Thursday, Sep 28

ThorSport has room to improve at Dover

After two-and-a-half hours of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice Thursday at Dover International Speedway preparing for Friday's Lucas Oil 200, ThorSport Racing's three trucks had plenty of room for improvement at the high-speed, high-banked concrete "Monster Mile."


ThorSport's trio battled alternately loose and tight handling throughout the day, particularly through the bumpy Turns 3 and 4, and while their race runs were decent, all three trucks were lacking sheer speed compared to the competition on Thursday.


Truck Series point leader Matt Crafton logged his best lap of the day on his 37th and final lap of Happy Hour, actually a 75-minute practice in the late afternoon. His No. 88 Goof Off / Menards Toyota turned a lap in 24 seconds, an average speed of 150 mph. That lap was good for 17th on the 36-truck speed chart. Crafton turned just nine laps in the first 75-minute practice, with a best lap of 24.103 seconds, 13th on the 35-truck chart.


His ThorSport teammate, Johnny Sauter, was 10th in the first practice in his No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota, with his fourth of 10 laps in 24.025 seconds, 149.844 mph. Sauter's best lap of the 13 he turned in Happy Hour was also his last, in 24.109 seconds / 149.322 mph, that was good for 19th in that practice.


Todd Bodine in the No. 13 SealMaster Toyota, the third ThorSport truck, was 18th in P1 with his best of 17 laps, 24.251 seconds, 148.447 mph. Bodine ended Happy Hour in 27th, after running 21 laps with his best in 24.422 seconds, 147.408 mph.


Overall on the day, Crafton's best lap was 18th-fastest, Sauter was 20th and Bodine, 23rd. Quick-study Chase Elliott continued to impress as, in his first Dover visit and his third Truck start overall he was fastest in 23.422 seconds, 153.702 mph in Happy Hour. Another quick youngster, rookie of the year candidate Jeb Burton, was second-best in 23.489 seconds, also in Happy Hour.


In qualifying Dover history is on the ThorSport drivers' side, particularly Sauter, who has a 4.5 average start in four Dover attempts. Crafton, who has a 22-point lead in the standings over Burton, has five consecutive top-10 finishes at Dover and has five consecutive top-10 finishes this season -- the only series driver who can make that claim.


Bodine, who will make his sixth start for ThorSport, all this season, is the defending champion of this event.


Pole qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200 is at 10:05 a.m. ET Friday, with live coverage on the SPEED Channel. Bodine is scheduled to run 14th of the 36 trucks entered -- all of which will start the race. Sauter will go out 17th and Crafton, 19th.


The series' sixth race goes green at 5 p.m., with live TV coverage on SPEED beginning with "The Setup" pre-race show at 4:30 p.m. MRN Radio has live coverage, also beginning at 4:30.


Thorsport PR


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