Crafton scores runner up finish north of the boarder
In his third start at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday, Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra started a track-best third and finished a track-best second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) 250 at the 10-turn, 2.459-mile road course. The strong run allowed the two-time and defending series champion to gain three points in the 2015 driver point standings. Crafton remains in second-place, a mere three points behind leader, Erik Jones, following the 15th race of the season.
In a race built on pit strategy, crew chief Carl "Junior" Joiner brought the two-time and defending series champion to pit road at laps 13 and 39, respectively, under green, for four tires, and fuel. The ThorSport Racing driver, who was scored as far back as 17th, due to pit strategy, complained of being, "tight down the hill and in the left-handers," but muscled his way through the high-speed road course, to maintain an average running position of 6.06 throughout the 64-lap event.
The third annual event saw five caution flags for 13 laps, including a green-white-checker flag finish. Crafton, who restarted fourth, made a pass for third on the final lap, and capitalized on a mechanical issue on the 29, to finish second behind race winner, Erik Jones. The second-place result was the Menards driver's first top-five, and third top-10 finish in three starts at CTMP.
"We would have had a good shot at the lead if we could have had one more restart. It just took our truck a lap or so to get going. The 4 (Erik Jones) and the 29 (Alex Tagliani) just got away from me there at the end. However, coming to the checkered flag, my Tundra really started coming to me, and I felt like I could make a run at them. I didn't really want to see that last yellow, but it worked out, to finish second - especially from where we were two years ago. Two years ago, we were disgraced. I was pretty embarrassed. I knew I wasn't that bad on a road course, and Junior (Joiner, crew chief), and these guys just worked so hard, and brought something back a lot better. Hats off to these guys for bringing such awesome Toyota Tundra's. I'm just the lucky guy that gets to drive them."