Matt Crafton Race Recap:
Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Great Lakes/Menards Toyota Tundra, made his 18th career start at Kentucky Speedway in Thursday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Buckle Up In Your Truck 225. Starting eighth, the ThorSport Racing driver ran as high as fourth, maintaining an average running position inside the top-10 throughout the 150-lap event, and brought home his 13th top-10 finish at the Sparta, KY track, finishing eighth.
Starting eighth, Crafton reported that his Menards Toyota Tundra was "good on entry, but needed help in the center and off," in the opening laps. With a range of pit strategies taking place throughout the event, and track position at a premium, crew chief Carl "Junior" Joiner brought the No. 88 machine to pit road under the first caution at lap 27, for two right-side tires, and fuel. Restarting fifth, the two-time champion was able to maintain his position inside the top-five, until a restart at lap 55, where the ThorSport Racing driver got loose, and lost valuable track position. Scored 10th, Junior would bring the Menards machine to pit road under the fourth caution, at lap 58, for left-side tires, and fuel only, and again under the final caution at lap 105, for four tires and fuel. Restarting 11th, Crafton would battle a tight Toyota Tundra in the final 42 laps, and settle for an eighth-place finish behind race winner, William Byron.
Matt Crafton Quote:
"Track position was key tonight, and the RACING grooves will take some time to come in after the repave. This Menards Toyota Tundra over-rotated at the start of a run, and then it would come to me, and by the end of the run it was too tight. I was a fan of the old track surface, and we just missed it tonight."