Michigan: Matt Crafton qualifying notes

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Matt Crafton will make his 60th career NASCAR Truck Series start from the 16th position in the Sears 200. Crafton earned that slot in qualifying for the race at the Michigan International Speedway Friday, July 25. Jason Leffler...

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Matt Crafton will make his 60th career NASCAR Truck Series start from the 16th position in the Sears 200. Crafton earned that slot in qualifying for the race at the Michigan International Speedway Friday, July 25. Jason Leffler won the pole for the event, which is slated for Saturday, July 26.

Crafton's fastest lap around the two-mile oval in the Menards/Enzyme Magic Chevrolet Silverado was 41.988 seconds (171.478 miles per hour). Leffler established a new track record at 40.441/178.037.

"We're a second-and-a-half slower than the pole, and that lap was about as good as we could be" Crafton lamented. "This reminds me of one of those sports car races where you run more than one class on the track at the same time. The Dodges and the Fords are in one race. We Chevies are in a different class that's a whole lot slower."

Only one Chevrolet cracked the lineup's top-10, David Starr in eighth. None were in the top-10 of the first practice session. Starr and Travis Kvapil were ninth and 10th in the final practice of the day.

"I don't like it when guys complain about their truck having a disadvantage just for the sake of trying to get concessions," Crafton said. "I think it should be obvious that Chevrolets are at a disadvantage here and all the big tracks."

A Chevrolet has won only twice in the season's first 12 races, both on short tracks. In fact, the brand hasn't posted a finish of better than third on tracks one mile or larger since Kvapil took runner-up honors at the season-opening event in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"The rule change that took the kickout off the 2002 nose really hurt all the Chevies," Crafton said. "We made some changes in Happy Hour that allowed us to run better in the draft. I'm confident that we'll make more changes before tomorrow that will make us better.

"Still, I get in the pack with a Dodge or a Ford and see what they can do. Our Chevy can't do the same things, like cut in to the bottom in the center of the corner. That's not mechanical. It's aero, and I highly doubt there's any way we'll be able to overcome that in this race. If we can get out of here with a top-10 finish, it will be like a win for us."

The Sears 200 is slated to take the green flag at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 26. The race will be telecast live on SpeedChannel and broadcast on the radio affiliates of the Motor Racing Network.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Leffler , David Starr , Matt Crafton