Crew Chief: Carl “Junior” Joiner
Engine: Triad Racing Technologies
2016 NCWTS Driver Point Standings: 2nd
2016 NCWTS Owner Point Standings: 2nd
Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:
What are your thoughts on NASCAR’s new race format for the 2017 season?
“I like the idea of the stages, and getting points for each stage, it will be huge. Then you’ve got the segments, and the segment wins that earn bonus points, which ultimately help your chances of getting in the Chase, and then earning bonus points there as well. So, I like the idea a lot and we’ll see how it plays out this season. To be honest, I’m happy this format eliminates the caution clock for the Truck Series because I was not a huge fan. However, I think it will have the biggest impact on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series because their races are so long. With that being said, I think the segment races will bring some great racing to the Cup Series, but I don’t see it making a huge impact with trucks because our races are shorter and we race so hard from green flag to checkered flag. I do think it will make for some exciting races around each segment though, for sure.”
You’ve got a year of racing in the Chase format under your belt. How did that play out for you in 2016 and how can you apply that to this season?
“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Chase format when they announced it last year, but became a huge fan of it when we had our mid-season slump. We would not have been racing for a championship in Homestead if we were racing on the old point system. I would however have loved to have it in 2015 because we would have won the championship based on the Chase. The Chase does make for a lot of excitement there at the end of the season. As a driver there is a lot of pressure in just those last three races – if you have one bad race in that segment of the Chase, you can pretty much write-off the championship. That’s the tough part about it, but it was a lot of fun racing in it last year, and I’m looking forward to racing in it again this season.
News & Notes:
Crafton’s Daytona International Speedway Stats:
Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:
Date: Friday, Feb. 24
Time: 7:30pm ET
Track: 2.5-mile superspeedway
Distance: 100 laps/250 miles