Crafton Ends Tenure in ThorSport Chevy with 15th-Place Finish at Homestead Homestead, FL Matt Crafton drove the Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet to a 15th-place finish in Friday's Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Homestead-Miami...
Crafton Ends Tenure in ThorSport Chevy with 15th-Place Finish at Homestead
Homestead, FL Matt Crafton drove the Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet to a 15th-place finish in Friday's Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was Crafton's last race in Duke and Rhonda Thorson's No. 88 Chevrolets. Bobby Hamilton won the 134-lap race on the newly reconfigured 1.5-mile oval.
"We had an adventurous day to say the least," Crafton said. "Early in the race we got tangled up with Jack Sprague and it dinged up the left front corner of the truck. That gave us a real bad aero-push for most of that really long green flag run. Once we got the damage fixed, we ran some of the most competitive lap times of the race, but by then we had been put a lap down. That lucky dog rule then kept letting trucks that were in front of us, but a lot slower, get their laps back. We just never caught a break with the timing of the cautions."
After each of the last two cautions of the day, Crafton fought a mysterious tire condition that caused his truck to become virtually undriveable for a lap or two before it would finally come back in.
"I don't know what the situation was there," Crafton said. "I don't know if it was air pressure of if I had some trash on the tires or what, but I would go down into the corner and it would wash up all the way to the wall. I did all I could not to crash the first lap or so after those late race restarts. We thought we might have had a tire going soft it was so bad, but we had my teammate Buddy Rice pull up right before that last restart and he said it was fine. It is a shame, because had we been able to get it going on those last two restarts I think we could have picked up one or two more positions."
Crafton wraps up the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season with eleven top-10 finishes and finishes eleventh in the final series standings.
"We had a really good season," Crafton said. "We had a lot of top-10 runs, and the team had its best points finish in its history. I can't say enough about this team and Duke and Rhonda Thorson. They have been great owners to drive for and really treated Jocelyn and myself like part of their family. We are going our separate ways next year, but I am always going to be grateful for the opportunity they gave me."