NCWTS: MATT CRAFTON – CHASING HISTORY

Sandusky, Ohio (Oct. 28, 2014) – The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race was held on Sunday, February 5, 1995. For 19 seasons, the series uniquely identified by pickup trucks, has produced 13 different champions including a four-time champion. Matt Crafton, the defending series champion, heads to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth for the WinStar World Casino 350k with an 18 point lead on the competition – looking to do what no other series champion has done before him – become the first back-to-back champion.

 

The Menards driver cruised to his first series championship in 2013 with a 40 point lead over second-place in the final NCWTS standings and looks to the 20th race on the 2014 schedule at TMS to gain more ground on the competition. In fact, the 1.5-mile, high-banked, high-speed oval is the site of Crafton’s last series win of 2014 and he would like nothing more than to become the fifth driver in 33 NCWTS races at TMS to perform the sweep. The most recent sweep was his teammate, Johnny Sauter in 2012.

 

In 27 NCWTS races at TMS, Crafton has one win, two poles, has led 160 laps and produced eight top-five, and 16 top-10 finishes. Additionally, the ThorSport Racing driver has more series starts (27), the most top-five finishes (8), the most top-10 finishes (10), the most lead lap finishes (18), and has completed more laps (4119) than any other driver entered in Friday night’s 147-lap event – a combination that could have the Tulare, Calif. native sporting a cowboy hat and blasting six shooters in victory lane on Friday night.

 

Sounding Off – Matt Crafton:

“Finally getting a win at Texas was really cool – everyone wants to win at Texas – you want to be able to shoot the guns in victory lane and get that infamous cowboy hat. We were able to make it on fuel mileage in June. I asked them if we could make it and when Junior said yes, I took off. I got such a big lead that I could slow down and save fuel. But I’ll tell you what, that is the hardest thing to do as a racecar driver, to slow down when you want to go and win a race. But without a doubt, we had the fastest Menards Toyota Tundra in June and I can’t wait to get back this weekend and do it all over again. In June, the track is hot and slippery but this weekend, there will be cooler temps and a lot of grip so it’ll be faster. This race is 20 laps shorter so we’ll have to see how the race plays out, but I feel confident we can pull off a sweep.”

 

Crafton’s Lone Star State Stats:

  • 27 NCWTS starts since 2001 including eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes
  • One win (June, 2014)
  • Two poles (Nov., 2009 & Nov., 2010)
  • 160 laps led
  • 4119 of 4260 laps completed (96.7%)
  • Average start: 14.8
  • Average finish: 10.4
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • Third in Fastest Laps Run (179)
    • Third in Laps in the Top 15 (1837)
    • Fifth in Laps Led (160)
    • 11th in Driver Rating (95.6)
    • 12th in Average Running Position (10.442)

Crafton’s Texas Motor Speedway NCWTS Performance Profile:

 

Date

Started

Finished

Laps

Status

Led

June, 2001

10

16

165/167

Running

0

October, 2001

20

12

145/146

Running

0

June, 2002

8

7

166/167

Running

0

September, 2002

17

23

103/146

Engine

0

June, 2003

15

10

167/167

Running

0

October, 2003

14

12

144/146

Running

0

June, 2004

17

8

167/167

Running

0

October, 2004

20

21

146/146

Running

0

June, 2005

20

5

167/167

Running

0

November, 2005

30

17

147/147

Running

0

June, 2006

27

12

168/168

Running

0

November, 2006

29

15

148/148

Running

0

June, 2007

27

7

168/169

Running

0

October, 2007

20

7

149/149

Running

0

June, 2008

24

7

172/172

Running

0

November, 2008

27

19

145/147

Running

0

June, 2009

3

2

167/167

Running

1

November, 2009

1

2

147/147

Running

26

June, 2010

2

18

160/169

Crash

0

November, 2010

1

3

147/147

Running

0

June, 2011

11

29

88/168

Crash

0

November, 2011

11

5

148/148

Running

0

June, 2012

10

2

167/167

Running

8

November, 2012

11

6

147/147

Running

1

June, 2013

8

4

167/167

Running

0

November, 2013

14

10

147/147

Running

0

June, 2014

2

1

167/167

Running

118

 

Matt Crafton 2014:

  • After a third-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Crafton remains first in the NCWTS driver point standings by 18 markers ahead of second-place Ryan Blaney
  • Has been victorious twice – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March) and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (June)
  • The first season in 14 years in the NCWTS that the ThorSport Racing driver has won multiple races in one season
  • In 19 starts in 2014, has posted two wins, 11 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes
  • Has led 292 laps, a personal best in one season
  • Recorded a season-best second-place start three times; Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (May), Dover (Del.) International Speedway (May) and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (June)
  • Has completed 2797 of 2878 laps attempted (97.2%)
  • Has an Average Start of 8.3
  • Has an Average Finish of 7.2
  • 14th full-time season in the NCWTS
  • According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Crafton ranks:
    • First in Average Running Position (6.846)
    • First in Laps in the Top 15 (268)
    • Second in Driver Rating (105.0)
    • Third in Fastest Laps Run (222)
    • Third in Laps Led (292)

Crafton’s Career Truck Series Stats:

  • 335 starts since 2000
  • Five wins
  • 74 top-five finishes
  • 189 top-10 finishes
  • Seven poles
  • 52,291 laps completed
  • 912 laps led
  • Average start:13.4
  • Average finish: 11.8
ABOUT MENARDS:

With 287 stores in 14 Midwestern states, Menards has the tools, materials and supplies for all your home improvement needs whether just needing a light bulb or can of paint to building a deck or new home. Menards is known throughout the home improvement industry as the low price leader; it’s no wonder their famous slogan – “SAVE BIG MONEY” – is so widely known and easy to remember. Menards does things right – the company’s strength and success can be seen in the well-stocked and maintained stores, the lowest prices in town and the way guests are always treated like family in a hometown hardware store atmosphere.

 

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ABOUT THORSPORT RACING:

ThorSport Racing, based in a state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot facility in Sandusky, Ohio, is the longest-tenured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. ThorSport, which has run in the Truck Series since 1996, in 2014 will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by 2013 drivers’ champion Matt Crafton, the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff/Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Sauter and the No. 13 Estes Toyota Tundra driven by Jeb Burton in the Truck Series.