Matt Crafton Race Recap:
Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Shasta/Menards Toyota Toyota, made his 11th career start at Talladega Superspeedway in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred's 250. Starting 13th, in the last race in Round 1 of the Chase, Crafton fell to the back of the pack early, and stayed out of trouble. It wasn't until after the halfway mark in the 94-lap event, that Crafton started to make his way up towards the front of the 32-truck field. Running as high as third, in the closing laps, Crafton was forced to bring his Menards Toyota Tundra to pit road at lap 88 due to an engine part failure. Although the two-time champion was credited with a 22nd-place finish, the ThorSport Racing driver would transfer to Round 2 of the Chase, claiming the sixth and final spot in the standings.
Matt Crafton Quote:
How frustrating was it trying to stay clean in today's race in order to transfer to the next round?
"This is a totally different atmosphere, and there's not a whole lot of things that a driver can do besides ride along the yellow line there at the end. We just had bad luck, but at least we moved onto the next round. That's what it's all about, getting through this chaos."
What's your strategy for the next round?
"Win. Period. That's why we go to each and every race, to win. The way this Chase format is now, it's sad to say you come into Talladega, and just try to survive, especially when you've got the back two that were so far out on us. It's a crude mindset to go in here and go, 'Hmm, I've just got to ride around here.' Yeah, you worry about wanting to win the race, but if you're wanting to advance, you can't really race in that big pack. You can't put yourself in position, especially when the 8 (John Hunter Nemechek) had bad luck, and then the 19 (Daniel Hemric) was a little bit tore up, but still if you had a bad day and the 19 ended up winning the race, you can lose the deal. So, if you're riding around there in the back of the pack and just stay out of trouble, you can advance, and that's not a whole lot of fun racing like that, I promise you that."