RACE THE ROCK: This weekend is a momentous occasion for Matt Crafton and the No. 88 Menards/Ideal Door team as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes its debut at the historic Rockingham Speedway. The 1.0-mile oval, which opened in 1965, hosted its last NASCAR Nationwide Series event in 2003 and its last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2004.
RECORDS ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN: ThorSport Racing, the Truck Series' longest-standing organization, is breaking yet another record this weekend at Rockingham Speedway. When the green flag waves, it will mark the 350thconsecutive event in which ThorSport Racing has had at least one truck entered, breaking Roush Fenway Racing's previous record of 349. Crafton has been behind the wheel of the No. 88 for 249 of those starts.
'HI' AND BUY: Crafton, as well as ThorSport Racing teammates Johnny Sauter and Dakoda Armstrong, will be appearing at the Rockingham Thunder Fest autograph session from 7:00-8:00 PM ET in downtown Rockingham. In addition to appearing with other NCWTS competitors, the drivers will be signing and selling ThorSport Racing merchandise before and after the scheduled autograph session. Look for the No. 13 Hot Honeys Toyota Tundra show truck, where fans can get free Hot Honeys samples, purchase TSR merchandise and meet the guys.
MEET AND GREET:In addition to 200 laps of great racing, a ticket to the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine will also get fans up close and personal with Crafton, Sauter, Armstrong and their other favorite NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers. NASCAR and Rockingham Speedway are opening up the NCWTS drivers meeting for fans to come watch. The meeting is scheduled for 10:30 AM ET on Sunday, April 15th. Fans are asked to enter the infield through the tunnel in turn four if they wish to take part in the drivers meeting. A ticket to the race serves as admission.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 88 team will utilize chassis No. 37 this weekend at Rockingham Speedway. This chassis was raced twice in 2011, bringing home seventh-place finishes at both Atlanta Motor Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway last September.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Crafton was headed for a top-10 day in the No. 88 Menards/Ideal Door Toyota Tundra, but an alternator issue surfaced in the first half of the race and continued to trouble the team for the remainder of the event, resulting in a 24th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Matt Crafton
How do you feel about making your first start at Rockingham Speedway?
"It's going to be a really cool event and I'm looking forward to being a part of the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway. It's too bad that the track has sat vacant for as long as it has, but I'm glad that the Truck Series schedule has allowed NASCAR to return there. We were able to get some testing in at the track when it was still allowed until the end of 2011, so even though we've never raced there, I feel like we're going into the race prepared and capable of running really well."