Matt Crafton Nashville Recap
Matt Crafton, ThorSport Racing driver of the No. 88 Menards/Ideal Door Chevrolet Silverado, powered home in Nashville in sixth position at the Bully Hill Vineyards 200 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). Starting in the 15th position on the grid, the driver powered to his fourth top ten finish in five races this year - placing him solidly in the top three in driver points going to Dover on May 13th.
One of the only drivers to participate in all 200 of the SPEED-broadcasted races, he took time to visit with SPEED Setup host Krista Voda pre-race with a cake on-air. His "celebratory cake smash" has become a viral social media hit, seen here:
On the first lap of the race, Crafton started to pull down the positions to 11th by lap five. Fighting loose conditions all night, the driver restarted after the first pit in eighth position on lap 62 and held ground for the remaining 138 laps. For most of the race, Crafton and teammate Johnny Sauter traded position for the tenth and eleventh spots. Losing ground in second gear several times during the evening, Crafton was able to pilot his Menards/Ideal Door Chevy to a solid sixth place finish.
"We fought really, really loose all night," said Crafton. "I couldn't get the back end into the race track. That's about how I always run at Nashville though, in fifth to eighth spots or so. I just wish we could have gotten the back of that truck to match up with the front. I felt like a basketball around lap 87, bouncing all over and sliding the nose. Bud and my guys made the truck better all night, but it just wasn't enough to take on the top five and not right where we needed to be. We had some transmission issues holding us back on the restarts, but we'll get it worked out before Dover. That is one of my favorite all-time tracks, and I want that Monster Mile trophy."
Crafton continued about the cake smash and some good advice he received. "Krista said I was just getting some much needed practice for my wedding coming up. Somehow I don't think my fiancee Ashley would agree...but I sure did have a lot of icing on my hands to prove the practice! I did have a chance to eat some of the cake, and it was awesome. So to the bakers, thanks...and I think Krista liked the icing! Congratulations to SPEED on their 200th broadcast. It is a special year for many of us."