Charlotte: Race winner interview

MATT CRAFTON , NO. 88 MENARDS/MCGUIRE-NICHOLAS SILVERADO, STARTED 18TH, RACE WINNER: Talk about that first career win. "It was awesome. Perseverance pays off and we never gave up and we've got a really good crew. We've got great owners, Duke...

MATT CRAFTON , NO. 88 MENARDS/MCGUIRE-NICHOLAS SILVERADO, STARTED 18TH, RACE WINNER:

Talk about that first career win.

"It was awesome. Perseverance pays off and we never gave up and we've got a really good crew. We've got great owners, Duke and Rhonda Thorson and everyone did awesome. Crew chief was awesome and everyone was behind me and I believed in them and that's what it's all about in this deal. Just never give up and put yourself in the right position each and every week and you're gonna get a win. I've won in a lot of series, everything I've ever raced in. It's been a black cloud following me for a long time. Finally the black cloud has moved along and maybe we can get a few more this year."

Take us through that last lap and let us know what you were thinking of on that green/white/checkered there.

"I always remember that a guy was telling me, Dan Press, was telling me to flip the mirror up when you are leading the race at the end of the race and look out the front of the windshield. He said as soon as you start looking backwards that you are already halfway beat, so I never looked back and looked out that front windshield and drove my tail off. And I knew I wasn't going to lift I can promise you that. That green/white/checkered, when (the race) went green (the pedal) never came off the floor and going into two it was going to be checkers or wreckers and we finally got it."

It says in baseball you have to be a hell of a pitcher to lose twenty games, but in racing you have to be a hell of a driver to go 178 races and still be there. Don't you think that says a lot for the respect that people have for you?

"Yeah. I mean I was in an interview today and we've put ourselves in position the last few years. Just putting ourselves in position each and every race. Sooner or later you are going to get the wins and now we've done that. We had a really good truck two weeks ago in Kansas and got it taken away from us. We had a really good truck in Martinsville and you go back each and every week and we've had an awesome truck and these guys just bing us great equipment every week and put us in position to win and that is what it's all about, teamwork."

Did you ever think this day would never come?

"Yeah, I mean I was honestly beginning to wonder if it was going to come. It's just been a thorn in my side and I promise you there has not been a day that's gone by over the past five or six years that I haven't woken up and thought about it and thought, man am I going to get one of these wins or am I just going to go on and not get one and you just are going to be known for finishing second, finishing third, and always being the bridesmaid, but finally we got it."

"I can't thank Duke and Rhonda Thorson enough the money they put out of their own pocket. John Menard and all the sponsors that are on that truck with Menard's and ThorSport and this whole race team. There are just so many trucks out here that have blank quarter panels, blank hoods and you look at our truck and we've got a truck that has a lot of sponsors on it and I can't thank those people enough."

After this win what was is like to pull into victory lane?

"Like my crew chief said, I am just still so numb at this point that it's like, is it real? It's been such a long time since I have been able to do that and been able to do one of those burnouts. You can't even imagine how long I have been waiting to do one of those burnouts again. I finally got to do it and put these guys in victory lane."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Truck