Crafton Takes Seventh in Short Track Clash at Martinsville Martinsville, Va. (March 27, 2010) -- Matt Crafton scored a solid seventh-place finish in Saturday's Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. Crafton...
Crafton Takes Seventh in Short Track Clash at Martinsville
Martinsville, Va. (March 27, 2010) -- Matt Crafton scored a solid seventh-place finish in Saturday's Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. Crafton started outside the front row and stayed with eventual race winner Kevin Harvick for much of the early going before dropping towards the bottom of the top-ten as differing pit strategies scattered the field. Despite numerous late-race caution flags -- including one that forced ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter from the second position - Crafton remained solidly among the top ten eventually bringing the No. 88 Menards/Australian Gold Chevrolet across the stripe in seventh.
"That was a pretty solid afternoon for the Menards Chevy," Crafton said after the race. "We've put a lot of extra effort into our short track program over the off season trying to bring it up to pace with our intermediate program and I can say that it's paid off. The truck was really strong and we were right there in contention for a top five finish. Track position is so important here and it's hard to pass and we got caught behind a couple of guys I thought we were better than there at the end of the race but we couldn't get past them.
Crafton, like most of the drivers who took any of the many restarts in the outside groove, was not happy with the disparity between the inside lane and outside lane.
"The double file restarts are tough at a place like this and we got hung out in the outside once and lost a ton of track position, but once we were restarting on the bottom lane we were okay," he said. "You definitely didn't want to restart on the outside if you could help it. But the guys did a great job getting the truck up to speed and out pit stops were solid so we'll take it and head on to Nashville."
Crafton jumped up three positions to fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, just 113 points behind leader Timothy Peters and two points behind Harvick for fourth position.
Next up for Crafton and the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet is the Nashville 200 on Friday April 2 at Nashville Superspeedway.