Almost within reach
Despite a season--low, 17th-place finish last weekend at Martinsville, there is still no denying the dominant season that Matt Crafton has had. Through 19 races, he's racked up an impressive 17 top-10 finishes, including a win at Kansas. Perhaps even more impressive than that is the fact that he's been running at the finish of every race and has completed every lap the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has run this season.
Because of those stats it's easy to understand why Crafton has held the points lead for most of the season. He currently leads James Buescher in the standings by 51 markers. When the truck series arrives in Fort Worth for Friday night's WinStar World Casino 350K (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), Crafton knows the track will require a different strategy than when they raced there in June.
"The cooler temperatures we'll have this weekend mean the track will have a lot more grip and it'll be a lot faster," Crafton said. "The tires won't fall off as much just because it'll be so much cooler. When we race there in June it's always so hot and slippery."
Crafton has visited the 1.5-mile speedway 25 times with the truck series, more than he's visited any other track on the circuit, and has yet to visit Victory Lane. He has, however, finished second three times and collected a total of seven top fives and 14 top 10s, in addition to two pole awards. In the June race earlier this year, he finished eighth, after finishing sixth in the fall 2012 event.
In the past 17 Texas races, the California native has made more green-flag passes (581) than any other driver, and has run the second-most laps in the top 15 (2,107), behind only Ron Hornaday Jr.
Although a win this weekend would not clinch the championship for Crafton, it only moves him closer to what most people consider inevitable.
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