a fun track. We ran fourth last year, and had a shot to win the race, I believe, if we had a yellow there at the end. One and two just got away, and it was hard to catch them in traffic. Junior (Carl Joiner, crew chief) never settles down though, he’s got a lot of changes this year, from what we ran last year, so hopefully we have something good for them on Wednesday night.”

“During practice, the groove will be at the bottom, then it will start migrating up. You usually won’t be able to run the top until you get to the race, and that’s what makes Bristol interesting. You try setting your truck up all day, and the groove only moves half-way up the race track, and then everyone is running up against the wall during the race.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 37 for Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. This chassis was last seen at Dover (Del.) International Speedway (May). Crafton started third and finished fifth.
  • Bristol Stats… Crafton will be making his 13th NCWTS start at BMS on Wednesday night, and the ThorSport Racing driver is still looking for his first win at the half-mile oval. In 12 previous starts, Crafton has three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. In 2014, the Menards driver finished fourth.
  • 2015 Season Review… In 13 starts this season, Crafton has led 421 laps en route to four wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway), eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. The reigning series champion has completed 1924 of 1989 laps attempted (96.7%), and has an Average Start of 8.0 and an Average Finish of 6.9
  • Previous Race Recap… Crafton earned his second pole at Michigan International Speedway last Saturday, and the eighth of his NCWTS career for the Careers for Veterans 200. The ThorSport Racing driver overcame a broken windshield and a spin in Turn 4 late in the 100-lap event to finish sixth.

Crafton’s NCWTS stats at Bristol:

  • 12 starts since 2003
  • 2412 of 2419 laps completed (99.7%)
  • 0 laps led
  • Three top-five finishes
  • Seven top-10 finishes
  • Best start: Fifth (2003)
  • Best finish: Second (2009)
  • Average start: 16.7
  • Average finish: 10.2
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • 12th in Average Running Position: 13.8
    • 10th in Driver Rating: 83.7
    • 2nd in Laps in the Top 15: 1213

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:

  • 351 starts since 2000
  • Nine wins
  • 84 top-five finishes
  • 203 top-10 finishes
  • Eight Poles
  • 54,627 laps completed
  • 1339 laps led
  • Average start: 13.1
  • Average finish: 11.6

Race Information:

Date: Wednesday, August 19
Time: 8:30p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Track Details: .533-mile oval
Distance: 200 laps/106.6 miles