Crafton Sweats Out Third Place at ORP Clermont, Ind. (July 24, 2010) -- Matt Crafton continued to be as hot as the sweltering Midwestern weather by finishing a strong third in Friday night's AAA Insurance 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park at ...
Crafton Sweats Out Third Place at ORP
Clermont, Ind. (July 24, 2010) -- Matt Crafton continued to be as hot as the sweltering Midwestern weather by finishing a strong third in Friday night's AAA Insurance 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Crafton qualified fourth in the No. 88 Menards/Ideal Door Chevrolet and stayed up front all evening long, at one point passing and pulling away from the two drivers that finished in front of him -- winner Ron Hornaday and runner-up Kyle Busch -- but an air pressure adjustment on the final pit stop didn't produce the results Crafton and crew chief Bud Haefele anticipated.
Despite not pressuring Hornaday and Busch for the top two positions over the final 50 laps, Crafton was able to comfortably cruise home in the third position, just ahead of ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter. It was Crafton's third consecutive top-five finish, his fourth overall, and his seventh top-ten finish in twelve starts so far in 2010.
"After such a horrible start to the season it's great to get some momentum and start picking up some top five finishes," Crafton said following his third consecutive top-five run. "We had a pretty good truck in practice and we knew the track would change once the sun went down. We were looking for some forward bite off the corner on the final pit stop. The guys made the adjustment but the truck just didn't drive like we thought it would. I was better than everyone else out there on the long runs except the 33 and the 18. We had a good clean night tonight, there aren't too many scratches on the truck and that's pretty rare for a short track race for the Truck Series."
The heat, which was in the upper 90s with the heat index over 110 degrees, was a factor for the second consecutive week.
"It was hot out there tonight but it didn't seem as hot as last week," Crafton said. "It cooled off at night, but it was still really warm. It wasn't so much the heat here but it was the humidity. It's like you could cut the air with a knife it was so thick."
Crafton now moves up to seventh in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings; he sits just one point behind sixth-place Austin Dillon and 66 points behind a tie for fourth between Hornaday and Timothy Peters. Crafton is just 101 points out of second.
Next up for Matt Crafton and the No. 88 Menards/SealBest Chevrolet is the Pocono Mountains 125 at the 2.5-mile triangular Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 30. As a team, ThorSport Racing will be participating in its 328th race all-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, moving into second place behind only Roush Fenway Racing with 353 races and into the lead among active teams.