2018 Martinsville Spring Race Preview

Team Info/Stats:
Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner, Jr.
Driver Point Standings: 9th
Owner Point Standings: 10th
Spotter: Stevie Reeves

News and Notes:

  • This Week’s No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Ford F-150… The No. 88 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 58 for Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway. This chassis was last seen in 2017 at Texas Motor Speedway (November – ninth), and also made starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (seventh), Michigan International Speedway (sixth), Kentucky Speedway (eighth), and Texas Motor Speedway (June – ninth), leading 21 laps. It has since been rebuilt to a Ford F-150 for the 2018 season.
  • Martinsville Minute… Matt Crafton will make his 33rd NCWTS start at the 0.526-mile “Paperclip” on Saturday. In 32 previous starts, the ThorSport Racing driver has one pole (October 2011), two wins (March 2014 and October 2015), and has led 381 laps. Additionally, the two-time Martinsville Speedway winner has the most starts (32), the most top-five finishes (9), the most top-10 finishes (19), has completed more laps (7115), and has the most lead laps finishes (28) of any other active NCWTS driver entered in Saturday’s 250-lap event.
  • Looking for Redemption… Crafton, a two-time Martinsville Speedway winner, was on the fast track to his third Grandfather Clock in the series last stop at the “Paperclip” (October 2017). A late-race restart in the 200-lap event left the Menards driver with a second-place finish, after leading a race-high 102 laps.
  • Off-Weekend Fun… During the two weeks the NCWTS has had off since Las Vegas, Crafton was able to enjoy some fun in the sun, and sand, participating in one of his favorite hobbies – a sand rail excursion in the desert. The ThorSport Racing driver spent two days at the Glamis Sand Dunes in his Tatum Sand Rail.
  • Take me back – Las Vegas… Starting 12th in the series last stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Crafton finished 10th in Stage 1, but a part failure on the No. 88 Menards Ford F-150 in Stage 2 would relegate the two-time champion to a 29th-place finish. The undesirable result forced Crafton from second to ninth in the 2018 NCWTS driver point standings.
  • 2018 Stats… In three starts this season, Crafton has led seven laps en route to one top-five finish (Atlanta). The Menards driver has a season-best start of second (Atlanta), and a season-best finish of fifth (Atlanta).
  • Veteran-Size Stats… Crafton holds the record for consecutive starts (410) in the NCWTS. Among his success in the past 17 seasons, the two-time champion has earned 13 poles, and led 2463 laps en route to 14 wins, 103 top-five and 243 top-10 finishes.

Chatting with Matt Crafton…

“We gave away the win on the final restart the last time we raced at Martinsville, so I’m hungry for redemption, and Martinsville is the perfect place for it, especially considering the finish we’ve been living with since Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, when we had a part failure. We’ve seen some success at Martinsville, and it’s a great track to get this No. 88 Menards Ford F-150 locked into the Playoffs, and put those gremlins behind us. The key to getting around Martinsville is the restarts, taking care of your equipment, and track position. Get out front, stay out front and stay out of trouble.”