Crafton Continues Top-10 Streak with Fifth in Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nev. (September 26, 2010) Matt Crafton stretched his summer hot streak into fall as he racked up his eleventh consecutive top-ten finish by crossing the line in fifth in...
Crafton Continues Top-10 Streak with Fifth in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nev. (September 26, 2010) Matt Crafton stretched his summer hot streak into fall as he racked up his eleventh consecutive top-ten finish by crossing the line in fifth in Saturday's Smith's Food at Drug Stores 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Crafton started the No. 88 Menards/Australian Gold Chevrolet in third and, despite getting off of pit sequence with much of the lead pack early on, spent much of the evening riding just outside of the top five. With a couple of late-race cautions bunching the field, Crafton took advantage on the restarts to gain several positions and move back into the top five.
"We had a great truck tonight," Crafton said. "It was a little slippery way up high but if you didn't get up out of the groove you could make up some ground. We went to the top on those restarts and made up some positions. Bud (Haefele) and the guys always give me a truck that works around the outside and our mile-and-a-half program is as strong as it's ever been. It would have been nice to get up and get ThorSport Racing another 1-2 finish tonight like we did last year but we'll take a fifth.
Crafton spent a good portion of the race directly in front of, alongside, or just behind his ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter. While they weren't able to repeat last year's 1-2 result, combined with Sauter's second-place finish it was the fourth time in 2010 both drivers finished among the top five.
"It's a great night for the entire team whenever we can both finish in the top five," Crafton said. "I didn't want to come out here and finish second, especially to Johnny. I told him in the conference call this week if I was leading not to try to pass me on the outside because I'd make my truck awfully wide. It's a shame we couldn't settle it between ourselves like we did last year but putting two trucks in the top five against the level of competition we have right now in the Camping World Truck Series is awesome."
Over the course of Crafton's eleven-race top-ten streak he has averaged a 5.2 finishing position; six of the eleven races resulted in a top-five finish with the best being three third-place runs. Crafton is pleased with those results, especially considering the halting start to the 2010 season he and his team suffered through, but there is still something missing.
"What's missing is that win," Crafton said. "We've been so close so many times since we won at Charlotte (May, 2008). It's really hard to get a top-five finish in this series so to have as many as we do is a huge accomplishment. But to be that close to the front and not have another win can be frustrating. You have to be close if you're going to get a win so we're doing exactly what we need to do."
Crafton dropped one position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings to a tie for fifth place with Timothy Peters just 35 points behind race winner Austin Dillon with five races remaining in the 2010 season. Crafton has an 86-point advantage over Ron Hornaday heading into the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 23.