Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Crafton in the home stretch

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, Matt Crafton, has been a solid contender in the series since his first full season in 2001. Though, he has competed competitively, this season everything seems to be coming together.

Though he had many top-10 finishes and led some laps, it wasn’t until Charlotte in 2008 when he scored his first win. In 2009 and 2010, he racked up the top-5’s but could not seem to find victory lane. There were fifty races in that two year stretch, Crafton finished in the top-10 a very impressive 41 times. Long known for being consistent and competitive, he still drew criticism for his lack of wins.

This season, however, his consistency is paying off. Though he has only visited victory lane once, he has finished in the top-10 17 times out of 18 races. He currently leads the series standings by a whopping 57 points over second place, Ty Dillon.

Things are just going his way. Last week at Talladega he was running second to teammate, Johnny Sauter, when the “big one” hit. Though he did get clipped and turned around, he still managed to finish ninth and stretch his points lead.

Martinsville has been a good track for Crafton as well.  He has compiled 12 top-10’s here, in 23 starts. More importantly, he has an average finish of 12th. If he maintains that average in this weekend’s Kroger 200, it will be difficult for Dillon to gain anything, and with only three races left after Martinsville, he will be in very good position to secure his first series championship. Dillon would need a miracle to have chance to catch Crafton.

Defending series champion, James Beuscher, has ran strong recently, and actually had gained a few points on Crafton. His charge, however, is a little late and given his trouble at Talladega, he now sits third one point behind Dillon. He too will need Crafton to stumble to have a shot.

Given how cool and collective Crafton has been this season. I’m sure the championship hats and shirts are already being printed. It’s probably not a bad investment.

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