Matt Crafton – NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Driver:
Matt Crafton climbed back into the championship hunt in 2019, with a bid in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs. The two-time series champion navigated his way into the through the unique three Round Playoff format where he was claimed the Driver Championship for the third time in his career. The Tulare, California native also extended the Gander Trucks record for consecutive starts to 450, since his series debut at Auto Club Speedway in November 2000 – passing four-time Gander Trucks champion Ron Hornaday, Jr with 360 starts in the 2015 Gander Trucks race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Additionally, the ThorSport Racing driver capped off his 19th full-time season in the Gander Trucks.
Crafton began his racing career in go-karts, mini sprints and midgets before following his father, Danny Crafton, who had his own legacy on the West Coast, into late models. When Danny was injured with three races left in the 1996 season, he selected his son as his substitute. Crafton’s performance in those races led Danny to hang up his helmet and step out of his familiar No. 46 to allow his son to take over. The younger Crafton rewarded his family’s faith in 2000 by winning four races en route to the prestigious NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series championship.
Following Crafton’s championship in the 2000 Featherlite Southwest Series, ThorSport Racing named him the driver of the No. 88 truck for the 2000 season finale at Auto Club Speedway, beginning the series’ longest-running driver-team relationship. Crafton became a fixture in the Gander Trucks, finishing inside the top-10 in the standings, the last 11 seasons, and drove his way into the NASCAR history books becoming the first Gander back-to-back champion, winning titles in 2013 and 2014.
Hometown: Tulare, CA
Birthdate: June 11, 1976
Residence: Mooresville, NC
Children: Daughter – Elladee
Three-time Series Champion: 2019, 2014, 2013
First Full-time Season: 2013
Top-5 Finishes: 124
Top-10 Finishes: 282
Laps Completed: 71,201
Laps Led: 2,637