Matt Crafton and the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards team head into Thursdaynight's UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway looking for redemption. Coming off a disappointing finish at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., Crafton is eager to get back on track in the "Bluegrass State" and capitalize on his past track experience to reclaim the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) point lead for the third time this season.
Crafton and his ThorSport Racing team have experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows in their quest for back-to-back championships in 2014. Following their win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and a second-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, the No. 88 Toyota team took over the Truck Series point lead three races into the 2014 season. They headed to Dover (Del.) International Speedway with an 11 point lead on Timothy Peters in the point standings, but fell to second-place after a wheel failure with 44 laps remaining in the Lucas Oil 200 resulted in a 23rd-place finish. However, the 2013 Truck Series champion rebounded in style with his second win of the season at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and left the "Lone Star State" with a tight grip on the point lead.
The No.88 ThorSport Racing team experienced another setback following the inaugural Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park, when a cut tire sent the Menards driver hard into the Turn 4 wall. After leading 11 laps, the No. 88 Toyota Tundra team was relegated to a 26th-place finish. The result leaves Crafton with a 10-point deficit to point leader and ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter heading into this week's race.
Crafton enters the eighth race on the 2014 schedule at Kentucky Speedway with the most experience on the rough 1.5-mile oval. Of all drivers entered in Thursday night's 150-lap event, the Tulare, CA native has the most starts (15), has completed the most laps (2080), and has the most top-10 finishes. In a state where horses and horsepower run free, you can bet on Crafton to be a contender for his first Kentucky crown and reclaim the Truck Series point lead.
Sounding off - Matt Crafton:
"Kentucky is my favorite mile-and-a-half track that we go to. It's a flat, rough track with a lot of character and it requires you to move around so you can find a place where your truck likes to run. It's a track that demands a lot out of the drivers and crews to really get the truck adjusted, because it's rough and hard to get ahold of, so finding the right setup to make your truck handle is really a chore. But it's a cool racetrack and I'm confident that Kentucky is a place where we can get back in the championship hunt."