This Week’s No. 88 Mold Armor/Menards Ford F-150… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 54 for Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). This chassis, which was built new in 2016, went to victory lane at CMS in 2016, and saw three runner-up finishes at Kansas Speedway, and both races at Texas Motor Speedway. Crafton also finished sixth at Pocono Raceway with this particular chassis in 2017.
Charlotte Shakedown… In 15 starts at CMS, Matt Crafton has led 101 laps en route to two wins (2008 & 2016), six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. Crafton’s best start is second (2014). Additionally, the ThorSport Racing driver has the most starts (15), most top-10 finishes (12), has completed the most laps (2000), and has the most lead lap finishes (14) of any other active series driver in the NCWTS.
You’ll Never Forget Your First… CMS is the site of Crafton’s career first win in the NCWTS (2008). The ThorSport Racing driver started eighth, led 10 laps, and brought home his first career win in more than seven seasons driving for ThorSport Racing.
Intermediate Track Facts… No current NCWTS driver is better at intermediate-size (1.5 or 1.54-mile) tracks than Crafton. In 146 starts, the ThorSport Racing driver has nine wins, eight poles, and has led 1,210 laps en route to 14 runner-up finishes, 47 top-five, and 91 top-10 finishes.
Race Rewind – Kansas… After dominating final practice at Kansas Speedway, Crafton qualified third, finished eighth in Stage 1, ninth in Stage 2, and led four laps to cross the stripe in the sixth position. Starting sixth, the two-time CMS race winner overcame a pit road penalty on lap 83, to finish sixth.
Take me back – Charlotte 2017… Starting sixth, the two-time CMS race winner overcame a pit road penalty on lap 83, to finish sixth.
2018 Stats… In six starts this season, Crafton has led 15 laps en route to two top-five, and three top-10 finishes. The Menards driver has a season-best start of second (Atlanta), and a season-best finish of second (Dover).
Veteran-Size Stats… Crafton holds the record for consecutive starts (413) in the NCWTS. Among his success in the past 17 seasons, the two-time champion has earned 13 poles, and led 2471 laps en route to 14 wins, 104 top-five and 245 top-10 finishes.
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Chatting with Matt Crafton…
“It sounds like we will be fighting weather this weekend. I can say, I wouldn’t mind racing this race during the day. I love day races – you get to slip and slide around. Night races you are running so long, so wide-open, making it that much more aero-dependent. During the day, the race track is slick, you can move around more and try to find grip in other areas. At night when it’s cool, sometimes it’s a little bit harder. Charlotte does have a wider groove than some other mile-and-a-half tracks we’ve been to, even at night, but the day races, I love, and we proved that in 2016.”