Matt Crafton Race Recap:
Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 FVP/Menards Toyota Toyota, made his 16th career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) DC Solar 350. Showing speed in both practice sessions on Saturday morning, the two-time champion backed up his time in qualifying Saturday afternoon, posting the second fastest time, in the unique single-truck, two Round qualifying session.
Starting second in the second Chase race of Round 1, Crafton fought a Toyota Tundra that was, "snug through the center and off," and lost ground to the leaders early in the 146-lap event. Crew chief Carl "Junior" Joiner brought the No. 88 machine to pit road, running 12th, under the races first caution at lap 39, for four tires, fuel and a major chassis adjustment. Unfortunately, Crafton would be forced to serve a pass through penalty, for an uncontrolled tire, and restarted from the 18th position at lap 43.
Crafton, who reported he was, "making progress," but still needed to be "freed-up off the corner," worked his way up to the ninth position by lap 90, before "Junior" brought his Menards Toyota Tundra to pit road for a final round of adjustments at lap 93. Following a four tire, including a major air pressure adjustment and fuel pit stop, Crafton restarted from the 12th position at lap 98. In the ensuing 48 green-flag laps, the ThorSport Racing driver would gain four positions on the track as he searched for a preferred racing grove, but would settle for an eighth-place finish behind race winner, Tyler Reddick.
The top-10 result was Crafton's ninth top-10 finish at the 1.5-mile track. Crafton is now third in the 2016 NCWTS Chase with only one race remaining before the cut-off for Round 2, which includes the top-six drivers.
Matt Crafton Quote:
"The first round we were just terrible, terrible tight. We made quite a bit of adjustments on it, and made it better. We missed it out there, and on pit road - we lost quite a few spots there. We were definitely off all night. Track position was everything here. I don't know what the deal was because this place usually widens out with different grooves. Usually it's great here - I love this place - but we just couldn't move around as much as we're used to."