Damage dents Crafton's Daytona dreams. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Despite picking up damage in three separate incidents, Matt Crafton soldiered to a 12th-place finish in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Truck Series season-opener at the ...
Damage dents Crafton's Daytona dreams.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Despite picking up damage in three separate incidents, Matt Crafton soldiered to a 12th-place finish in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Truck Series season-opener at the Daytona International Speedway Friday, February 14. Rick Crawford won the race which saw the top 11 finishers within a half second at the checkered flag.
"I guess it was a great finish," Crafton said. "I hate it that we weren't in that pack and battling for a top-10. We should have been, but we got taken out in somebody else's wreck over there off two."
Crafton, who started 21st in the 36-truck field, raced among the top-10 throughout much of the latter stages of the 100-lap race around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. He was racing in a pack that included the top-10 when a truck a lap down slammed into him exiting the second turn on lap 93. The same truck collected another, which spun into Crafton's path.
By the time the accident ended, the nose of Crafton's No. 88 Menards/Enzyme Solutions Chevrolet was in tatters and his hopes of racing to win shot.
"We had really been running a conservative pace," Crafton said. "We just tried to stay in the lead draft and keep them within sight. We were waiting for the final few laps.
"When you look at the run down, you'll see that the guys that finished up front were the guys we raced with much of the day. Without that accident, I think we would have been right there with them."
The 93rd lap wreck wasn't the only time Crafton was in peril. He twice had to take evasive action when accident occurred right in front of him. In both cases, the front valance of his truck suffered damage.
"The guys did a great job getting us fixed on the pit stops and keeping us on the lead lap," Crafton said. "They earned that checkered flag today, our first at Daytona in three tries for me. It was great to finish this race. Now, I want to race to win it."
The 2003 truck series campaign continues with a race at the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Friday, March 14.