Championship frontrunners Jones and Crafton ‘odds-on’ favorites at Vegas

01 Oct 2015 Staff Report - NASCAR Wire Service
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One driver is the defending race winner, while the other dominates 1.5-mile tracks.

Erik Jones will attempt to visit Victory Lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the second straight year in Saturday’s Rhino Linings 350 (10 p.m. ET on FS1) as he tries to hold off NASCAR Camping World Truck Series intermediate track master Matt Crafton for the series championship.

Crafton cut Jones’ standings lead to a mere seven points after finishing runner-up last week at New Hampshire, while Jones placed seventh for his ninth consecutive top-10 showing.

With only six races left, the two-time defending series champion maintains he’s still not concerned about points.

“I’m honestly not truly worried,” Crafton said. “We’re just going into each and every race trying to lead laps and win the race. If we do that, we get max points … All in all, we just have to keep racing, putting this Menards Toyota Tundra up front every week and the points will come.”

Crafton has never won at Las Vegas, but he has three runner-up finishes there and has claimed five wins in the last two seasons at 1.5-mile tracks.

Jones is no slouch at intermediate tracks either. The NASCAR Next alum has led 44.4 percent (399) of the 898 total laps during the six Truck Series races at 1.5-mile speedways this season, but has just a pair of second-place finishes to show for it.

“Vegas is cool, a special place for me getting my first mile-and-a-half win there,” Jones said. … “It's a cool place for me. I'm excited to go back. It's one of my favorite mile-and-a-half tracks and should put on a good show."
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