Crafton "Digs" his way to second top-10 finish at Eldora
The 2nd annual 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH is one of NASCAR's most unique and anticipated events of the season. The 10th event on the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule presents the competitors with numerous challenges, and Matt Crafton's IDEAL Door/Menards team overcame numerous obstacles to score a ninth-place finish at "The Big E." Crafton's seventh top-10 finish of the season came a year after he scored an eighth-place finish in the inaugural event at Eldora Speedway, but the 2014 running required the No. 88 IDEAL Door/Menards team to "dig" for every position.
By way of his qualifying lap, Crafton started Heat Race 4 from the pole and finished second in the 10-lap qualifying event, lining the Tulare, CA driver up in the ninth position for the main event. The ThorSport Racing driver immediately battled a lack of forward bite in his Toyota Tundra in the early stages of the 150-lap event. With trucks utilizing every inch of the half-mile clay oval, Crafton's handling made it difficult to advance through the maze of traffic. Describing his Tundra as "riding a dolphin in the water", Crafton felt a lot of movement in his No. 88 machine. When the first competition caution was displayed at lap-62, Crafton was scored in the 16th position. The pre-designated competition caution could not have come at a more "IDEAL" time; the Carl Joiner-led crew found a broken shock on the Toyota Tundra during a scheduled pit stop. Along with replacing the shock, the team made numerous adjustments to help give Crafton the forward bite he was seeking.
The adjustments aided Crafton's Tundra and helped him move through the field after being buried as far back as 17th. The 2014 NCWTS reigning champion drove his way into the top-10 by the time the second scheduled competition caution fell at lap-112. While the truck was more competitive now, after the first round of adjustments, it still was not to Crafton's liking and the team elected to pit, as they felt they were not in position to win with what they had. The ThorSport Racing veteran driver restarted in the 17th position and utilized the bottom line to drive through the field in the closing laps. When the dust settled, Crafton would come across the line ninth, scoring his second consecutive top-10 finish at Eldora Speedway.
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