Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:
Atlanta has historically been one of your favorite race tracks. What is it about the track that you enjoy racing on?
“Atlanta is by far, hands down, my favorite race track that we go to, so I hate that this is the last race we’ll see on this pavement. 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 – led the most laps and just got caught-up in someone else’s mess. I’m confident we can pick up where we left off in 2016.”
Now that we’ve completed the first race of the 2017 NCWTS season with the new race format, how do you feel it will impact the race in Atlanta this weekend?
“Honestly, I liked the stages, it made it exciting for the fans. I can’t say that it really affected the outcome of the race in the truck series though – our races are shorter anyway, and we’re racing hard from green flag to checkered flag. Daytona proved that it was important to finish strong in each stage though, and get those bonus points. We dropped back to stay out of trouble, and focused on the race win. We looked like we were in a good position to capitalize on that strategy until it didn’t anymore, but that’s plate racing. Now we just need to win a race and we’re back in the mix.”
News & Notes:
Crafton’s Atlanta Motor Speedway Stats:
Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner
Engine: Triad Racing Technologies
2016 NCWTS Driver Point Standings: 13th
2016 NCWTS Owner Point Standings: 16th
Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 4:30pm ET
Distance: 130 laps/200.2 miles