Matt Crafton earned a top-10 finish for the third week in a row in a wreck-free race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. After running in the top five for most of the event, strategy in the final pit stop of the day resulted in a sixth-place finish for the No. 88 Menards/Great Lakes Wood Floors Chevrolet.
After taking the green flag from the 10th position, it took only two laps for Crafton to advance his position and nine laps before he worked his way into the top five. Once in the fifth position, Crafton relayed that the truck was too tight in the center of the turns, but he continued to run times consistent with the race leader. With the field spaced out over a long green-flag run, Crafton remained in the fifth position through the first caution flag of the day waving for debris on lap 62. Still too tight, the team called Crafton into the pits for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.
A quick stop put Crafton back on the track in the fifth position once again when the field went green on lap 66. The caution waved for the second and final time for debris on lap 71, just as Crafton overcame the No. 33 truck for the fourth spot. Remaining on the track through the quickie yellow, Crafton picked up another position immediately after green-flag racing resumed. Crafton maintained the third spot for over 50 laps, only slipping into the fourth position right before green-flag pit stops began.
Coming to pit road on lap 131, the team serviced Crafton with four fresh tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment to improve the truck's handling, which had continued to be tight off the corner throughout the previous run. With several of the leaders opting for two tires, Crafton was scored in the sixth position when pit stops cycled through. With the field too spread out to gain any ground, Crafton took the checkered flag in sixth place.
"I absolutely think we could have had a better finish today, we were in the top-five all night, but we've been consistent through the entire month of September and we just need to keep this consistency up," said Crafton following the event. "The guys built me another fast truck this weekend and I'm looking forward to heading to Kentucky next week where we can hopefully get back into victory lane."
Thorsport Racing PR