Matt Crafton No. 88 Menards/Australian Gold Chevrolet Silverado Preview: Kroger 250 at Martinsville Sandusky, Oh. (March 23, 2010) -- Matt Crafton has a four-race streak of top-ten finishes on the line this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. But...
Matt Crafton No. 88 Menards/Australian Gold Chevrolet Silverado Preview: Kroger 250 at Martinsville
Sandusky, Oh. (March 23, 2010) -- Matt Crafton has a four-race streak of top-ten finishes on the line this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. But a top-ten finish is not what Crafton has in mind; he wants to re-establish the ThorSport Racing Team's strength on short tracks by collecting his first win on a track less than a mile in length. The Kroger 250 is also a milestone of sorts for the team, with the No. 88 truck making its 300th consecutive appearance in NCWTS competition.
The style of racing is a little different at Martinsville, almost like a road course race because of the way teams work their way from the end of the race with their pit strategy. Do you like that type of racing? "The best truck doesn't always win that way. You can have someone who has a tenth-place truck get the timing of their pit stop right and win the race off pit road, and because it's so hard to pass at Martinsville that can end up winning the race for them. I'd rather see us out there racing for it. The guys put a lot of effort on making our short track program better over the winter, so I am expecting to be up there fighting for the win."
Is it hard to be patient and aggressive at the same time? "It is, but you have to do it for the whole race. You have to be smart for 250 laps. I hate to say you have to points race but sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture. I was running second a couple of years ago and got turned around on the last lap trying to make a move for the win. But you can't wait around all day either. If you take it easy early in the race you'll end up a lap down in a hurry and your day can be ruined that way too."
Matt at Martinsville: In 16 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Martinsville Speedway, Matt Crafton has scored two top-five finishes and eight top-ten finishes, including a best finish of second in the March, 2008 event. He has four consecutive top-ten finishes, including two ninth-place finishes in 2009. His average start is 17.1 and his average finish is 12.9. He has completed 3,494 of a possible 3,661 competition laps (95.4%).
Matt's Martinsville Truck: Matt will drive ThorSport Racing Chassis No. 28 this weekend at Martinsville. It is the chassis Matt used in the majority of short track races in 2009, including both races at Martinsville.
300 Straight for the 88: The Kroger 250 will be the 300th consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in which the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Chevrolet has competed. The streak dates back to the opening race of the 1998 season at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla.