Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner, Jr.
Driver Point Standings: 6th
Owner Point Standings: 8th
Spotter: Stevie Reeves
News and Notes:
- This Week’s No. 88 Goof Off/Menards Ford F-150… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 66 for Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Gander Outdoors 150 at Pocono Raceway. This chassis, which was built new in 2018, has made three starts this season at Texas Motor Speedway (fifth), Chicagoland Speedway (11th), and Kentucky Speedway (third). Additionally, this chassis was renumbered chassis No. “26” by crew chief Carl “Junior” Joiner for good luck. Junior’s lucky number is 26, he celebrated his birthday Tuesday, June 26, and his grandfather drove car No. 26.
- Tricky Triangle Fast Facts… Matt Crafton will make his ninth career start at the “Tricky Triangle” on Saturday. In eight previous starts since 2010, Crafton has led one lap (2014) en route to two top-five and five top-10 finishes. His best start at the 2.5-mile track is third (2015), and his best finish is third (2010).
- Three to Go… It’s been 25 races since Matt Crafton has visited victory lane (Eldora Speedway, 2017), and there are three races remaining on the 2018 NCWTS regular season schedule to secure his spot in the Playoffs. Crafton, the only driver in the ThorSport Racing stable to secure a berth in each of the last three Playoffs, is currently on the bubble, in eighth place, in the Playoff standings with 421 points, 83 points ahead of ninth-place.
- Take me back – Pocono, 2017…. Starting ninth, Crafton finished fifth in Stage 1, and 16th in Stage 2, utilizing a late-stage pit stop to gain track position for the start of the third and final Stage. Restarting second in the final stage, Crafton lost valuable track position late in the 60-lap event due to a power steering issue, and settled for a sixth-place finish.
- Race Rewind – Eldora… The 2017 Eldora Speedway winner qualified fourth, won his Heat Race, and started the 150-lap event from the fourth position, his second top-five starting position in six starts. The Menards driver finished eighth in Stage 1, seventh in Stage 2, and finished fourth. The solid result was his second top-five finish since 2013.
- 2018 Stats… In 13 starts this season, Crafton has led 35 laps en route to five top-five, and six top-10 finishes. The Menards driver has a season-best start of second (Atlanta & Martinsville), and a season-best finish of second (Dover).
- Veteran-Size Stats… Crafton holds the record for consecutive starts (420) in the NCWTS. Among his success in the past 17 seasons, the two-time champion has earned 13 poles, and led 2,491 laps en route to 14 wins, 107 top-five and 248 top-10 finishes.
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Chatting with Matt Crafton…
“This is a short race for us. Pit stops, and pit strategy will be important for Stage points. In regards to handling, 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.”