Matt Crafton Race Recap:
Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Damp Rid/Menards Toyota Tundra, made his 32nd career start at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Striping Technology 350. Starting seventh, the ThorSport Racing driver overcame handling issues, contact with another competitor, and a battery problem early in the 147-lap event to lead the field once for 15 circuits, and contend for the race win in the closing laps. Unfortunately, a free Toyota Tundra in the final laps would force the two-time champion to lose ground to eventual race winner, Johnny Sauter with two laps remaining. Crafton would cross the stripe in the second position, his 13th top-five finish at the 1.5-mile track.
Crafton, one of six NCWTS drivers to make Round 2 of the inaugural Chase, is currently ranked fourth in the championship point standings with only one race remaining in the semifinals. The top four drivers from Round 2, which concludes in next Friday's Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, will advance to Round 3, which kicks off at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final race of the season.
Matt Crafton Quote:
How was the race tonight, and are you pleased with your second place result?
"It was all about these guys on pit road just having great, great pit stops. We were just off all night. I got drove into the fence off turn two, and the right-rear tail is moved over quite a bit, and we got really free up off the corner. I was trying to manage it, but with about four (laps) to go, I just got really free, and I was like, 'Oh boy.' I was hoping that Johnny (Sauter) and the 19 (Daniel Hemric) raced each other a lot longer than they did. These guys kept working all night, and we made progress. In clean air it would run good for a little bit, but was slow in traffic, and we fought that all night."
What happened to cause the damage to the right-rear of your truck?
"The 21 (Johnny Sauter) just moved up, and I thought we were going to hit. I don't know exactly. I'll have to go back and look at it, to be totally honest. I thought we were both wrecking at that point. I know that hurt quite a bit, and the tail is moved over quite a bit, and it hurt us getting off the corner, without a doubt."