Crafton earns 88th career top-five finish in Texas

Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 DampRid/Menards Toyota Tundra, entered the 21st race on the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth looking to make Texas-sized gains in route to a "three-peat." Winning the first NCWTS practice session on Thursday afternoon, the ThorSport Racing driver went on to earn his third Keystone Light Pole Award at the "No Limits" track, and looked like he would be a solid contender for victory lane following the 147-lap event. Leading the 32-truck field twice, for 27 (of 147) laps, Crafton would settle for a fourth-place finish in the WinStar World Casino 350k. The solid run was Crafton's 88th career top-five finish.
Starting on point for the 147-lap event, Crafton led the field for the first 12 laps before losing the lead due to a "loose" Toyota Tundra. Maintaining a position inside the top-three over the next 31 circuits, crew chief Carl "Junior" Joiner, brought the No. 88 machine to pit road, under green at lap 43, for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to aid in the handling. When green flag pit stops cycled through, Crafton was awarded the race lead, and maintained his position through the first and only caution of the race, at lap 55. 
Restarting first, Crafton was able to maintain the top spot until lap 64, battling a Tundra that was "over rotating." Falling as far back as sixth, "Junior" brought the No. 88 machine down pit road for the final stop of the night, under green, at lap 96, for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. When green flag pit stops cycled through at lap 100, Crafton was scored third, but would lose one more position over the next 47 laps, due to a "tight" Tundra, and cross the stripe in the fourth position behind race winner, Erik Jones.
Crafton lost seven points in the NCWTS driver point standings following his fourth-place finish at TMS. The Menards driver remains second in the standings, 17 points behind leader Erik Jones.
"We were a little too free on the first few runs and just over adjusted on the last one, and got pretty tight at the end. All in all, not a bad day for our Menards Toyota Tundra. It was decent, but not quite as good as we needed it to be. We'll go on to Phoenix and go from there."

Thorsport PR
Speedway Digest Staff

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