Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Menards/Ideal Door Chevrolet Silverado, returns for his 11th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, June 4th with ThorSport Racing. With ten previous starts, four top tens and a career best fifth place finish here - the third place driver points leader is ready to show that consistency can still reign supreme with the No. 88 Sandusky, Ohio-based crew.
The flat corners of Kansas Speedway are tricky for any driver, but Crafton thinks being fast is key - something he and crew chief Bud Haefele have been all year with the intermediate trucks. "I like intermediate tracks, and Kansas has always been a challenge for me. I've had some bad luck here early on in my career, but I've also had some great finishes. Bud and the guys have worked so hard on our intermediate package this year, and it's showing in our progressive finishes at Phoenix, Nashville and Dover. There's no reason we can't do really well here with the momentum we're building in 2011."
The No. 88 team and Crafton, known for its legendary consistency in the Series, looks to get back to its "consistency streak" in Kansas after an unavoidable incident in Charlotte resulted in a tough finish. "I always say that we just look forward. Kansas is known for being pretty hot, which as most drivers know, creates a lot of issues with grip on the track. Without the banking that you see in some of the other mile and a half tracks, it means you've got to find the perfect groove to gain your speed. As long as the guys set me up with a super fast truck, which they have been all year - I know I can find the right groove to have a chance to win."
Crafton, who last year visited the families of the Ronald McDonald House during his stay, will this year focus on the Tornado Relief Effort with the Red Cross. "We're donating some of our previous firesuits and hoods, along with my teammate Johnny Sauter making donations, to the NASCAR Unites campaign for Tornado Relief," he said. "It's unbelievable, the devastation that this region has witnessed and suffered. It's whatever we can do to help. We're also going to have two families as our guests in Kansas who have been affected by the disaster, just to get their minds off any stress they might be facing in their day-to-day lives."
Crafton will be sporting Ideal Door on the hood of the No. 88 Menards Chevy Silverado this weekend. For over three decades, IDEAL Door has been one of the trusted leaders in providing homeowners with the finest residential garage doors and businesses with commercial and industrial doors. IDEAL Door has played a leading role in creating and updating industry technical standards and national building codes. "I'm looking forward to having Ideal Door on board with me this weekend," Crafton continued. "I've had two top tens this year with that hood, in Phoenix and in Nashville - so I hope we can continue that consistency in Kansas and bring them home a great finish or even a trip to Victory Lane.