CONCORD, N.C. - Matt Crafton overcame a problem with a set of tires and a pit road penalty to earn a ninth-place finish in the inaugural Hardee's 200 NASCAR Truck Series race Friday, May 16. Ted Musgrave won the event at the 1.5-mile oval in ...
CONCORD, N.C. - Matt Crafton overcame a problem with a set of tires and a pit road penalty to earn a ninth-place finish in the inaugural Hardee's 200 NASCAR Truck Series race Friday, May 16. Ted Musgrave won the event at the 1.5-mile oval in suburban Charlotte.
"We had a heck of a truck tonight," Crafton said. "It's a top-10, and we always want to get top 10's, but we had a truck that was capable of a lot more. Something was off on one set of tires, and that really cost us. Without that, I think we could have run in the top-five."
Crafton started 19th in the 36-truck field. He charged to eighth in the first three laps and raced as high as sixth during the night.
"The truck was awesome at the start," Crafton said. "We jumped up in to the outside groove and were able to just drive right by some people. Jerry Cook and Dave Fuge Jr. did a great job getting the truck tuned up at the start."
As the first segment of the race played out, the handling of Crafton's Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet Silverado started to wane. He was ninth when the field headed to pit road after a caution on lap 38.
"The guys did a great job on that pit stop," Crafton remembered. "They did a great job on all our pit stops tonight. We ended up making five pit stops and the guys nailed every one of them
"But something was off on the set of tires we got on that stop. We backed up pretty quick and got lucky to get a caution to let us change them within a few laps."
On that subsequent another pit stop to change tires, Crafton was tagged with a 15-second penalty for a pit road infraction. As a result, he restarted the race outside the top-20. Crafton eventually raced back to sixth place before coming to pit road again. After a pair of pit stops late in the race, he advanced from 14th to ninth at the checkered flag.
The performance moved Crafton to a tie for 12th position in the NASCAR Truck Series point standings.
The circuit continues with a race in Dover, Del. on Friday, May 30.