Crafton survives to finish 18th in Nashville. LEBANON, Tenn. - After struggling in practice, qualifying and the race, it's no surprise that Matt Crafton was happy to see the Nashville Superspeedway in his rear view mirror late Saturday, August...
Crafton survives to finish 18th in Nashville.
LEBANON, Tenn. - After struggling in practice, qualifying and the race, it's no surprise that Matt Crafton was happy to see the Nashville Superspeedway in his rear view mirror late Saturday, August 10. Shortly after finishing 18th in the track's Federated Auto Parts 200, Crafton was ready to think ahead and forget about the most recent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.
"Let's go on to Richmond right now," he said. "I want to get rid of this entire weekend as quick as I can. This was a brutal couple of days."
Crafton started 22nd in the 36-truck field for the Federated Auto Parts 200. He charged into 15th early in the 150-lap race at the 1.333-mile concrete oval, but that proved to be the high point of his night in the No. 88 Menards/ColorPave Chevrolet.
Fighting ill handling and a flat engine, he sagged as far at 28th position before rallying to finish 18th, four laps behind winner Mike Bliss.
"That might be the hardest I've ever had to work for that kind of finishing position," Crafton said. "We were tight all night and the engine wasn't running up to par.
"When we opened the hood after the race the (air intake) snorkel tubes for the engine were hanging there knocked off the inside of the nose. We got into the back of Coy Gibbs on the restart early in the race. I guess we knocked those snorkel tubes loose then. That explains why we struggled so much with the engine."
Crafton was quick to credit the members of the SealMaster Racing team for their efforts.
"The guys gave it all they had all weekend. We were 35th an hour into practice. They stayed after it and got us good enough to qualify 22nd. We were 28th about 50 laps into the race. They got the truck better on each pit stop, and we were able to salvage an 18th place finish. They deserve a lot of credit."
The performance kept Crafton 15th in the series point standings. He's finished in the top 20 in six straight races.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is idle until a September 5 race in Richmond, Va.