Matt Crafton – Atlanta Motor Speedway Preview

Feb 23, 2016

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19-22 January, 2016, Charlotte, North Carolina USA Matt Crafton ©2016, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA

Team Information:
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner
Manufacturer: Toyota
Engine: Triad Racing Technologies
2016 NCWTS driver point standings: 9th
2016 NCWTS owner point standings: 10th

Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:

What do you like so much about Atlanta Motor Speedway?

“Atlanta is by far, hands down, my favorite race track that we go to. I love Atlanta. You get so much tire fall-off from the beginning of a run, to the end. It’s incredible. You can run around there for the first two laps wide open, and then after that, when you get 15-20 laps into it, your hanging on for dear life, and screaming you need tires. Then, you still have to go another 20 laps after that. Atlanta definitely separates the field, for sure. It’s a lot about tire management. Last year we had such a fast Menards Toyota Tundra. It’s a different truck we’re bringing back this year, but it’s the same truck I won Homestead with, so I feel confident, and I’m looking forward to it.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will utilize chassis No. 51 for Saturday’s Great Clips 200 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway (AMS). This is the same chassis that Crafton raced at Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, and Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway in 2015. In four starts, chassis No. 51 has two poles (Kentucky & Homestead), and has led 160 laps en route to two wins (Kentucky & Homestead).
  • Atlanta Domination… The Menards driver led a race-high 85 laps in the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at AMS in 2015, his first victory in 14 starts at the 1.54-mile track. Starting 15th, Crafton took the lead on lap 45 for 13 laps and then again at lap 59 for the remainder of the 130-lap event to finish 8.752 seconds ahead of second-place. Crafton had an Average Running Position of 2.446, and a Driver Rating of 148.0, ranked first overall in both categories.
  • Atlanta Fast Facts…. Among active drivers, Crafton has the most starts (14), is the only driver entered with a win, has led the most laps (95), has completed the most laps (1752), has the most top-five finishes (4), has the most top-10 finishes (8), and has the most lead lap finishes (11).
  • Daytona Review… Crafton started sixth, led the field once for five laps and finished 10th. The ThorSport Racing driver fell victim to the late-race caution on lap 94 which collected 18 trucks.
  • Major Milestone…The Tulare, California native extended the NCWTS record for consecutive starts to 362 following the 2016 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, passing four-time NCWTS champion Ron Hornaday, Jr with 360 starts in the 2015 NCWTS season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. Crafton made his series debut at Auto Club Speedway in November 2000, and enters his 16th full-time season in the NCWTS, and his 15th full-time season with ThorSport Racing in 2016.
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Crafton’s Atlanta Motor Speedway Stats:

  • 14 starts since 2004
  • 1 win (2015)
  • Four top-five finishes
  • Eight top-10 finishes
  • 1752 of 1833 laps completed (95.6%)
  • 95 laps led
  • Best start: 3rd (2010)
  • Average start: 15.1
  • Average finish: 11.4

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:

  • 362 starts since 2000
  • 11 wins
  • 89 top-five finishes
  • 211 top-10 finishes
  • 11 poles
  • 56,168 laps completed
  • 1694 laps led
  • Average start: 12.9
  • Average finish: 11.5

Crafton’s 2015 Highlights:

  • Earned a career-best six wins in one season – Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, and Homestead Miami Speedway
  • Earned a career-best four poles in one season – Michigan International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • Led a career-best 771 laps in one season
  • Extended the Truck Series record for consecutive starts to 361, since his season debut at Auto Club Speedway in November 2000