Chatting with Matt Crafton…
“I’ve always had Phoenix circled on the schedule. I basically started my career at Phoenix, and it would be nice to bring that full circle, and win one in front of a lot of friends and family. We’ve been pretty decent there in the past, and I’ll drive as hard as I can from the green flag to the checkered flag, just like I do every week. I’m sure every lap will be just as intense as it was last year, but we know what we have to do to advance to Homestead. So, God willing, and we do our jobs, we will have a shot next week.”
2017 Driver Point Standings: 3rd
2017 Owner Point Standings: 3rd
2017 Playoff Position: 3rd
- This Week’s No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 63 for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is the same chassis Matt Crafton piloted to two top-five, and four top-10 finishes, earlier this season at Martinsville Speedway (9th), Gateway Motorsports Park (4th), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (6th), and Martinsville Speedway (2nd).
- Phoenix Profile… Crafton has made 16 starts at PIR. The ThorSport Racing driver’s success includes 15 laps led en route to six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. The Menards driver has a track-best start of second (2007, 2010, 2014), and a track-best finish of second (2014).
- Settling The Championship 4 Field at Phoenix… Crafton, who is currently third (+24 points) in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Playoffs, is looking to lock himself in to the Championship 4 following Friday night’s elimination race at PIR. With the top-four drivers transferring to the Championship 4, the Menards driver needs to win, or maintain a top-four position in points, to race for the title in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week.
- Back to Where It All Began… Although the central California town of Tulare, is more than 500 miles from PIR, the ThorSport Racing driver calls the one-mile oval a “hometown” race. Crafton, who got his start in the Featherlite Southwest Tour, a highly competitive regional series, made 12 starts at PIR between 1997 and 2006, and his success at the Avondale, Ariz. track included two poles (2000, 2001), a win (2006), and three top-five finishes. Crafton’s four-year tenure in the series produced a championship title in 2000, and opened the door to his career in NASCAR, racing for Duke and Rhonda Thorson at ThorSport Racing in 2001.
- Season Stats… In 21 starts this season, the ThorSport Racing driver has one win (Eldora), one pole (Michigan), and has led 321 laps en route to five top-five, and 15 top-10 finishes.
- Career Stats…In 405 NCWTS starts, Crafton has earned 13 poles, and led 2456 laps en route to 14 wins, 102 top-five, and 241 top-10 finishes.