Matt Crafton – 2017 Pocono Raceway Preview

Jul 25, 2017

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Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:

You’re fourth in the standings, and you have a win, locking you in the Chase. Does this change your approach to the rest of the season?
“No. I wanna win more races, and it will all take care of itself. NASCAR has put such an emphasis on getting the wins – they mean so much for the playoff points. Then, if you win the regular season points, you get 15 bonus playoff points going into the Chase. We need to go run down Johnny Sauter, he’s leading it right now. We need to go out there and win some more races, and build ourselves a cushion.”2017 Toyota NASCAR Portraits

They say it’s hard to be perfect in all three corners at Pocono. Is there one that you would feel more comfortable, if you got through it a little better than the other two?
Yeah, Turn 3. I mean at the end of the day, if you can make Turn 3 your best corner – because it’s such a long front straightaway – you’ll gain a lot of time. That’s where a majority of your passing goes on, down that front straightaway. Getting that big run off of Turn 3, will set you up for the front straightaway, it’s key.”

Team Stats:
2017 Driver Point Standings: 4th
2017 Owner Point Standings: 4th
2017 Stage Points: 115
2017 Playoff Points: 7

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing (TSR) team will unload chassis No. 54 for Saturday’s Overton’s 150 at Pocono (PA) Raceway. This chassis was last seen at Kansas Speedway (16th) earlier this season. In 2016, this particular chassis made six starts, and never finished outside the top-10. In fact, Crafton drove this chassis to victory lane at Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway, and had three runner-up finishes at Kansas Speedway, and both races at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
  • Tricky Triangle Stats…Matt Crafton has seven starts at Pocono Raceway. Among active NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) drivers, the two-time champion is one of three drivers entered that has competed in all seven events at the 2.5-mile track. The Menards driver has an Average Running Position of 11.492, a Driver Rating of 85.8, and leads the series in Laps in the Top 15 with 267.
  • Chase Status… Following Crafton’s first win of the 2017 NCWTS season, the ThorSport Racing driver has locked himself into the 2018 Chase Round of 8, that kicks off at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September. Crafton was in the inaugural Chase in 2016, finishing third overall.
  • In the Loop – 2017… According to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics, Crafton ranks first in Laps in the Top 15 (1715), third in Average Running Position (7.134), fourth in Driver Rating (98.4), fifth in Fastest Laps Run (90), and sixth in Laps Led (96), entering Saturday’s 60-lap event.
  • Take Me Back – Pocono, 2016… Making his seventh start at Pocono Raceway, Crafton started 20th, ran as high as third, and finished 12th.
  • Rearview Mirror – Eldora… Starting a track-best second, Crafton earned his second Stage win of 2017, winning Stage 1, finished ninth in Stage 2, and won the fifth annual Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway. The win was Crafton’s first at the half-mile clay oval, and his first win of the 2017 season.

Crafton’s Pocono Stats:

  • Starts: 7, since 2010
  • Laps Completed: 349 of 405 (86.2%)
  • Laps Led: 1 (2014)
  • Wins: 0
  • Top-5 Finishes: 2
  • Top-10 Finishes: 4
  • Best Start: 3rd (2015)
  • Average start: 11.6
  • Average finish: 11.0

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:

  • Starts: 395, since 2000
  • Wins: 14
  • Top-five Finishes: 100
  • Top-10 finishes: 233
  • Poles: 12
  • Laps Completed: 61,089
  • Laps Led: 2231
  • Average start: 12.5
  • Average finish: 11.4

Pocono Stages:

  • Stage 1 – 15 laps (concludes at lap 15)
  • Stage 2 – 15 laps (concludes at lap 30)
  • Stage 3 – 30 laps (concludes at lap 60)

Broadcast Schedule – Pocono:
Friday, July 28:
12:00 p.m. – NCWTS Practice (FOX Sports 1)
2:00 p.m. – NCWTS Final Practice (FOX Sports 1)
Saturday, July 29:
10:00 a.m. – NCWTS Qualifying (FOX Sports 1)
1:00 p.m. – Overton’s 150 (FOX)

Race Information:
Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX and MRN
Track: 2.5-mile tri-oval
Distance: 60 Laps, 150 miles
Social: @PoconoRaceway, #Overtons150

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